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News From Action News Jax

    Duval County started its hand recount for the Senate and commissioner of agriculture races Friday around 11:15 a.m. The recount kicked off before a large crowd of onlookers from both parties. It comes after a machine recount mandated by Florida law when a race falls within 0.5%. If after the machine recount, the race remains within 0.25%, then Florida calls for a manual recount of undervotes and overvotes. Each ballot is reviewed one by one. Duval County started with the Senate race between Sen. Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott. STORY: Florida Election 2018: How to track your Vote Everything has a method, down to the type of pens that can be used. Only green felt tip pens could be used in the counting area. Representatives for each candidate and for each party supervised each of the 12 counting tables which consisted of two counters from the supervisor of elections office. #handrecount continues in #Jacksonville with election day ballots now. Here’s a look at the tedious yet necessary process as mandated by #Florida law @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews #FloridaRecount #FloridaRecount2018 pic.twitter.com/Go8sm4ltru — Lorena Inclán (@LorenaANjax) November 16, 2018 STORY: Florida recount 2018: What has changed since 2000? Old equipment, old laws add to problems The representatives are able to object if they disagree with a counter, but they’re not allowed to touch the ballots. The challenged ballot then goes to be reviewed by the canvassing board which is made up of a city councilman, a judge and the supervisor of elections Mike Hogan. “I think we’re doing a great job. It’s been very methodical. They’re taking time,” said Karyn Morton, chair for the Republican Party of Duval County. “It’s a real transparent process. We see all the ballots going in. The ones that come out we reviewed with the committee,” said attorney Kevin Cobbin, who is an observer for the Democrats.  It’s a been a long 10 days since Election Day, but it's been longest for Hogan, the man who oversees the entire operation. “I’m tired. I can’t sleep because I think about, 'Did we do this, did we do that?’ But it’ll be over soon,” said Hogan. Recounting just the Senate race took up more than six hours. Hogan said there were about 2,200 ballots that needed to be recounted in that race and around 9,000 for the commissioner of agriculture race. .@DuvalCountySOE is going to try to wrap up the #handrecount tonight. Not sure how long they'll go tonight but that's the goal @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews #FloridaRecount2018 — Lorena Inclán (@LorenaANjax) November 16, 2018 Despite instructions clearly written at the top of the ballot, some voters still didn’t follow directions. There were circle marks, scribbles, even markings over the Republican or Democratic designation instead of the actual oval. STORY: Florida elections 2018: Final recount slightly off in Duval County Even Santa Claus got a write-in vote. The write-in that drew the most laughter in the room was for an “expletive” Rick Scott.  One write-in candidate got the loudest laugh in this room. It was for “*expletive* Rick Scott”. The board quickly covered the bad word on the projector screen. It was ruled a ‘no vote’. @ActionNewsJax #floridarecount #floridarecount2018 #florida #election pic.twitter.com/md7R6cugEf — Lorena Inclán (@LorenaANjax) November 16, 2018 “The ones where you see a mark near the oval then those are ones that are a little difficult. Those took a little more time. There were only like three or four that I really had to struggle with,” said Hogan. Voter intent is at the heart of the struggle. The canvassing board makes the final call, but attorneys on both sides have been filing objections. For instance, in a few cases, the voter filled in the “D” in “Dem” next to Sen. Bill Nelson’s name instead of the oval.   The board decided it was the voter’s intent to vote for Nelson, so it was counted, and a similar situation happened in Gov. Rick Scott’s case where “Rep” was circled. .@DuvalCountySOE is going to try to wrap up the #handrecount tonight. Not sure how long they'll go tonight but that's the goal @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews #FloridaRecount2018 — Lorena Inclán (@LorenaANjax) November 16, 2018 Santa Claus got a vote for #florida senate 🎅🏼 This ballot was a no vote @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews #FloridaRecount #FloridaRecount2018 #handrecount pic.twitter.com/6KsvXVvRdI — Lorena Inclán (@LorenaANjax) November 16, 2018
  • Neighbors told Action News Jax they’ve been stuck with property damage and plumbing bills after a contractor reportedly tried to cover up a mistake. According to the Clay County Utility Authority, a government contractor cut through a sewer pipe in an Orange Park neighborhood, then buried it. “I’m just very unhappy about it,” said Linda Farmer, who now has damage to her front yard on Bee Street North. She’s supposed to have family over for Thanksgiving next week. “It’s just an eyesore. And the grass is all torn up, and this just looks terrible,” said Farmer. Farmer’s neighbor, Fran Kennedy, first noticed there was a problem. STORY: Action News Jax investigation leads to class action lawsuit at apartment complex “If my toilets had not started to overflow, we wouldn’t have known,” said Kennedy. She hired a plumber, who told her the problem was with the county sewage pipe. The Clay County Utility Authority came out and found a contractor hired by the county had cut the sewer pipe underground so they could install a new pipe below it to alleviate groundwater. The county said the contractor, Capps Land Management, did not repair that damaged sewer pipe and then buried it. STORY: Sewage issues resume at Camelot Gardens Apartments in Jacksonville “If you made a mistake, tell somebody. Don’t cover it up,” said Kennedy. Nearly 3,000 gallons of sewage flowed into a nearby pond after leaking into a pipe under the street.  Capps Land Management told Action News Jax it didn’t know anything about the issue. The county could send the contractor a bill for repairs if it’s found to be at fault. Neighbors tell me they've been stuck with property damage & plumbing bills after #ClayCounty says a contractor tried to cover up a mistake. The county says the contractor, paid by your tax $, cut through a sewer pipe, then buried it. Watch CBS47 @ActionNewsJax at 5:15 pic.twitter.com/OtxMMeKFWr — Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) November 16, 2018
  • Four of the five counties experiencing the worst flu activity in Florida are local, according to the Florida Department of Health. The flu is starting to pick up – especially in Putnam County – one of the three worst-hit counties in Florida right now. “At least three of my children have recently been sick,” said Stephen Speaks. His wife has been working overtime. “My poor wife,” he said. According to the Florida Department of Health, the outbreaks were reported in schools, day cares and a nursing facility. Of the five counties that are seeing the most activity in the state, four are local including Putnam, Bradford, Union and Columbia counties. STORY: Flu activity on the rise in Duval, Nassau, Putnam The flu also continues to increase in Nassau and St. Johns Counties. “You can’t mess around with any of these,” said Jeanette Schrupp who just got vaccinated. “I got my flu shot today,” she said. Health officials expect an increase in flu activity in the coming weeks. “So crossing my fingers,” said Speaks. STORY: FDA approves new drug to fight, reduce flu symptoms STORY: More than half of parents believe myth about flu shot, survey finds Yep... I’m talking about the #flu today... because a number of flu outbreaks have been reported in a LOCAL county... and other local counties are experiencing the worst flu activity. Watch CBS 47 at 5. pic.twitter.com/LngLqEen2s — Amber Krycka (@AmberANjax) November 16, 2018
  • More than a decade after a Jacksonville woman was raped, DNA evidence helped police track down the suspect. Kennith Robinson, 33, was arrested Nov. 8 for the 2007 sexual assault.   Police said he was 22 years old at the time of the rape and lived directly across the street from where it took place. In June 2007, the victim was at a party when she fell asleep in a car and woke up to find an unknown man forcing himself on her, police said.  STORY: More the 3,600 rape kits no longer backlogged The victim immediately reported the assault to police and was given a sexual assault exam. The report said the kit was not submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement until July 2018.  Police said the DNA results matched with Robinson, who was a known offender. In June 2017, police said they showed the victim a single picture of the suspect from the time of the incident.  STORY: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office getting federal funding for rape kit testing backlog According to the report, the victim told police “I can’t tell you 'yes' or 'no'. It was a long time ago. I can’t remember.” Police said that, in Oct. 2018, they interviewed the victim’s friend who recalled  that his neighbor “Scooter,” who lived across the street, bragged about having sex with the victim in the days following the incident. The arrest reflects the backlog in the analysis of rape kits.  STORY: In Florida, rape kits will now be tested within 120 days According to the recent sexual assault kit progress report, FDLE said it’s tested 7,042 previously submitted kits that were part of the backlog have now been processed. FDLE hopes to process 8,600 kits by June 2019.  More than a decade after a local woman was raped, DNA evidence helped police identify this suspect in the case. That story at 5 on CBS47 @ActionNewsJax. pic.twitter.com/gQy5PTBRAY — Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) November 16, 2018
  • A University of North Florida dean accused of having sex on campus is now suing the school to get his job back. He was allegedly caught having sex on campus, but this ex-college dean said he’s the one being wronged. Dr. Mark Tumeo is suing the University of North Florida for not allowing him to be reinstated in his position as a tenured faculty member. In October, police said they caught Tumeo engaging in a sexual act with a man outside the press box at a stadium on campus. The report said he used the app “Adam4Adam” to meet up with the man. Students and faculty got a message from the school that said Mr. Tumeo had resigned. STORY: UNF dean resigns after reported sex act on campus It also said, “This behavior was un-becoming of a university official and doesn’t comply with the standards expected of members of our university community.”  According to the complaint, Tumeo said he was forced to resign and was only given three minutes to make that decision. But some students don’t feel sympathy for him.  “If he broke the rules, he broke the rules. He knew the consequences when he was doing it,” said Truman Neal, a UNF student. STORY: UNF students seek more information in sexual assault investigation “He would choose to blame the school when it was his own actions,” said Danielle Niemela, another student.  Action News Jax asked UNF for a statement, but was told it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.  Should the UNF dean accused of having sex on campus be given his job back? Vote here. https://t.co/8aPWOojPhF — Amber Krycka (@AmberANjax) November 16, 2018
  • The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that there has been a fatal shooting on Christopher Street in St. Augustine.  Family members and friends of the victim could be heard screaming in the street. There was a large gathering at the scene, and multiple St. Johns County Sheriff's Office units were at the scene.  MORE: Witnesses remain silent while St. Augustine double murder remains unsolved Deputies were asking the public to avoid the area. The victim's identity has not been released.  Action News Jax has a reporter at the scene. Please refresh this page for updates and watch CBS47 for the latest.  Happening right now call Deputy’s are working a shooting at Christopher Street and Aiken Street. We are asking that everybody avoid the area if possible. ATTENTION MEDIA: Media staging area is on Herbert St. at Wildflower Clinic.— SJSO (@SJSOPIO) November 16, 2018 #BREAKING @SJSOPIO confirms the person who was shot near Christoper & Herbert Streets in West St. Augustine is dead. The Sheriff’s Office is not able to release any more information about the victim right now. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/sw8rHuGoqA — Courtney Cole (@CourtneyANJax) November 16, 2018 #RIGHTNOW —the SJC Sheriff’s Office Unified Command Center just arrived on scene of the of the deadly shooting scene at Herbert & Christoper Streets in West St. Augustine. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/Hbbniau4k1 — Courtney Cole (@CourtneyANJax) November 16, 2018
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has confirmed they are investigating an officer-involved shooting on Jacksonville's Westside. JSO said no officers were hurt and the suspect has been transported to the hospital. Breaking: #JSO working officer involved shooting in the Paxon area. No officers injured - suspect transported to local hospital. More information to follow as the investigation progresses. Media staging to follow. pic.twitter.com/dVmGTN38Qv — Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) November 16, 2018 Neighbors who live in the area where this unfolded told Action News Jax reporter Ryan Nelson they heard an exchange of gunfire. They say they heard at least six shots.  A neighbor said the shooting unfolded right in front of his home, and officers recovered the suspect’s weapon on his property.  The Sheriff's Office said officers tried to make a traffic stop along Melson Avenue when a man jumped out of the vehicle with a gun in hand. JSO said officers chased the man into a nearby yard. The Sheriff's Office said a field training officer caught up to the suspect and fired several shots at him, striking the suspect. At last check, police say the suspect is in critical condition but stable. The officers were not hurt. Police say there’s no evidence the suspect fired a shot. At this time police are collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses. JSO said the officer was wearing a body camera and that footage is being reviewed.  Police tell us more information will be revealed in tomorrow ---- including whether this officer has been involved in an involved shooting before.   Nelson was on Melson Avenue near this police-involved shooting last night. Neighbors say a swat situation was unfolding here on their streets last night. Police on scene told Nelson the situation was related a shooting that had happened earlier in the day. #MORE: I was on scene on Melson last night where @JSOPIO had set perimeter. Neighbors say a SWAT situation was unfolding. Police on scene told me the situation was related a shooting that had happened earlier in the day.@ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews https://t.co/0QSUWqASXu — Ryan Nelson (@RyanANJax) November 16, 2018 #RIGHTNOW: Crime scene unit has arrived on scene of officer involved shooting investigation near Paxon in #Jacksonville. @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/FprVpjILDH — Ryan Nelson (@RyanANJax) November 16, 2018 #BREAKING: @jsopio gives briefing on officer-involved shooting in Paxon area. https://t.co/TlW41ecEdx — Ryan Nelson (@RyanANJax) November 17, 2018

The Latest News Headlines

  • Over a week after being publicly ridiculed for losing her seat in Congress by President Donald Trump, Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) on Friday night was on the verge of pulling off a stunning comeback in her re-election bid, as the continued counting of ballots in her Utah district finally pushed her into the lead by a slender 419 votes. “Hard to see how she relinquishes that now,” said Dave Wasserman, an elections expert who has been forecasting a possible comeback by Love for several days. Still being tabulated are thousands of provisional ballots in Utah and Salt Lake counties, which take time to verify, as Utah and a number of other states slowly push their way through the votes of the November mid-term elections. The jump into first place for Love came as a judge tossed out a lawsuit that she filed – which oddly would have stopped vote counting in Salt Lake County – a move that her opponent said ‘smacks of desperation.’ “Utah voters deserve better than this,” said Democrat Ben McAdams. With the Utah County numbers posting, Rep. Mia Love has taken a 419-vote lead over Ben McAdams. #utpol — #VoteGehrke (@RobertGehrke) November 16, 2018 But the McAdams lead over Love has slowly withered away in recent days, leaving Love favored by many to win re-election. A comeback victory would be filled with irony, especially after the mocking ridicule heaped upon Love and a number of other House Republicans by President Donald Trump, who said the day after the elections that Love and others were defeated because they refused to embrace him. “Mia Love gave me no love and she lost,” the President said, almost seeming to enjoy the outcome. “Too bad. Sorry about that Mia.” President Trump lists Republicans who didn't embrace him and lost. 'They did very poorly. I'm not sure that I should be happy or sad, but I feel just fine about it.' 'Mia Love gave me no love and she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that Mia.' pic.twitter.com/ZV7EKcWjLX — CSPAN (@cspan) November 7, 2018 Two weekends after the elections, a small number of races remained undecided – with some that could stretch until after Thanksgiving: FLORIDA SENATE – With a manual recount finishing up, and Florida’s 67 counties waiting through Saturday to deal with any other stray ballots, Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) seems headed for victory over Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL). This will give the GOP a big victory, and a 2 seat margin in the U.S. Senate. From a statistical/electoral/historical perspective, Scott's defeat of Nelson is pretty much unmatched in recent political history. Beating a swing state opposition party senator without a hint of scandal in a midterm… It's quite impressive. — (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) November 17, 2018 CALIFORNIA 39 – This is the first of six (or maybe seven) undecided House races. After holding the lead for days, Republican Young Kim has now been swamped by late votes coming from both Orange and Los Angeles counties, and now trails Democrat Gil Cisneros by over 3,000 votes. This should complete what is a total GOP wipeout in Orange County, as Democrats would gain six GOP seats in the Golden State. Congressional districts in Orange County, Calif. in 2016 and in 2018 pic.twitter.com/TWRQ1pPzS4 — Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) November 16, 2018 CALIFORNIA 21 – This seat has already been called by the AP and other news organizations for the Republicans, but as the votes keep coming in, Rep. David Valadao’s lead keeps shrinking, and some wonder if he can hold on. This might be a long shot, but it bears watching. It’s hard to fathom that Democrats could gain a seventh seat in California. We've been watching CA-21 like a hawk for more than a week now, and the chance for Democrat T J Cox to catch up to Valadao has gone from remote but intriguingly possibile to plausible. We're moving this one to our uncalled races tab. https://t.co/FeGWU7SsoE — Daniel Donner (@donnermaps) November 17, 2018 UTAH 4 – As mentioned above, Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) now has the lead. This would be a big save for Republicans, who have had very little to cheer about in the past 10 days since the elections. In fact, there has been an almost daily drumbeat of Democratic victories each night since then, as they edge closer to a possible pickup of almost 40 House seats, their largest gains since 1974 after Watergate. BREAKING: As expected, #UT04 GOP Rep. Mia Love (R) has pulled into the lead over Ben McAdams (D) by 419 votes. Hard to see how she relinquishes it now. https://t.co/nfsptUdHiN — Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 16, 2018 NEW YORK 22 – This seat can probably be called for the Democrats by the AP and other organizations, as absentee ballot counts on Friday went clearly for Democrat Anthony Brindisi, leaving Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) behind by over 3,000 votes in this northern New York district. This is not a spot where the GOP should have lost. @Redistrict Brindisi lead in NY22 has surged to more 3000 votes! I see no path to victory for Tenney. She's falling further behind as more ballots are counted, that's a losing combination, a larger deficit, and fewer votes left to count. https://t.co/ae1Ny8Osws — Kevin O'Connell (@Kevtoco) November 17, 2018 NEW YORK 27 – Indicted Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) still leads by over 1,000 votes in this western New York district, with one big cache of absentee ballots and provisionals to count next Tuesday around Buffalo. Democrat Nate McMurray has been winning a majority of absentee ballots in recent days in counties where he lost the Election Day vote, making some wonder if he has a chance to win this race at the last minute next week. This is the equivalent of betting a horse that’s maybe 9-1. It might win. Nate McMurray continues to gain ground in counties that he lost to Rep. Chris Collins in. Biggest test will be Tuesday when the Erie County absentee and affidavit votes will be counted. https://t.co/f5nincKkZx — WGRZ (@WGRZ) November 16, 2018 GEORGIA 7 – While the race for Governor is over, Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) has a 419 vote edge in this suburban Atlanta district, with all of the votes counted. Democratic challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux announced on Friday afternoon that she would ask for a recount. While a recount doesn’t usually switch the outcome, we have certainly seen in Florida and other states in recent days where there are tabulation errors uncovered – so you can’t say this is in the bag for the GOP – but they are favored. News: We will file for a recount of the 7th district race. With a margin of only 419 votes (0.14%), we want to make sure every vote was counted correctly & fairly. It is crucial that every eligible vote is counted & every voice is heard. #GA07 #GAPol — Carolyn Bourdeaux (@Carolyn4GA7) November 16, 2018 TEXAS 23 – Even though she’s behind by just under 1,000 votes, Cindy Ortiz Jones spent the week in Washington going through freshman orientation, but that may not work out for the Texas Democrat, as Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) seems like he’s in good position in this race, leading by 0.5 percent. Hurd’s people on Friday were declaring victory, but it wasn’t clear if Jones would press for any kind of vote review. Republicans are favored to hold on to this border district, but it was much closer than anyone had predicted. Bexar County has finished counting, leaving only six votes left to count (Kinney & Upton). @WillHurd has won by 928 votes, this race is over #TX23 — Connor Pfeiffer (@ConnorPfeiffer) November 16, 2018 Democrats right now have a net gain of 36 seats – they should win at least two of the undecided races left, and have an outside chance at others. Right now, the new Congress stands at 231 Democrats to 198 Republicans, with six seats undecided. One final note – this extended time of vote counting is totally normal. Reporters follow it every two years, but many partisans think there is something amiss.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says an active investigation is underway after their officers were involved in a shooting in the Paxon area on the Westside.  The Director of Investigations and Homeland Security with JSO, Ron Lendvay, says the shooting stemmed from a traffic violation at around 4:00 PM Friday.  'A field training officer and his recruit were working in the area of St. Clair and Detroit Street, when they observed a traffic violator. The violator was observed running a stop sign and increasing his speed. The officers activated their overhead emergency lights and noted that the passenger side kept opening and closing as the vehicle continued on,' explains Lendvay.  At some point, the officers say the vehicle stopped to let someone out of the passenger side on Melson Avenue. JSO says that person was seen by the officers with a pistol in his hand.  Officers stopped to chase that man and the field training officer was able to catch up to him. At some point during their interaction, police say the officer fired several shots at him.  The suspect was hit by the gunfire, taken into custody, and then to the hospital, where police say he underwent surgery. He's now described as being in critical condition, but currently stable at the hospital.  As this chase and shooting was occurring, Lendvay says the original driver abandoned the vehicle nearby and fled on foot as did another passenger. At this time, neither of those individuals have been found.  Lendvay says several officers involved in different portions of this incident were wearing body cameras. That video is still in the process of being collected and will be reviewed.  At this time, police say it's not clear if the suspect fired any shots or what exactly occurred during the interaction with the officer.  The sheriff's office plans to release further information on this shooting on Saturday. WATCH FULL BRIEFING FROM JACKSONVILLE SHERIFF’S OFFICE:
  • Gas prices are down across the country right now, which is good news if you plan on driving to visit friends or family for Thanksgiving. Depending on which way you are going, you might want to fill up before you leave, says Patrick DeHaan, Head of Gas and Petroleum Analysis at Gas Buddy.  'Generally, if you are heading out of the state, wait until you cross out of Florida to fill up,' he says.  But if you are heading south to places like Miami or the Florida Keys, you'll want to get your gas before you get too far south, because that's where the prices are the highest.  Although prices are down right now across Florida, states like Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama are generally going to be cheaper to top off your tank, DeHaan says.  GasBuddy.com is a website with a free app that directs you to the most affordable gas stations in your area. But DeHaan says as a general rule in the Southeast, the farther south you go the higher the gas prices get.  DeHaan says in Georgia into the Carolinas it can be anywhere from 10 to 15 cents cheaper per gallon than Florida. Gas Buddy can help you find the cheapest prices no matter where you go.
  • A Middleburg man has been found guilty of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and leaving the scene of a crash involving injury, after an incident involving his ex-girlfriend. The State Attorney's Office says Larry Jamison now faces a maximum of 15 years in Florida State Prison, after they say surveillance video showed the entire incident.  According to investigators, Jamison drove his car into his ex-girlfriend as she was walking to church back in February. Investigators say just after hitting her, he got out of his car and yelled at her, and then drove off.  He was then later found by police in the church and acting as if the incident hadn't happened.   Jamison's sentencing hearing has been set for the week of December 3rd.
  • A former Alabama nurse accused of poisoning her private investigator husband had a preliminary hearing Thursday, at which time the shocking details of the crime were revealed for the first time. Marjorie Nicole “Nikki” Cappello, 32, of Huntsville, is charged with murder in the September death of her husband, New York native Jim Cappello Jr. AL.com reported that Jim Cappello, who was reported missing by his wife, was found dead at the couple’s south Huntsville home Sept. 22.  The registered nurse surrendered her license six days later, Alabama Board of Nursing records show.  Nikki Cappello, who jail records show is out on $100,000 bond, waived her right to appear at the preliminary hearing, but members of Jim Cappello’s family were in the courtroom as prosecutors and investigators laid out their case.  >> Read more trending news “Honestly, the family gets a lot of respect from me,” Assistant Madison County District Attorney Tim Douthit told WAFF 48 News. “I don't know if I would be able to sit there and listen to all of that and keep a straight face the way that they did. The evidence that came out today was pretty clear and horrendous.” Lead investigator Mike DeNoon testified Thursday that the investigation showed Jim Cappello, 37, had become suspicious that his wife was abusing narcotics. According to WAFF, he had begun gathering evidence against her, so he could file for divorce and obtain custody of their 4-year-old daughter, Ryleigh. According to his LinkedIn profile, Jim Cappello worked for Posey Investigations for several years before opening his own business, Cappello Investigative Agency, in 2012. DeNoon testified that Nikki Cappello reported her husband missing Sept. 21. The detective said that Jim Cappello’s co-workers had become concerned because he had not shown up for work. When they went to the couple’s home, however, Nikki Cappello would not let them inside, DeNoon said. Jim Cappello’s car was parked outside the house. According to WAFF, DeNoon testified that Nikki Cappello called a friend, Crystal Anderson, the following day and admitted she had killed her husband with insulin. Anderson told investigators that her friend asked her to come and help her get rid of the body. DeNoon said that Nikki Cappello put Anderson on hold for a few moments before returning to the line and telling her not to worry, that another friend was on the way to help her.  A concerned Anderson called police, WAFF reported. Police officials are trying to determine who the other friend was, the news station said.   A foul odor and a freshly dug grave Patrol officers were dispatched to the Cappello home, where one officer went to the front door and a second went around back, WAFF said. DeNoon testified that the officer at the front door smelled the odor of a dead body when Nikki Cappello answered the door. The officer around back found what appeared to be a freshly dug grave, DeNoon testified. The officers detained Nikki Cappello on the front porch and called detectives in.  WAFF reported that DeNoon, who was one of the investigators called to the scene, testified he also smelled the odor of human decomposition when he arrived. He said he asked a visibly nervous Nikki Cappello for permission to search her home. She gave permission for the investigators to search everywhere but the garage, the news station reported. DeNoon said Nikki Cappello was taken to the police station for questioning and he obtained a search warrant for the entire property. Jim Cappello’s body was found sprawled on a tarp on the garage floor, his feet on the floorboard of a car as though someone had tried to move him into the vehicle.  DeNoon told the court that the defendant acted as though nothing was wrong when she was told about the discovery, according to WAFF.  “You know I went inside. You know I found him, right?” DeNoon testified that he asked her.  “Yes, I knew he was there,” Nikki Cappello allegedly responded.  Though Jim Cappello’s final autopsy report is pending, the medical examiner told DeNoon the private detective was poisoned using insulin, WAFF reported.  DeNoon told the court that investigators went to the hospital where Nikki Cappello was a charge nurse and spoke to her co-workers, who said she often talked about her problems with her husband and said she would only be rid of him if he were dead, the news station said.  Hospital workers who looked through their medication supply found that some insulin was missing, WAFF reported. DeNoon said Nikki Cappello told him she’d accidentally brought a bottle of the diabetes drug home with her.  Jim Cappello apparently found the bottle and took a photo of it before texting the photo to a friend, WAFF said. At the time, he appeared not to know what the drug was.  Madison County District Judge Claude Hundley III ordered that the murder case go before a grand jury.  ‘Please make today like your last’ Jim Cappello’s obituary described him as an asset in multiple facets of his life, especially to the legal community. “He was an avid car enthusiast, passionate about helping people and providing for his family (was a) priority,” the obituary read. “Jim was a well-known proud father who cherished every smile and laugh from his baby girl.” Jim Cappello’s father and sister sat through Thursday’s testimony. Afterward, they told WAFF they felt it was important to be there, even though they had to come from out of state.  “It was pretty intense but I'm glad it’s going to move on,” Jim Cappello Sr. told the news station. 'We want to be part of the whole thing. He didn’t deserve this, but he deserves justice. He’s my son and I miss him.” The younger Jim Cappello’s sister, Jamie Weast, said she’s hopeful the family can get some closure through the legal process.  “He’s shining down on us right now. He’s with us every step of the way,” she said. “We’re doing everything that we're capable of every day to remember and honor him.” The family started a Facebook page, Legacy of James Cappello, for relatives and friends to share memories of him so Ryleigh, who is being cared for by the Cappello family, will remember her doting father. Many friends shared memories addressed directly to the little girl. “Your dad worked at McDonald’s during high school,” one man wrote. “Happy Meals included a Beany (sic) Baby doll. He used to complain about being surrounded by these furry toys. “Yet he fell in love with them when you came along. You were his hero. With or without fries.” Weast posted a text message her brother sent her on Mother’s Day, in which he said a friend’s mother had died and he was helping the friend out. He told her he was thinking of the people in his life and things happening to them. “So please make today like your last,” he wrote, according to Weast. “We don’t know. Enjoy it. And have everyone around you enjoy it. Love you so much. Can’t handle the thought of you not there.”  

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