White Family Charged in Deaths of 2 Black Men Found Chained to Cinderblocks

Brett Boettler, 16, is facing first and second-degree murder charges in the deaths of two black men whose dismembered bodies were found chained to cinderblocks, while his family all face accessory charges in a reported “gun sale gone bad,” The Associated Press reports. Alize Smith and Jarron Moreland's bodies were found dismembered in an Oklahoma City pond after being reported missing for four days.

While Boettler, along with his brother Kevin Garcia-Boettler, mother Crystal Boettler and her boyfriend Johnny Barker are all white, authorities say the crime was not racially motivated.

“We definitely explored that, and the evidence absolutely shows that this was not racially motivated,” said Cleveland County prosecutor Greg Mashburn.

The murders are still part of many conversations across social media comparing them to lynchings.

Reportedly, the whole incident started from a pre-arranged meeting to purchase a gun from Moreland and Smith. After the Boettler brothers picked up both men in their van, Garcia-Boettler told police he heard a gun cock and that was when Boettler fired his gun. After that, the brothers reportedly went to their mother's house, then getting help from her and boyfriend Barker with disposing of Moreland and Smith's bodies. They were removed from the van, covered with a tarp, attached to cinder blocks and dumped into the pond. 

ABC reports that detectives later would find the van in question, which Barker admitted to having helped clean in order to destroy evidence. They found “cleaning products and a power washer around the vehicle,” “dried blood spatter on the ceiling of the van,” as well as “a bucket of water with a chainsaw bar inside and soaking in the water along with several jigsaw blades.” 

While Boettler is also charged with having a gun after juvenile conviction, he along with Garcia-Boettler and Barker also face charges for the desecration of a corpse and unlawful removal of a body. Boettler's mother only faces charges of being an accessory to murder, charges Garcia-Boettler and Barker also face.

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Kendrick Lamar Makes History as the First Rapper to Win a Pulitzer

Kendrick Lamar has already won himself a lot of acclaim for his 2017 album Damn, including the Grammy for Best Rap Album. Now he's landed himself an even bigger and more prestigious honor, however, as he's just been awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Described by host Dana Canedy as “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life,” Damn marks the first time a rap album has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music. 

In fact, as Associated Press points out, this is the first time a non-classic or jazz artist has won the award.

The previous Pulitzer Prize for Music was awarded to experimental composer Du Yun for her opera Angel's Bone. The Public Service Pulitzer Prize for journalism, meanwhile, went to Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of The New York Times and Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker for their reporting of Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood's sexual abuse.

Watch the 2018 Pulitzer Prize announcement video below, with Kendrick's big moment at the 17:40 mark.

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Fox News Displays Graphic Showing It’s the Least-Trusted News Network, Host Responds

Fox News experienced an on-air SNAFU on Monday when the network posted a graphic that showed just how little audiences trust it compared to other cable news networks. Not too surprisingly, the graphic was taken down. According to Fox News host Howard Kurtz, the graphic, which aired during his show Media Buzz, was removed because it was, wait for it…posted at the wrong time. Boy, please.

Apparently, Kurtz had been discussing a Monmouth University poll about fake news in the media. However, the graphic displayed the results from another question about the trustworthiness of cable news networks, one where Fox ranked last.

The Associated Press reported the embarrassing mix-up, explaining that the graphic was removed but not that it was later used again. Kurtz took to Facebook to clear things up in a statement—the irony of trying to broadcast the truth on a platform embroiled in a data scandal is not lost on me. In the statement, entitled “A JOURNALISTIC DISTORTION” (caps not mine), Kurtz called out the AP for “a story that utterly distorts what [had] happened” on his show.

Kurtz went on to explain, “The AP reported my request to take down the graphic and ended the story there, creating a false impression by not mentioning that I called for the very same graphic shortly afterward.” The AP later updated their story, and Kurtz updated his statement as well, saying, “The AP has now run a correction, which I appreciate. Though it's odd that the correction indicated I SAID the poll graphic ran moments later, as if it's a claim. It's a verifiable fact. There's video!”


Prior to updating, Kurtzz had also stated he “felt viewers deserved all the facts. That’s more than I can say for the AP, which owes me a correction.” Excuse me, but, if viewers deserve the facts, maybe they shouldn’t be watching Fox at all in the first place.

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Donald Trump Attacks the Amazon and USPS Deal in a Series of Tweets

Donald Trump is going after Amazon, again.

In a series of tweets, Trump wrote that Amazon's package deal with the U.S. Post Office is a bad deal for taxpayers. But federal regulators say otherwise.

“While we are on the subject, it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars,” read his series of tweets. “The Failing N.Y. Times reports that 'the size of the company’s lobbying staff has ballooned' and that…does not include the Fake Washington Post, which is used as a “lobbyist” and should so REGISTER. If the P.O. 'increased its parcel rates, Amazon’s shipping costs would rise by $2.6 Billion.' This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!”

However, The Associated Press reports that federal regulars reviewed the deal (as it does every year) and found it to be “profitable” for the USPS. While envelope mailing has gone down, companies like Amazon have helped package deliveries to be on the rise for the company. But even if it weren't—the U.S. Post Office isn't funded by taxpayer money. As the USPS' site reads, “The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.”

This leads many to believe that Trump isn't actually concerned with Amazon's packaging deals—but rather Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, also owns The Washington Post, one of the news sources that's been consistently critical of him.

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Federal Authorities to Prosecute Juelz Santana on Drug and Gun Charges

As Juelz Santana remains in custody for allegedly keeping a loaded .38-caliber pistol and oxycodone pills in a bag containing his identification while in Newark Liberty International Airport on March 9, multiple outlets are reporting federal authorities will move forward with charges against Juelz.

Juelz—real name LaRon James—allegedly fled the airport via cab after security personnel found the loaded handgun and pills, and the Associated Press reports Juelz didn’t have a prescription for the oxycodone. The TSA states that weapons can only be transported in an airport if they are “unloaded and packed inside a hard sided firearm case.”

The Diplomats member pleaded not guilty to state charges of weapons possession and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. The Essex County prosecutor and the state prosecutor dismissed the charges and deferred federal authorities.

While conviction rates can vary from state to state, the news doesn’t bode particularly well for Juelz if the case moves forward. Last May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors to pursue the toughest possible sentences and charges against suspects. That move reversed efforts by the Obama administration to enact less harsh penalties for many, including nonviolent drug offenders.

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Martin Shkreli Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Securities Fraud

Self-proclaimed “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, who infamously raised the price of a live-saving HIV drug and bought the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album, has been sentenced to seven years in prison for securities fraud.

Associated Press reports that U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto heard arguments in Brooklyn, New York, Friday on how long Shkreli should spend in jail, ultimately deciding on seven years after initially suggesting 15.

According to those at the scene, Shkreli cried during the sentencing, apologizing to his investors and admitting that he's made a lot of mistakes in his career. His attorney argued that Shkreli deserved only 18 months or less in prison, explaining that he shouldn't be punished for having a big mouth. Matsuomoto explained that he didn't take any of his actions outside of security fraud into account during the sentencing, but let's be real if he did he'd be sentenced for even longer.

Shkreli's own lawyer mentioned during the sentencing that he wanted to punch Shkreli in the face, which is good to know. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis also said during the sentencing that Shkreli has “no respect whatsoever” for the law.

Shkreli was recently ordered to forfeit his stake in the $2 million Wu-Tang album Once Upon A Time in Shaolin, as well as what may or may not be Lil Wayne's Tha Carter V.

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O.J. Simpson Expected to Be Released From Prison Very Soon

Back in July, O.J. Simpson was granted parole during a highly-publicized hearing in Nevada. But immediately after finding out his fate, he was ordered back behind bars to await his release, which caused a lot of the buzz surrounding him to die down.

That buzz is about to get ratcheted all the way back up in the coming days, though, as it appears Simpson is on the verge of being released back into society. According to a Nevada prisons official who spoke with the Associated Press on Wednesday, Simpson could be released from the Lovelock Correctional Center as early as Monday. He has been at the facility for nine years now serving out a sentence stemming from an armed robbery conviction.

Before he’s released from custody, Simpson will actually be moved from Lovelock to High Desert State Prison just outside of Las Vegas, according to Nevada Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Keast. He will then be allowed to leave that facility as a free man at some point, though prison officials are keeping the actual date and time of his release under wraps in an effort to avoid drawing media attention to the prison.

Simpson’s close friend Tom Scotto spoke with the AP and confirmed that Simpson will be released “shortly after” Oct. 1, but he declined to be any more specific than that. Once Simpson is freed, it’s unclear where he will go to live, but he's likely going to end up living somewhere in Florida.

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There Are Still Thousands of Tickets Available for the Mayweather vs. McGregor Fight

The Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight has become one of the most highly anticipated sports events of all time. Which makes us wonder: Why aren’t fans rushing to cop tickets?

As pointed out by the Associated Press, there are still a shit-ton of seats available for the Aug. 26 match at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Tickets went on sale nearly a week ago and were expected to go so fast that promoters implemented a registrations process and lottery system to ensure average fans had a fair shot. Five days later, there are still thousands of seats left, which can mean one of two things: either people aren’t that hyped about the fight, or—the more likely explanation—ticket prices are too expensive.

Original prices started at $3,500 and went up to nearly $15,000 for “platinum” seats. As of Saturday, the cheapest resale tickets were listed on Ticket Master for about $1,700, which is still steep considering they’re for the nosebleed section; however, promoters insist they aren’t worried about the slow sales.

“We’re very excited and very happy with ticket sales so far,” promoter Leonard Ellerbet told the AP. “We’re well on our way to smashing our own record which transcended the sport.”

The highest grossing boxing match—billed as “The Fight of the Century”—was 2015's Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao​, which, according to the AP, grossed about $600 million. Will Mayweather and McGregor be able to top that? Only time will tell. 

Maybe fans are just waiting for the prices to drop before they head to the box office. Or maybe they’re content with watching the match on pay-per-view for less than $100. 

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Beatles’ Autographed Wall from ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ Headed to Auction

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