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Arrest made in Disneyland dry ice blast…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf5cZNAN5ew

Christian Barnes, 22, of Long Beach, was taken into custody Tuesday night after the incident, which took place around 5:30 p.m. near Mickey’s Toontown, reports KCBS in Los Angeles. He was charged with possessing a destructive device just hours after the blast, said Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn.

It wasn’t immediately clear how police connected Barnes to the blast and Dunn did not return repeated calls. Police said earlier they would scrutinize social media and surveillance footage.

Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown released a statement Wednesday saying the resort was working closely with authorities.

Barnes will be suspended or fired, she said.

Barnes, who worked as an outdoor vendor for the resort, was held on $1 million bail, Dunn said.

Dunn said Barnes was cooperating with investigators, telling them the blast was an isolated incident with results he did not expect, Dunn said. Dunn did not elaborate.

Barnes’ case had not yet been presented to prosecutors, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney’s office. The bail amount could change when prosecutors get the case and charges are decided, she said.

Detectives found fragments of a water bottle in the trash can and believe Barnes placed dry ice inside it to create the explosion, the police spokesman said.

A telephone listing for a Christian Barnes in Long Beach rang unanswered Wednesday.

So-called dry ice bombs are easy to make, and on a much smaller scale, are sometimes used as classroom chemistry demonstrations, said John Goodpaster, an explosives expert at the Purdue School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The size of the explosion, however, can vary greatly depending on the container’s size, material and the amount of dry ice used, he said.

The devices could cause injuries to those nearby if the built-up pressure was high enough, including cuts from flying bottle shards, he said.

“This is a simple device. It’s not a pipe bomb filled with gunpowder, but it definitely will generate an explosion,” Goodpaster said.

“If somebody was throwing something out, they could have been injured.”

 

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An older and grayer O.J. Simpson was back in a Las Vegas courtroom to appeal his 2008 armed robbery conviction, claiming that he had such bad representation that he deserves a new trial. NBC News’ Leanne Gregg reports.

By Tracy Connor, Staff Writer, NBC News

Wearing a blue prison jumpsuit, O.J. Simpson appeared Monday in a Las Vegas courtroom where he is trying to get his 2008 robbery conviction tossed on the grounds he did not have proper legal representation.

The former football star — noticeably grayer and heavier than the last time he appeared in public — is serving 9 to 33 years after a jury found him guilty of orchestrating the gunpoint seizure of memorabilia he claimed was stolen from him.

A previous appeal was rejected in 2010. In the latest bid for a new trial, Simpson is arguing that his ex-lawyer, Yale Galanter, gave him bad advice, knew about the attempt to reclaim the memorabilia in advance, and told him it was legal.

O.J. Simpson, right, sits in Clark County District Court on Monday with his attorney, Patricia Palm. Simpson, who is serving nine to 33 years as a result of his 2008 conviction on armed robbery and kidnapping charges, is seeking a new trial on grounds of ineffective counsel.

Simpson — who did not take the stand during the explosive 1995 trial for the murder of his wife and her friend, which ended in his acquittal — is expected to testify midway through the five-day hearing. Galanter is also slated to take the stand.

If he doesn’t prevail at this proceeding, known as a writ of habeas corpus, Simpson, 65, must serve five more years in prison before he is eligible for parole.

On the stand for the hearing, a friend of Simpson described Galanter as “somewhat dismissive” of any concerns his client voiced about the way the trial was going.

“Mr. Simpson was …somewhat intimidated by Mr. Galanter. He was dominated by him. He tended not to question what he told him,” said James Barnett, a Las Vegas businessman.

“If Mr. Simpson would ask about some specific point in court, he would say, ‘That’s not important’ or ‘Don’t worry about it.’”

Barnett said he was told by Galanter’s co-counsel, Gabriel Grasso, that Grasso had his 15-year-old son perform analysis of audiotapes that were a key piece of evidence in the trial because they couldn’t afford to hire experts.

The appeals team also questioned Dr. Norman Roitman, a psychiatrist who specializes in the effects of alcohol on perception.

The lawyers asked Roitman whether someone who fit Simpson’s physical description, who had been “drinking all day” and the night before and was sleep-deprived and stressed-out, might experience poor perception in a crowded hotel room where he expected to find personal items he had not seen for 15 years.

Speaking hypothetically, Roitman said that person would.

A lawyer for Simpson’s co-defendant Clarence “C.J.” Stewart testified Monday that prosecutors in the midst of the trial offered a plea deal — a two- to five-year sentence for each defendant in return for guilty pleas. Prosecutors said they were presenting it to Simpson’s lawyers but later said there was no deal, Bryson said.

Bryson said he didn’t know if Simpson had ever been told about the deal. Simpson claims he was not.

Simpson’s co-counsel in the 2008 trial, Las Vegas criminal defense attorney Grasso, testified that Galanter told him he would give Simpson the news of the plea deal and that day went off to talk to Simpson privately.

When Galanter came back, he said, “We’re not taking a deal,” Grasso said. Grasso, however, admitted he never talked to Simpson about the guilty-plea offer and did not know what Galanter had told Simpson at that time.

Grasso testified that Galanter made the key decision for the defense team. He said Grasso rarely even involved his co-counsel in discussions with Simpson.

“Yale was O.J.’s lawyer. I was just the odd man out, the third wheel,” Grasso said.

Grasso said he wanted to file a motion to suppress the tapes from being entered into evidence at the trial because they made Simpson look bad, and because it could be argued the tapes were recorded secretly. Galanter, however, did not want to challenge the tape evidence, Grasso said.

The defense also did not have the benefit of experts to challenge the tapes in  the courtroom because Galanter said there was no money to pay for them, Grasso said.

“In a case of this magnitude, we don’t have any help?” Grasso asked, noting the state had hired a jury consultant.

Grasso also said he favored letting Simpson take the stand and told the former football player that, but Galanter rejected that notion, telling him “don’t advise O.J.”

Grasso was expected to continue his testimony in the hearing on Tuesday.

Jeff Black of NBC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


NEW YORK — Few people are enjoying basketball right now more than hip-hop artist Flo Rida.

The South Florida resident, who owns Miami Heat courtside season tickets and grew up a few miles from the University of Miami, has been in attendance for much of the Miami Heat’s historic 24-game (and counting) winning streak. And he’s vocal about his support for “The U,” a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Flo Rida spoke with ESPN Playbook about his Heat theme song, his custom-made Heat championship ring, and more on Wednesday afternoon as he helped announce Samsung’s new line of TVs.

Is there a better time to be a Miami Heat fan?

It’s super exciting. That dunk the other day, LeBron over Jason Terry, that was crazy. I wish I was in Boston watching it. I’m definitely courtside every game I can make. I have season tickets, so I’m just excited about the Heat. We need to get another championship. I actually bought a championship ring last year.

Did you really? Does it look like the same as the players’?

Mine is customized. It has a little bit more diamonds.

You made an unofficial Heat song, “We already won,” in 2010 right after LeBron decided to come to Miami. What’s the background of that song?

I’ve always been a fan of LeBron, and the fact that he was coming to my hometown, I figured it would build up the morale and get everybody excited. So me and my crew were in the studio when we heard that LeBron was coming, so we just created this song.

Were you ever a little nervous that you jinxed the team, with the chorus saying, “We already won,” especially after the Heat lost in the Finals that year.

Yeah, but we didn’t put a year on it, so it’s all good. (laughs)

Eventually you were right.

We just predicted the future. The future was very near.

Now they’re so dominant. What’s it like to see your team as the king of the NBA?

It’s crazy because I actually have a condo right across the street from the arena. So, you know, all the time I’m Heat-ed out. Usually I’m wearing my Miami Heat gear. Like here in New York, you’ll see me out there in my Heat paraphernalia and everything now.

Have you noticed the Heat paraphernalia all over the globe now?

Yeah, and it’s just getting bigger and bigger now. LeBron is out of this world now.

How much have you interacted with LeBron and those guys?

Every time when I’m at a game, they’re always saying what’s up to me. And out at clubs, it’s all love. When you’re out, you just show everyone the hospitality you would show to yourself. So, we’re all out there, just taking over Miami together.

And the Heat aren’t even the hottest basketball team in Miami right now. The Hurricanes just won the ACC and are a No. 2 seed in the tournament. It’s safe to assume they’re your NCAA pick?

Oh, yeah. When it comes to Miami, I support all of the teams. I’ve been a fan of “The U” since I was growing up, day one. And the fact that the team is doing so well, I’m behind them.

Is it weird seeing Miami better at basketball than football?

Right? It’s crazy. That’s never happened. But they’re doing their thing.

There aren’t a lot of sports references in your songs.

In some of my mixtapes, I do.

I do remember a NASCAR reference in your song, “Roll.”

And I talk about the Super Bowl.

Growing up near Homestead and a few hours south of Daytona, were you ever a fan of NASCAR?

Well, you’re talking about Flo Rida. I drive a Bugatti, Ferrari, all of that. I always love top speed and NASCAR, so it stands out. I’m definitely a fan of NASCAR and just cars. Back home, a lot of my friends, they love getting their cars and turning it up as fast as they go. Some of them have the Nitrous, although myself I don’t mess with the Nitrous, because I like to get myself something that comes stocked, like a Ferrari or Bugatti.

OK, you’re here promoting Samsung and the new Smart TV experience they announced today. So we have a few TV questions for you. First off, what’s your favorite TV show?

I love watching reruns of “Martin.” The classic.

Your favorite TV show that you secretly enjoy?

When I get a chance and I’m not on the road, I’ll admit I probably watch some reality shows.

Where do you watch most of your TV?

Usually I pull it up on my phone.

Of all the times you’ve been on TV, what’s your proudest moment?

My proudest moment was when I did the Today Show, and my parents were actually there, and they put my parents on television.

 

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