True Crime News Roundup: George Floyd’s 4-Year-Old Grandniece Shot While Sleeping In Bed
Plus: Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is found guilty of fraud; investigators crack the 1995 cold case murder of a Georgia schoolgirl; police name a suspect in the shooting death of Memphis rapper Young Dolph; and a judge overturns a Pennsylvania man’s murder conviction after 37 years.
George Floyd’s grandniece is shot while in bed sleeping next to her grandmother.
Shortly before 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day, George Floyd’s 4-year-old grandniece, Arianna Delane, was shot after someone fired a weapon multiple times at her family’s apartment in Houston, Texas, police said. “My daughter jumped up and said, ‘Daddy, I’ve been hit,’” Derrick Delane, told KTRK-TV. The little girl was shot in the stomach, and the bullet pierced her liver and lung. She also suffered three broken ribs. “She's just a baby, but she made it through,” said the victim’s great aunt and George Floyd’s sister, LaTonya Floyd, 53, People reported. Family believes the residence may have been targeted. “I'm not sure if they hit the right house, or what was going on — because my family, we don't do enemies,” Floyd noted. Police have not made any arrests in the case. Still, said Floyd, “We are fighting for justice, and we did it before and we're going to do it again.”
HPD Major Assaults and Family Violence Division asks anyone with information related to the case to call them at 713-308-8800 or contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).
Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is convicted of fraud.
After seven days of deliberations, on Jan. 3, a jury of eight men and four women found Elizabeth Holmes guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Jurors acquitted the 37-year-old Theranos founder of four other charges related to defrauding and conspiring to defraud patients, and they were unable to reach a unanimous decision on three additional fraud charges, CNN reported. Holmes, who reportedly showed no emotion when the verdict was read, faces up to 20 years behind bars for each of the charges she was convicted of. “The jurors in this 15-week trial navigated a complex case amid pandemic and scheduling obstacles,” U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds said in a statement. “The guilty verdicts in this case reflect Ms. Holmes' culpability in this large-scale investor fraud, and she must now face sentencing for her crimes.” A sentencing date has not yet been set.
DNA technology leads to an arrest in the 1995 rape and murder of a Georgia teenager.
On Jan. 4, authorities announced DNA evidence led to the identification of a suspect allegedly responsible for the assault and murder of an Atlanta schoolgirl 36 years ago. In June 1995, Nacole Smith, 14, was walking back to her house after forgetting a school project when she was attacked, assaulted and shot twice in the face, NBC reported, citing police. Over the last three years, officials said, investigators used genealogy and ancestral databases to pinpoint 49-year-old Kelvin Arnold as a person of interest. In December, investigators got confirmation Arnold’s DNA profile matched that of forensic evidence collected in Smith’s murder case. Arnold passed away from liver and kidney failure in August and no charges were ever filed against him. “So many unanswered questions that I had for him that I could never ask or get answers,” the victim’s mother, Acquanellia Smith, said at a news conference. “I would never say it was closure for me because I’ll live with this pain for the rest of my life.”
Authorities name a suspect in the murder of Memphis rapper Young Dolph.
Law enforcement officials are offering up to a $15,000 reward for information leading to the capture of 23-year-old Justin Johnson in connection to the shooting death of Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr. The victim, a 36-year-old rapper who went by the stage name Young Dolph, was ambushed and killed at Makeda's Butter Cookies bakery in Memphis, Tennessee, last November. The suspect is a Black male described as approximately 5’8” and weighing 190 pounds. He has a tattoo of the name “Jaiya” on his right arm. “Johnson has ties to organized criminal gangs and should be considered armed and dangerous,” the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement.
Anyone with information on Johnson’s whereabouts is requested to call the U.S. Marshals Service at 901-275-4562; 901-601-1575; or 731-571-0280. Tips can also be submitted anonymously.
A man who spent 37 years behind bars in Pennsylvania has had his murder conviction overturned.
In 1984, Williams Stokes was found guilty of murder, in part because Franklin Lee, a key witness, claimed Stokes confessed to him he killed Leslie Campbell. Before Stokes’ trial began, detectives allegedly offered Lee, who was in prison at the time for an unrelated rape and homicide, the promise of a light sentence if he lied in court about Stokes’ murder case. They also allegedly allowed Lee’s girlfriend to bring him drugs at police headquarters and have sex with him. Lee eventually recanted his testimony and was charged with perjury. Stokes didn’t learn about the perjury charge for 31 years, a fact an appeals court recently called “an egregious violation of his constitutional rights,” the Associated Press reported. Lee pleaded guilty to making up Stokes’ supposed confession and was sentenced to prison. He served a total of 35 years behind bars for murder, rape and perjury and was released from prison two years ago. Stokes, now 61, was released from state prison on Jan. 4. Prosecutors have until Jan. 26 to decide if they will retry him for the murder he was accused of committing.