Quinton Simon update: Police believe toddler deceased; mom prime suspect. Lawyers: Bankruptcy won’t shield Alex Jones from $1 billion Sandy Hook judgement. Parkland school shooter gets life sentence. US answers Haiti’s call for help quelling violence.
Quinton Simon update: Police believe Savannah toddler is deceased; mom prime suspect
The Chatham County Police have announced on social media that they believe that Quinton Simon, the 20-month-old toddler that went missing from his Savannah Georgia home last week, is dead. Police have named Quinton’s mom, Leilani Simon, 22, as the prime suspect in his death and disappearance. As of the time of this writing, police have not located Quinton’s remains. However, the police department held a news conference a short while ago.
Leilani’s boyfriend Daniel Youngkin claims to have last seen Quinton around 6am last Wednesday morning in his playpen. His mother then reported him missing around 9:40am. She reportedly told dispatchers she thought someone had taken him from the home. Police appear to have been immediately skeptical of this once they arrived at the home. Police didn’t even issue an Amber alert for Quinton, which is standard in cases of child abduction.
Other strange details emerged. Quinton’s usual babysitter said publicly that she had received a text message around 5:30 am, saying that Quinton’s parents would not be bringing Quinton or his 3-year-old brother to her home as was usual.
Leilani’s mother Billy Jo Howell, then made statements publicly indicating she doubted her daughter’s version of events. Howell has had legal custody of both Quinton and his brother for several months, and had trying to evict her daughter and Youngkin from the home. Leilani and Youngking also have a 4-month-old daughter who was still in their custody until last week. It’s not clear where the other children are now, whether they are with their grandmother or if child protective services has them.
A court recently ordered Leilani to pay child support to her mother for Quinton and his brother, starting next month.
Where is Quinton?
Yesterday, Chatham County Police said they’d seized evidence from the home that they believed would move the investigation forward. They did not elaborate on what that evidence was. Search dogs also returned to the home yesterday for about an hour.
Other than saying they believe Quinton was dead, police have not said publicly where they believed his remains were. However, Howell told local reporters that police believed Quinton was in a landfill. It’s not clear which landfill they believed he was in or whether that landfill had been searched. There haven’t as yet been any details as to when or how police believe Quinton’s body might have arrived at the landfill.
Police have not confirmed reporting about the landfill.
Mother not yet charged, arrested
In a press conference today, Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley told reporters that although Leilani Simon is the prime suspect, she has not yet been charged or arrested. Investigators are still gathering evidence in the case. Hadley said he does not believe Simon is a flight risk. When reporters asked why Simon was not yet in custody, Hadley said, “We will only do that when we feel we have everything we need to. We only get one shot at this, right? We’re gonna do it right”.
Lawyers: Bankruptcy won’t shield Alex Jones from $1 billion payout to Sandy Hook families
Yesterday, a Connecticut jury awarded $965 million to families of Sandy Hook victims who had claimed defamation by right-wing conspiracy pundit Alex Jones. In 2012, gunman Adam Lanza gunned down 27 people (20 children and 7 adults) at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. Immediately thereafter, Jones used his InfoWars platform to call the tragedy a “hoax” by gun control advocates. Family members of the victims then endured years of harassment and death threats from followers of Jones. All the while, Jones was raking in millions from his coverage of the “hoax” and sales of health supplements on his channel.
As the verdict was being read out, Jones was broadcasting imploring his audience to donate to his defense fund and asking them to buy his health supplements. Jones vowed to appeal the case and defiantly stated that the plaintiffs would never get the money. He also professed a belief that his bankruptcy filing would protect him.
Not so fast, say bankruptcy lawyers.
Multiple lawyers who spoke to Business Insider said Jones confidence was misplaced. Even though Jones and Infowars have filed for bankruptcy, this will not shield him from having to pay out this judgement or any of the previous defamation judgements against him. The attorneys for the plaintiffs in the various cases will have the opportunity to investigate his finances and uncover any hidden assets. They will also be able to file claims as creditors of Jones with the bankruptcy court stating Jones must pay the money as it is compensation for “willful injury”.
The attorneys Insider spoke to agreed it was unlikely that the families would ever collect the full amount. Jones exact net worth isn’t known, and he has taken a lot of trouble to hide assets in various shell companies. However, one attorney said, “We’re talking about such outsized numbers that even if [Jones] is able to bob and weave some, I just don’t see how he winds up anything but basically broke now for the rest of his life”.
Florida jury gives Parkland school shooter life sentence
In a quick update to a story we covered yesterday, a jury has spared school shooter Nikolas Cruz the death penalty, instead sentencing him to life without parole. Cruz gunned down 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, in 2018. Prosecutors had argued Cruz deserved the death penalty for his pre-meditated attack while his defense pleaded for leniency due to his mental disorders and difficult upbringing.
Numerous victims’ family members expressed their disappointment at the verdict on social media. They will have the opportunity to express their views at the formal sentencing hearing on November 1.
US to answer Haiti’s call for assistance in quelling violence
The State Department will be invalidating the visas of current and former Haitian government officials residing in the US who are connected with the gang violence ravaging Haiti. The order will also apply to the officials’ immediate family members.
Haiti’s interim President Ariel Henry recently called for international assistance to restore order in the country. Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last year, a political vacuum has allowed gangs to seize control of much of the country. The gangs are blockading fuel depots and have a stranglehold over much of Haiti’s supply routes. The disruption has seriously compromised the response to a cholera outbreak that has recently emerged.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the US will “increase “security assistance” to Haiti’s National Police “to strengthen their capacity to counter gangs and reestablish a stable security environment”. The US will also be bringing much needed humanitarian assistance including water and rehydration salts.
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