Military plane crash latest in string of deadly aviation incidents


first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(SAVANNAH, Ga.) — The C-130 cargo plane that crashed outside the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, killing all nine service members on board, was the latest in a string of deadly military aviation incidents.An extensive Military Times investigation last month revealed that manned aviation accidents rose nearly 40 percent since budget cuts in 2013.During a news conference on Wednesday, the commandant of the Marine Corps acknowledged that no “single thing” is to blame for a rise in accidents, but that funding affects the number of planes available and the number of flight hours pilots receive.“We need more hours, we need better parts support, we need new airplanes, we’ve got to improve our procedures, and we’ve got to stop doing stuff on the ground that causes us to lose otherwise perfectly good airplanes,” Neller said. “And we need to train. It’s a dangerous business.”While the C-130 belonged to the Puerto Rico National Guard, a look at some of the highest-profile aviation incidents over the past year shows that the non-combat related crashes have affected every military service.Army— In August, five soldiers were killed as their Black Hawk helicopter crashed off the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The Army suspended the search for the personnel after five days.— Two soldiers from Colorado died when an Apache helicopter crashed at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, in January.— Then last month, two more soldiers were killed when an Apache went down at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.Navy— Three sailors died in November after a C-2A Greyhound crashed into the Philippine Sea. The aircraft was transporting sailors to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier. Eight personnel managed to be rescued.— In March, two Naval aviators were killed when their F/A-18 Super Hornet crashed near Naval Air Station Key West.Air Force— Seven airmen died when a HH-60 Pave Hawk crashed into a power line in western Iraq in March.— Last month, a pilot with the elite Thunderbird air demonstration team was killed after an F-16 crashed outside of Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The Air Force said the pilot had more than 3,500 flight hours.Marine Corps— Last July, 16 Marines and one sailor were killed when a KC-130 crashed in Mississippi. In the wake of that incident, the Marine Corps grounded those planes. On Wednesday, Neller said the KC-130 involved in that accident last summer experienced a “mechanical issue.”— Three Marines lost their lives when their MV-22 Osprey crashed off the coast of Australia in August.— Last month, four Marines were killed when a CH-53E Super Stallion crashed near El Centro, California.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Starbucks to allow all guests to use restrooms even if they do not buy anything


first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Starbucks will allow all guests to use its cafes and restrooms whether they make a purchase or not, the company announced on Saturday.Anyone who walks into the store is considered a customer “regardless of whether they make a purchase,” according to the coffee chain. It noted that workers should call the police if they feel any customer is a safety threat.The policy shift comes after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia area Starbucks in April. One of them asked to use the restroom without purchasing anything and the police were called while they were waiting to meet a third person for a previously scheduled meeting.Starbucks announced soon after the incident they will have their employees undergo racial-bias training and close nearly 8,000 stores in the U.S. on the afternoon of May 29.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Maria Butina, Russian gun rights activist linked to NRA, charged as Kremlin agent


first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — FBI counter-intelligence agents have arrested a 29-year-old Russian woman on charges she acted as a Kremlin agent while working over the past three years to build relationships in the upper ranks of the National Rifle Association.Maria Butina, the cofounder of the mysterious Russian gun-rights group called “Right to Bear Arms” who recently graduated with a master’s degree from American University, “took steps to develop relationships with American politicians in order to establish private, or as she called them, ‘back channel’ lines of communication,” according to an affidavit attached to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington on Saturday.“These lines could be used by the Russian Federation to penetrate the U.S. national decision-making apparatus to advance the agenda of the Russian Federation,” the affidavit reads, using Russia’s official country name.She is being held pending a hearing set for later this week, according to a Department of Justice press release. The case brought against her was not brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, and it is not known whether it has any connection to the broader investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential campaign.Butina denied the charges through an attorney, who called the complaint against her “overblown” and said she “intends to defend her rights vigorously and looks forward to clearing her name.”According to Butina’s attorney, the FBI executed a search warrant at her Washington, D.C., apartment in April, and the affidavit states that agents searched her electronic devices, including her laptop and iPhone.“While styled as some sort of conspiracy, in actuality it describes a conspiracy to have a ‘friendship dinner’ … with a group of Americans and Russians to discuss foreign relations between the two countries – hardly a shocking development for a Russian International Relations student living in Washington,” Driscoll said. “There is simply no indication of Butina seeking to influence or undermine any specific policy or law in the United States – only to promote a better relationship between the two nations.”In the affidavit, however, the FBI alleges that Butina came to the U.S. under the direction of an unnamed Russian official, who based on the description, appears to be her longtime mentor, Alexander Torshin. A former member of the Russian parliament, Torshin is one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies and is now deputy governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.Torshin is a lifetime member of the NRA and — until this past April, when he was included in a round of U.S. sanctions against Russian oligarchs – a frequent attendee of both NRA events and the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.Torshin and Butina accompanied several NRA board members on a December 2015 visit to Moscow, and Torshin sat at a dinner table with Donald Trump Jr. at the the May 2016 National Rifle Association convention. He and Butina also attended the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C., where President Donald Trump was the keynote speaker.A White House spokesperson and a spokesperson for Donald Trump Jr. both did not respond to a request for comment.The affidavit quotes from several private message exchanges shortly before the 2016 presidential election between not only Butina and the Russian Official but Butina and an unnamed U.S. person, both of whom, the affidavit notes, she met and communicated with regularly as they developed an “influence operation.”In one early exchange, Butina emailed the U.S. person in 2015 describing what she called the “central place and influence” the NRA enjoys in an unnamed political party as the “largest sponsor of the elections to the US congress, as well as a sponsor of The CPAC conference and other events.”The following year, the U.S. person emailed an acquaintance, saying “I’ve been involved in securing a VERY private line of communication between the Kremlin” and leaders of an unnamed political party through an unnamed gun rights organization.Shortly after, Butina exchanged messages with the Russian official on Twitter, in which they discussed strategy and impressed upon each other the importance of their work.“Time will tell,” Butina wrote. “We made our bet. I am following our game.”“No doubt,” the Russian official responded. “Of course we will win … And it is not about winning today’s fight (although we are striving for it) but to win the entire battle. This is the battle for the future, it cannot be lost! Or everyone will lose.”Butina actually crossed paths with both President Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., during the 2016 campaign, including a moment at the FreedomFest conference in Las Vegas in July 2015 when she asked the Republican candidate directly about his views on U.S. sanctions against Russia.In recent months, Butina’s close ties to senior officials with the NRA have prompted criticism of the gun rights organization. Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, led an effort to determine whether Russian nationals donated money to any offshoots of the NRA as part of any effort to influence American politics.The National Rifle Association has denied receiving money “from foreign persons or entities in connection with United States elections.” An NRA spokesperson did not respond to multiple requests from ABC News for comment regarding the charges against Butina.Critics of the controversial gun-rights group pounced on the fresh allegations.“The NRA has avoided explaining its ties to Putin for more than a year now,” John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety, told ABC News Monday. “That should end now that DOJ has charged a Russian national with deep ties to NRA leadership” with trying to infiltrate organizations to advance the interests of Russia.The recent arrest represents a sudden reversal of fortune for Butina. On May 12, Butina she was celebrating, Donning a royal blue cap and gown as she accepted her diploma from American University, earning a degree in International Relations.According to her student profile, Butina focused on “Global Security” for the past two years. A webpage on American University’s website offered several details about the program, including developing a student’s ability to “analyze how different understandings of peace and security inform policy choices and ways of thinking about patterns of conflict.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc to be transferred to New York for trial


first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The 56-year-old man accused of mailing more than a dozen pipe bombs throughout the country to top Democrats, other high-profile liberal figures and CNN will be transferred from Florida to New York, where he will face federal criminal charges.Cesar Sayoc, wearing khaki jail scrubs, waived his right to a pretrial detention hearing before a federal judge in Miami Friday morning and agreed to be moved to New York City for the hearing and prosecution.He will remain in custody in the meantime.“It makes much more sense for his hearing to happen in New York with the lawyers who are going to represent him long-term. They will have a much better handle on the information and the decision-making process,” Daniel Aaronson, one of Sayoc’s private attorneys in Florida, told reporters after Friday’s brief hearing.The trip from the Southern District of Florida to the Southern District of New York will be by bus and could take as long as three weeks, prosecutors told ABC News. Sayoc has been detained in isolation since he was arrested in a parking lot in Plantation, Florida, on Oct. 26, following a days-long, nationwide manhunt for the suspect in an apparent mass mail bomb campaign.Sayoc, whose residence is listed as his mother’s home in Aventura, Florida, though he mainly lived in a white van plastered with pro-Trump stickers, could be sentenced to up to 48 years in prison if convicted of the five federal charges he’s facing: interstate transportation of an explosive; illegal mailing of explosives; threats against former presidents and certain other persons; threatening interstate communications; and assaulting current and former federal officers.“The magnitude of what has happened does weigh on him,” Aaronson told ABC News Friday, after telling reporters he’s known Sayoc for nearly five years. “He was the most respectful client that I have ever represented. When I heard his name in connection to this, I just stuttered and stammered that he could possibly be involved. It’s just not the person that I know.”The attorney would not speculate as to what could have triggered the alleged plot to send crude pipe bombs to prominent public figures who have all spoken critically of President Donald Trump.The decision to transfer Sayoc comes on the heels of a letter New York prosecutors sent Tuesday to the judge presiding over Sayoc’s case in Florida. They requested that Sayoc be moved to Manhattan to “face the consequences of his actions” and arguing that he remain behind bars pending trial “due to both his dangerousness to the community and risk of flight.”“The defendant conducted a domestic terrorist attack targeting at least 15 victims,” Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, wrote in the letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres of the Southern District of Florida. “There are no conditions that could adequately protect the public from the defendant and assure his appearance in Manhattan for trial.”The FBI seized and searched multiple electronic devices belonging to Sayoc and discovered files containing the addresses of his intended victims — plus “numerous additional targets” — and return labels that match those used on the padded mailing envelopes carrying the improvised explosive devices (IEDs), according to the letter.“Metadata from the electronic devices indicates that the defendant started planning the attack as early as July 2018,” Berman wrote. “The evidence of the defendant’s terror campaign is still being collected but is already overwhelming.”So far, authorities have recovered at least 15 IEDs that Sayoc allegedly mailed to targets throughout the country, including former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as CNN’s offices in New York City and Atlanta. Each device was packaged in a tan-colored manila envelope lined with bubble wrap and stamped with approximately six postage stamps bearing an image of an American flag, according to court documents.All of the recipients are prominent critics of Trump, and many of them have been publicly disparaged by the president either at campaign rallies or on Twitter.Each envelope listed Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the return sender at a particular address in Sunrise, Florida. Authorities do not believe the South Florida congresswoman, who is the former head of the Democratic National Committee, was involved in sending any of the parcels.All of the packages traveled through the U.S. Postal Service. They were all intercepted before they reached their intended targets, sources told ABC News.None of the devices detonated, and no one was injured in handling the packages.The packages and the contents were all sent for analysis to FBI’s laboratory in Quantico, Virginia.“The FBI’s analysis of the defendant’s IEDs is ongoing, but it is clear that they were dangerous,” David Brown, FBI special agent, wrote in the Oct. 26 complaint against Sayoc. “The IEDs that have been analyzed thus far contained energetic material with explosive qualities. The defendant also placed shards of glass in several of the IEDs for the apparent purpose of maximizing harm to his intended victims through the detonation of the devices that he had mailed.”Investigators have not determined a motive for the suspected mail bombs.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Eight kids waiting to be reunited with family following ‘zero-tolerance’ policy


first_imgVallarieE/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Eight kids left.That’s how many children the government says are waiting to be reunited with family members as a direct result of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision last April to prosecute every adult who crossed illegally at America’s southern border.“Zero tolerance” triggered an international outcry at the U.S.-Mexico border as more than 2,634 migrant children were separated from their parents in a matter of weeks and compounding an existing crisis involving several thousand “unaccompanied minors” already in U.S. custody.President Donald Trump eventually relented, issuing an executive order in June ending the practice. Days later, a federal judge ordered the administration to reunite the families.In the end, the vast majority of the kids — 2,494 — have been reunited with parents or sponsors, according to data provided by the Health and Human Services Department.Another 102 cases involved parents who said they didn’t want to be reunited. Another 30 kids separated at the border have parents deemed “unfit” or presenting a “danger” to the child.That leaves eight kids who are eligible to be returned to their family after being separated at the border, the government told a federal judge in a Nov. 29 court filing.The final efforts marks an end to one of the most controversial policies in modern U.S. immigration history. The debate though is hardly over, as Trump insists on funding a border wall and has extended a military deployment at the border.The Department of Homeland Security declined to discuss pending litigation, but spokeswoman Katie Waldman said of general migration apprehensions: “We will enforce our laws to the maximum extent possible. Our country cannot afford unchecked, undemocratic mass migration policies written by activist judges.”Democrats say they plan to take up the issue of migrant detentions come January, when they assume control of the House. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a senior Democrat from Connecticut, called it “immoral” that any child remained separated from their families as a result of “zero tolerance.”“This is a tragedy of the president’s own design,” she told ABC News.The U.S. still has some 14,000 migrant children in custody, the vast majority of whom are older kids and teens who opted to try to cross the border alone. They are held at facilities managed by the Department of Health and Human Services and scattered across the country, including a tent city near Tornillo, Texas, which has come under the scrutiny of House Democrats.And migrants continue to try to cross the border. On Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 51,856 people were arrested trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in November, compared to 51,001 in October.The average number of adults in custody is at a record-setting 42,000, according to data provided by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.“My frustration is that we haven’t been getting to the root causes of migration for families who are looking for security and safety,” said Rep.-elect Veronica Escobar, a Democrat who just won in the 16th District in Texas.“What this administration is doing is trying to create this sense of fear and crisis so the president can feed his obsession of a border wall,” she said.Sessions’ “zero-tolerance” policy never explicitly ordered the separation of families. And families had been separated under previous administrations. But most of those cases would have been tied to other serious crimes. Trump’s policy was different because his administration considered the act of crossing the border illegally enough of a justification to detain the adult and put the child in protective custody.According to the Nov. 29 court filing, one of the children can’t be reunited immediately because the parent is in custody inside the U.S. Another child is on track to be deported and reunited with family in his or her home country, although that reunion has been delayed due to “unique circumstances.” In five cases, the government is waiting for official statements from the parents on whether they want to be reunited with their child. The remaining child is on track to be reunited with a parent who is inside the U.S.The American Civil Liberties Union, which led the lawsuit against the government, is helping to orchestrate the reunifications. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

1 dead in avalanche outside Aspen: Sheriff


first_imgrobertcicchetti/iStock(ASPEN, Colo.) — One person has died in an avalanche outside Aspen, Colorado, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.The victim was the only person caught in the snow slide, the sheriff’s office said.The sheriff’s office had warned about dangerous conditions on Saturday.This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img

17-year-old allegedly killed 2 teens in his grandparents’ garage, set their bodies on fire in their car: Sheriff


first_img(Porter County Sheriff’s Office) Connor Kerner is a suspect in the murder of two teens in Indiana. (PORTER COUNTY, Ind.) — A 17-year-old allegedly killed two Indiana teenagers in his grandparents’ garage and then set their bodies on fire inside their car, officials said.Connor Kerner was arrested on Saturday for the murders of 19-year-old Molley Lanham and 18-year-old Thomas Grill, the Porter County Sheriff’s Office said on Monday in a statement.Kerner, of Valparaiso, Indiana, was charged with two counts of murder, the sheriff’s office said. Kerner is being tried as an adult, Porter County Prosecutor Gary German told ABC News on Tuesday.Grill, of Cedar Lake, Indiana, and Lanham, of St. John, Indiana, were last seen on Feb. 25, according to the sheriff’s office.On Saturday morning sheriff’s detectives started investigating information from “an anonymous source,” who said the missing teenagers were killed by Kerner, the sheriff’s office said.The anonymous source allegedly said he or she was at Kerner’s home on Feb. 25 when Kerner said, “I killed someone and I killed an innocent girl,” according to court documents.The source told authorities that Kerner said the murders happened in his grandparents’ garage while they were out of town, according to court documents.The source said Kerner said Grill came over with his girlfriend, Lanham, for a drug deal, and when Grill tried to rob him, he shot him, according to court documents.“Grill fell to the ground and was begging for his life,” the source said, according to documents. “Kerner advised that he panicked due to being out of bullets in the gun. Kerner then beat him with a pipe wrench until he died.”Lanham was out at the car at the time, and the source said Kerner had Lanham come into the garage and showed her Grill’s body, according to court documents.Kerner “informed her that he was going to let her go, but if she told, he would kill her,” the source said, according to court documents. “Kerner advised that when she turned to leave the garage, Kerner shot her in the head, killing her.”The source said Kerner admitted to putting the bodies in the trunk of the car, driving about two miles away where he lit the car and bodies on fire, according to documents.The two victims found inside the car have not been identified, but “all evidence obtained at this point” lead investigators to believe the bodies are Grill and Lanham, according to the sheriff’s office.“DNA is being sent to the lab for processing and the Porter County Coroner’s Office will be working on a forensic autopsy with medical records to confirm the identities,” the sheriff’s officials said.When Kerner was arrested, he refused to answer questions, the sheriff’s office said. Kerner is being held without bond at the Porter County Jail and is due to appear at a status hearing in May, according to the prosecutor’s office.Kerner’s attorney did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

‘I’m shaking… this murderer is walking free:’ Suspected ‘Ripper Crew’ member released from prison


first_imgjessekarjalainen/iStock(CHICAGO) — Thomas Kokoraleis — a suspected member of Chicago’s “Ripper Crew” who went to prison for a woman’s 1982 murder — is now a free man.Kokoraleis, 58, convicted of the murder of 21-year-old Lorraine “Lorry” Ann Borowski, was released from Illinois Department of Corrections custody Friday morning, Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lindsey Hess told ABC News in an email.“I’m shaking at the thought that this murderer is walking free among us. And without any legal restrictions except those imposed by the Illinois Sex Offender Reintegration Act,” Borowski’s younger brother, Mark Borowski, who was 12-years-old at the time of the killing, said at a news conference Friday.“It makes me feel sick to my stomach,” said an emotional Mark Borowski.The four-man “Ripper Crew” terrorized Chicago in the 1980s, killing up to 17 women in the area, according to The Chicago Tribune.Lorraine “Lorry” Ann Borowski was abducted in broad daylight while walking from her apartment to work.At Friday’s news conference, her mother, Lorraine Borowski, said her daughter was stabbed in the front and back with a glass ax.Kokoraleis was sentenced to life in prison for the 1982 murder.However, his conviction was “overturned based on the court improperly refusing to admit confessions of the co-defendants,” a spokesman for the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office told ABC News.Kokoraleis then in 1987 agreed to a 70-year plea deal, the spokesman said.“At the time, the law required the person incarcerated to get day for day credit for time served. That’s no longer the case, but at the time it was,” the spokesman said, so Kokoraleis served 35 years.Kokoraleis was also given mandatory supervised release, which he served in the Department of Corrections, because it appeared he had nowhere to live, the spokesman said, so he served another 1.5 years.“Kokoraleis completed his maximum sentence required by law and is no longer under IDOC supervision,” Hess said Friday, adding, “Kokoraleis will have to register on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.”One alleged “Ripper Crew” member has been executed and the other two remain in prison, according to the Tribune.Now that Kokoraleis is free, Mark Borowski said he and his mother will always be looking over their shoulders. Mark Borowski said he’s “on edge”and will always be wondering if he’ll see his sister’s killer’s face on the street.“I’m afraid,” said Lorraine Borowski.“I will never understand how a man who was convicted of raping and murdering my daughter could be walking free in Illinois today. My daughter was an innocent victim,” she said. “Her murderer did not receive the justice that he deserved. But I believe in God and I have no doubt that God will deliver the final judgment.”Kokoraleis has not made any threats to the family, attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing the Borowski family, said at the news conference.“Nothing could be done to prevent his release this morning,” she said.Allred said Kokoraleis still has time left to register as a sex offender, so on Friday “he could be anywhere.”Allred said she asked prosecutors if a no contact order is in place for Kokoraleis and the Borowski family, but “no such order exists because the murderer, Kokoraleis, has served his sentence and there is no case pending.”Allred said she wants what she called a “flaw” in the Illinois law to be amended so that whomever is classified as a sex offender would have no contact with the victim, or the family of the victim if relatives request that order.Mark Borowski said his sister is “my hero and my mentor and the best role model a brother could ever have. I’ll always miss her and never forget her.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Mother of alleged El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius called police about son owning assault rifle


first_imgRouzes/iStock(ALLEN, Texas) — The El Paso shooting suspect’s mother called the Allen Police Department weeks before the shooting because she was concerned about her son owning an “AK”-type firearm, lawyers for the family told ABC News.Chris Ayres and R. Jack Ayres, the lawyers representing the family of alleged shooter Patrick Crusius, said his mother contacted police because she was worried about her son owning the weapon given his age, maturity level and lack of experience handling such a firearm.His mother was transferred to a public safety officer who allegedly told her that her son, 21, was legally allowed to purchase the weapon, lawyers said. The mother did not provide her name or her son’s name, and police did not seek any additional information from her before the call concluded, according to the attorneys.CNN was first to report the call to law enforcement.The Allen Police Department, in a statement, confirmed that on June 27, 2019, at approximately 11:15 a.m., a call came into the main line of the police department. While calls made to the department’s main line are not recorded, an internal security camera recorded one side of the conversation, police said.“The Public Safety Officer answered informational questions about firearms possession and ownership and additionally inquired about the emotional state and intentions of the person who had ordered the weapon,” according to the police statement. “The information relayed by the caller did not warrant additional law enforcement involvement because, as reported in the CNN news article, the caller indicated that her inquiry ‘was not motivated out of a concern that her son posed a threat to anybody.’”The police official who spoke with Crusius’s mother did inquire if the person in question was “suicidal or have they made any threats towards any other person?” and the mother indicated he had not, police said.The mother’s concern was that her son did not have the training or maturity to own this type of firearm, officials said.The mother’s inquiry was “informational” in nature and was not motivated out of a concern that her son posed a threat to anybody, the lawyers said.It is not known whether the gun the mother inquired about is the weapon used in the attack.The Crusius family lives in Allen, Texas, a suburb of Dallas and about a 10-hour drive from El Paso.Crusius is accused to opening fire at an Walmart in the Texas border town, killing 22 people and injuring another 26. Crusius told law enforcement members he wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible, sources told ABC News. The 21-year-old also allegedly wrote a “manifesto” outlining his hate for immigrants and Mexicans.He could face the death penalty on charges of capital murder.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

California man facing criminal charges for protected mountain lion killing


first_imgmari_art/iStock(NEW YORK) — A California man is facing criminal charges for the killing of a protected mountain lion. Alfredo Gonzalez, 60, is accused of fatally shooting a collared mountain lion, known as P-38, back in July. The animal was found dead in the Simi Valley area with a gunshot wound to the head and its GPS-enabled radio collar vandalized, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.P-38 was part of a cougar population being studied by National Park Service biologists, the district attorney’s office said. First collared in 2015, the 7-year-old male mountain lion predominately roamed parts of the Santa Susana Mountains, which surround Simi Valley in Southern California. The biologists detected a mortality signal from the animal’s collar on July 2, according to the district attorney’s office.The National Park Service did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment Wednesday morning.It’s unlawful to kill a mountain lion in the state without a permit from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The complaint filed by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office charges Gonzalez with two misdemeanor counts — one for the unlawful taking of a protected mammal and another for vandalism of National Park Service property, the collar, valued at $950. Gonzalez, a Simi Valley resident, will be arraigned in Ventura Superior Court on Oct. 9. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more