An Indiana woman has been charged with murder after allegedly drowning her young grandson because he would be “better off in heaven,” according to authorities.
The Howard County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday charged Helen Martin, 56, with murder and neglect of a dependent resulting in death, WTHR reports. Officers with the Kokomo Police Department took the grandmother into custody on Saturday after responding to a report at a private residence of an individual who was unconscious.
Upon their arrival, police found Martin’s unresponsive 4-year-old grandson being treated by first responders, according to another WTHR report. He later died after being taken to the Community Howard Regional Health Hospital.
Martin’s husband Brian Martin told police upon their arrival that his wife had drowned the child, and Helen allegedly admitted that she’d held the boy’s head underneath the water while giving him a bath, WTHR reports.
During an interview with police, Helen Martin said she made the decision to bathe the child while her husband was out running errands, according to court documents obtained by FOX59. She then got into the bath with the child and his toys, while still wearing clothes, and allegedly held his head underwater until he drowned. Afterward, she changed clothes, placing her wet clothes in a laundry hamper. When Brian Martin returned, he was the one to pull the child out of the bath.
Brian Martin told police that his wife had called him and told him what she’d done, court documents state, but Helen Martin told authorities that she didn’t remember making such a call, according to an affidavit obtained by the Kokomo Tribune. During an interview with investigators, she was asked why she drowned the child, and she is alleged to have said that “she believed that she had been so depressed recently that she thought he would be better off in heaven than to be with her,” according to court documents..
She also told police that she suffered from gaps in her memory due to PTSD from “past abusive marriage, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder,” FOX59 reports.
Brian and Helen Martin were the legal guardians of the child; he was their daughter’s son, and was born addicted to heroin, according to WTHR.
Martin made her first court appearance on Thursday morning, online records show. She is scheduled to next appear in court for a pretrial conference on July 9.
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DOJ, IRS Investigating Crypto Exchange Binance
Binance Holdings Ltd. is facing a federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
Officials specializing in tax and money-laundering investigations are probing the world’s largest crypto exchange, according to the report.
Binance operates a sprawling global empire of crypto trading, including derivatives, which are essentially barred from the U.S. market. The Binance brand has attempted to project itself as above-board through recent regulatory hires including former U.S. senator Max Baucus. Former banking regulator Brian Brooks was installed as CEO of Binance’s U.S. affiliate last month.
“We take our legal obligations very seriously and engage with regulators and law enforcement in a collaborative fashion,” a Binance spokesperson said in a statement. “We have worked hard to build a robust compliance program that incorporates anti-money laundering principles and tools used by financial institutions to detect and address suspicious activity.”
She declined to comment on the reported investigation.
Binance CEO “CZ” Changpeng Zhao commented on the Bloomberg article in a tweet:
The CDC director just gave us a dark coronavirus warning
The latest coronavirus update for the US through mid-morning on Thursday shows that, according to the latest data collected by the team at Johns Hopkins University, more than 28.7 million coronavirus cases have been reported in the US since the start of the pandemic. Additionally, the coronavirus death toll in the US was approaching 519,000 as of the time of this writing.
Nevertheless, two states created an uproar this week when both states (Texas and Mississippi) announced their decision to pull back restrictions and mandates imposed during the pandemic, like max capacity requirements for businesses and statewide face mask rules. President Biden criticized these moves as the product of “Neanderthal thinking,” while CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky actually went farther than that — warning during a White House press briefing this week that the US could lose all of the progress made thus far as a result of the spread of more transmissible coronavirus variants. Spread that would be helped even more by states like these and others that join them pulling back on their coronavirus-related public safety measures too soon.
“Please hear me clearly,” Dr. Walensky said. “At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. These variants are a very real threat to our people and to our progress. Now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know could stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, not when we are so close.”
While there has been a degree of promising news coverage in recent days and weeks, make no mistake: We’re still very much in the middle of a dangerous pandemic. COVID-19 cases, as well as related deaths, are up about 2% compared to last week — and we’re now averaging around 67,000 coronavirus cases per day, along with some 2,000 deaths each day.
Along these lines, and related to the Texas and Mississippi news, former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb had an important insight to share in a CNBC interview this week — namely, that governments and public health experts need to start talking to people about the end of the pandemic and how we get there. Else, we’ll see more people go down this same road, either by feeling like things are hopeless or prematurely easing up on safety measures. “If we continue to be very prescriptive and not give people a realistic vision for a better future, they’re going to start to ignore the public health guidance,” Gottlieb said.
Walensky continued her remarks by noting that an average of less than 70,000 coronavirus cases a day seems good compared to where we were a few months ago. But we “cannot be resigned” to that.
“Please stay strong in your conviction, continue wearing your well-fitted mask and taking the other public health prevention actions that we know work,” she said. “Ultimately, vaccination is what will bring us out of this pandemic. To get there, we need to vaccinate many more people.”
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