Magna Mom Faces Child Abuse Charge after Admitting to Getting Son Drunk
(KUTV) A Magna mom faces one count of child abuse after allegedly telling police she got her son drunk to avoid beating him.
Chastity Lee Cravens was arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Wednesday, after she called 9-1-1 to report that her son had overdosed on alcohol. When police arrived, they found her 13-year-old son passed out in the living room. When he regained consciousness, the teen told police that his mom had given him the alcohol.
According to booking documents, Cravens also told police that giving alcohol to her son helped calm him down and that together they had consumed between six and seven beers in the space of one hour. Cravens' two younger children were home at the time of the incident.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill says they charged Cravens with 2nd Degree Felony Child Abuse based on the fact that she allegedly inflicted serious physical injury upon a child. "Our concern was that the level of inebriation was to a point where the child's physical health was being endangered," said Gill.
Neighbors were surprised to hear of Cravens' arrest, but they admit her family has had some problems in the past. One neighbor told 2News that she had witnessed Cravens fighting with her son and that he had become verbally abusive towards her. Neighbors also say Cravens may be experiencing some health problems.
Cravens is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail. Her bail is set at 25-thousand dollars.
Utah Weather for the
evening of December 6: Clouds are increasing tonight across the state
ahead of our next winter storm. This storm will begin to move through
the state tomorrow & continue through Sunday. Because temperatures
are so cold, the snow will quickly start sticking to the roadways,
making travel difficult through much of the weekend.
for the Wasatch Front for Tonight & Tomorrow: Tonight: Increasing
clouds. Scattered snow showers late tonight. Lows in the teens.
Tomorrow: Snow. Heavy at times. Highs in the mid-20s.
College Students Help With Gifts for Refugee Children
(KUTV) Students from the University of Utah's Lowell Bennion Center took time out of studying for finals to help gift wrap hundreds of presents for refugee children.
The effort was organized by Catholic Community Services. The donations were taken in through CCS Gift of the Drummer program. Community members shopped for the children, the students then spent a couple of hours wrapping the gifts. "I hope they can just be happy and forget about the past and know that people care for them," said student Pamela Mufuka.
Catholic Community Services helps about 600 children resettle in Utah every year. Many of the kids are fostered by families when they get here, having lost everything to war or violence in their home countries. "They already lost their parents, they've been separated from their siblings, so it's pretty scary," said Janet Healy who coordinated the effort.
(KUTV) "It's 3 a.m., the wind has calmed down, so I'm going to get an early start," that's the most recent blog post from Daniel Burton, the Utah County man who's chronicling his lonely bicycle journey across Antarctica to the South Pole.
"He seems to be really determined," says Daniel's wife Media, who is staying in touch with her husband by sporadic calls from the satellite phone he's carrying. "He's in good spirits and excited to get finished."
Daniel is a long way from being finished. His family says he's been on the frozen continent for about two weeks, and has only ridden about 25 miles. The journey to the South Pole is 750 miles.
"Once he gets past this initial part, with the crevasses and steep terrain, it should kind of flatten out," says Media. "He'll reach a portion called the Polar Plateau."
Daniel's only companion on the journey is the ever-present katabatic winds that will blow in his face during the entire ride. He's facing temperatures in excess of 20-below zero. His wife says he's staying energized by consuming 7,000 calories per-day. Most of his nourishment is coming from military-style MRE's.
Daniel's 17-year-old son, Myron, is caring for his bicycle shop, Epic Cycling, in Saratoga Springs, while Daniel is away. Myron admits he's been fearful for his dad's safety, but it helps to get updates over the phone. "I'm not as worried as I was when I was first learning about it."
Daniel initially expected the 750-mile bicycle journey would take 30 days. His wife says it may take longer than that, but she has full faith that her husband will complete the trek, "or die trying," she says.
Martin MacNeill Attempts Suicide at Utah County Jail
UPDATE: Martin MacNeill has been transported back to the Utah County Jail and been placed on suicide watch.
(CNN) -- Martin MacNeill, the former doctor convicted in November of his wife's murder, has been hospitalized after attempting suicide, the Utah County Sheriff's Office said Friday.
Deputies at the Utah County Jail discovered MacNeill around 5:30 p.m. Thursday during routine rounds, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office. "Those Deputies intervened," the release says.
Jeff Robinson, the Utah County Attorney's Office bureau chief, said MacNeill used a razor to cut his femoral artery, which is very close to the groin.
Sgt. Spencer Cannon, a Sheriff's Office public information officer, said MacNeill was uncooperative with medical officials as he was being taken to the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Officials said doctors performed surgery to repair his wound.
MacNeill is under guard in the hospital, the news release said. Robinson said MacNeill will be placed on suicide watch when he returns to jail either Friday or Saturday.
On November 9, MacNeill was convicted of first-degree murder and obstruction of justice in the death of his wife, Michele MacNeill. Prosecutor Chad Grunander said in his closing argument that MacNeill "carried out a cold and calculated plan to murder his wife. He relied on his knowledge and experience as a doctor and also as a lawyer to accomplish this."
Michele MacNeill's body was found by the couple's 6-year-old daughter in the bathtub of their family's home on April 11, 2007. MacNeill was recovering from face-lift surgery and had a powerful cocktail of prescription medications in her system at the time of her death.
Prosecutors said Martin MacNeill pressured his wife to have the surgery so he could then drug and drown her to continue an affair with his mistress, Gypsy Willis.
MacNeill will be sentenced on January 7. He faces 15 years to life in prison for murder, and he could be sentenced to up to 15 years for obstruction of justice.
By Amanda Sloane
The-CNN-Wire & 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
(KUTV) Nine lawyers want to replace John Swallow as Utah Attorney General, including the acting AG, who just days ago seemed less than enthused about getting into the race.
"I'm not a politician," Brian Tarbet told 2News on Tuesday. "I'm not interested in running for office, or raising money."
By Friday's 5pm deadline to file, to compete for the job before Republican leaders and Governor Herbert, Tarbet---a retired adjutant general with the Utah National Guard---had declared his candidacy.
"I labored over this," said Tarbet after submitting his name. "My wife is my best advisor. She encouraged me to do it. I'm seeking it to help people in the office and the public."
Tarbet said he will not run for attorney general in 2014---and claimed there will be no changing his mind about seeking election through the traditional system.
Some candidates---former Utah Supreme Court Justice Michael Wilkins, and Stephen Sorenson, once a litigator in the Attorney General's Office---have said, if selected, they also would not run next year. A Republican Party official said former Iron County Attorney Scott Burns has signaled, if he were chosen, he also would not seek election.
"I think a full time attorney general is what the state needs," said Wilkins. In the wake of multiple investigations into Swallow, who resigned a little more than two weeks ago, Wilkins said he doesn't think anyone can run the office well, while effectively campaigning at the same time. "It's like texting and driving," said Wilkins. "I don't think this is a multi-tasking job at this point.
The five other candidates are attorney and GOP activist Michelle Mumford, Fraternal Order of Police attorney Bret Rawson, former candidate for attorney general Sean Reyes, former U.S. Attorney Brent Ward, and director of the BYU International Center for Law and Religious Studies Robert Smith.
Mumford said elected officials in Utah, by nature of the political system, routinely govern and campaign. Ward said he would run in 2014, but if nominated by the GOP for the general election, would not campaign until a month before Election Day. Rawson, a part-time police officer, suggests more turnover would not be good for the Attorney General's Office---and if he gets the post now---would also be a candidate next year. Smith said he would be "pleased" to be a candidate in 2014.
The Utah GOP Central Committee has scheduled a meeting for a week from Saturday to vote on the nine names. The top three choices will go to Governor Herbert, who will appoint the new attorney general from among them.
The day before Thanksgiving, 2News asked the governor if he has a preferred candidate for the job. He replied, "I don't have anybody that I'm championing. I think it would be inappropriate for me to do that."
SLC Police Chef Pushes for Increased Officer Accountability
(KUTV) Salt Lake City's police chief is calling for more accountability for officers across the state and wondering why some disciplinary action cases against officers are not getting reported as they should.
Chris Burbank says officers need to be held to a higher standard and is bringing up a couple of his own cases as examples.
"We need to make sure our officers are being held accountable for their actions," said Burbank. "Deadly force is obviously at the top of the list." Burbank said these remarks during the Utah Peace Officers Standard Training Council Meeting – or POST held in Sandy.
"I've personally held officers accountable in use of force situations terminated their employment and yet the post council has not heard some of those things," said Burbank. He went on to tell 2News that he believes there are other cases out there that are not getting reported to POST.
"As I stood up to leave [the POST Council meeting] there were plenty of people who said yea there are places that are not reporting appropriately," said Burbank.
The POST Council is made up of 17 members which includes Sheriffs and police chiefs from across the state. They are the governing agency in the state that determines disciplinary actions for police officers who have done something wrong.
Burbank believes two of his former officers involved in separate shootings should have appeared at the council and didn't. "They are no longer working for Salt Lake City but that doesn't mean they should turn around and go work for another agency," said Burbank.
Deputy Director of POST Kelly Sparks says every case is looked at closely. "We have a pretty thorough investigative process. Unless we have the evidence necessary to show that an office is actually guilty of some kind of misconduct those case would not go to the council," said Sparks.
"I think Chief Burbank brings up a valid point," said Layton Police Chief Terry Keefe who is the POST Council chairman.
"I asked for a report for our next council meeting dealing specifically for those use of force cases," said Keefe.
The POST Council meets once every three months and is scheduled to meet again in March.
(KUTV) The very thought of them can make your skin crawl, blood sucking bed bugs! They're apparently more of a problem in Salt Lake than ever before.
"I would say five or six years ago, we'd maybe get one or two calls a month. Now virtually every day we'll get a question or a complaint about bed bugs," Environmental Health Bureau Manager Dale Keller told 2News. He walked reporter Amy Nay through a presentation he gave Thursday to the Salt Lake County Board of Health, detailing the recent bed bug boom.
"The Centers for Disease Control would tell you that they neither carry or transmit a communicable disease," Keller went on to say, "Clearly though the 'ick' factor is off the chart, something trying to suck your blood while you're asleep...and we get that and that's why we see this as a real problem and are making it a high priority to address."
"It's been great for business, but unfortunate for all those people who have to deal with them," Kurt Anderson from Preventive Pest Control says they've seen a 400% jump in bed bug calls. In fact, right after speaking with 2News Friday they went out on a call about bed bugs. He says it's never easy. "It's very intense. You gotta' get into the seams of the mattress... in pictures, the carpet, the baseboards, in drawers... in every single area they can find, they'll find that crack." Preventive Pest Control uses pesticides and advises calling in professionals to do that, but Anderson said there are also other things you can do like attracting them to stations, using heat treatment and more.
The University of Utah used heat treatment after bed bugs were detected in the upholstered seating on the library's first and second floors in October. It was a highly publicized event, but local health experts say, unfortunately, it's more common than many believe.
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