The Daily Moth 12-18-2018

December 19, 2018

Texas Mother Sentenced 40 Years For Partying While Leaving Kids in Hot Car; Alfonso Ribeiro Sues Fortnite For Using “Carlton” Dance Move; Federal Judge Delays Michael Flynn Sentencing; Martha McSally To Become Arizona Senator; Trump Foundation To Dissolve; White House Backs Off From $5 Billion Border Wall Demand; Two Chicago Police Officers Killed by Metro Train; Penny Marshall Passes Away; Trump Administration Moves to Ban Bump Stocks; Pennsylvania School for the Deaf Students Participates in LEGO Robotics Competition​

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, December 18. Ready for news?




Texas Mother Sentenced 40 Years For Partying While Leaving Kids in Hot Car


A mother from Texas was sentenced to 40 years in prison for leaving her 1-year old and 2-year old daughters to die in a hot car while she was partying.


This happened in June 2017. The mother’s name is Amanda Hawkins and she was 19 at the time.


Hawkins went to a party during the evening hours with the kids left behind in the car. Temperatures were in their 80s.


She partied overnight, smoking cannabis with friends. Someone told her that the girls were crying in the car, but she said they would be fine, that they would cry themselves to sleep.


A teenager boy at the party, Kevin Franke, who was 16 at the time, went in the car to sleep because the house was full. When woke up and left the car, he turned off the engine and rolled up the windows. It caused the temperature of the interior of the car to rise to almost 120 degrees.


Hawkins woke up at noon, had sex, then went to the car and found the girls unconscious. She did an online search on how to revive someone from heat exhaustion and poured cold water on them.


She later took them to the hospital but lied about why they were unconscious, saying they passed out after smelling flowers at a park. Doctors tried to save the girls, but they were pronounced dead.


Hawkins, in the courtroom before she was sentenced, said, “I will accept whatever the punishment may be, there are no excuses for what I did.”


Franke, the boy who slept in the car, was charged as an adult with two counts of first-degree murder. His case is still ongoing.




Alfonso Ribeiro Sues Fortnite For Using “Carlton” Dance Move


Alfonso Ribeiro, the actor and TV host best known for his role on “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” has sued the online game Fortnite and their creator Epic Games for using his famous “Carlton” dance without permission or credit.


Ribeiro is asking for a judge’s order to stop the game from using the dance moves. He said he is in the process of copyrighting the dance.


His law firm said Epic has earned record profits from downloadable content.


Fortnite has an online currency called “V-Bucks,” which you can get by either depositing real currency or earning it during the game. Players can purchase downloads of the dances, called “emotes,” or other things.


Epic Games has made at least $1.2 billion from V-Bucks. The game has at least 125 million players.


There are at least two other people also suing Epic for imitating their dance move — rapper 2 Milly and Russell Horning, as known as “The Backpack Kid.”


Chance The Rapper did make a point a few months ago that the dances should have the actual song with them, as it would require compensation to the creators. He said, “Black creatives created and popularized these dances but never monetized them.”




Federal Judge Delays Michael Flynn Sentencing


U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan has delayed Michael Flynn’s sentencing. The judge said Flynn lied to the FBI and to senior officials from the incoming Trump administration.


The judge said Flynn sold his country out for being an unregistered foreign agent while in the White House, that he was disgusted with what he did, that he undermined everything the flag stands for.


The judge asked federal prosecutors if Flynn could have been charged with treason.


After a recess, the judge clarified that he did not suggest Flynn committed treason, that he was just curious. He also corrected himself for saying Flynn was a foreign agent while in the White House — as his lobbying work for Turkey ended before January 2016, it was not when he was at the White House. He said he felt terrible for his strong remarks.


He asked Flynn if he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea, and he declined -- he kept his guilty plea. It is possible that Flynn is still working with Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.


The judge warned Flynn that he could face time behind bars, then offered to delay the sentencing. Flynn’s lawyers accepted the offer to delay. The next update on this case will be in March.




Martha McSally To Become Arizona Senator; Trump Foundation To Dissolve; White House Backs Off From $5 Billion Border Wall Demand


Here are three political news briefs.


The first — the Arizona governor announced he has appointed Martha McSally to fill a Senate seat that used to belong to the late Sen. John McCain. McSally was appointed because the current Senator holding the seat, Jon Kyl, plans to leave at the end of this year.


McSally lost a close midterm race for a Senate seat won by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema for outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat. Arizona will have two female senators in 2019 after never having a female senator in history.


The second news — The Trump Foundation will dissolve after an investigation and a lawsuit from the Attorney General of New York, Barbara Underwood. She said her office has detailed a shocking pattern of illegality, that the foundation was a “checkbook” to benefit Trump’s business and political interests.


A judge will supervise the dissolution and the dispersal of its assets to charities.


The AG will continue with its lawsuit and is seeking millions in restitution and penalties, including banning Trump and his children from serving on the boards of other New York City charities. The foundation is suspected of breaking several laws and not truly functioning as a charitable organization.


The third news — President Trump’s Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said they do not want to shut down the government and would seek other ways to get the $5 billion Trump wants for a border wall.


The deadline for a new federal budget is this Friday. Previously President Trump told Democratic leaders that he would be proud to cause a shutdown, but now it is possible there will be a deal, although negotiations still will be difficult.


Arizona Senator:


Trump Foundation:


Gov’t Shutdown:




Two Chicago Police Officers Killed by Metro Train; Penny Marshall Passes Away; Trump Administration Moves to Ban Bump Stocks


Here are three top stories briefs.


The first — two Chicago police officers were killed when they were hit by a metro train that was traveling at 70 mph.


The officers were on foot chasing a suspected gunman near the train tracks and apparently did not even realize a train was coming. It is possible they were focused on another train in the opposite direction and it was too late.


The officers’ names are Conrad Gary (31) and Eduardo Marmolejo (37). The suspect was later caught and a weapon was recovered. A fire truck draped a U.S. flag to mourn the officers, who leaves behind families with young children.


The second news — actress and film director Penny Marshall has passed away at 75 years old. She was well known for her role as Laverne DeFazio on the television sitcom “Laverne & Shirley” that ran from 1976 to 1983.


After the show, she became a successful director with two of her biggest movies “Big” and “A League of Their Own.”


The third news — the Trump administration has moved to ban bump stocks. They will be illegal starting in March. The Las Vegas shooter used bump stocks to fire over 1,000 rounds into a crowd, killing 58 people.


This fulfills a promise President Trump made in March to ban them because they turned legal weapons into illegal machines. Those who own bump stocks will be required to surrender them to the ATF or destroy them.


Chicago Officers:


Penny Marshall:


Bump Stocks:



Pennsylvania School for the Deaf Students Participates in LEGO Robotics Competition


Students from the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf were involved in a LEGO robotics competition on December 1. Here is a video by PSD staff member Joshua Beckman.


Melissa: Good luck! Just be yourself. Don’t overthink it, just show your pride from PSD. I’m really proud of you.


Girl Student #1: We’ll be fine. Sometimes people make mistakes with the robots.


Girl Student #2: My team and I gave a presentation for three judges. We gave speeches.


Joshua: Peter sent us a video and I’ll show it.


Peter: Good luck!


Eric: If you grab this, it will be a 5-point deduction.  


Girl Student #3: We instruct the rocket robots to move. Here they are. Do you know code? We type it on a laptop and it transmits.


Eric: Hello! I’m Eric Greenberg, a middle school science teacher at PSD. We have been involved with the FIRST LEGO league for two years now. We have seen amazing growth from our students. They learn skills like teamwork and cooperation. Those two are important for life and success!


Students: Go PSD!


Alex: It’s nice to see the students developing their scientific and technological skills! It was also cool to see the NAD President Melissa Draganac-Hawk visiting the school and giving the kids encouragement.


If you want more information on the LEGO robotics competition, check out the link in the transcript.




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