MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10 This week of fatal beliefs, vampire face-lifts, and former child stars turned adult entertainers with race problems kicks off in Tennessee, where today Jon Setzer, a 74-year-old retired lawyer, picked up a package from his mailbox and carried it inside his Wilson County home. Soon after, the package exploded, killing Setzer and mortally wounding his wife, 72-year-old Marion Setzer, who'll pass away Wednesday at Nashville's Vanderbilt Hospital. On Thursday, investigators will announce their arrest of a suspect in the deadly bombings: Richard Parker, a Tennessee man who also happens to be Jon and Marion Setzer's son-in-law. "Investigators arrested 49-year-old Parker on two counts of felony first-degree murder and two counts of felony premeditated murder in connection with [the] package bomb," CNN reports. "Investigators would not discuss a motive and provided little detail about the case against Parker, but [investigators] said he is the sole suspect in the Setzers' deaths." At his arraignment next week, Richard Parker will plead not guilty to the charges.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11 Speaking of terrible stories, the week continues in Florida, where today brought the continuation of the trial of Michael Dunn, the 47-year-old man charged with murder and attempted murder after getting into an argument over loud music at a Jacksonville gas station and opening fire on an SUV full of teenagers—one of whom, 17-year-old Jordan Davis, was killed. Pleading not guilty to the charges, Dunn said he fired in self-defense after Davis threatened him with a gun. Today, Dunn took the stand to flesh out his defense. "Dunn testified that—after overhearing his life being threatened—he saw 'about four inches of a barrel' (of a gun, perhaps) and then another threat," reports CNN. "Yet his fiancée, [Rhonda] Rouer, testified herself Tuesday that—after she came out of a gas station—Dunn didn't tell her that he had seen a gun. The prosecutor then pressed her with more questions: Did Dunn mention any weapon to her? A stick? A shotgun? A barrel? A lead pipe. Each time, Rouer's answer was the same: No. In fact, police and prosecutors have said the teens were unarmed." This coming Saturday, the jury will render its verdict, finding Michael Dunn guilty of three charges of attempted murder but declaring themselves unable to come to a decision on the killing of Jordan Davis. "There was no verdict on the first-degree murder charge tied to the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis," reports CNN. "Given the partially hung jury, State Attorney Angela Corey said prosecutors would press for a new trial in Duval County on the murder charge." Silver lining that's keeping this from being an exact replica of the Zimmerman tragedy: "Even without a final decision on the murder count... the 47-year-old Dunn is looking at a lengthy prison term," reports CNN. "Each attempted second-degree murder conviction carries a minimum sentence of at least 20 years."
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12 Speaking of the seemingly irreparable shittiness of Florida, the week continues in Orlando, where today the Lake County Sheriff's Office announced the results of "a seven-day sex sting dubbed 'Be Mine' to mark Valentine's Day," as the Orlando Sentinel reports. In all, the "Be Mine" sex sting resulted in the arrests of 23 men on child-sex or prostitution charges. Among the busted: a National Guard soldier, an Orange County paramedic, and three employees of Walt Disney World.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13 Meanwhile, in California, today Long Beach police announced their arrest of a licensed massage therapist who's under investigation for allegedly performing unlicensed cosmetic procedures, one of which may be linked to a woman's death. As ABC News reports, yesterday 36-year-old Hamilet Suarez was getting cosmetic injections at the beauty salon where 45-year-old Sandra Gonzalez, a licensed massage therapist, rents a room. While there, Suarez went into cardiac arrest; upon being rushed to a hospital, Hamilet Suarez was declared dead. As for Sandra Gonzalez: "Investigators at the salon found medical equipment and controlled substances used for cosmetic procedures that Gonzalez was advertising but not licensed to perform," reports ABC. "They included 'butt augmentation,' 'lip augmentation,' and 'vampire face-lifts,' where a gel-like substance derived from the patient's own blood is injected to reduce wrinkles." According to police, Gonzalez has allegedly been performing the procedures at the salon for about a month. Currently jailed on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, Gonzalez remains under investigation for various other charges, including homicide. "Police would not immediately say what procedure Suarez was having done or what may have killed her," reports ABC.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14 Nothing happened today, unless you count the existence of Valentine's Day or the striking down of Virginia's same-sex marriage ban by a federal judge. (As US District Judge Arenda Wright Allen wrote in her opinion, "These laws deny Plaintiffs their rights to due process and equal protection guaranteed under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.")
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15 Meanwhile in Kentucky, tonight Jamie Coots—Pentecostal pastor and star of the National Geographic Channel reality show Snake Salvation—was giving a sermon at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus' Name when he took up a couple of poisonous snakes and was fatally bitten by a poisonous snake. Immediately after the snakebite, WBIR News reports, parishioners called for help while Pastor Coots left for home, leaving emergency personnel to track him down at his house, where he refused medical treatment and died. "Cody [Coots's son] said his dad didn't believe in going to the doctor for a snakebite," reports WBIR.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16 The week ends at the Tacoma Dome, where tonight Miley Cyrus landed with her just-launched Bangerz tour, drawing a humongous crowd of kids expressing their individuality by emulating Miley, and a handful of grown-up media types trying to suss out what it all means. In their barely-there shorts, underwear as outerwear, and lickable candy accessories, the kids filling the crowd had fully co-opted the pedophile's gaze into a brash cartoon style that was as empowered as it was unnerving. (Good job, kids!) Meanwhile, onstage, Cyrus slid down a giant plastic tongue emerging from an IMAX-sized image of her face to reign over a multimedia party featuring stage-stalking puppets, humongous inflatable dogs, a dozen dancers, and seriously accomplished animation (which was presented as just another something to look at in a tornado of competing media). Best part: the cumulative effect of Cyrus's year of calculated tackiness, which is starting to feel something like a major statement on Being Rich, White, and 21, when half your decisions are terrible ones and you just want to lick the whole world. Worst part: Cyrus's crappy habit of using black people as props, most glaringly evidenced by the presence of a large African American woman in very tight pants, who appeared onstage for the sole purpose of having her big black ass slapped by Cyrus. (Confidential to Miley Cyrus: You are Dolly Parton's goddaughter. Get your shit together.)
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