A Scottish man’s 10-year jail term for a bizarre killing has been cut by two years on appeal.
Colin McFarlane, 50, and Mark Gallagher, 37, had struck a deal to end a feud after Mr Gallagher appeared in court charged with stabbing McFarlane’s son.
The men met behind the pavilion of a park in Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, and Mr Gallagher expected “a wee stab” to the leg in return for the son not identifying him when the case went to court.
Dad-of-two Mr Gallagher told his girlfriend: “I’ll just get a wee stab and that will be that.”
McFarlane said: “I’m going to do to you what you did to my boy.”
However, he twice plunged a knife deep into Mr Gallagher’s right buttock, and severed a major vein and an artery. Mr Gallagher bled to death.
McFarlane, of Tullichewan, Alexandria, admitted the culpable homicide of Mr Gallagher, of Rosshead, Alexandria, on 15 January, and was jailed for ten years, reduced from 12 years because he had pleaded guilty.
The Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh ruled that a greater discount should have been given for the early plea, and imposed a sentence of eight years.
A new drug causing bizarre and irrational behaviour has emerged in South Australia, and has led to the death of a man who killed himself by repeatedly running into trees and power poles.
The two drug types – known as 25B-NBOMe and 25I-NBOMe – were responsible for the death of a man in the Mid North in March, who died from injuries sustained after running into fixed objects, trees and power poles as a result of an overdose.
In the past 11 days, there were two non-fatal overdoses – also in the mid-north of the state – in young adults who were related to each other.
Drug Investigation Branch Acting Detective Superintendent Derryn Phillips said the relatively new drug was believed to be made in China and bought over the internet.
She said its long and short-term health issues, and its presence interstate, were unknown.
The drug is a derivative of potent hallucinogens, 2CB and 2CI, both banned substances in South Australia. They are marketed similar to LSD.
“The effects of these drugs causes bizarre and irrational behaviour, paranoia, fear and confusion. Other effects include increased body temperature, sweats and seizures,” she said.
“Overdose on these drugs is a reality… and can obviously result in dire consequences.”
Acting Det Supt Phillips said users of the drug were setting themselves up as guinea pigs and often tended to double dose or redose if the effects of the drug were not felt immediately.
She said there was nothing to suggest the drugs were isolated in the Mid North.
A woman who allegedly stabbed her boyfriend has offered a rather unique but bizarre excuse.
He stabbed himself in the chest as I held the knife — that is the remarkable “confession” of a young woman accused of plunging a knife into the chest of her boyfriend in their New York apartment last month.
“I grabbed a butter knife and told him not to touch me!” Latvian Yekatrina Pusepa told police in a statement released Thursday, as she pleaded not guilty to attempted murder.
Pusepa’s boyfriend, Alec Katzhelson, 22, was hospitalized with stab wounds to the chest after their feud.
Just two months prior to their bloody fight, Katzhelson had been charged with misdemeanor assault for an alleged coke-fueled fight in which he pushed Pusepa down a flight of stairs.
Coincidentally, Katzhelson had a court appearance on that alleged assault Thursday in the same building that Pusepa was arraigned.
Pusepa’s lawyer, Kevin O’Connell, hinted that he may pursue a self-defense strategy based on what he called the couple’s “volatile relationship.”
“I told him to get away from me. Then he started screaming that he hates me and wants to end his life,” she said of the fight, according to court statements. “The guy is suicidal. Then he grabbed my hand with the knife in it and stabbed himself in the chest and fell to the floor. It all happened so fast.”
Pusepa remains jailed in lieu of a $125,000 bail bond. She is back in court Aug. 1.
35-year-old Danielle Harkins convinced the Florida teens that they needed to rid their bodies of demons as the group gathered before dusk Saturday around a small fire near the St. Petersburg Pier.
She told them that they should cut their skin to let the evil spirits out, then, they needed to burn the wounds to ensure that those spirits would not return.
Some kids got cut, police said. Some kids got burned. Harkins got arrested.
Harkins, a literacy teacher at Lealman and Asian Neighborhood Family Center, was booked in jail Tuesday morning on child abuse charges in connection with the bizarre ritual. She was held in jail Tuesday night on $55,000 bail.
The ritual was attended by seven teenagers, all of Asian ethnic background, whom Harkins had taught a few years ago in her job at the center. At least two were injured, police said.
“Obviously, it’s very strange,” said St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz. “The motivations for the ritual are very unknown to us.”
None of the teens told their parents about the incident. Police investigated after one of the teens, a 16-year-old boy, sent a text message about the incident to a friend. The friend told the boy’s parents, who notified police.
In interviews with detectives, the teens were reluctant to talk about the ritual beyond the basic facts of what happened. They did reveal a few things.
When Harkins held a lighter to one teen’s hand, wind blew the flame out, police said. That prompted her to douse his hand in perfume before setting it on fire. The boy suffered second-degree burns, police said.
Another teen was cut on the neck with a broken bottle, police said. Harkins used a flame to heat a small key, which she then used to cauterize the wound.
Steven Chanthalima, 17, one of the teens who attended the gathering, declined Tuesday evening to discuss what happened.
“I’m okay,” he said. “I’m fine. All I know is she’s in custody.”
Harkins was suspended without pay from her job at the family center, where she has worked for about 41/2 years, said Carolyn Chance, the center’s administrator.
“We had no suspicion of any of this,” Chance said. “We do everything we can to know our employees.”
None of the teens was currently taking part in any of the center’s programs, Chance said. As a literacy specialist, Harkins taught reading and writing skills to the center’s clients.
Though the motives behind the ritual remain unclear, court records and those who know Harkins offer a few clues.
Harkins recently divorced her husband, George. They had two children, a 4-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son.
Records show that Harkins was the defendant in a sexual violence injunction that was dismissed in January. In August, she filed a domestic violence injunction against her husband, which was also dismissed.
The divorce was finalized June 1. About a month before, Harkins began acting strangely.
Lisa Cope, Harkins’ next-door neighbor for the past four years, said the last time she saw her, Harkins had taken an interest in extreme religious beliefs.
“She was my friend,” Cope said. “She cried on my shoulder when she and her husband were getting a divorce.”
Cope didn’t know what to make of her neighbor’s newfound religious interest.
“She told me I was okay,” Cope said. “She said I didn’t have any demons.”
In the past few days, Harkins disappeared. Cope picked up her mail. She phoned George Harkins and learned that the couple’s children were fine. On Tuesday, she saw the story on the news.
“I don’t know where she got the whole demon idea,” she said. “Who knows what makes people think those things?”
A very bizarre road rage incident took place near Crofton, Maryland on Monday afternoon.
Witnesses say a newly-wed couple in a Ford Explorer were playing around at a red light – getting out of their car, running around it and then getting back in.
The occupants of the car right next to them, a PT Cruiser, didn’t appreciate that, so they started making obscene gestures at the married couple. And that’s when things started getting ugly.
Rocky Coulter was driving nearby and says he saw the whole thing. “The Ford Explorer driver got out. He approached the PT Cruiser, the guy in the PT Cruiser opened the door, and reached out…and looked like he punched him,” Coulter says.
In fact, police say the driver of the Explorer had been stabbed.
According to Coulter, despite bleeding profusely from the stab wound, the driver of the Explorer got back into his car and, when he caught up to the PT Cruiser about a minute later on Route 3, started ramming the car from behind, sending the PT Cruiser into a ditch. And that’s when things started getting really ugly again.
“The driver of the Explorer and the guy who stabbed him got out of the cars first. And the guy that did the stabbing approached the other guy and tried to fight him. And the guy that got stabbed just hit him and it just knocked him out for like a minute, he was down on the ground,” Coulter says.
Both drivers were taken to the hospital with what are described as non-life threatening injuries. Police says the driver of the PT Cruiser will be arrested once he’s released from the hospital.