NEWS BRIEFS

Garden City Telegram

NYC judge denies Ghislaine Maxwell’s second bid for bail

NEW YORK - Ghislaine Maxwell must remain behind bars while awaiting trial for grooming victims of Jeffrey Epstein, a judge ruled Monday, denying Maxwell’s second attempt at bail.

Judge Alison Nathan rejected Maxwell’s proposal she be released into home confinement on a $28.5 million bail package secured by her friends, family and husband.

“The Court concludes that the Government has met its burden of persuasion that the Defendant poses a flight risk and that pre-trial detention continues to be warranted,” Nathan wrote.

The reasons for the Manhattan federal court ruling were largely the same as one Nathan issued in July when denying Maxwell’s first bid for bail.

“The defendant’s proposed bail conditions would not reasonably assure her appearance at future proceedings,” Nathan wrote.

The judge’s full decision was filed under seal because it contained private information about Maxwell. The ruling will be made public by Wednesday, after Maxwell’s defense team and prosecutors agree on redactions.

Maxwell’s legal team had vowed she is eager to prove her innocence in court and that she would never flee the country, leaving those closest to her holding the bill for her jumping bail.

But prosecutors argued Maxwell wasn’t being forthcoming with the court and could not be trusted. The British socialite repeatedly lied about her marriage and funneled millions to her hubby while hiding from law enforcement, the feds wrote.

Maxwell insisted that her marriage was genuine and that she’d only considered divorce to protect her husband from her awful reputation.

The name of Maxwell’s spouse is redacted from public documents, but he’s widely reported to be maritime expert and investor Scott Borgerson.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to finding and grooming victims of Epstein’s sex trafficking scheme in the mid-1990s. - New York Daily News

Tennessee man charged after driving white box truck playing similar audio as Nashville bomber

A man who played “similar” audio outside a Tennessee church as the Nashville suicide bomber on Christmas Day has been arrested, local police announced Sunday night.

James Turgeon, 33, drew fears of a copycat Sunday when he parked a white box truck outside Kings Chapel Independent Missionary Baptist Church and convenience store playing similar recordings to those played by Anthony Warner, who allegedly blew his RV up in downtown Nashville.

The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office began receiving 911 calls around 10:30 a.m. Sunday about the truck and caught up to Turgeon during a traffic stop in Wilson County.

Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Special Operations Unit used a robot to sniff for explosives on the truck, but none were found, according to the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.

Turgeon has been charged with two counts of felony filing a false report and one count of tampering with evidence and is being held on $500,000 bond at Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.

A computerized voice, seemingly coming from Warner’s RV, warned Nashville residents on Christmas Day to “evacuate now” before the camper detonated around 6:30 a.m. Petula Clark’s 1964 single “Downtown” was also playing from the speakers, according to Nashville police.

Three people were injured in the blast and Warner was killed. -  New York Daily News

US airport travelers set COVID pandemic high after Christmas despite surging cases

The number of air travelers in the United States soared to a pandemic high on Sunday despite the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases.

A whopping 1,284,599 travelers were recorded at checkpoints by the Travel Security Administration on Sunday, marking the largest single-day total since mid-March, when the number of fliers greatly declined due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Sunday’s large number of airport visitors came two days after Christmas. Ahead of the holidays, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that traveling “can increase the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.”

“Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others,” the CDC advised on a holiday guidelines page on its website.

The number of people recorded at T.S.A. checkpoints plummeted toward the beginning of the pandemic, with the total frequently dipping below 100,000 air travelers during April, according to data released by the administration.

Those numbers have increased in the months since, however. Multiple days around Thanksgiving saw more than 1 million people at airport checkpoints in the U.S.

Every day between Dec. 18 and Dec. 23, meanwhile, saw more than 950,000 air travelers at U.S. checkpoints, while 1,128,773 people were recorded on Dec. 26.

The U.S. has recorded more deaths from COVID-19 in December than in any month, with more than 63,000, according to CNN.

Overall, there have been more than 19 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and more than 333,000 deaths, in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic, according to data tracked by John Hopkins University. Both totals are the most of any country. - New York Daily News