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Masked gunman robs 73-year-old man having heart attack, deputies say

Investigators in North Carolina are trying to catch the robber behind a violent home invasion in Stanly County. 

>> Watch the news report here

Officials said a gunman robbed 73-year-old Ted Huneycutt while he was having a heart attack. 

>> On WSOCTV.com: Man wearing ninja mask robs woman with her children after church

The robbery happened on Yow Road in Stanfield around 8:30 p.m. Sunday. 

Outside the weekly trash pickup, there isn't a lot of traffic in the cotton fields of the rural community. 

Resident Darren Russell said, "We ain't never had no problem."

That's why residents were stunned when a quiet home on their quiet country road became the scene of a violent home invasion. 

“If you look at Ted’s place over there, you wouldn’t think it’d be robbed," said Russell. 

Investigators said Huneycutt had a heart attack when a masked robber broke in Sunday night. 

Still, the gunman didn't show any mercy. 

Instead, detectives said, he ordered Huneycutt and his wife to get on the ground and then robbed them.

“It’s heartless, man. Think about it. Just to do it is heartless enough,” said Russell. 

>> Read more trending news 

Huneycutt is raising his nephew's two teenage sons and the robber also forced them to the floor. 

Sheriff Jeff Crisco said, “It’s a senseless crime. Mr. Huneycutt is a very respected man in the community and it’s the type of community where everybody knows everybody so I just don’t understand.”

Crisco is the new sheriff at the Stanley County’s Sheriff’s Office. He said this home invasion is the most violent case that’s happened in the county since he took over eight weeks ago and he’s putting special emphasis on catching the robber.

Crisco said, “Somebody is going to make a mistake. They’re going to brag about what they did and the word will get out. We’re hoping someone in the community will find out and will be able to contact the Sheriff’s Office.”

Huneycutt is still in the hospital, but his attacker is somewhere out there, and worried neighbors are praying that changes. 

“The word says to love thy neighbor as thyself. We’ve got to start doing that,” Russell said. 

Georgia uses ancestry site to identify alleged killer in 20-year-old cold case murder

For more than 20 years investigators had no idea who killed Lorrie Ann Smith.

>> Read more trending news 

But they had blood and DNA from the crime scene. And that turned out to be the key evidence.

For the first time ever in Georgia, police used an ancestry site to match DNA and arrest a suspect.

Smith was killed May 25, 1997, inside her South Fulton County home. According to police, the killer -- identified as Jerry Lee -- lived less than a half-mile from Smith.

Lee was in court Tuesday for a bond hearing.

During the hearing investigators revealed new details about the crime.

When police searched his home, they found a gun that matched the ballistics of the murder weapon but defense attorneys pointed out that wasn't relevant to the bond hearing.

"What we’re here for now today is not for punishment, but to determine will this gentleman return to court? We believe that, between giving you the assurance of the ankle monitor and his history in the community, that he will certainly return to court," defense attorney Fani Willis said.

>> Trending: Stormy Daniels ordered to pay Trump $293,000 in legal fees over defamation suit

The victim's family wants Lee to remain behind bars.

"He is so close to where my parents live and he has lived there the entire time. We’re really hoping he’s not granted bond," the victim's sister, Dana Bogensch, said.

Uncle accused of slashing throat of sleeping 3-year-old niece, now facing murder charges

A Kentucky man is facing murder charges after allegedly slashing the throat of his sleeping 3-year-old niece early Saturday morning, news outlets reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The toddler’s father heard her screams over a baby monitor around 2:45 a.m. and was attacked by Emanuel Fluter, 33, when he tried to save his daughter, The Associated Press reported.

Josephine Bulubenchi later died from her injuries at an Albany-area hospital.

Fluter, a veteran, who had been living with the family in their rural Clinton County home, had been suffering from mental health issues, the child’s father and Fluter’s brother, Dariu Fluter, told WKYT-TV.

“I want people to know that he loved his nieces and loved his nephews," Dariu Flutur said. "He loved us. He loved me and his sister.”

The family told WKYT they forgive him for the alleged murder.

"He has a mental condition that he suffers with since he was in the army," Dariu said. "It's tough for us to understand because of what happened."

>> Trending: Texas firefighters rescue over 100 snakes from burning house, including pythons, boas

There were four other children in the room at the time of the attack, but none of them were injured, police said.

Fluter is jailed on $1 million bond and is due back in court on Dec. 18.

Mueller investigation: Michael Flynn requests no jail time in court filing before sentencing

Attorneys for President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn asked a judged to spare him prison time in a memo filed Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news 

In the filing, Flynn’s lawyers recommended for a sentence "a term of probation not to exceed one year, with minimal conditions of supervision, along with 200 hours of community service, CNN reported.

His attorneys said in the memo that “General Flynn accepted responsibility for his conduct and that his cooperation “was not grudging or delayed.”

>> Related: Guilty: Michael Flynn admits in court to lying about Russian communication

“Rather, it preceded his guilty plea or any threatened indictment and began very shortly after he was first contacted for assistance by the Special Counsel's Office.”

Flynn is scheduled for sentencing next Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, recommended no jail time for Flynn in a filing last week.

Original story: Attorneys for President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn are expected to make a sentencing recommendation Tuesday in a case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.

Prosecutors with Mueller’s team said last week in court filings that Flynn has been cooperative since he pleaded guilty last year to making false statements to the FBI. In light of his assistance, prosecutors asked that Flynn receive little to no jail time for his crime, an argument Flynn’s attorneys are expected to echo, according to The Associated Press.

>> Mueller investigation: Report recommends little to no jail time for Michael Flynn

Flynn resigned from his post in the Trump administration in February 2017 after serving just 24 days in office. He pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials and agreed to fully cooperate with Mueller’s team. 

Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced next week by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, according to court records.

Watch: Teen girls attacked, beaten up over parking space at New Jersey mall

A day of shopping at a New Jersey mall took a violent turn for three teenagers, who said they were beaten up by two women over a parking space.

>> Read more trending news 

The three friends - Taylor McFadden, 18; Tatum Bohanon, 19, and Alexandria "Allie" DeRusso, 19 – told NJ.com that a car was waiting for their parking spot close to the Deptford Mall entrance, but that they weren’t ready to leave. 

The girls think that’s what angered the women, who, at first, walked by their car with two men, and then returned and attacked them, McFadden said.

She told NJ.com that one of the women hit Bohannon and the other woman punched DeRusso.

“Both of my friends were on the ground at this point, getting punched,” McFadden told NJ.com. “I jumped out of the passenger side and I grabbed my phone so that I could call the police. People started coming over, but I think a lot of people were scared to get involved,” she said.

When it was over, all three girls were treated at a local hospital.

>> Trending: Father turns in daughter to face charges over starving dogs

Authorities are investigating the incident.

Texas firefighters rescue over 100 snakes from burning house, including pythons, boas

Firefighters in suburban Houston got quite a surprise when they responded to a house fire Saturday: snakes.

>> Read more trending news 

"A dog or a cat, that's one thing," Lt. Bobby Matthews with the Caney Creek Fire Department told KTRK-TV. “But a snake, that's a whole other animal."

Firefighters discovered more than 100 snakes and lizards inside the home, including pythons and boa constrictors, Fire Chief Raymond Flannelly told CNN.

"Not sure how many lizards we found, but the snakes were large enough to give anyone crawling through a smoke-filled house a heart attack," Flannelly said, adding that luckily, none were venomous.

It was all in a day’s work for fire crews, according to a Facebook post by Caney Creek Fire and Rescue: "Things firefighters have to deal with, even if you don't want to!!" 

Although most of the reptiles were in glass cases, firefighters still had to carry the animals out of the burning home.

It’s unclear why the residents have so many reptiles.

"The homeowner wasn't willing to give a lot of information on why they had so many snakes. In fact, they told us the snakes don't like people in uniform," Flannelly told CNN. "But as firefighters, we will do anything to help.”

Not all the snakes made it out alive, according to KTRK, but the ones that firefighters were able to rescue are expected to be fine.

>> Trending: Watch: Snake slithers out from pickup’s hood onto windshield as driver and passenger freak out

The fire, which was caused by a Christmas tree, caused extensive damage to the home, but the family is grateful that most of their pets, including two dogs, made it out alive.

Emotional reunion: Woman finds cat alive near ruins of home destroyed in California wildfires

A woman in Northern California, whose parents’ home was destroyed by a wildfire last month, discovered a little joy in the devastation and charred ruins that remain in the wake of some of the worst wildfires the state has ever seen.

>> Read more trending news 

Courtney Werblow found her cat, Timber, near the burned-out home a month after the Camp Fire.

Werblow posted a video on Facebook showing the emotional reunion with Timber. She begins crying as she calls her cat over for a bowl of food.

Timber was in no hurry, but eventually wandered over to greet Werblow. “You made it. You made it,” she exclaimed.

She also urged social media users to “never lose hope.”

“One month today since the fire, we received an escort to my parent’s property and my cat Timber was discovered,” Werblow posted.

>> Trending: Loyal dog found after waiting weeks next to home burned down by Camp Fire in California

She told KTLA-TV that the discovery of Timber was a much-needed moment of hope for her family and parents, who lost everything in the fires.

Why women having heart attacks wait longer to seek help than men

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. However, women tend to wait longer than men to seek help for heart attacks, according to a new report. 

>> Read more trending news 

Researchers from Triemli Hospital in Switzerland recently conducted a study, published in the European Heart Journal, to explore changes in patient delay, which the authors defined as “the time from symptom onset to contact with a hospital, emergency medical service, or general practitioner.”

To do so, they examined 4,360 adults who had a heart attack between 2000 and 2016. They determined how long men and women waited to get help for heart attack symptoms. They also observed system delays, which was defined as the amount of time it took doctors to treat patients. 

>> Related: Study: Women receive worse care than men for heart attacks

After analyzing the results, they found women and men had equal reductions in system delays over the 16-year period. 

“We found no gender difference in the timely delivery of care by health professionals, with both men and women receiving a stent more quickly after contacting the medical services than they did in the past,” co-author Matthias Meyer said in a statement

On the other hand, patient delay decreased among men but not among women. They discovered women wait approximately 37 minutes longer than men before contacting medical services. 

“Women having a heart attack seem to be less likely than men to attribute their symptoms to a condition that requires urgent treatment,” Meyer said.

>> Related: Women more likely to survive heart attacks with female doctors, massive review finds

In fact, the team noted women can experience different heart attack symptoms than men. 

“Women and men have a similar amount of pain during a heart attack, but the location may be different,” Meyer explained. “People with pain in the chest and left arm are more likely to think it's a heart attack, and these are usual symptoms for men. Women often have back, shoulder, or stomach pain.”

Unfortunately, they believe the patient delays among women contributed to a higher in-hospital mortality rate. For women, it was 5.9 percent and 4.5 percent for men.

>> Related: This body type can increase heart attack risk among women, study says

Every minute counts when you have a heart attack,” Meyer concluded. “Look out for moderate to severe discomfort including pain in the chest, throat, neck, back, stomach or shoulders that lasts for more than 15 minutes. It is often accompanied by nausea, cold sweat, weakness, shortness of breath, or fear.”

Police search yard after family dog finds human skull

Authorities in Texas are investigating after a dog brought his owners a human skull.

>> Read more trending news 

The Liberty, Texas, family found the skull Friday in their front yard and contacted police, according to a statement from the Liberty County Sheriff's Office. The family thinks their dog found the skull in a wooded area near their home and brought it to their yard, reported the Houston Chronicle.

The sheriff's office began searching the yard and nearby woods Friday for more human remains. Heavy rain caused the search to be delayed to Monday.

No additional remains have been found.

The skull appeared to have been exposed to weather conditions for several years, Liberty County Sheriff's Office Investigator Travis Pierce said in a statement. The sex, age, identity and cause of death of the individual are not known yet because the teeth and lower jaw bone were not attached to the skull, according to the statement.

Officials also aren't sure if the decedent had been buried.

Authorities are continuing to examine the remains to try to identify the person, Pierce said.

Vintage ceramic Christmas trees could be worth lots of money

Those ceramic Christmas trees popular in the late '60s and early '70s are making a comeback -- and could be worth hundreds of dollars.

>> Read more trending news 

Media outlets report that the ceramic trees are a hot selling item on eBay, with customers shelling out anywhere from $79 to $649 for them.

Those who have a ceramic Christmas tree lying around and want to make some quick cash should list it online soon, vintage lifestyle expert Bob Richter told "TODAY.”

“The time to sell them is right now. Like, right now,” Richter said. “The truth of the matter is, they’re not incredibly valuable at other times of the year.”

To best sell a ceramic tree, Richter recommends creating a three-day listing on eBay and including "Get in time for Christmas" in the title.

Bigger ceramic trees or trees that play music are especially valuable.

Want a ceramic tree, but don't want to pay top dollar for one? Try buying one in the summer, Richter said. The trees usually go for $10-$20 at flea markets outside of the winter holiday season.

Richter also recommends forgoing possible extra cash and holding onto a ceramic tree, if you have one.

“The truth of the matter is, I think it’s great to turn them into cash, and it’s also great to bring them down and plug them in and use them, and tell a story of your grandmother or your aunt or your mother or whoever it was who had them in the first place, because I think that’s the true value,” he said. “It has emotional value- and that has gossamer wings.”

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