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Parents of Suspected Michigan Shooter Plead Not Guilty To Involuntary Manslaughter Charges



The couple was held on $500,000 bonds each after they failed to appear for their arraignment Friday, prompting an overnight manhunt.

Suspect’s Parents Charged

The parents of a suspected school shooter who left four dead and seven others injured in Oxford, Michigan, last week pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges Saturday following an overnight manhunt.

On Friday, prosecutors in Michigan took the rare step of charging the parents of the 15-year-old accused of carrying out a mass shooting at Oxford High School with four counts of involuntary manslaughter each — one for every student killed in the attack.

During a press conference, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald argued that the boy’s parents were culpable in the most deadly school shooting this year because they allowed their son access to the murder weapon and actively ignored obvious warnings that he was considering violence.

At the briefing, prosecutors said that the suspect’s father had purchased the weapon four days before the shooting as an early Christmas gift for the teen. McDonald said the kid “had total access to this weapon” which was kept “unlocked in a drawer” in his parent’s bedroom.

Lawyers for the parents have disputed that claim, asserting that the gun was, in fact, locked.

Alarming Warning Signs

Prosecutors also noted that there were a number of incredibly alarming warning signs that the suspects parents ignored.

They noted that after the gun was purchased, authorities at Oxford raised concerns about the teenager’s behavior twice.

According to prosecutors, the day before the shooting, a teacher saw him searching for ammunition on his phone. School officials called his parents, who did not respond, but his mother later texted her son: “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.”

The next day, another teacher found a drawing of a gun on the suspect’s desks with images of a gun, a person who was shot, a laughing emoji, along with the words “Blood everywhere” and “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me.”

That drawing prompted a meeting with the boy’s parents, but prosecutors said they refused to take their son home and did not ask him about the gun, search his backpack, or inform the school that they had purchased one for him.

But prosecutors noted that when news of the shooting broke a few hours later, the suspect’s parents were quick to believe it was their son.

His mother allegedly texted him “don’t do it.” Meanwhile, his father called the police to inform them that a weapon was missing from their house and that his son could be the gunman.

Manhunt for Parents

Prosecutors argued that their claims regarding the parent’s culpability were further bolstered when the two appeared to flee once the charges against them were made public.

A few hours after the announcement, authorities said police were searching for the parents, who were scheduled to be arraigned that day but had stopped communicating with their attorneys. A massive manhunt for the fugitives was launched that included sheriff’s deputies, Detroit police, U.S. marshals, FBI officers, and even U.S. Border Patrol. 

Then at around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, police said they found the couple “hiding” in a warehouse building in Detroit —  about 40 miles from where they live — after someone tipped off authorities that their vehicle was nearby.

Lawyers for the couple disputed that they were hiding, claiming that they had believed their arraignment was Saturday morning and had planned to attend, blaming a miscommunication with the prosecutor’s office.

Both law enforcement officials and prosecutors were skeptical of that assertion.

“I think where they were and how they were seems to support the position they were hiding and they weren’t looking for surrendering at that point,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.

That statement was echoed by prosecutor McDonald, who noted that the two also withdrew thousands of dollars in cash from an ATM, which she cited as part of the reason they should be held on a high bond of $500,000 each.

“They sought multiple attempts to hide their location and were eventually tracked down after they parked their car somewhere a witness saw it,” she said. “These two individuals were found locked somewhere in a room, hiding. These are not people that we can be assured will return to court on their own.”

A judge agreed to the bond during the couple’s arraignment Saturday, where both parents pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Currently, the couple is being held in the same jail their son is in, though all are being kept separate. All three have also been placed on suicide watch, but officials said they passed initial mental health screenings.

The two parents face up to 15 years if convicted on the charges. Their son faces two dozen charges, including terrorism.

Editor’s Note: At Rogue Rocket, we make it a point to not include the names and pictures of mass murders or suspected mass murderers who may have been seeking attention or infamy. Therefore, we will not be linking to other news coverage, as they may contain these details.


Survey and Census Data Shows Record Number of Americans are Struggling Financially



Americans are choosing not to pursue medical treatment more and more frequently as they encounter money troubles.

A recent federal survey shows that a record number of Americans were worse off financially in 2022 than a year prior.

Coupled with recent census data showing pervasive poverty across much of the country, Americans are forced to make difficult decisions, like foregoing expensive healthcare. 

According to a recent Federal Reserve Bureau survey, 35% of adults say they were worse off in 2022 than 2021, which is the highest share ever recorded since the question was raised in 2014. 

Additionally, half of adults reported their budget was majorly affected by rising prices across the country, and that number is even higher among minority communities and parents living with their children.

According to recent census data, more than 10% of the counties in the U.S. are experiencing persistent poverty, meaning the area has had a poverty rate of 20% or higher between 1989 and 2019. 

16 states report at least 10% of their population living in persistent poverty. But most of the suffering counties were found in the South — which accounts for over half the people living in persistent poverty, despite making up less than 40% of the population. 

These financial realities have placed many Americans in the unfortunate situation of choosing between medical treatment and survival. The Federal Reserve study found that the share of Americans who skipped medical treatment because of the cost has drastically increased since 2020. 

The reflection of this can be found in the overall health of households in different income brackets. 75% of households with an income of $25,000 or less report being in good health – compared to the 91% of households with $100,000 or more income. 

See what others are saying: (Axios) (The Hill) (Federal Reserve)

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Montana Governor Signs TikTok Ban



The ban will likely face legal challenges before it is officially enacted next year. 

First Statewide Ban of TikTok

Montana became the first state to ban TikTok on Wednesday after Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed legislation aimed at protecting “Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party.”

The ban will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, though the law will likely face a handful of legal challenges before that date. 

Under the law, citizens of the state will not be held liable for using the app, but companies that offer the app on their platforms, like Apple and Google, will face a $10,000 fine per day of violations. TikTok would also be subject to the hefty daily fine. 

Questions remain about how tech companies will practically enforce this law. During a hearing earlier this year, a representative from TechNet said that these platforms don’t have the ability to “geofence” apps by state.

Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics, told the Associated Press that app stores could have the capability to enforce the restriction, but it would be difficult to carry out and there would be a variety of loopholes by tools like VPNs.

Montana’s law comes as U.S. politicians have taken aim at TikTok over its alleged ties to the CCP. Earlier this year, the White House directed federal agencies to remove TikTok from government devices. Conservatives, in particular, have been increasingly working to restrict the app.

“The Chinese Communist Party using TikTok to spy on Americans, violate their privacy, and collect their personal, private, and sensitive information is well-documented,” Gov. Gianforte said in a Wednesday statement. 

Criticism of Montana Law

TikTok, however, has repeatedly denied that it gives user data to the government. The company released a statement claiming Montana’s law “infringes on the First Amendment rights of the people” in the state. 

“We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana,” the company said. 

The American Civil Liberties Union condemned Montana’s law for similar reasons. 

“This law tramples on our free speech rights under the guise of national security and lays the groundwork for excessive government control over the internet,” the ACLU tweeted. “Elected officials do not have the right to selectively censor entire social media apps based on their country of origin.”

Per the AP, there are 200,000 TikTok users in Montana, and another 6,000 businesses use the platform as well. Lawsuits are expected to be filed against the law in the near future.

See what others are saying: (Associated Press) (Fast Company) (CBS News)

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How a Disney-Loving Former Youth Pastor Landed on The FBI’s “Most Wanted” List



 “Do what is best, not for yourself, for once. Think about everyone else,” Chris Burns’ 19-year-old son pleaded to his father via The Daily Beast. 

Multi-Million Dollar Scheme 

Former youth pastor turned financial advisor Chris Burns remains at large since going on the run in September of 2020 to avoid a Securities Exchange Commission investigation into his businesses.

Despite his fugitive status, the Justice Department recently indicted Burns with several more charges on top of the $12 million default judgment he received from the SEC. 

Burns allegedly sold false promissory notes to investors across Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. The SEC claims he told the investors they were participating in a “peer to peer” lending program where businesses that needed capital would borrow money and then repay it with interest as high as 20%. Burns allegedly also reassured investors that the businesses had collateral so the investment was low-risk. 

The SEC says that Burns instead took that money for personal use. 

Burns’ History 

Burns began his adult life as a youth pastor back in 2007 before transitioning into financial planning a few years later.  By 2017, he launched his own radio show, The Chris Burns Show, which was funded by one of his companies, Dynamic Money – where every week Burns would “unpack how this week’s headlines practically impact your life, wallet, and future,” according to the description. He also frequently appeared on television and online, talking about finances and politics. 

The SEC alleges that he used his public appearances to elevate his status as a financial advisor and maximize his reach to investors.

His family told The Daily Beast that he became obsessed with success and he reportedly bought hand-made clothes, a million-dollar lakehouse, a boat, several cars, and took his family on several trips to Disney World. His eldest son and wife said that Burns was paying thousands of dollars a day for VIP tours and once paid for the neighbors to come along. 

Then in September 2020, he reportedly told his wife that he was being investigated by the Securities Exchange Commission but he told her not to worry. 

The day that he was supposed to turn over his business documents to the SEC, he disappeared, telling his wife he was just going to take a trip to North Carolina to tell his parents about the investigation. Then, the car was found abandoned in a parking lot with several cashier’s checks totaling $78,000

FBI’s Most Wanted

The default judgment in the SEC complaint orders Burns, if he’s ever found, to pay $12 million to his victims, as well as over $650,000 in a civil penalty. Additionally, a federal criminal complaint charged him with mail fraud. Burns is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. 

Last week, the Justice Department indicted him on several other charges including 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud. 

“Burns is charged for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from clients in an illegal investment fraud scheme,” Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “Financial crimes of this nature can cause significant disruptions to the lives of those who are victimized, and the FBI is dedicated to holding these criminals accountable.”

His family maintains that they knew nothing of Burns’ schemes. His wife reportedly returned over $300,000 that he had given to her. 

She and their eldest son, who is now 19, told The Daily Beast they just want Burns to turn himself in, take responsibility for his actions, and try to help the people he hurt. 

“Do what is best, not for yourself, for once. Think about everyone else,” Burns’ son said in a message to his father via The Daily Beast. 

See what others are saying: (The Daily Beast) (Fox 5) (Wealth Management)

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