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Putin Gets Petitions From Russian Artists, Scientists To Halt Death Penalty In Ukraine’s Donetsk: ‘Mercy Is The Strength Of Our People’

Russian scientists and human rights activists are asking President Vladimir Putin to halt Russia’s death penalty in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR).

A petition started by Russian mathematician Alexander Bufetov on Change.org, addressed to Putin, read, “Mr. President! Vladimir Vladimirovich! We are very concerned about reports of the possibly imminent execution of death sentences handed down in the Donetsk People’s Republic.”

The petition signed by film director Alexander Sokurov, journalist Eva Merkacheva and physicist Nikolai Rozanov asked Putin to “suggest” a legal change to DNR leader Denis Pushilin.

See Also: Ukraine National Anthem Echoes In India As Grandmaster Anna Ushenina Bags Gold: ‘Not Very Clear If I Will Be Able To Go Back Home’

This came after a DNR local court in June sentenced two British citizens, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, and a Moroccan national, Saadun Brahim, — who fought with Russia alongside Ukrainian forces — to death on charges of “mercenary activity” and attempted “forcible seizure of power.”

“I really think that the death penalty in the territory where Slavic peoples live, in the space where Christianity works, is generally unacceptable,” film director Sokurov told RBC Russia.

“Mercy is the strength of our [Russian] people. We ask you for mercy. We consider it necessary to abolish the death penalty in the Donetsk People’s Republic,” the petitioners wrote.

Meanwhile, heavy fighting raged around the eastern Ukrainian town of Pisky on Thursday, according to Reuters. An official with the Russia-backed Donetsk People’s Republic told the publication that Pisky was under the control of Russian and separatist forces.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Europe and Asia coverage by following this link.


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Florida seeks death penalty for Longwood man accused of killing 3-year-old daughter

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Attorneys for the State of Florida are seeking the death penalty against a Longwood man accused of killing his 3-year-old daughter and slashing the throat of his 12-year-old daughter, according to an affidavit.

Juan Bravo-Torres, 39, was arrested earlier this year after attacking his daughters and cutting his own wrists and throat, arrest records show.

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A notice of intent to seek the death penalty was released by the State Attorney’s Office, which says the state is seeking such a penalty due to several aggravating factors, including accusations that the felony was “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel” and the victim was a child under 12 years of age.

Bravo-Torres was indicted Tuesday for charges of first-degree premeditated murder and attempted first-degree premeditated murder.

View our previous coverage by clicking the media player below

The father accused of stabbing his daughters, killing a 3-year-old and critically injuring a 12-year-old, at their Longwood home was arrested, police said on Friday.

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Men charged in Las Vegas Strip crime spree where 2 died could face death penalty

2 murdered in parking garages, police say

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Prosecutors said they intend to seek the death penalty against two men accused of murdering two people in a New Year’s Eve crime spree should they be found guilty.

Jesani Carter, 20; and Jordan Ruby, 18, are accused in two homicides, an attempted murder and a robbery from Dec. 30 to Dec. 31 at several locations on the Las Vegas Strip.

Videos shown to a grand jury in the case earlier this year showed a man getting out of the car inside a garage at the Fashion Show mall and then attacking Clarice Yamaguchi, 66. The man steals her purse and then shoots her as several other cars move through the structure.

Yamaguchi was shot and killed during the attempted robbery in the garage near the Dillard’s entrance. She and her husband came to Las Vegas on Christmas Day, and were on their way into the mall when a man confronted her with a pistol.

Jordan Ruby and Jesani Carter. (LVMPD/KLAS)(Credit: LVMPD)

The second homicide of the night, which happened in the garage at Palace Station, is not caught on camera. The video evidence includes a security guard in the garage biking to the scene after hearing gunshots. The same BMW is also shown in the garage seconds later. Hyo Sup Um, 60, an employee, was killed in the robbery attempt gone wrong, police said.

“The evidence will show that the two defendants came to Las Vegas on the busiest day of the year to ‘make money’ by robbing people in the tourist corridor,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo wrote in court documents filed Friday. “During the course of their actions to ‘make money,’ the two defendants killed two innocent bystanders while taking their money and/or property.”

Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Carter spoke to the 8 News Now I-Team’s David Charns via video at the Clark County Detention Center shortly after his arrest.

David Charns: So, you’re saying police have the wrong person.

Jesani Carter: For sure. For sure. For sure.

A jury trial is scheduled to begin in March 2023.


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Widow of West Virginia man killed on Myrtle Beach vacation wants ‘death penalty or life’ in prison for suspect

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A West Virginia woman wants “the death penalty or life without parole” for the suspect accused of shooting at her husband eight times and killing him while they were on vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in July.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department on July 7 charged Quentin Ahmad Jean, 35, of Myrtle Beach, with murder, attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime following the July 6 shooting of Josh Wilson, 40, near Highway 501 and Broadway Street. Wilson died in the hospital three days later on July 10, according to his wife.

“One shot could have been, like, hey, I’m trying to scare you, but eight shots is meant to kill,” Staci Wilson, 39, told Fox News Digital. “I want that Quentin guy to know that I’m not going to stop, and I’m going to stop for either the death penalty or life without parole.”

Jean is being held at a Horry County jail without bail.

WEST VIRGINIA MAN DEAD ON VACATION WITH FAMILY AFTER OFFERING TO GIVE STRANGER A RIDE

The day before his death, Josh, Staci and Staci’s 11-year-old son, Lincoln, spent all day and part of their evening at the beach. When they finally left around 9:30 p.m., they went back to the hotel and went into town to grab a late bite to eat. On their way back to the hotel after dinner, they stopped for gas, at which point a man with a bicycle got in front of their vehicle and asked Josh for a cigarette and a ride home.

Josh, who often offered people favors because he knew how it felt to be “down and out” himself, told the stranger that he would give him a ride after he dropped Staci and her son back off at the hotel, which is exactly what he did. After dropping off his family, Josh returned to the man and gave him a ride.

FLORIDA MEN CHARGED WITH FEDERAL HATE CRIMES FOR VIOLENT ATTACK ON BLACK MAN

“He’s been down and out before, and he didn’t have anybody to help him, so he didn’t want anybody to feel like that. He wanted to help anybody he could,” Staci said. “He would hold doors open for me, carry groceries for me, he wouldn’t let me sleep near the door … just in case somebody would come in. He wouldn’t let me pump my own gas if he was with me.”

“He would always put us first,” she added.

Staci, who “had a bad feeling” about that night, called her husband while he was gone. Josh picked up the phone once to tell her he was dropping off the man with the bike. She called again shortly afterward, and he did not pick up. She stayed up waiting until 4 a.m., at which point she fell asleep until about 8 a.m. When she woke up, she began searching for him. Eventually, a detective contacted her to tell her that her husband had been involved in a shooting incident.

“He didn’t sound like he was in any kind of danger at all on the phone, but he usually tries to stay on the phone with me until he gets there. … And he didn’t try to stay on the phone. So, I don’t know if he had already been shot or if somebody was following him. I just don’t know,” Staci said.

WASHINGTON, DC, PARENT OF 3-YEAR-OLD GRAZED BY BULLET SAYS DAUGHTER TOLD HER, ‘SOMEBODY SHOT ME, MOMMY’

It’s unclear exactly what happened after Josh dropped off the stranger on the bike, but that man is not the suspect police have accused of killing Josh.

It is unclear when Quentin Jean entered the picture, but Staci alleges that police and prosecutors have security footage from where the incident occurred that makes her believe Jean shot her husband in a potential road rage incident. Her husband had been driving her car that night, which she claimed had no prior damage before the shooting caused him to crash.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department on July 7 charged Quentin Ahmad Jean, 35, of Myrtle Beach, with murder, attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department on July 7 charged Quentin Ahmad Jean, 35, of Myrtle Beach, with murder, attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
(Horry County Jail)

“We’re going to wear our ‘Justice for Josh’ T-shirts that we had made up, and we’re going to continue to fight to make sure that he doesn’t get out and harm anybody else,” she said.

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Staci described Josh as her “best friend and soul mate,” who was close to her three children, who lost their biological father years ago.

Staci set up a GoFundMe titled “Staci Wilson pay for funeral services,” which garnered enough donations to pay for Josh’s funeral, but she said she is using excess funds to pay for a headstone.


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Death penalty under consideration in murder case – Lake County Record-Bee

An Occidental man, Nova Maye Deperno, 26, that had been arrested and charged with the murder of a Lucerne man, Ronald Meluso, 63, was in custody and present by remote appearance at the Lakeport Superior Court.

During the recent hearing, witnesses were sworn in and testified. People’s exhibits (a collection of text messages) were marked and received into evidence.

The Court inquired as to the status of whether the People will be seeking the death penalty in this matter. Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff advised the Court that a decision has not yet been made.

After both sides rested and the Court heard the arguments, it appeared to Judge J. David Markham that the felony violation(s) have been committed and the special allegations are true. There is sufficient cause to believe the defendant is guilty thereof – it was ordered that the defendant be held to answer to the same.

Defense Attorney Kevin Davenport advised the Court that he is not qualified to represent the defendant in a death penalty case.

The matter has now been set for possible consideration of appointment of new counsel to represent the defendant, unless the People inform the Court that the death penalty is not being sought.

The matter has been set for an arraignment on an information hearing with consideration of appointment of new counsel on Aug. 16, 2022.

In June Attorney Davenport requested a continuance as he was missing discovery in this case. The Court found good cause to continue.

In May the defendant appeared for a preliminary hearing as parties inform the court there are eight missing supplemental reports that defense needs to review.

The Court found a good cause to continue the matter at that time as well.

In April this matter was assigned to Judge Lunas in Department 1.

The defendant has been charged with murder, burglary, vehicle theft and buy/sell/receive stolen property. The charges stem from the arrest of Deperno in Sonoma County on Jan. 13, 2022, when detectives from Lake County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit were able to interview Deperno regarding the disappearance of Lucerne resident Ron Meluso. Deperno provided statements linking him to the disappearance and subsequent murder of Meluso.

On Jan. 14, 2022, Deperno assisted detectives in locating human remains in a rural area off Bartlett Springs Road in northern Lake County. The remains are strongly believed to be that of Ron Meluso, and detectives have been in contact with Meluso’s family with arrangements being made to confirm positive identification.

The defendant faces several other charges that are trailing this matter, including, flight from a traffic officer with disregard for safety, assault with a firearm on person, threaten to commit crime, abuse (endangering child with great bodily injury) and prevent/dissuade witness/victim with force/threat.

In January the defendant pled not guilty to the murder of Ronald Meluso. Meluso was reported missing in August of last year.

The defendant was arrested Jan. 20, 2022 and booked at the Lake County Correctional Facility, where he remains in custody and is being held without bail.

Outstanding discovery continues preliminary hearing for Cobb man in attempted murder case

Hunter Christian Toles, 23, of Cobb, facing two counts of attempted murder and numerous other charges, remains in custody as he was present at the Lake County Superior Court for a preliminary hearing.

During the recent hearing Defense Attorney Thomas Quinn requested the matter be continued as there is outstanding discovery. The People advised the Court that the District Attorney Investigator will be preparing a report based on a conversation that occurred the day prior to this hearing.

The People did not object to the continuance.

Based on the comments of defense counsel, the Court finds good cause to continue this matter.

The master calendar call/preliminary hearing assignment has been scheduled for Sept. 9, 2022 with the preliminary hearing set for Sept. 14, 2022.

Last month Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Nicholas Rotow filed a motion to continue in Court as defense attorney, Thomas Quinn, submitted on the matter, stating the defendant will not be entering a time waiver.

In June the defendant entered a not guilty plea to all counts of the complaint and denied the special allegations.

The defendant faces two counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault with firearm on person, battery with serious bodily injury and abuse (endangering a child with possible great bodily injury).

The charges stem from an incident in June when Lake County Sheriff Deputies responded to a complaint of a woman who had been shot in the vicinity of Rainbow Road on Cobb Mountain.

According to Lt. Corey Paulich with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the victim was able to provide the identity of the suspect. She was taken to the hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound.

The suspect was located at a residence on Rainbow Road and taken into custody. The defendant remains in custody at the Lake County Hill Road Jail in Lakeport with bail set at $3,085,000.

The defendant is ordered to be present at the scheduled hearings.

 


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Russian Scientists, Artists Ask Putin to Halt Death Penalty in Separatist Donetsk

Russian scientists and human rights activists have called on President Vladimir Putin to extend Russia’s moratorium on the death penalty to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR). 

A DNR court in June sentenced British citizens Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner and Moroccan national Saadun Brahim — who fought alongside Kyiv’s forces — to death on charges of “mercenary activity” and attempted “forcible seizure of power.” Their lawyers have appealed the ruling.

“Mr. President! Vladimir Vladimirovich! We are very concerned about reports of the possibly imminent execution of death sentences handed down in the Donetsk People’s Republic,” reads the petition published on Change.org on Tuesday.

The petition’s signatories, who include film director Alexander Sokurov, journalist Eva Merkacheva and physicist Nikolai Rozanov, ask Putin to “suggest” the legal change to Pushilin.

“I really think that the death penalty in the territory where Slavic peoples live, in the space where Christianity works, is generally unacceptable,” director Sokurov told the RBC news website. 

The signatories pointed to works by notable Russian thinkers such as Leo Tolstoy and Count Nikolai Mordvinov, as well as the 1744 order by Empress Elizabeth of Russia which temporarily suspended capital punishment in the Russian Empire, to back their argument. 

“Mercy is the strength of our [Russian] people. We ask you for mercy. We consider it necessary to abolish the death penalty in the Donetsk People’s Republic,” said the authors. 

Over 200 people have signed the petition so far.

DNR leader Denis Pushilin said in June that he didn’t see any reason “for any mitigation or modification of the sentence” against the three men.


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An NC firefighter’s murder case will not be Capital, judge rules

SEAGROVE, N.C. (WGHP) — A woman accused of killing her husband, a firefighter in the Seagrove community, will not face the death penalty.

MJ Auman (Ramseur FD)

Heather Auman is accused of shooting MJ Auman at the end of June.

Deputies were called to a home on Ridge Road about an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound and Auman was taken to the hospital, where he died from his injuries. As Randolph County deputies investigated, they found enough evidence to charge Heather Hicks Auman with first-degree murder.

This week, Randolph County prosecutors went before the judge to seek the death penalty in this case, if Auman should be convicted.

The request was denied, and the case will stay as a non-capital case in Randolph County Superior Court.

“Absolutely it’s a loss for our community,” community member Melissa Bunker said. “He was a great first responder. He was a great firefighter.”

Seagrove Fire Department said in a statement that “MJ’s infectious smile, outgoing personality and willingness to serve others will forever be missed throughout our county’s fire service.”

Auman also worked for the Ramseur Fire Department, who said they will always remember him as an important part of their team.

Heather Hicks Auman’s next court date has not been set yet.


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Police general Ferdy Sambo faces death penalty for ordering bodyguard’s murder

The investigation into the murder case of police brigadier Nofriansyah Yosua Hutabarat has entered an intense new chapter after the victim’s boss, Internal Affairs Division Chief Inspector General Ferdy Sambo, was charged with premeditated murder.

Seven police generals, including National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, held a press conference Tuesday evening to announce the major update to the case. 

“The special task force [for the case] has named FS as a suspect,” Listyo said, referring to Ferdy using his initials.

The top cop said investigators have evidence that Ferdy ordered his subordinates to shoot and kill Nofriansyah. Also known as Brigadier J, the 28-year-old cop served as Ferdy’s bodyguard.

In its first press briefings about the case last month, police said that Nofriansyah was gunned down by his colleague, Private Second Class E, in a shootout at the South Jakarta home of their boss, Ferdy, on July 8. The official line from the police is that Nofriansyah had molested Ferdy’s wife and threatened to kill her, before firing at E first after he was caught.

Listyo said the investigation revealed that there was no shootout, as Ferdy staged the crime scene to look like there had been one. Ferdy himself allegedly used Nofriansyah’s gun to fire at the walls of the house, but it’s not yet known whether or not he also shot his bodyguard.

Police have yet to establish Ferdy’s motive for ordering Nofriansyah’s murder. As of today, police have neither confirmed nor denied the sexual assault angle.

Ferdy was charged with premeditated murder, which carries the death penalty under Indonesia’s Criminal Code (KUHP).

In all, police have arrested 11 cops with suspected connections to the murder. One of those is E, who testified to the police that Ferdy ordered him to kill Nofriansyah.

The conspiracy may have run even deeper, as investigators believe 31 cops were complicit in derailing the investigation, such as eradicating CCTV footage from the crime scene, in order to assist Ferdy.


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