Dad obsessed with toilet training kills daughter

2-year-old girl's body hasn't been found

DETROIT: A Detroit man was so obsessed over toilet training that he fatally beat his 2-year-old daughter for having an accident, a prosecutor said Wednesday in an opening statement to jurors at the man's first-degree murder trial.

D'Andre Lane also is charged with child abuse in the Dec. 2 disappearance of Bianca Jones, whose body has never been found. Lane told police the toddler was abducted during a carjacking. The car was found less than an hour later, but the girl wasn't in it.

Lane, who has fathered seven children with seven women, is accused of beating Bianca to death with a stick with a towel wrapped in duct tape, and disposing of her body. Lane told officers during questioning that he had spanked the child for wetting herself.

"He believed that if 2-year-olds had accidents they should be physically punished," Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Carin Goldfarb told jurors. "The defendant staged a carjacking to cover up the death of his baby."

Lane put the child's body in the car the next day as he was going to take an older daughter and a nephew to school, Goldfarb said.

Defense attorney Terry Johnson has said prosecutors have no evidence against Lane and their "case is based on the argument that he spanked her."

Johnson told the jury there was no evidence of physical harm and that while Lane may have hit the girl with a stick, it had a protective cover to prevent harm. Johnson also said Lane was distraught at the disappearance of his daughter and cooperated with police.

"They want to paint him as the embodiment of evil," said Johnson.

The defense lawyer told jurors that prosecutors are asking them to take a "leap of faith" and convict Lane.

"I don't want you to take a leap of faith; I want you to walk through the evidence step by step," Johnson said. (AP)

Helicopter used for an invitation to school dance

US: After a government helicopter was used in an over-the-top invitation to a high school dance, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are reviewing the incident and an agency pilot has been reassigned.

It happened last week at Patriot High School in Nokesville, a suburb of Washington, D.C. As part of an invitation to a fall dance, a student arranged for a Customs pilot to fly over the school and drop a stuffed teddy bear onto the football field.

The agency said Tuesday it is reviewing the incident and the pilot has been reassigned to administrative duties for now.

Neither school administrators nor officials at the federal agency would say how the student and pilot were connected.

It was not clear whether the student who received the bear accepted the invitation. (AP)

Mum shakes toddler and causes severe brain injuries

MONTANA: A 21-year-old Great Falls woman faces charges for allegedly shaking her infant daughter, causing life-threatening brain injuries.

The Great Falls Tribune reports 21-year-old Jasmine Nichole Eskew was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault and criminal endangerment after police say she acknowledged shaking her 6-month-old daughter Tuesday.

Police were called to an emergency room after the baby was brought in with bleeding in her brain. The child was flown to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Wash., for treatment.

Court records say Eskew told police the baby was crying in her crib and she picked her up and shook her.

Medical personnel at Sacred Heart told detectives the infant's injuries were life-threatening and likely disabling.

Eskew made an initial court appearance Wednesday. Her bond was set at $100,000. (AP)

Riders stuck 300 feet high after ride malfunction

US:
The Windseeker attraction at Southern California's Knott's Berry Farm has broken down, leaving about 20 riders who expected a three-minute thrill dangling 300 feet over the amusement park for nearly two hours.

Buena Park police say the ride, which lifts fun-seekers high over the park with their legs dangling and spins them in a circle, broke down at about 4:45 p.m. Wednesday. No one was injured and there is no indication they are in any danger, but TV news helicopters showed the riders still stuck at 6:40 p.m.

The park website says the ride holds 64, but most of the seats are empty. Riders sat calmly as they waited to be brought down, some casually swinging their legs.

The ride also left people stuck in the air on Sept. 7. (AP)

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