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Former Virginia Tech student convicted in 13-year-old girl’s murder

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A former Virginia Tech student was convicted of kidnapping and murdering a 13-year-old girl after telling the judge overseeing his trial that he wanted to enter a plea of no contest on Friday, a local prosecutor said.

David Eisenhauer, 19, was convicted of abducting, killing and concealing the body of middle-school student Nicole Lovell in January 2016, according to Mary Pettitt, the chief prosecutor in Montgomery County, Virginia. He faces a sentence of up to life in prison.

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Lovell’s body was found stabbed by a rural North Carolina roadside, about 90 miles south of her hometown of Blacksburg. She had disappeared four days earlier from Blacksburg, where Virginia Tech is located, and the crime left the university and local community reeling.

Eisenhauer may have had an inappropriate relationship with Lovell, the Washington Post has reported. Lovell told a friend she planned to run away with Eisenhauer and start a family, the Post reported.

Under Virginia law, a defendant can plead no contest without admitting to the crime if the defendant agrees that the prosecutor has enough evidence that the court return a guilty verdict. It is treated the same as a guilty plea for conviction and sentencing.

A second former Virginia Polytechnic Institute student, Natalie Keepers, who is charged with being Eisenhauer’s accomplice and helping to conceal Lovell’s body faces trial later this year after pleading not guilty.

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Keepers, 20, became friends with Eisenhauer, a fellow engineering student, before Lovell’s abduction, according to police in Blacksburg. Keepers also faces life in prison if convicted.

In brief, emotional remarks made after the hearing on Friday, Lovell’s mother, Tammy Weeks, said she was blessed to raise a “bright and beautiful girl.”

“We fought every fight together but this last one,” Weeks said, clutching a tissue.

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(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Leslie Adler)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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A look inside the Koch brothers’ secret plan to manipulate politicians — and how it fueled the rise of the radical right

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Democrats and Republicans are expected to spend about $1 billion getting their 2016 nominee elected. There’s a third group that will spend almost as much. It’s not a political party, and it doesn’t have any candidates. It’s the right-wing political network backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David Koch, expected to spend nearly $900 million in 2016. The Kochs’ 2016 plans come as part of an effort to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to conservative candidates and causes over the last four decades. The story of the Koch brothers and an allied group of billionaire donors is told in a new book by New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer, “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.” Mayer traces how the Kochs and other billionaires have leveraged their business empires to shape the political system in the mold of their right-wing agenda.

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New video emerges of Trump blurting out anti-Semitic slurs

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President Donald Trump this week said that the majority of American Jews were "disloyal" to Israel because they support the Democratic Party -- but that's far from the first time that the president has made controversial statements that deploy anti-Semitic tropes.

The Washington Post has obtained a video clip from 2011 that shows Trump boasting about how great one of his golf courses is before saying that "even these spoiled, rich Jewish guys, they can’t believe how good this [course] is."

The clip was originally aired on the Golf Channel for the show "Donald J. Trump's Fabulous World of Golf."

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Trump snaps after ‘enemy’ Fed chairman doesn’t drop interest rates — compares him to China’s Xi

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President Donald Trump flipped out on his Federal Reserve chairman after China imposed a new round of tariffs in his ongoing trade war against the economic powerhouse.

The president lashed out at Fed chairman Jerome Powell after he refused to budge on interest rates, and referred to the official he chose as an "enemy" of the United States.

"As usual, the Fed did NOTHING!" Trump raged on Twitter. "It is incredible that they can 'speak' without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly. We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work 'brilliantly' with both, and the U.S. will do great.."

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