Blog Posts by Jason Sickles, Yahoo

  • LAPD denies reports that body of fugitive ex-cop Dorner found

    [Updated at 8:31 p.m. PT]

    In a press conference, LAPD spokesman Andy Smith denied multiple reports claiming that the body of fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner was found inside a burned out cabin near California's Big Bear Mountain. Smith said the smoldering cabin is still "simply too hot" for authorities to investigate the scene and said it could still take several days for authorities to fully investigate the scene and identify Dorner's body, if it is in fact found on the scene.

    "That was a mistake. If someone said it was all-clear two hours ago, that was a mistake," Smith told reporters, adding that the LAPD planned to hold another press conference Wednesday morning.

    Earlier reports from multiple sources claimed that the body of shooting suspect Christopher Dorner, the subject of a week-long manhunt, had been removed from a cabin destroyed by fire this afternoon. The Associated Press, ABC News, CNN and Los Angeles Times are reporting the news, with an AP alert specifically stating

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  • Snowstorm live-blog: Updates on the weather in the Northeast

    Residents across the Northeastern U.S. are digging out from Nemo, a blizzard that has buried much of New England in snow. Governors in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have ordered motorists off the roads as crews attempt to clear as much as 3 feet of snow in some areas.  Some 650,000 people across the Northeast are without power.

    Yahoo News is tracking the storm with live updates from our reporters, editors and readers. Please join the conversation with details and photos from your neighborhood. We will also be publishing select tweets from forecasters, elected officials, storm chasers and first responders.

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  • Ex-sniper Chris Kyle spoke of legacy days before his death

    Chris Kyle in April, 2012. (Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram via AP)

    American war hero Chris Kyle fortuitously spoke of the legacy he wanted to leave just days before being shot dead by a fellow veteran he was mentoring.

    “I would love for people to be able to think of me as a guy who stood up for what he believed in and helped make a difference for the vets,” he told the Texan News Service. “You know, somebody who cared so much about them that he wanted them taken care of.”

    That mission was tragically cut short on Saturday when Kyle and another man were killed at a gun range in Central Texas. Police said former Marine Eddie Ray Routh, 25, shot the men, who reportedly were spending the day with Routh in an effort to help with his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    Kyle, a former Navy SEAL recognized as the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, authored the 2012 best-selling book "American Sniper." Five days before his own death, he spoke at length to TNS, an independent Web publication produced by students from Tarleton State University, which Kyle once

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  • Postal Service says it’s immune from local traffic laws

    A government lawyer’s attempt to get dismissed nearly $700 in traffic tickets given to the U.S. Postal Service is being met with a hearty and humorous, Heck no.

    In a Jan. 22 letter sent to both the city of East Cleveland, Ohio, and the company that operates the city's photo-enforcement program, Postal Service attorney Jennifer S. Breslin says two school-zone speeding citations and five red-light infractions by postal trucks in December should be ignored.

    “In providing mail service across the country, the Postal Service attempts to work within local and state laws and regulations, when feasible,” wrote Breslin, after reminding “To Whom It May Concern” that postal workers promptly deliver over 200 billion pieces of mail annually.

    “However, as you are probably aware, the Postal Service enjoys federal immunity from state and local regulation,” she continued.

    That last bit did not go over well with American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the Arizona-based company

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  • Underground dentist not remorseful about illegal practice

    PLANO, Texas—Inside the unassuming ranch-style house, investigators discovered things like an x-ray machine, grinders, syringes, surgical instruments and anesthetics.

    Police say the homeowner, 63-year-old Jose Santiago Delao, had been running an underground dental clinic in the aging suburban Dallas neighborhood for years: pulling teeth and filling cavities, among other procedures.

    As shocking as this sounds, Delao's case is not that unusual. And it offers insight into a world of backyard dentistry that caters to those in the country illegally, the uninsured and others who can’t find affordable dental care.

    Delao admits he skirted the law, but isn’t remorseful. “Jesus Christ didn’t need or didn’t have a license,” Jose Delao told Yahoo News during a jailhouse interview. “People hurt and they needed it. People didn’t have enough money to visit the regular dentist.”

    Delao, who says he is a trained dental

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  • Shooting victim’s emotional return to Aurora movie theater

    Marcus Weaver and Kaylen Bailey at the reopening Thursday of the movie theater in Aurora, Colo. (Courtesy of Marcus Weaver)

    The Aurora, Colo., theater billed it as a night of “remembrance and reopening,” but did Marcus Weaver really want to reconcile with the place where he was shot and his friend killed six months ago? Even his therapist was unsure if he could handle it.

    “In some ways I feel like I need to take a stand, but it might be painful, too,” Weaver, 42, told Yahoo News.

    Not surprisingly, his emotions yo-yoed in the hours before Thursday night’s event. “I am up and down, a wreck,” he wrote on Facebook. “But truly feel I need to go on so many levels that I can't even explain.”

    And so he did. Wearing a T-shirt bearing the name and image of his friend Rebecca Wingo, Weaver went back to the Century theater where Wingo and 11 others were killed when suspected gunman James Holmes opened fire during a midnight showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Fifty-eight others, including Weaver, were wounded by gunfire.

    Weaver chronicled his return in emails to Yahoo News:

    Marcus Weaver and Matt McQuinn's brother (Courtesy of Marcus Weaver)

    I walked up to door very

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  • Emotions boil in Colorado as accused theater shooter’s arraignment is delayed

    [Updated at 11:45 a.m. MT]

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. — The father of a woman killed in the Aurora movie theater shooting blurted out "Rot in hell, Holmes" moments after the judge put off arraigning the suspected gunman, James Holmes.

    This undated photo provided by the family shows Rebecca Ann Wingo. Wingo, 32, was one of the victims killed in the Friday, July 20, 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. (AP Photo)Steve Hernandez, father of Rebecca Wingo, was sitting among other victims and family members in the packed courtroom. Many of them were visibly upset that Judge William Sylvester had just postponed an arraignment scheduled for Friday until March 12.

    Hernandez was detained by three sheriff's deputies while the judge met privately outside the courtroom with Holmes' defense attorneys and prosecutors.

    When the judge re-entered the courtroom, Hernandez publicly identified himself as the father of the late 32-year-old Wingo.

    "I'm terribly sorry for your loss and can't even begin to imagine the emotions that are raging," Sylvester said from the bench.

    Hernandez told the judge he meant no disrespect for him or the court.

    "I promise there will be no further outbursts,"

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  • Evidence suggests suspected killer James Holmes’ had a getaway plan

    James Holmes' car behind the Aurora, Colo., movie theater in July (File/Getty Images)

    [Updated at 10:25 p.m. ET/8:25 p.m. MT]

    CENTENNIAL, Colo.— James Holmes’ two-door hatchback was full of items indicating he might have planned to flee after allegedly shooting up an Aurora, Colo., movie theater in July.

    Tire-puncturing devices, a canister of tear gas, a .40-caliber handgun, ammunition, Holmes' iPhone and various backpacks were found in the car, police testified this week.

    “I do think he was thinking that he was going to get away from that movie theater,” Mary Ellen O’Toole, a former FBI profiler not associated with the case, told Yahoo News.

    Prosecutors painted a picture this week of how and where Holmes allegedly executed his horrific attack. What they didn’t explain is why, or if, the suspected mastermind had plans to flee after shooting 70 moviegoers, 12 of them fatally.

    Testimony from the officer who handcuffed the suspect said Holmes, clad in SWAT gear, gave up without a fight behind the movie theater moments after the massacre.

    But another officer, Aurora Sgt.

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  • Colorado suspect James Holmes took creepy self-portraits hours before the theater shootings

    Sketch of James Holmes being led into court this week. (AP Photo/Bill Robles, Pool)

    [Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. MT]

    CENTENNIAL, Colo.— Photos recovered from James Holmes’ iPhone show the alleged gunman posing with weapons and making creepy faces in the weeks and hours before the shooting massacre at an Aurora movie theater.

    The images were not released to the public, but were shown in court Wednesday during Holmes' preliminary hearing.

    It was the state's final move before declaring that it had presented overwhelming evidence that Holmes meticulously planned and executed the attack without remorse.

    "Because he wanted to kill all of them, and he knew what he was doing," prosecutor Karen Pearson said in arguing that the case should go to trial.

    One of the more disturbing self-portraits was snapped on July 12. It shows his infamous orange-dyed hair flaring out from beneath a black skull cap. His eye color is darkened by black contact lenses, and he is grinning with his tongue sticking out.

    Three other self-portraits were snapped approximately six hours before the

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  • Updates from hearing: Holmes said to have rigged home with explosives to distract police

    In this file photo, police are pictured outside of the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo. on July 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)Editor’s note: No electronic equipment is allowed in the courtroom. We’ll update here when possible during recesses and other breaks.

    [Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. MT]

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. - At times late Tuesday afternoon, Sgt. Fyles had to pause to compose himself while on the stand confirming the names and injuries of all 83 people killed, shot or injured by suspected gunman James Holmes' actions.

    Fyles seemed particularly poignant on the names where he had more personal knowledge.

    "He can't move his arms or legs," Fyles said of a man who is permanently paralyzed.

    After helping prosecutors enter the names of the injured, prosecutors asked him to verify the names of the deceased.

    Family members of Rebecca Wingo, a 32-year-old mother of two, sobbed as her name and the criminal charges associated with her death were read aloud.

    Holmes faces a total of 166 criminal counts. Where warranted, the state of Colorado allows dual charges (premeditated and without remorse) for murder and

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