• Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office(NASHVILLE) -- The former teacher who allegedly fled Tennessee with a teenage girl last year wants to change his plea from "not guilty" to "guilty."The motion to change Tad Cummins' plea was filed in federal court in Nashville on Thursday.He is charged with transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of engaging in criminal sexual conduct and obstruction of justice.On March 13, 2017, Cummins, then 50 and a married father and grandfather, went missing with Elizabeth Thomas, then 15 and a student at his school.An Amber Alert was issued, and police across the country searched for more than a month before finding them on April 20 thousands of miles away in a remote cabin in northern California. The teen was "healthy and unharmed," authorities said. Cummins was taken into custody.Thomas family attorney Jason Whatley said in a statement Thursday, “The Thomas family is very relieved that Mr. Cummins decided to do the right thing by pleading guilty. We see this as one more step toward justice for Elizabeth.”Cummins, who was fired from his teaching job one day after he and Elizabeth went missing, had allegedly researched teen marriage online and, specifically, the age of consent, according to law enforcement officials.Cummins plotted their getaway from the moment he was suspected of having an improper relationship with the teen, federal prosecutors alleged. Prosecutors said Cummins planned to reach the Mexico border and then head to countries farther south.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NASHVILLE, Ky.) -- A 34-year-old man accused of shooting an off-duty officer late Thursday in Kentucky is dead after a police-involved shooting, authorities said.The officer who was killed in the line of duty had been driving his personal vehicle when the suspect pulled him over a little after 5 p.m. while impersonating a cop, the Hopkinsville Police Department said in a statement.Shortly thereafter, the suspect, James K. Decoursey, allegedly shot the officer and fled, police said.Decoursey absconded on food before stealing a white Chevrolet pickup truck with Kentucky license plate 2070GH, according to police.The officer who was shot, Phillip Meacham, was taken to Jenny Stuart Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.Meacham, 38, was married and had two school-aged children. He'd been with the Hopkinsville Police Department since May of last year after 12 years at the Christian County Sheriff's Department.Gov. Matt Bevin wrote on Twitter that there is "no greater sacrifice than that of a person willing to lay down their life for another."The shooting of Meacham occurred in Hopkinsville, a city in the western part of the state, ABC Nashville affiliate WKRN reported. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Authorities in Georgia are crediting the efforts of a good Samaritan with helping them find a missing teenage girl by using social media.The 15-year-old girl was reported missing on Sunday after allegedly running away with the 34-year-old suspect, Dayton Seth Koop, on Monday, Murray County Sheriff Eric White told ABC News.She had told her mother that she was sleeping at her grandmother's house, but when she got there, she changed her clothes and left in Koop's car, according to White.Family friend Dakota Moss reportedly stepped in, White says, after seeing Facebook posts from the girl's family asking people if they may have seen her and seeking help with finding her.Koop and the missing teen were posting updates on their Snapchat accounts, including a photo of the two of them together, White said. ABC News could not immediately reach a representative for Koop.Moss took it upon himself to reach out to Koop on Facebook, according to White, to tell Koop that he had been following their story, and he wanted to help him by offering a hideout.Koop allegedly thanked Moss and told him he would take him up on the offer, White said. Moss alerted police to the agreement and called 911 once Koop and the teen arrived at his home.Sheriff's deputies found the girl hiding in the back of the car, covered in clothes. Meth was also found in the car, White said.The teen was classified as a runaway who was not being held against her will, White said.Koop is currently being held in the Gordon County jail on a $15,000 bond for possession of methamphetamine, contributing to the unruliness of a minor and obstruction or hindering law enforcement officers, according to inmate records. He has also been charged in Murray County with the interference of child custody, according to White.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Authorities are still investigating the police shooting of Stephon Clark, the unarmed 22-year-old black man who was killed by police in his grandmother’s Sacramento backyard earlier this month.The shooting has sparked widespread protests in California and New York and responses from Black Lives Matter, the NAACP and the Sacramento Kings basketball team.Here’s what we know about the shooting, according to information released by police:
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Search and rescue crews are continuing to scour the Northern California coast for 15-year-old Devonte Hart -- the boy seen hugging a police officer in a 2014 viral photo during the Ferguson protests -- and his two siblings as the mystery into what caused the horrific accident that caused the SUV to drive off a cliff deepens.At first glance, a photo released by the California Highway Patrol on Tuesday appears to be picturesque, showing a helicopter as it scours over a cliff lining the Pacific Ocean near the city of Mendocino.But a closer look at the image reveals the central piece of evidence to the deadly crash: an overturned 2003 GMC Yukon XL, whose roof appears to be crushed from landing on the rocks water below when it rolled off the cliff sometime on Monday. Five people have been confirmed dead from the crash, including Devonte Hart's parents, Jennifer Hart and Sarah Hart, and three of his siblings, Markis Hart, 19, and Jeremiah and Abigail Hart, both 14.But crews are no closer in finding Devonte Hart and two other siblings who were believed to be in the car, 16-year-old Hannah Hart and 12-year-old Sierra Hart, the CHP announced Thursday.  More information about the family's past has begun to surface as the search carries on.A 2010 complaint filed in Douglas County, Minnesota, reveals that one of the parents -- Sarah Hart -- was charged with malicious punishment of a child and domestic assault after a 6-year-old child showed a teacher bruises on her stomach and back. Court documents show that Sarah Hart was convicted on the domestic assault charge, but the charge of malicious punishment of a child was dropped.More recently, neighbors in the Portland suburb of Woodland, Washington, where the family lived, told The Oregonian that Devonte Hart had come to their house several times asking for food.Devonte Hart told neighbors Bruce and Dana DeKalb that his parents withheld food as a form of punishment and asked them to leave it by the fence so his parents wouldn't find out, the newspaper reported. He was the adoptive son of Jennifer hart and Sarah Hart, according to ABC Portland affiliate KATU.Last week, Child Protective Services in Washington received a call about neglect and abuse by Harts, spokeswoman Norah West said in a press conference today. The agency attempted to make contact with the family in person on Friday, March 23 as well as on Monday and Tuesday, West said.CPS had no prior history with the family prior to the phone call made to them last week, West said. California authorities reiterated Thursday that they do not believe the crash was intentional.A search of the family home led investigators to believe the family had embarked on just a short trip because many of their belongings, as well as their pet cat, chicks and ducks, were still at the home. Nothing was out of ordinary in the home, and there were no signs of violence, officials said.All six children were believed to have been in the car since the family was known to travel together and no other family members have come forward with knowledge of the missing teens' whereabouts, according to the CHP.Investigators are trying to piece together exactly how and when the car drove off the cliff. By the time first responders arrived on the scene on Monday, the engine was cold. A photo of Devonte Hart hugging a Portland Police officer as his cheek glistened with tears went viral in 2014 amid national protests over the shooting death of Michael Brown and the failure of a Missouri grand jury to indict the officer who shot him.The officer, Sgt. Bret Barnum, noticed Devonte Hart carrying a sign that read "Free Hugs," prompting him to ask if he would "get one of those." Freelance photographer Johnny Nguyen then caught the moment are the pair hugged.The image -- taken on Nov. 25, 2014 when Devonte Hart was 12 years old -- was especially poignant due to the civil unrest at the time over police brutality.Copyright © 2018, ABC R
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  • Fort Lauderdale Police Department(MIAMI) -- The Florida man who mysteriously vanished on a paddleboard into the Atlantic owed $500,000 in child support -- yet had been living a "flamboyant and expensive lifestyle," according to court documents.Constantine Theoharis -- who police say was last seen on March 20 near his Fort Lauderdale home, heading north into the ocean on his paddleboard -- had traveled to the Bahamas, Costa Rica and ski resorts, the documents show.He was living a "flamboyant and expensive lifestyle while ignoring his child support obligations," according to the court documents, which were filed by Theoharis' ex-wife, Stacy."He is refusing to pay any of his Court-ordered financial obligations," according to documents filed in Broward County last month. "The severest of sanctions must be imposed against Former Husband, including, incarceration and the imposition of monetary fine." Constantine and Stacy Theoharis had been divorced since 2008.In happier times, the couple married on February 28, 1998. They had two children, who are now 17 and 14 years old.But nine years after being married, the couple separated, three days before what would have been their ninth wedding anniversary.According to court documents, the couple separated "in consequence of disputes and irreconcilable differences."At the time of the divorce, Theoharis had visitation rights two weekends per month, split holidays with his ex-wife, and had time with his children during the summers.Court papers from 2008 said he had a "recent substance abuse problem" and was ordered to undergo random drug testing four times per year until 2010.An affidavit from December said he had not paid any child support after Aug. 6, 2014.He owes more than $549,000 in child support, according to court records from last month. Constantine Theoharis does not appear to have an attorney at this time.Theoharis' ex-wife and her lawyer declined to comment. When Theoharis, 52, mysteriously disappeared, a neighbor's surveillance camera captured him taking off on his paddleboard, according to his brother."It's like the worst dream you could imagine," his brother told ABC News on Wednesday. "I want answers."Theoharis' cousin, Chris Damian, reported him missing on March 23, telling police he hadn't heard from Theoharis since March 18 when they spoke on the phone.According to the police incident report, Damian told the authorities that Theoharis had "been depressed lately and they usually talk by phone daily. ... He was depressed over a recent divorce and child support payments but he was not suicidal." Damian told police he "thinks that the child support issues could have forced him to leave the U.S. because of pending upcoming court action for nonpayment," the incident report said.But police said Damian had "no proof that he took this type of action."Damian said it's unusual for his cousin to not contact anyone in the family for that long, the incident report said.When Theoharis headed into the ocean on his paddleboard, he left behind his phone, wallet, keys and passport at his house, his brother Rick Theoharis said, which alerted him that "something was way off."Rick Theoharis said his brother was very adept in the water and a frequent paddleboarder.
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