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Former Prisoner Now Pastor Forgives and Asks God to Bless His Son’s Killer

Nelson Vargas’ father was an abusive man. He beat Nelson and his seven brothers and sisters. When Nelson was 13 years old, his father threw him out on the street.

The young teenager slept in cars and wherever he could find a place. The need to have a family led him into gangs and eventually into selling drugs. He ended up in prison for 7 years, but that didn’t keep him clean. When he got out, he picked up where he left off.

One night he met a girl in a club — the daughter of a strong Christian woman. When he went to meet his new girlfriend’s mother at her church, he also met Jesus. Years later, he would lean hard on the Lord when his son was killed, praying for his son’s killer to meet the Lord, too. That prayer was answered — with an unusual request.

Carlos’ Story

Carlos Colon was raised in Chicago, along with two half-brothers, by a single mom. Like Nelson, he was involved in a gang and drugs, which eventually led to prison for him as well. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a gang retaliation murder.

Ten years into his sentence, he found Jesus. “After I turned my life over to the Lord, I prayed on it, and I said, ‘Lord, I would love for you to restore that which the enemy has broken,’” said Carlos. “I wanted forgiveness.” He began to pray for an opportunity to meet the family of the man he killed so he could ask for their forgiveness.

“Of course, I had a big example of what it was to be forgiven because of what Christ did for us. I know my sins placed Him on the cross. And yet, I was still asking God, ‘I would love to reach out, I would love for You to make this possible where I could meet [the victim’s family].’”

Radical Time Out (RTO)

Shortly after leaving prison, Carlos began attending RTO, or Radical Time Out, a group that ministers to people who have been in prison and their families. He’d heard about a man who had given his testimony and asked about him. “Is his name Nelson Vargas?” He asked a friend. “Yes,” said the friend. “How did you know?” Carlos knew then that the man who gave the testimony was the father of the man he’d killed.

Carlos asked the ministry coordinator for RTO, Nephtali Matta, to set up a meeting between the men. Nephtali suggested that he and Carlos approach Nelson carefully. “He said … ‘Let’s see what God does. I’m going to set up a meeting with him and if the Lord wills it, I will ask him. I will mention you to him and tell him that you’re a part of RTO.’”

Who Am I Not to Forgive?

It wasn’t easy for Nelson. But after he thought about it, he explained to his wife that “’I’m coming from the same lifestyle, the same environment, and God forgave me. And I said then, ‘Who am I not to forgive?’”

The day the two men met Nelson was shaking and sweaty, the reality of meeting the man who killed his son hit him hard. Carlos drove around the church, scared of meeting Nelson, too. But they met in a small room upstairs. Nelson’s wife embraced Carlos, who cried and asked for her forgiveness. Then Nelson’s oldest son hugged Carlos. When Carlos asked Nelson for a hug, Nelson embraced him, telling Carlos that the man who killed his son was now his own son.

But the miracle of forgiveness didn’t stop there. Nelson began praying for Carlos and asked God to bless Carlos’ family, marriage and his children. Then Nelson put his hand on Carlos’ shoulder and began to pray over him. When finished, he blessed him, saying “May the peace of God be upon you, and His face … shine upon you in the name of Jesus Christ … and I accept your apology.”

The men shared hugs and tears. Their meeting in itself a testament to the power of God in the lives of His children. Watch the video of the meeting below.

(For more from the author of “Former Prisoner Now Pastor Forgives and Asks God to Bless His Son’s Killer” please click HERE)

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Jury Recommends Death Penalty for Charleston Killer Dylann Roof

A 12-person jury Tuesday recommended Dylan Roof receive the death penalty for the massacre of nine Charleston, S.C., churchgoers on June 17, 2015.

If Judge Richard Gergel follows through on their recommendation when formally issuing his sentence Wednesday morning, Roof will become the first person to face the death penalty for federal hate crimes.

The jury’s decision followed Roof’s December conviction on 33 charges related to the massacre at Emanuel AME Church, which included firearm crimes, religious obstruction crimes and hate crimes.

A 12-person jury Tuesday recommended Dylan Roof receive the death penalty for the massacre of nine Charleston, S.C., churchgoers on June 17, 2015.

If Judge Richard Gergel follows through on their recommendation when formally issuing his sentence Wednesday morning, Roof will become the first person to face the death penalty for federal hate crimes.

The jury’s decision followed Roof’s December conviction on 33 charges related to the massacre at Emanuel AME Church, which included firearm crimes, religious obstruction crimes and hate crimes.

An expressionless Roof listened to the sentence and reportedly smiled out of nervousness occasionally.

In remarks to the jury that lasted around five minutes prior to deliberation, the 22-year-old Roof represented himself in court and did not put on a defense or call witnesses.

Roof, dressed in a green sweater, denied having hatred toward black people, insisted his prejudice is rooted in “what black people do,” and disputed the government’s depiction of him as a man filled with hatred.

“Wouldn’t it be fair to say the prosecution hates me since they’re trying to give me the death penalty?” Roof asked, according to The State newspaper. “My point is, anyone who hates anything in their mind has a good reason for it.”

He spoke softly as he remorselessly told the courtroom that he felt obligated to commit the racially motivated mass shooting.

“I felt like I had to do it, and I still feel like I had to do it,” Roof said.

He avoiding talking about his crime and victims, but conceded his actions were attributed to mental illness.

“I think that it’s safe to say no one in their right mind wants to go in a church and kill people,” Roof said.

He explained that he had been told that he had the right to ask for a life sentence, but said, “I’m not sure what good that would do.”

“Anyone, including the prosecution, that thinks that I’m filled with hate has no idea what real hate is,” Roof said. “They don’t know anything about hate. They don’t know what real hatred looks like. They think they do. But they don’t, really.”

During the closing arguments of lead prosecuting attorney Jay Richardson, which lasted for two hours, he reiterated every detail of how Roof planned the massacre and underlined the damage he caused to the victims’ family members.

“We learned about the defendant’s cold and calculated choices that caused those losses to happen,” Richardson said. “His racist ideology, the acquiring of that ideology, that’s part of his preparation, that’s part of what led him to walk in that door at Mother Emanuel on June 17.”

Roof spent time on racist websites and even created his own to continue spreading “his message of hate, his message of revenge, his message of agitation,” Richardson said. “He spent years acquiring this deep hatred. He ‘had to do it.’ Those are the words of an extraordinary racist.”

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was the last person sent to federal death row, in 2015. (For more from the author of “Jury Recommends Death Penalty for Charleston Killer Dylann Roof” please click HERE)

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Horrific Details of Missing Alaska Teenager’s Death Revealed

A missing Alaskan teenager was allegedly beaten, kidnapped and was forced to walk into remote woods where he was shot dead execution style.

The horrific details of 16-year-old David Grunwald’s death were revealed after his remains were discovered in a remote location in Palmer, Alaska last Friday.

Erick Almandinger, also 16, has since been charged with his murder and kidnapping but he has denied pulling the trigger that killed him.

Grunwald was reported missing by his father on November 13 after he failed to return home. He had told his girlfriend he was going to see Almandinger after he dropped her at her house.

The teenager’s car, a 1994 Ford Bronco, was found burnt out a day after he was reported missing – about 20 miles away from his home, according to court documents seen by KTVA. (Read more from “Horrific Details of Missing Alaska Teenager’s Death Revealed” HERE)

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Man Wanted for Murder Caught in Spain Because of Tell-Tale Tattoo: ‘Thanks for Everything’

Late in October, police in Freyung, Germany, made a grisly discovery. The body of a 20-year-old woman named Lisa had been stuffed into trash bags and left in the apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Dominik and their 18-month-old son.

There were signs that her throat had been slit, but investigators couldn’t be certain how long her remains had been there – maybe three weeks, the BBC reports . . .

Spanish police tracked him down to the beach area of Catalonia and arrested him on Friday. On his upper arm was a horrifying tattoo with the dead woman’s name, birth date, possible death date of Oct. 27 and the line, “Gracias por todo” – “Thanks for everything.”

Spain’s National Police said in a statement, “Officers have rescued in perfect condition the couple’s 18-month-old baby with whom he fled after committing the murder.”

Dominik, whose last name has not been released by Spanish police, left an obvious trail of clues for investigators during his flight from justice. (Read more from “Man Wanted for Murder Caught in Spain Because of Tell-Tale Tattoo: ‘Thanks for Everything'” HERE)

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Murder-Suicide Stuns Students and Faculty at UCLA

Police have confirmed that a murder-suicide occurred when one man shot and killed another, then turned the gun on himself on the campus of UCLA Wednesday.

“It appears it is entirely contained,” said LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck during a press conference. “We believe there are no suspects outstanding and no continuing threat to the UCLA campus.”

Fox News reports the LAPD was on a citywide tactical alert following the shooting, which happened just after 10 a.m. The campus was placed on lockdown.

Beck said the shooting happened in a small office and both men were found dead at the scene. Students reported hearing loud noises and gun casings dropping, according to UCLA’s campus newspaper. The identities of the men have not yet been made public and their relationship to each other is thus far unknown.

A gun and what Beck said “could be” a suicide note were found at the scene.

With the realization that the shooter was dead and the campus was safe, the LAPD released the students from lockdown.

Students at nearby Fairburn Elementary School, Warner Elementary School and Emerson Community Charter Middle School had also been put on lockdown as a precautioniary measure due to police activity in the vicinity. Much like the UCLA students, they, too, were released from lockdown

The shooting occurred just two days before the final day of classes at the university. (For more from the author of “Murder-Suicide Stuns Students and Faculty at UCLA” please click HERE)

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Aspiring Campaign Worker’s Murder Leads to Retaliatory Killing in Philadelphia

elections-536656_960_720The execution-style killing of a Philadelphia man who was speaking to a political candidate about volunteering for his campaign led to a retaliatory shooting that left one teenager dead and another wounded, police said late Sunday.

“We do believe these are two rivaling factions,’ Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross told reporters. “What they’re fighting over we haven’t pinned that down right now, but we are not going to let this pass us by, by not assuming that it’s gang related because everything suggests that it is.”

The first shooting took place at around 3:30 p.m. in the Cedarbrook section of the city. Witnesses said the unidentified 21-year-old victim was talking with Chris Rabb, a Democratic candidate for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives when someone approached the victim from behind and shot him.

Chris Visco, Rabb’s campaign manager, told Philly.com the victim had told Rabb he was going to be a poll worker during Tuesday’s primary election, but also expressed interest in volunteering for Rabb’s campaign. Visco added the victim died with a piece of Rabb campaign literature in his hand.

“One of the people that was with (Rabb) handed him a piece of literature, took his phone number, and another young man came up behind him and shot him execution style in the head,” Visco told WPVI. (Read more from “Aspiring Campaign Worker’s Murder Leads to Retaliatory Killing in Philadelphia” HERE)

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Muslim Babysitter Decapitates Child, Parades Through Street With Little Girl’s Head [+video]

Horrific new details of how a nanny beheaded a four-year-old girl and paraded through the streets of Moscow with her severed head have been revealed.

The woman, dressed in a burka, threatened to blow herself up as she walked near Oktyabrskoye Pole metro station holding up the little girl’s head.

Investigators claim she murdered the girl, who is believed to have learning difficulties, after starting a fire at the child’s family home in a block of flats.

[Warning Extremely Graphic Video]

The nanny, Gyulchehra Bobokulova, 38, from Uzbekistan, has been arrested.

It is now known that the beheaded remains of the girl, identified as Anastasia (Nastya) Meshcheryakova, were discovered inside her cot. Her body had been dressed in her night clothes, consisting of a T-shirt and shorts. (Read more from “Muslim Babysitter Decapitates Child, Parades Through Street With Little Girl’s Head” HERE)

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Photo Credit: Dayton Daily News Archive

Ohio Pastor Shot and Killed During Sunday Service

Photo Credit: Dayton Daily News Archive An Ohio pastor with deep roots in the Dayton community was shot and killed at his church, and police have taken his brother into custody for the slaying.

Dayton police say 70-year-old William B. Schooler was shot around 12:30 p.m. Sunday while in his office at St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church.

According to CBS affiliate WHIO, witnesses said the shooting happened at the pulpit while the choir was singing. However, police have reported that Schooler was not in the pulpit when he was attacked.

His brother, 68-year-old Daniel Gregory Schooler, was in Montgomery County jail Sunday. Police Sgt. Richard Blommel says he’ll face a murder charge Monday.

WHIO reports that back in 2001, Daniel was charged with felonious assault with a firearm specification and carrying a concealed weapon, according to Montgomery County Common Pleas court records. (Read more from “Ohio Pastor Shot and Killed During Sunday Service” HERE)

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Woman Who Killed Her Baby Has Conviction Overturned, Court Says Six-Day-Old Baby Isn’t a Person

A New York court recently ruled that a Long Island woman who killed her baby in a car accident cannot be convicted because her baby was not a person yet.

The Times Union reports Jennifer Jorgensen previously was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter for causing the death of her baby daughter in a car crash. She also was indicted for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the report.

Jorgensen was in her third trimester when the car accident occurred in May 2008. Her daughter was delivered by C-section after the head-on collision and died six days later, according to the report.

In October, the New York Court of Appeals reversed Jorgensen’s conviction, ruling that she was not guilty because she fatally injured her daughter before she was born . . .

Conservative blogger Warner Todd Huston notes that as outrageous as the ruling may seem, the court is right that current state laws do not recognize unborn babies as “persons.” Jorgensen is no longer being held accountable for her baby’s death because, in the eyes of the state, her unborn daughter did not have the rights of personhood when her reckless behavior fatally injured her child. (Read more from “Woman Who Killed Her Baby Has Conviction Overturned, Court Says Six-Day-Old Baby Isn’t a Person” HERE)

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Virginia Killer Wrote Disgusting Notes on This Subject [+video]

bridgewater31n-1-webVester Lee Flanagan lamented shortly before gunning down two journalists on live TV that his glory days as a $2,000-a-night male escort were behind him, stunning new documents reveal.

The typed and handwritten letters, as well as photographs, driver’s licenses and student IDs, were shown to the Daily News by one of Flanagan’s close friends, Robert Avent, who says he spoke to the calm and collected killer moments before he committed suicide as cops closed in on him last Wednesday.

The notes provide a new window into the megalomaniacal madman’s mental state as he made the decision to exact revenge for an unsuccessful career filled with perceived racial slights.

In the stream-of-consciousness-style letters Flanagan, 41, is alternately cheery, reflective, apologetic for any hurt he caused Avent and eager to reveal the “raw truth” that racist gunman Dylann Roof’s massacre of nine black churchgoers inspired his own decision to kill . . .

“I totally CANNOT score right now …,” Flanagan wrote. “And this is from a man who used to be paid hundreds an HOUR to sleep with men…one was a hot YOUNG guy in SF…he once asked, ‘Can I f— you?’ He offered to give me $1,000…I playfully said, ‘No.’ Well, he gave me 2k.” (Read more from “Virginia Killer Wrote Disgusting Notes on This Subject” HERE)

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