Father, son accused of killing their neighbor over dispute about a box spring
According to police, on September 1, John Miller, 67, and his son Michael Miller, 31, got into a confrontation with their neighbor over a box spring mattress in a shared alleyway.
The argument escalated, and both father and son discharged a handgun and a shotgun, respectively, killing 37-year-old Aaron Howard, police said.
In a press conference the day of the shooting, Abilene police Chief Stan Standridge said the Millers had been arrested on murder charges.
They both immediately bonded out on initial bonds set at $25,000 each, according to an updated statement from Standridge released Friday, "a great concern to both myself and our community."
The Millers were taken into custody again Friday afternoon after a court reviewed their bonds and raised them to $250,000 each, Standridge's statement said.
Reached by CNN on Friday, Michael Miller declined to comment. When asked if he had an attorney, he said, "We have an attorney, but I'd rather not divulge his name at this time."
"We have not entered a plea, and I don't want to say anything else," he added.
Online jail records Friday said the Millers faced charges of first-degree murder. The Taylor County Criminal Court clerk told CNN on Friday they had not been formally charged.
'You just pulled a gun in front of my kids'
Howard's common-law wife, Kara Box, filmed the incident on her phone and released the footage to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper. CNN has reached out to Box for comment but has not heard back.
When the video begins, John and Michael Miller are standing by what looks to be a box spring mattress. The father holds a handgun in his right hand, while his son stands behind him, with a shotgun over his shoulder.
"Oh yeah, you're going to jail," Howard tells them, before walking toward the elder Miller.
"I'm right (expletive) here," he says.
"Back off," John Miller says. "If you come closer to me, I'm going to kill you."
"You pulled a gun in front of my kids over a (expletive) mattress," Howard says. He also repeatedly threatens to kill the Millers, according to the video.
The confrontation escalates as both sides let loose profanities and threats. Police have said at some point someone went inside Howard's home and brought out a baseball bat.
"If you come within 3 foot of me, I'm going to kill you," John Miller tells Howard.
"You're not going to shoot my husband," Box says.
"Come on, shoot me. You're dead. Point it," Howard says, before two gunshots ring out. After a brief moment, more gunshots can be heard.
Box cries, "Aaron? Aaron!" and runs toward Howard, who's lying on the ground.
Howard died of at least two gunshot wounds, according to police.
Suspects admitted to shooting, police say
Both John and Michael Miller admitted to shooting Howard, Standridge said in his Friday statement, which was posted on Facebook.
"When the first shots were fired," the statement said, "Aaron had a bat in his hand and was approximately seven feet from John Miller, who was closest to him. When Michael Miller discharged his shotgun and John Miller fired the final two rounds from his pistol, Aaron Howard was unarmed."
Based on Box's footage and interviews with the suspects, the statement said a detective determined the Millers were "tired of their neighbor, Aaron Howard, acting out and yelling and threatening them verbally," prompting them to bring out their firearms."
"As soon as (Howard) raised the bat while approximately seven or more feet away from John, John shot him," the statement said.
McDonald's gives pranksters $50,000 after they hung a fake ad to make a point about representation
Jevh Maravilla, the college student who faked a promotional poster and hung it up at the fast-food restaurant in Pearland, Texas, along with his friend, Christian Toledo, were invited earlier this week to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
And of course, Ellen being Ellen, she surprised them with a check for $25,000 each -- courtesy of McDonald's.
Inspired by the amount of Asian diversity in the film "Crazy Rich Asians," the two friends spent a month and about $100 to create the poster.
"We wanted to be Crazy Middle Class (Asians)," Toledo told DeGeneres.
They became a social media sensation after Maravilla shared his mischievous antics with the world 51 days after he hung the poster, as he was surprised the local chain never bothered to remove it.
The money is part of an upcoming McDonald's campaign in which both Maravilla and Toledo will be featured, DeGeneres said.
"McDonald's loves customers like you. They are committed to diversity and want to represent all their customers, so they are going to use the two of you in a marketing campaign," said DeGeneres.
"Since you're in a campaign, they need to pay you, right? So you're each getting a check for $25,000."
The two friends couldn't believe their eyes and kept asking DeGeneres whether it was true.
CNN has reached out to Maravilla and McDonald's for further comment.
Flooding is sending unheard amounts of water through the Carolinas
He and his wife have seen floodwater rush in and damage his home for 22 years -- but this time feels different. They've been moving many of their belongings to the attic, hoping the water won't rise higher than their house in Horry County, South Carolina.
"This is going to be a lot worse," Fraboni told CNN affiliate WBTW.
A week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, the trillions of gallons of water it dumped over the Carolinas are slowly moving toward the sea and leaving a path of destruction behind. Residential streets have turned into rivers and freeways have morphed into waterways.
In North Carolina, flooded rivers have left thousands of evacuees still living in shelters and hundreds of roads underwater. The water has receded in some places but as it moves downstream, officials say, thousands of people could be in danger until next week.
"Flooding in North Carolina is sending unheard amounts of water into South Carolina along the Lynches, Great Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee and Waccamaw rivers," South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said in a letter requesting federal aid on Thursday.
"The damage in the northeastern part of our state will be catastrophic, surpassing anything recorded in modern history," he added.
In a Friday news conference, McMaster said the state's resources and personnel had shifted to the Pee Dee region.
"Because again, although the winds are gone and the rain's not falling, the water's still there and the worst is yet to come in the Pee Dee," he said.
McMaster estimates the storm recovery will cost about $1.2 billion, according to the letter he sent to the state's congressional delegation.
Death toll rises
Friday, the total death toll from Florence rose to 44 after two additional deaths were confirmed in Virginia, bringing the number of lives lost in that state to three, and North Carolina's governor said there was one more death in his state.
In Virginia, one person died in flooding and another died in a motor vehicle accident, according to Jeff Caldwell, spokesman for the Virginia Office of Emergency Management.
The office had previously reported one person was killed during a tornado that was part of the Florence storm system.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday there were 32 storm-related deaths statewide. The latest death was that of a 46-year-old man in Brunswick County who died when a tree he was cutting fell on him, the governor said.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety says the statewide death toll is nine. An 81-year-old man who was found dead inside a car in Dillon County after it was swept away by water, was among the victims in South Carolina, the department tweeted on Thursday.
Authorities are also investigating the deaths of two mental health patients in Horry County. The women, Windy Newton, 45, and Nicolette Green, 43, drowned Tuesday in a prison transport van when sheriff's deputies couldn't open the doors of the vehicle, authorities said.
McMaster said Friday he had "contacted or attempted to speak personally with the families of everyone who we lost during this crisis, this tragedy," including the families of Newton and Green.
He warned South Carolinians not to drive over roads covered with water.
"You can never tell what lies under that water," he said. "The road may be there, it may not be there. Don't drive across it and if there is a barricade up, do not go around that barricade."
Half of South Carolina under flood threat
Authorities have said 23 out of the 46 counties in South Carolina could potentially be impacted by flooding. For many residents in those areas it's not the first time they have been hit by a disaster.
Residents are still recovering from the 2015 catastrophic floods in the Carolinas as well as from the widespread damage of Hurricane Matthew in 2016
In Conway, South Carolina, authorities said residents could see damage in homes that have not flooded before.
"We are worried right now that the water is gonna come up 4 feet higher than Hurricane Matthew levels, which were an all-time record and that's going to be pretty devastating," City Administrator Adam Emrick said.
"They need to be prepared no matter how the skies are looking like, the floods are coming. We know it's coming," he said.
Water was rising quickly Friday in the Sherwood area of Conway, fire and rescue teams told CNN's Nick Valencia.
President Donald Trump visited the area earlier this week after floodwaters had receded a bit. Now they're coming back "at least 3 inches an hour," one fire and rescue worker told Valencia. "In some places we measured we saw the water rise a foot. It's rising fast."
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division said in a release Friday a number of rivers -- the Waccamaw, Lynches, Little Pee Dee and Big Pee Dee -- are forecast to crest east of Interstate 95 this weekend and early next week.
Residents were warned the confluence of the Big Pee Dee and Little Pee Dee rivers -- where they merge -- could reach flood levels even greater than those seen during Hurricane Matthew.
Environmental concerns persist
Officials continue to be worried about contamination and environmental hazards resulting from the storm, including the potential impact of coal ash, an industrial waste created by coal-burning power plants that can carry health risks.
Flooding from the Cape Fear River caused breaches in a dam at a cooling lake at Duke Energy's LV Sutton Plant in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Friday, prompting the company to shut down the natural gas plant, Duke Energy said in a statement.
"Water is now exiting the cooling lake through breaches -- one large and several smaller -- on the southern end of the impoundment," the statement said.
It noted there are two coal ash basins on the site, but said there was "no visible ash in the cooling lake." A landfill containing disposed ash from the site "has not been affected by the cooling lake and repairs from the hurricane are underway," it added.
An earlier statement from Duke Energy explained the LV Sutton coal power plant was retired in 2013, and today the plant operates as a natural gas plant.
Santee Cooper, a South Carolina electric utility, is installing inflatable dams around a coal ash pond at the former Grainger Generating Station in Conway as the Waccamaw River rises, the company said.
The dam will provide support to the dike around a pond "where most of the ash still onsite remains," Santee Cooper said in a statement Thursday.
The company noted it has been excavating the plant's ash ponds since 2014, and has removed about 90% of it.
"The National Guard is on standby if that's not big enough," Emrick said of the dam. "We want to make sure the coal ash doesn't get into the river."
A 1,000-year rain event -- really
North Carolina's governor called Florence a "1,000-year rain event" for the southeastern parts of the state, and analysis by the National Weather Service has confirmed it wasn't just a figure of speech.
The NWS tweeted that "3-day rainfall amounts exceeded the 0.1% probability event expected in given year" -- meaning, yes, the storm was actually a 1,000-year rain event.
As CNN meteorologist Tom Sater explained in 2015 (during another 1,000-year flooding event in South Carolina), this doesn't mean the last time this much rain fell on the area was 1,000 years ago, or that the next time will be 1,000 years from now.
A 1,000-year event actually means there was only a 1/1,000 chance that this much rain would fall over 3 days in a year.
Boy prays for floods to spare his school
A young boy turned to prayer when he learned that even more flooding is headed to the Carolinas.
Five-year-old Carter, who goes to kindergarten at Conway Elementary School, was wondering why he hasn't been to school for the past week.
His dad, Brad Whiteis, told him about Hurricane Florence and explained to Carter the possibility of flooding in the coming days.
When the boy heard that his school could get flooded, he asked his dad whether they could go to his school to pray for it not to flood.
"I wish my faith was always that strong," Whiteis wrote in a Facebook post about the photo.
A 3-day-old and 2 other infants were stabbed at a New York day care center, police say
The victims -- two girls and a boy, plus two adults -- were in critical but stable condition Friday at local hospitals, New York police said.
The babies range in age from 3 days to 1 month, New York police Assistant Chief Juanita Holmes told reporters Friday.
The facility was used mostly by Chinese women who give birth and stay there before returning to China, a law enforcement source tells CNN.
Neighbors say it was frequented mostly by Chinese parents, but Koreans and Africans were also seen there.
Nine babies, along with some of their parents, had been in the center during the attack, Holmes said.
"There was one child with more serious injuries than the other two," Holmes said. "At one point, we thought she might have been likely (to die), but, thank God, she was upgraded."
The father of one injured child and a woman who works at the Queens day care were also attacked, according to police. The man was stabbed in the leg, and the woman was stabbed repeatedly in the torso, Holmes said.
The suspect, a 52-year-old woman employed at the center, was taken to a hospital after slashing her wrist, police said. She is in custody.
Two knives were recovered, police said.
The motive in the 3:45 a.m. attack was unclear, police spokesman Lt. Thomas Antonetti said.
The red brick, multifamily house on a tree-lined street in the Flushing area of Queens appeared to be used as a day care center, though state officials said it was not licensed.
"We have seen some paperwork indicating that it is a day care," Holmes said, adding the documents "indicated that they were a nursery."
Part of building served as "living quarters," she said.
But the site is not listed as the location of a licensed or regulated child care program with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, agency spokeswoman Monica Mahaffey said in a statement.
"OCFS is saddened by this horrific situation and investigating it as a possible illegal operation," she said.
State-regulated child care programs are prohibited from caring for infants younger than than 6 weeks old unless they receive prior approval from OCFS, the statement said.
"Any request must include physician medical approval and detail the extenuating circumstances necessitating such a request," the statement said.
The city's Buildings Department had received several complaints against the property, including the possibility that it was being illegally used as a hotel, records show. Department inspectors were unable to gain access to the home on several occasions.
The city had received a complaint in 2011 of "screaming children" at the residence, Holmes said, noting that the call came to a city hotline.
Of the children present during Friday's assault, five were girls and four were boys, she said.