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66-year-old who disappeared before trial for sex crimes found dead

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66-year-old who disappeared before trial for sex crimes found dead

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A 66-year-old local man who was reported missing on the morning he was due in court to stand trial for numerous sex crimes has been found dead.

Michael Taber had been staying at an apartment in the 1900 block of Lemay Ferry Road. He went missing around 2 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 29. According to the St Louis County Police Department, Taber left his cellphone and a suicide note behind, as well as an ankle monitor.

Court records indicate Taber was ordered to wear an ankle monitor while awaiting trial in St. Louis City for one count of second-degree statutory rape, two counts of second-degree child molestation, one count of second-degree rape, two counts of second-degree aggravated sexual abuse, one count of second-degree statutory sodomy, and one count of unlawful use of a weapon.

St. Louis County Police sent out a tweet Monday afternoon saying Taber had been located. A department spokesperson said Taber was found dead due to a probable self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police did not say where Taber’s body was discovered.

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David Roddy scores 14 to lead CSU Rams to season sweep of Air Force

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Dolphins’ Brandon Jones to miss second straight game; Jaelan Phillips active vs. Giants

COLORADO SPRINGS — Two weeks after their first loss of the season dropped them out of the AP Top 25, the Colorado State Rams are slowly climbing back into consideration once again.

David Roddy fell one rebound shy of a double-double and the CSU men’s basketball team shut down Air Force to secure a regular-season series sweep of the Falcons with a 73-53 win Saturday at Clune Arena.

With their fourth straight win, the Rams moved to 15-1 (5-1 Mountain West) to begin the season — their best 16-game start in program history.

Isaiah Stevens and Roddy combined to hit 13 of 16 shots from the field to lead an efficient Rams offense. As a team, the Rams shot 57.4% overall, including 6-of-17 shooting from 3-point range.

Roddy finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals in another solid all-around effort, while Stevens added 18 points and two assists on 8-for-10 shooting. John Tonje dropped in 15 points, and Isaiah Rivera had seven rebounds.

Air Force drew to within a point of the Rams at 16-15 with 6:41 left in the first half before CSU took control, closing out the half on a 15-2 run sparked by back-to-back 3-pointers from Roddy and Rivera.

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Avalanche downs Canadiens in overtime to extend home winning streak to 15 games

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Avalanche downs Canadiens in overtime to extend home winning streak to 15 games

A disallowed third-period goal threatened to end the Avalanche’s 14-game home winning streak on Saturday, but the club extended its overtime winning streak to three games to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 at Ball Arena.

Gabe Landeskog’s goal 1:16 into OT made Colorado the first NHL team to win 15 straight games at home since the Washington Capitals in 2017. The Avs also extended their overall winning streak to six games and points streak to 12 (11-0-1).

The Avs appeared to take a 3-1 lead early in the third period but Nazem Kadri, who scored on the play, was ruled offside after Montreal challenged. Kadri then became tangled up with Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry, who fell to the ice and was bloodied. Petry was assessed an interference minor and Kadri a double-minor for high sticking.

Montreal capitalized on the power play at 8:02 to knot it 2-2.

The Avs led 2-0 before Montreal solved Kuemper late in the second period. The Canadiens were good in transition late in the frame and cut their deficit in half at 18:17 when Artturi Lehkonen one-timed a circle-to-circle feed from Nick Suzuki.

Montreal was in the ninth leg of a 10-game road stretch that was split up by a COVID shutdown. The Canadiens were playing in Denver for the first time since Dec. 19, 2018. The Avs, who defeated the Habs 4-1 on Dec. 2 in Montreal, are 8-3-0 in their last 11 games against the Habs.

Footnotes. Colorado’s 23 shots in the first 20 minutes were the third highest in a period in club history. The Avs had 25 against Minnesota last season and 29 against Los Angeles in 1997. … The Avs’ scratches were defensemen Ryan Murray (injury) and Bo Byram (personal leave). Forward Darren Helm remains on injured reserve. … Montreal concludes its 10-game road stretch on Monday at Minnesota, and then begins an eight-game homestand.

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Suspect wanted for assault arrested again after release from St. Louis jail

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Suspect wanted for assault arrested again after release from St. Louis jail

ST. LOUIS — A suspect in a domestic attack was taken into custody again Friday after he was initially let go within three hours of his arrest because he tested positive for COVID-19. The first arrest happened Jan. 4.

The second arrest came 16 days after a warrant issued by St. Louis Circuit Judge David Roither. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said their department took Payne into custody again Friday, with the help of the St. Louis County Police Department. 

 Joe Vaccaro, the chairman of the City of St. Louis Public Safety Committee and the 23rd Ward Alderman said when he heard about the release of Payne, he was outraged.

“Which means police now had to twice the work, none of this makes any sense,” Vaccaro said. “I’d like to know who could release somebody like that, they’re not the prosecutor and they’re not a judge, I think someone may end up going to jail over this.”

Vaccaro said he wants answers.

“He grabbed me and punched me in my face,” the victim said in an exclusive interview with Fox 2 News’ Andy Banker Thursday. We are not disclosing her identity.

“I was getting up he grabbed the pot of soup that he was cooking off the stove and threw it on my face,” she said. “He was armed, so I called police.”

Payne is charged with two counts of felony domestic assault. The victim said she lived with Payne, along with their teenage child who was home at the time of the attack. The victim said Payne was arrested after the attack but was released within three hours of his arrest because he tested positive for COVID-19.

“Having covid is not a free ride, a get out of jail card, it doesn’t make sense,” Vaccaro said. He said someone needs to take responsibility and has already requested the Public Safety Director and head of the jail to be at Wednesday’s safety meeting.

“If you’re not the judge or you’re not the prosecutor, letting someone go is illegal,” he added.

St. Louis Circuit Judge David Roither issued a warrant the day after the attack and release happened, which said that Payne was a danger to his victim and the community. 

Roither agreed with Circuit Attorney, Kim Gardner’s office, that Payne be held with “no bond allowed” pending an initial court appearance.

It took 16 days to arrest Payne again. On Thursday, the City of St. Louis Department of Corrections issued a statement that detailed that it was not solely responsible for which inmates get released.

“The City of St. Louis Department of Corrections (DOC) is working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among staff and detainees while working to keep the public safe,” she said.

Jennifer Clemons-Abdullah, the City of St. Louis’ Corrections Commissioner, released the following statement Thursday:

“While the DOC accepts COVID-positive arrestees, the DOC does not have the ultimate authority to determine whether COVID-19-positive arrestees who test positive are fit for incarceration. With input from local hospitals, as well as guidance from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and Sheriff’s Office, the DOC makes accommodations to isolate COVID-positive detainees who have been arrested. We will continue to collaborate with these departments on a case-by-case basis.”

The victim called for change in the City of St. Louis’ jail policies during an exclusive interview with Fox 2’s Andy Banker Thursday. 

“The victim deserves justice,” Vaccaro said.”Justice comes by them letting us know who chose to release this person even when the prosecutor sent the thing saying they wanted him held on no bond.”

Vaccaro said he will subpoena those involved if needed to find out who did this and how they will be held accountable.

Mayor Tishaura Jones’ office did not respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon. Payne’s attorney has not responded to questions from FOX 2 Thursday.

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