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Fox Nation’s ‘Scandalous: The Mysterious Case of Tawana Brawley’ goes in-depth on the lie that made Al Sharpton famous

The Tawana Brawley rape allegations in the late 1980s left an entire community on the brink of “civil war” – and now, Fox Nation takes a closer look at one of the most racially-charged legal sagas in American history.

“Scandalous: The Mysterious Case of Tawana Brawley” makes its debut today on the brand new, subscribers-only streaming network, and features exclusive interviews with those central to the case.

The New York teen’s rape claims — in which she said she was allegedly raped in the woods by multiple white men around this day 31 years ago in Wappingers Falls, New York, and then left wrapped in a feces-covered plastic bag with racial slurs written on her body — helped springboard the careers of civil rights activists such as Al Sharpton.

But after an extensive investigation filled with twists and turns, a grand jury found the allegations to be nothing more than an elaborate hoax.

“We should have been upset by the fact that for a year or more this girl – and her advisers – had an entire community feeling like at any moment we were going to have some sort of civil war,” Jonna Spilbor, a Dutchess County attorney, says in the special.

Despite this conclusion, the lives and reputations of some were tarnished irreparably.  Still, some remain loyal to Brawley and her legal team, convinced at the very least “something happened” to the teenager in 1987.

“If you purely looked at the medical evidence, something happened to Tawana Brawley,” Michael Hardy, an attorney who has represented Sharpton, tells Fox Nation in the special. “The grand jury report, it is what it is. Does that report have to be accepted as truth? I don’t know if it does.”

In this 1988 file photo, Tawana Brawley speaks to reporters with her adviser, the Rev. Al Sharpton, in Chicago.

In this 1988 file photo, Tawana Brawley speaks to reporters with her adviser, the Rev. Al Sharpton, in Chicago. (AP)

“Scandalous: The Mysterious Case of Tawana Brawley” covers the entire story, from events leading up to the alleged incident to the defamation suit filed against Brawley and her attorneys by former Dutchess County prosecutor Steven Pagones — who had been falsely accused of raping the black teen.

It will feature interviews with major players in the incident, including Attorney General Robert Abrams, who led the investigation — and goes into detail about some of the repercussions Brawley has faced.

“Her father lost his job, her aunt lost her job with the state, they lived on I-95 for a few months,” retired New York Police Department detective Graham Weatherspoon says in the special. “They were living out of their car driving up and down I-95. It was so bad that even their credit cards had been shut down.”

Abrams, who says the allegations Brawley made “were not corroborated by any of the facts,” credits a “meticulous investigation” for bringing the light to what really happened that year just north of New York City.

In the end, the case inflamed racial tensions at a crucial time in our nation’s history and highlighted the importance of thoroughness in the justice system. To go further in-depth, click here to watch “Scandalous: The Mysterious Case of Tawana Brawley.

Fox News’ Jennings Grant contributed to this report.

Case of ‘Baby June,’ found dead off Florida coast, now a homicide, police say

Authorities have ruled the death of an infant — dubbed “Baby June” — as a homicide, months after her body was found floating in the water off the Florida coast.

The child’s death has led to 16 tips since the body was found floating 75 to 100 feet off the Boynton Beach Inlet in June — but no solid leads have emerged as authorities struggle to identify the baby. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Capt. Steven Stravelli said in a Monday news conference that the medical examiner determined Baby June’s death was a homicide. He did not reveal further information that led to the ruling.

The baby was 4 to 7 days old, placing her possible birthdate sometime between May 25 and May 28. The baby had been floating in the water 16 to 18 hours before Off-duty Boynton Beach firefighter Chris Lemieux spotted the body floating in the water.

“We hate seeing this and we want to get to the bottom of what happened,” Stravelli said. “We’re not going to stop here. This case is not going to close until we get completion.”

BABY, NO MORE THAN 14 DAYS OLD, FOUND DEAD OFF FLORIDA COAST

Stravelli said all the babies born between the May date range in Palm Beach and Broward counties have been checked.

“No leads, no lost babies in that mix,” Stravelli said.

Investigators believe the child was most likely born in a hospital or at a private birthing center, Stravelli said. The child’s umbilical cord had been clipped and there was a heel prick in the foot.

“Some hospital, somewhere, has evidence of this child being born. We just haven’t found it yet,” he said.

DNA tests showed the child was half Central Asian and African, which Stravelli said was a “very unusual split.” People with the genetic composition usually are from Barbados, Trinidad or Jamaica. He added that there are no known relatives in Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office’s database.

A $ 10,000 reward is being offered for information that would lead to an arrest.

Alec Baldwin arraigned in parking spot punch assault case, enters not guilty plea

Alec Baldwin arrived at a New York court Monday morning to answer assault and harassment charges after being accused of punching a man in the face over a parking space.

The hot-headed actor, who arrived solo in a black SUV and ignored reporters’ calls for comment as he was escorted into the courthouse by police officers, entered a plea of not guilty on the misdemeanor and violation-level charges. He has said any assertion that he punched anyone over a parking spot is false.

Baldwin was arrested on Nov. 2. Police were told a driver pulled into a Manhattan parking space that one of Baldwin’s relatives was holding for him, and the two men started quarreling and pushing each other.

VIDEO: BALDWIN ARRIVES IN COURT

The other driver told police Baldwin punched or slapped him. The 49-year-old man was taken to a hospital complaining of jaw pain and redness around his neck.

Baldwin later tweeted the episode was “egregiously misstated.”

ALEC BALDWIN’S ARRESTS AND SCANDALS THROUGH THE YEARS, FROM PARKING SPACE FIGHT TO WRONG-WAY BIKE TICKET

He is expected back in court on January 23.

In this Nov. 2, 2018, file photo, actor Alec Baldwin walks out of the New York Police Department's 10th Precinct, in New York, after he was arrested for allegedly punching a man in the face during a dispute over a parking spot outside his New York City home, authorities said.

In this Nov. 2, 2018, file photo, actor Alec Baldwin walks out of the New York Police Department’s 10th Precinct, in New York, after he was arrested for allegedly punching a man in the face during a dispute over a parking spot outside his New York City home, authorities said. (AP)

Hours after his arrest, Baldwin took to his family foundation’s Twitter account to address the incident.

“Normally, I would not comment on something as egregiously misstated as today’s story,” Baldwin tweeted hours after his arrest earlier this month.

“However, the assertion that I punched anyone over a parking spot is false,” he continued. “I wanted to go on the record stating as much. I realize that it has become a sport to tag people was many negative charges and defaming allegations as possible for the purposes of clickbait entertainment.”

This is not the first arrest for the notoriously tantrum-prone star. Baldwin was cuffed in 2014 after he became “belligerent” with a police officer who stopped him on his bike after he was riding in the wrong direction.

ALEC BALDWIN’S ABC TALK SHOW TANKS IN RATINGS

NYPD told Fox News at the time that Baldwin, who had no identification on him, “refused to [identify] himself, became belligerent, cursing and yelling. He was then placed in handcuffs.”

Baldwin went on a Twitter rant after that arrest, posting the arresting officer’s name and badge number. The actor tweeted that he was taken into custody while “photographers outside my home ONCE AGAIN terrified my daughter and nearly hit her with a camera. The police did nothing.”

He then added, “New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign.”

Baldwin has also had several other run-ins with the general public that did not involve law enforcement.

ALEC BALDWIN CALLS FOR ‘OVERTHROW’ OF TRUMP AT DEM FUNDRAISER

In 2011, the former “30 Rock” star was removed from a flight after refusing to stop playing the game “Words With Friends” on his phone.

In 2012, he was accused by a photographer of getting aggressive with him on a New York City street, and in 2013 another photographer filed a harassment claim against Baldwin.

The prickly man about town had been laying relatively low recently when it came to street scuffles, making more headlines for his frequent attacks on President Trump and his popular parody of the president on “Saturday Night Live.”

Fox News’ Tamara Gitt and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Grim details in case of Colorado man who killed family revealed in new report

Grim details in the case of a Colorado man who killed his pregnant wife and two young children emerged this week courtesy of a nearly 2,000-page case file released by the Weld County District Attorney’s Office.

The file, obtained by The Denver Post, was released just days after Chris Watts was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the murders.

Shanann Watts’ mother instantly suspected that her son-in-law participated in the disappearances of her daughter and granddaughters. Sandra Rzucek called law enforcement one day after the family was reported missing, telling police that he was acting bizarrely and that she was suspicious.

“She stated that Christopher is acting, ‘Weird,’ and out of the ordinary. She said that Christopher is telling people, ‘He has to go to work,’ and that just doesn’t seem right. She felt that he is going out to pour oil on the bodies to dispose of them somewhere,” a Frederick Police Department supplemental report stated, according to The Post.

Watts, who strangled his wife and smothered his daughters, ages 3 and 4, deposited their bodies in August in a Weld County oil field. He was having an extramarital affair at the time of the murders, providing a possible motive.

Text messages in the documents released detailed a crumbling marriage prior to Shanann’s disappearance.

“Chris told me last night he’s scared to death about this third baby and he’s happy with just Bella and Celeste and doesn’t want another baby,” Shanann texted a friend. “He said we’re not compatible anymore. He refused to hug me after he said he will try to ‘work it out.'”

A gender reveal party planned for their unborn son was also reportedly scrapped, with Shanann telling a friend that Chris “said he had a lot of time to think” about their relationship.

Shanann Watts was 15 weeks pregnant when her body was found on the property of an oil driller where her husband once worked. The bodies of their daughters were discovered in oil and gas tanks nearby.

Jurors in slain NYC jogger case wanted more time to deliberate

This Queens judge apparently likes his jurors — and dry cleaning — to be hung.

Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise, who stunningly declared a jury deadlocked in the Karina Vetrano murder case after just one day of deliberations, took advantage Wednesday of the unexpected time off the quick-draw decision earned him by picking up his laundry.

The errand-run came as one of those jurors revealed to The Post that several members of the panel wanted to keep weighing the charges against Chanel Lewis — who is accused of sexually assaulting and strangling the 30-year-old Vetrano on a jogging path in 2016 — when the forewoman sent a note to Aloise saying they were at an impasse.

“We were all not in agreement to end it where it ended,” said the juror, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“Some of us wanted to think about it some more. That note was sent and people were not ready to end it there. People felt like there could have been more deliberations.”

Aloise wouldn’t say why he didn’t push the panel of 12 jurors to go back and deliberate further — which legal experts called a routine move.

The errand-run came as one of those jurors revealed to The Post that several members of the panel wanted to keep weighing the charges against Chanel Lewis — who is accused of sexually assaulting and strangling the 30-year-old Vetrano on a jogging path in 2016 — when the forewoman sent a note to Aloise saying they were at an impasse.

“We were all not in agreement to end it where it ended,” said the juror, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“Some of us wanted to think about it some more. That note was sent and people were not ready to end it there. People felt like there could have been more deliberations.”

Aloise wouldn’t say why he didn’t push the panel of 12 jurors to go back and deliberate further — which legal experts called a routine move.

“A lot of people were upset that the note was sent to the judge at the time. Some of us wanted to think about it some more. That note was sent and people were not ready to end it there. People felt like there could have been more deliberations — the same way that two people changed their mind after seeing the video,” the juror said.

“Some of us were shocked, too, like what the hell just happened? It was upsetting. I’m not going to say I wasted my time, but i just feel like it should have been more time,” the juror said.

“It was kind of traumatic for me because I feel it was like a tragedy and I really wanted to see justice.”

Veteran lawyers, too, were floored that Aloise, who’s been a judge since 1999, didn’t send them back to deliberate.

“I have never seen [a mistrial] happen without an Allen charge. Never. The Allen charges normally work,” said defense attorney Sally Butler, a prosecutor in Queens for 15 years.

“Whenever you get that note, that’s the first thing the judge does. There was something definitely up.”

Civil rights lawyer Ron Kuby agreed that the outcome was “unheard of” given the short length of deliberations. “The first deadlock note, in my experience, never hangs the jury unless there is physical violence [among jurors] or other extraneous reasons,” Kuby said.

The panel had deliberated just one hour on Monday and 12 on Tuesday — after hearing a mountain of evidence against Lewis.

Click for more from The New York Post

LA prosecutor declines felony case against Michael Avenatti

Michael Avenatti won’t face felony charges following claims that he physically abused his girlfriend, Los Angeles prosecutors announced Wednesday afternoon.

“A case presented today by #LosAngeles police involving attorney Michael Avenatti has been referred to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for misdemeanor filing consideration,” the Los Angeles district attorney tweeted.

Avenatti is best known as the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels, who says she was paid to keep quiet about an affair with Donald Trump years before he became president. The lawyer was arrested on a felony domestic violence charge last week. Actress Mareli Miniutti says in court papers that Avenatti dragged her by the arm across the floor of his Los Angeles apartment after an argument.

Miniutti, 24, said she and Avenatti, 47, dated from October 2017 to Nov. 13 of this year, the night Avenatti allegedly hit her in the face with pillows and followed her into a guest bedroom where she went to sleep alone, The New York Times reported.

Miniutti said they had an argument about money in his Los Angeles apartment.

“He dragged me on the floor of the apartment towards and out of the door into the public hallway,” she wrote in the declaration. “I was wearing only my underwear and a T-shirt at the time, and suffered scratches to the bare skin on my side and leg.”

Avenatti, who had called the allegations “completely false” and a fabrication, said in a statement he was thankful the district attorney had not taken up the charges.

“This Thanksgiving,” he said, “I am especially grateful for justice.”

His client Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had an affair with Trump in 2006, and with Avenatti representing her, she has sued to invalidate the confidentiality agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election. She also sued Trump and his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, alleging defamation.

Avenatti has become a very public figure in his defense of Daniels and has floated the idea of running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Fox News’ Elizabeth Zwirz, Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NYC jogger Karina Vetrano murder case declared mistrial by judge

A mistrial was declared Tuesday night in the trial of a man accused of beating and strangling a woman who was jogging in New York City more than two years ago.

Chanel Lewis, 22, pleaded not guilty to murder and sexual abuse charges in the death of Karina Vetrano, 30.

GRUESOME DETAILS OF NEW YORK CITY JOGGER’S MURDER REVEALED AT ACCUSED KILLER’S TRIAL

The woman was jogging in Howard Beach, Queens in August 2016 when she was attacked “until she could not struggle anymore.” Prosecutors said her body was left naked in a weed-covered patch of land before her attacker robbed her and fled the scene.

A judge on Tuesday declared a mistrial in Lewis’ case after the jury could not agree on a verdict following a two-week trial, the New York Post reported.

“After deliberating for the entire day we are split. It doesn’t seem like we can make progress,” the jury wrote in a note to the judge Tuesday. “We feel that we have exhausted all of our options.”

Lewis’ attorney reportedly moved for a mistrial, which the judge granted. Prosecutors said they plan to move to retry Lewis in court. The suspect is due back in court Jan. 22.

Authorities arrested Lewis in February 2017 after his DNA matched samples from the murder scene, officials said. He admitted to the murder in a taped confession, but Lewis’ lawyers said the statement was coerced.

FLASHBACK: MAN INDICTED IN RAPE AND MURDER OF NYC JOGGER KARINA VETRANO

In his closing statement on Monday, Queens Assistant District Attorney Brad Leventhal described to the jury Vetrano’s ordeal.

“[Lewis] went to the park — Spring Creek Park. It was that fateful day that he came across Karina Vetrano jogging,” Leventhal said, according to the Post. “He was angry, he was mad, and he took out his anger on Karina Vetrano, grabbing her, beating her, throwing her to the ground and strangling her until she was dead — his words.”

Leventhal added there was strong evidence linking Lewis to the case, alleging he is “the man whose hands were wrapped around [Karina Vetrano’s] neck, squeezing her neck, squeezing her throat, choking the life out of her body. He absolutely left something at the crime scene — his genetic fingerprint.”

Lewis, if found guilty, faced up to life in prison.

Fox News’ Katherine Lam contributed to this report.

Groundskeeper in Bayer in U.S. weed-killer case accepts reduced award

The school groundskeeper who won a jury trial against Bayer AG’s Monsanto unit over allegations that the company’s glyphosate-containing weed-killers caused his cancer, accepted a court-mandated reduced punitive damages award on Wednesday.


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Saudi prosecutor discusses Khashoggi case with Turkish intelligence: Demiroren agency

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor held talks overnight with Turkish intelligence officials over the investigation into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Demiroren news agency said.


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