Odds & Ends
Dateline: Turkey—An overly enthusiastic bridegroom who decided to mark his wedding with a little celebratory gunfire ended up riddling the wedding party with bullets and killing three of his own relatives. The unnamed groom was attempting to shoot bullets into the air with an AK-47 at a ceremony in Akcagoze, in southeastern Gaziantep province. Unfortunately, the man struck his own father and two of his aunts, all of whom later died in the hospital. Eight other wedding guests, including children, were struck by the gunfire as well. The groom was arrested by local police. Turkish police have tried, in recent years, to crack down on the traditional custom of wedding gunfire by imposing harsher penalties.
Dateline: England—According to a report in the U.K. daily Telegraph, a motorist traveling at more than 100 miles an hour tried to blame his speedy commute on dyslexia. Matthew Cook, 40, was recently spotted weaving in and out of traffic as he sped along the A27 highway between Falmer and Hollingbury in East Sussex. A concerned driver called police and officers soon clocked Cook doing 103 mph in a 60 mph zone. “He told the police officer that he did not understand the speed dial because he was suffering from dyslexia,” prosecutor John Marsden Lynch said in Hove Crown Court earlier this month. Cook admitted to a single charge of dangerous driving. Judge Christopher Morris-Coole said he was “skeptical’ about Cook’s explanation and banned him from driving for three years.
Dateline: Florida—A fresh-out-of-jail burglar, caught in the same house he burglarized last year, says he was only there to deliver a “thank you” note. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that 39-year-old Gerald Maxwell was arrested at the home on Tuesday, Aug. 10. Maxwell reportedly told police, “I was going back there to leave a thank you note because I’m the guy who burglarized this place last year. I just got out of jail.” According to the Sarasota Police Department, Maxwell has been arrested eight times for burglaries in the area since November 2006. Arrest reports state that Maxwell pried open a window at the home and crept inside, triggering a motion-sensing alarm. Two responding officers surrounded the residence and ordered Maxwell out. Inside the home, investigators found a pile of jewelry and a crack pipe. Despite the insistence he was only there to thank the homeowner for his previous robbery, Maxwell was arrested and charged with burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia—as well as four counts of probation violation.
Dateline: North Carolina—A Tennessee man who survived a major car crash with no injuries was struck and killed by another vehicle after wandering into oncoming traffic while looking for his phone. North Carolina State Highway Patrol Sgt. D.B. Conley told Morganton’s News Herald that 41-year-old John Franklin of Kingsport, Tenn., was traveling east around 3 a.m. on Aug. 18 when he ran off the road, struck a guardrail and flipped his vehicle on Interstate 40 near mile marker 98. A truck driver stopped to assist Franklin, who miraculously emerged from his overturned vehicle with hardly a scratch. Franklin told the truck driver he needed to find his cell phone, which apparently went missing in the accident. Franklin then walked into the eastbound lanes of I-40 and was immediately struck by a 1999 Ford F-150 pickup truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The district attorney has yet to determine if charges will be filed against the driver of the pickup.
Dateline: Washington—Snohomish County’s The Herald newspaper reports that an Everett man has been jailed on a $1 million bail after police say he threatened a nurse who laughed at his plans to name his newborn baby after late mob boss John Gotti. John Keinath, 39, allegedly told the nurse at Stevens Hospital, “I’m going to put a cord around your neck, strangle you until you die, throw you in a ditch, and no one will ever know who did it.” The nurse apparently thought Keinath was joking when he told her he was naming his son John Gotti. He wasn’t. On Aug. 9, Keinath was jailed in lieu of $1 million bail by Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Cowsert. Keinath is an ex-con with felony convictions for a drive-by shooting and beating someone with a pipe. He also has a record of domestic violence and car chases with police. Prosecutors say Keinath spent the last several months evading police and trying to trick people at the hospital into providing the name of the nurse who laughed at him. Keinath was arrested at gunpoint in early August after a chase with police and U.S. Marshals. He’s also being investigated for a “softball-sized” amount of methamphetamine police recovered during the hunt.