True Crime News You May Have Missed This Week

A jury indicted three police officers and two paramedics in Elijah McClain’s death; Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes faces 20 years in prison; and RFK’s assassin is recommended for parole.

September 03, 2021
Elijah McClain [screenshot via ABC News]

Elijah McClain [screenshot via ABC News]

Elijah McClain [screenshot via ABC News]

By: Crime Feed Staff

Here’s a look at this week in true crime:

Three police officers and two paramedics have been charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain.

A Colorado grand jury announced a 32-count indictment against the five first responders who played a role in Elijah’s police-custody death. "We're here today because Elijah McClain is not here and he should be," Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said. "When he died he was only 23 years old. He had his whole life ahead of him and his family and his friends must now go on and must live without him." Aurora Police Department officer Randy Roedema and former officer Jason Rosenblatt were indicted on one count of assault and one count of crime of violence. Aurora Fire Rescue medics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec were each indicted on three counts of assault and six counts of crime of violence.

Elizabeth Holmes is set to face 20 years in prison if she’s found guilty of the 12 fraud charges brought against her. The Theranos founder’s lawyers have hinted at a surprising defense.

Jury selection has begun for former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes trial, which is set to begin in September. At 30 years old, Elizabeth founded Theranos and was labeled” the world's youngest self-made female billionaire" by Forbes, which has since revised her net worth. Prosecutors accuse Holmes and former president and chief operating officer Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani of a “multi-million dollar scheme to defraud investors, and a separate scheme to defraud doctors and patients,” according to NPR. The now-defunct health technology corporation claimed their small automated devices could detect conditions such as cancer and diabetes without needles, and just a few drops of blood. A new document submitted by Holmes’ lawyers states that Balwani, who had a 13-year romantic relationship with Holmes, deceived her about parts of Theranos that he controlled, and subjected her to intimate partner abuse. Balwani’s case will be litigated separately. Court documents show that Holmes will likely take the stand, which many defendants choose not to do to avoid cross-examination, according to NBC News. But will this defense work?

The assassin convicted of killing Sen. Robert F. Kennedy has been recommended for parole, after spending more than 50 years in prison.

Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted of assassinating RFK in 1968, has now been recommended for parole following his 16th attempt for release on bail. "I'm overwhelmed just by being able to view Mr. Sirhan face to face," said Robert’s son, Douglas Kennedy. "I think I've lived my life both in fear of him and his name in one way or another. And I am grateful today to see him as a human being worthy of compassion and love." Although the panel has recommended parole, the decision isn’t finalized yet. Sirhan’s fate now lies in the hands of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who will determine whether he should be released.

A suspect in the 2019 death of Ole Miss student Ally Kostial has confessed, pleaded guilty to murder.

More than two years after authorities discovered her body, a Texas man confessed and pleaded guilty in the murder of 21-year-old college student Alexandria "'Ally" Kostial. Brandon Theesfeld, 24, who also attended Ole Miss, was originally charged with capital murder. Under the terms of the plea deal, Theesfeld avoided a possible death sentence, and will instead spend the rest of his life behind bars. He did not offer a motive for Kostial’s killing, but apologized in court.

A man convicted of killing Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts in 2018 was sentenced to life in prison.

Three years after University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbets disappeared after going on an evening run, a judge sentenced Cristhian Bahena Rivera to life in prison without parole for her murder. The 27-year-old man convicted of first-degree murder has been incarcerated since his arrest in August 2018. "Mr. Bahena Rivera, you and you alone forever changed the lives of those who loved Mollie Tibbetts," said Judge Joel Yates. Tibbetts' mother, Laura Calderwood, read a victim impact statement aloud to Bahena Rivera in court. "Mollie was a young woman who simply wanted to go for a quiet run on the evening of July 18 and you chose to violently and sadistically end that life," she wrote.

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