Suspect to police: I stabbed black man as ‘practice’

The white man accused of fatally stabbing a black man in New York on Monday night told police he targeted the victim because he was black and that he viewed the killing as “practice,” according to a criminal complaint.

The suspect, 28-year-old James Harris Jackson, told police he intended to go to Times Square to kill more black men, according to the complaint.

Jackson was arraigned on second-degree murder and weapons charges in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday, a day after he turned himself in to police.

Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said in court that the charge may be upped to first-degree murder because it was likely an act of terrorism, according to a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office.

Police said Jackson singled out Timothy Caughman, 66, and stabbed him with a sword multiple times while Caughman was sifting through garbage late Monday night. A bleeding Caughman stumbled to a nearby police substation and was then taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“The attack was clearly racially motivated,” NYPD Assistant Chief Bill Aubry said Wednesday. “It’s well over 10 years he has been harboring these feelings of hate towards male blacks.”

A witness said Jackson was on top of Caughman, who asked what he was doing, according to the complaint. Surveillance video showed Jackson fleeing the scene, and he turned himself in after he saw photos of himself on the news, police said.

Jackson told police he stalked numerous potential victims and that he was angered by black men mixing with white women, according to the complaint.

He took a bus from Baltimore to New York with a sword and two knives to kill black men, according to the complaint.

“He knew what he was doing when he was coming up here,” Aubry said. “We’re fortunate it stopped at one and it wasn’t more.”

Jackson’s defense attorney, Sanford Talkin, declined to comment. Saturday, Jackson’s relatives sent their condolences to the Caughman family and said they were praying for them.

“Our family is shocked, horrified and heartbroken by this tragedy,” the Jackson family said. “We have no further comments at this time and ask that our privacy be respected.”

Timothy Caughman

Caughman was a “can and bottle recycler” and an “autograph collector,” according to his Twitter description. His account includes a number of selfies with celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Maria Menounos and Michael K. Williams.

Last Election Day, he posted a photo of himself standing in line waiting to vote. “I love America,” he wrote.

“We know him to be a good man,” said Jean Paul Chatham, who lives in the same neighborhood as Caughman. “He did not trouble anyone.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement he was appalled by the killing.

“In New York, no one should feel unsafe for who they are, and this despicable attack on one New Yorker is an attack on all New Yorkers,” he said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio offered a similar sentiment.

“More than an unspeakable human tragedy, this is an assault on what makes this the greatest city in the world: our inclusiveness and our diversity,” de Blasio said in a statement.

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No. 1 Gonzaga advances in NCAA tournament

Gonzaga ended the 11th-seeded Xavier Musketeers’ Cinderella run in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday with a 83-59 victory to advance to the Final Four.

 

The trip to the Final Four will be the first in school history for the No. 1 seed Bulldogs, who were playing in their second Elite Eight in three seasons and ran their record up to 36-1 by winning the West Region final.

 

 

Waiting for them Saturday, April 1, will be the winner of Sunday’s East Region final between No. 4 Florida and No. 7 South Carolina.

 

 

Gonzaga, which nearly went unbeaten this season before dropping its Feb. 25 regular-season finale to BYU, won both the West Coast Conference’s regular season and tournament titles on their way to earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

 

They routed South Dakota State 66-46 in their NCAA Tournament opener before winning closer games against Northwestern and West Virginia to reach the Elite Eight.

 

 

Xavier, which finishes with a 24-14 record on the season, had knocked out higher-seeded teams in each round of the tournament before coming up against Gonzaga. They beat sixth-seeded Maryland to open the tournament, then routed third-seeded Florida State to reach the Sweet 16 where they upset second-seeded Arizona.

 

 

The Musketeers had to overcome injuries and a late-season slump to qualify for the tournament, finishing with a 9-9 record in Big East Conference play. Their case was helped with two wins in the conference tournament, include a win over fellow Sweet 16 team Butler, before falling to Creighton in the Big East semifinals.

 

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Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds celebrated at public memorial

The lives of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher continue to be celebrated.

More than a thousand people paid tribute to the mother-daughter duo at a public memorial on Saturday, held near their burial sites at Forest Lawn cemetery in Los Angeles.

The event, organized by Todd Fisher, Reynolds’ son and brother of Carrie, befit the Hollywood screen legends with singing, dancing and a cameo by a “Star Wars” character.

Fisher spoke lovingly about his sister and mother, who died in December, then introduced a video featuring movie clips and images of the family through the years.

R2-D2, the lovable robot from the “Star Wars” franchise that launched Carrie to fame, rolled onstage during the service and beeped, seemingly in remorse.

Actor Dan Aykroyd, who was briefly engaged to Carrie in the late 1970s, spoke of their “trusted” friendship.

“We shouldn’t be here so soon in our lives,” Aykroyd said.

Singer James Blunt, another friend of Carrie’s, performed his hit song “You’re Beautiful,” which Blunt said he wrote in her home.

A group from The Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio performed, as did The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles.

Reynolds’ dog Dwight, and Fisher’s beloved dog Gary, were also in attendance.

A private memorial was held for Fisher and Reynolds in January, with their joint funeral the following day.

Fisher was 60 when she went into cardiac arrest on Dec. 23 aboard a flight from London to Los Angeles. She died four days later at a hospital. Reynolds died the following day at the age of 84.

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What’s Next? Three Ways to Add Money to Indian Health & Bigger Fights Ahead

Guest Commentary Published March 25, 2017 Governing without a Working Majority Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports President Donald J. Trump’s legislative agenda has crashed. The Republican promise to quickly repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Friday failed to win enough votes from conservatives to make it so. As House Speaker Paul Ryan said […]

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