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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.

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.

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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.

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.”

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

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


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Gold Star father blasts Trump for failure to govern while refusing to ‘defend and protect’ America

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," Gold Star father Khizr Khan eviscerated President Donald Trump for his latest racist attack on congresswomen of color.

"To Donald Trump I say, sir, have you no sense of decency with this racism and division for political purposes?" Khan told anchor Anderson Cooper. "Donald Trump has nothing to offer. Therefore, he is going to create division and hate for political expedience. I am saddened but not surprised because, as you explained, he is a demagogue and will continue to use hate and division for his political expediency purpose."

"This is a man without any shame," agreed Cooper. "He doesn't have a health care policy. He doesn't have — he's not able to make progress on immigration in any sort of policy that actually solves the problem long term. And so he does these things and it is largely in times to distract, but it's not just distracting people, it's distracting people in the worst possible, bigoted, divisive way. It's distracting us by turning us against each other and viewing each other as other."

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Trump ‘pulled the ultimate BBQ Becky’: Joy Reid destroys the racist push to get critics to ‘self-deport’

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MSNBC anchor Joy Reid declared that Donald Trump "pulled the ultimate BBQ Becky" with his racist attack on young women of color in Congress.

In 2008, a woman became known as "BBQ Becky" after calling the police on a black family having a barbecue in an Oakland park. The 911 dispatcher who received the call wondered about BBQ Becky's mental health the ordeal was so surreal.

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Trump is a racist — but he is also ‘deeply mentally ill’: Trump biographer

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On Monday's edition of MSNBC's "Hardball," anchor Chris Matthews discussed President Donald Trump's racist outbursts against congresswomen of color with Pulitzer Prize-winning tax journalist and Trump biographer David Cay Johnston.

Johnston agreed that Trump has been deeply racist throughout his career — but added that another major problem is Trump's cognitive faculties are severely impaired.

"Is he the kind of guy, in a back room with other right-wing business guys, who would make slurs about people of color?" said Johnston. "Is he that kind of guy?"

"That's not Donald's style. Donald's actions are what matter here," said Johnston. "He once removed a black blackjack dealer because he thought it would curry favor with his biggest gambler, [alleged mobster] Bob Libutti. He's found to have discriminated in his casino business against blacks, Asians, women, Puerto Ricans. He has a long history of actions. We should be paying attention to his actions, and they're flat-out racist."

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