True Crime News Roundup: Britney Spears’ Father Will No Longer Oversee Her Conservatorship

Plus: A New York jury reaches a verdict in the R. Kelly sex-trafficking trial; 11 fraternity brothers are charged for hazing after a pledge dies; and the Georgia spa shooter pleads not guilty.

October 01, 2021
Britney Spears arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles.

Britney Spears

Photo by: Jordan Strauss/Invision via AP Images

Jordan Strauss/Invision via AP Images

Britney Spears

By: Aaron Rasmussen

Britney Spears’ father has been suspended as her conservator.

At a September 29 hearing, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge suspended Jamie P. Spears from overseeing the conservatorship of his daughter, Britney Spears, 39, calling the legal arrangement “not tenable” and reflective of a “toxic environment.” Established in 2008, the conservatorship put him in charge of the singer’s $60 million estate as well as her personal, medical and business decisions. A certified California public accountant has temporarily replaced Spears’ 69-year-old father while her lawyer works to completely dissolve the conservatorship, The New York Times reported. A hearing to determine if a restrictive arrangement controlling her finances will be terminated is scheduled for November 12.

Capital Gazette gunman Jarrod Ramos is sentenced to life in prison for newsroom massacre.

A judge has sentenced the man who murdered five Capital Gazette employees in cold blood at the newspaper’s office in Annapolis, Maryland, to six terms of life in prison, five without the possibility of parole, plus 345 years. In June 2018, Jarrod Ramos, 41, fatally shot Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith, and Wendi Winters. “The impact of this case is simply immense,” Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Michael Wachs said, according to the Capital Gazette. “To say the defendant showed a callous and cruel disregard for the sanctity of human life is simply an understatement.” Ramos had pleaded guilty to all charges against him in October 2019 but maintained he was mentally ill and should not be held criminally responsible for the slayings.

Authorities bring hazing charges against 11 men in connection to a fraternity pledge’s death.

Last winter, Virginia Commonwealth University student Adam Oakes passed away after he attended a Delta Chi fraternity pledge party, and 11 men, ranging in age from 19 to 22, are now charged with hazing, the Richmond Police Department said. On February 26, Oakes, 19, was allegedly “given a bottle of Jack Daniels and told to drink it,” an Oakes family-run website claims. The following day, he was found dead in an off-campus home, and a medical examiner determined the cause of death to be ethanol toxicity. “This is the first time these young men have been held accountable for their historically toxic and destructive traditions, manipulation of the VCU disciplinary systems, and for Adam’s death,” the family said in a statement posted to Facebook. “Do not tell us these are just ‘boys,’ Adam was just a boy. He had his whole life ahead of him. He will never have the same opportunities or future these young men will.” Hazing is a misdemeanor punishable in Virginia by up to 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine, or both, The Commonwealth Times reported.

Georgia spa shooter pleads not guilty to four murders.

Robert Aaron Long, the 22-year-old gunman accused of killing a total of eight people at three separate spas in the Atlanta area last March has pleaded not guilty to murder, aggravated assault and domestic terrorism charges in connection to the shooting deaths of four of the victims, who died at two Fulton County spas. If convicted at trial, Long could face the death penalty. In late July, he pleaded guilty to charges related to murdering the four other spa workers and critically injuring a fifth at Youngs Asian Massage in Cherokee County. For those charges, he was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences, plus 35 years, without the possibility of parole. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, investigators learned Long allegedly had a sex addiction and wanted to “eliminate temptation” at the three spas, which he reportedly frequented.

R. Kelly found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking.

Following a six-week trial, on September 27, a New York jury found R. Kelly guilty of racketeering and eight violations of the Mann Act, an anti-sex trafficking law, The New York Times reported. Evidence the government compiled in the case that centered around the accusations of six women against the 54-year-old R&B artist reached as far back as the 1990s. “No one deserves what they experienced at his hands or the threats and harassment they faced in telling the truth about what happened to them,” said Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, the acting U.S. attorney in Brooklyn. “We hope that today’s verdict brings some measure of comfort and closure.” R. Kelly faces anywhere from 10 years to life in prison when he is sentenced next May.

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