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June 30, 2005
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Killing may lead to death penalty ; Texas may seek capital murder charges against a Portland man in the death of a man from Biddeford.
Portland Press Herald (Maine); 6/29/2005; KEVIN WACK Staff Writer
Authorities in Texas plan to seek capital murder charges against a Portland man and four other people in connection with the stabbing death of a 21-year-old Biddeford man.
Edward Bachelder, 21, of Portland is being held in the Wharton
County Jail, about an hour southwest of Houston, on $1 million
Wharton County District Attorney Josh McCown said Tuesday that he believes evidence will show Junkins was murdered during a robbery.
"I'm not prepared to say robbery was the motive. It was a factor," McCown said.
When a murder occurs in Texas in the course of a robbery, suspects can be charged with capital murder, McCown said. Once a grand jury indicts a suspect on a charge of capital murder, prosecutors have the option of seeking the death penalty.
But if Bachelder is convicted, his decision to turn himself in, which provided the key break in the case, will be a factor in determining punishment, McCown said.
"There may be different sentences for different individuals, depending on the role they played and their cooperation," he said.
McCown hopes to take the case to a grand jury in August or September.
Wharton County Lt. Daniel Marek said five people, including Bachelder, were traveling with Junkins in a Chevrolet Blazer in mid- February, at the time the slaying occurred.
The victim's body was found face-down in a roadside ditch a little over a mile from the interstate highway that runs from Houston to the Mexican border.
In addition to Bachelder, four people have been charged with murder, authorities said. They are:
n Sean Flanders, 22, of Lakeland, Fla. He is being held without bond on separate charges in a Florida prison but has waived extradition to Texas, McCown said.
David Theriot, 26, of Lexington, Ky. He is being held without bond in Kentucky and has also waived extradition to Wharton County.
Athena Gandy, 22, of Lakeland, Fla., who is being held in the Wharton County Jail.
Tasha Kersey, 21, also of Lakeland. Both she and Gandy have already been extradited from Florida to Texas and are being held on $500,000 bond.
The homicide investigation's progress has provided some degree of comfort to Junkins' mother, Karan Normand of Biddeford.
During an interview last week, Normand tried to piece together what happened to her son.
Before Junkins left Maine, he was living in Portland with his girlfriend, his mother said. She spoke to her son on Jan. 7 and talked about getting together for his birthday on Jan. 15.
Normand called her son again eight days later. But Junkins, who had bipolar disorder and often acted impulsively, never called back. At some point he and his girlfriend had broken up, Junkins' mother said, and he met Bachelder.
While still in Maine, Junkins and Bachelder heard about the opportunity to make some money doing construction work in Florida, Normand said. They traveled to Florida, where they apparently met at least some of the other people charged in Junkins' death.
Normand was worried about her son's disappearance and considered filing a missing-person report. But she said he had previously gone missing for months at a time.
"I wondered where he was. I worried about him. But I didn't really hit the panic button until he didn't call me on Mother's Day, and he hasn't missed a Mother's Day since he was 14," Normand said.
She had mixed emotions about Bachelder's actions.
She is angry, of course, about his alleged involvement in her son's death, but also grateful that he went to police.
Without that decision, police might never have made any arrests, though the district attorney said authorities did recover fingerprints and DNA from the scene.
Normand, who described her son as a "good kid" with a "heart of gold," is trying to raise enough money to have his body returned to Maine for a burial.
Staff Writer Kevin Wack can be contacted at 282-8226 or at:
Copyright 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
Bobby Brown Reality Show Debuting
AP Online; 6/28/2005; DOUG GROSS, Associated Press Writer
After a decade and a half of spending more time on the police blotter than the pop charts, Bobby Brown wants the world to know he's not really a bad boy.
"They've made my life out to be problems, problems, problems," said Brown, who spent the 1980s and early '90s on the charts with his group, New Edition, and as a solo artist. "It's not like that. I'm not a bad person."
He'll take his case to the public starting Thursday, when "Being Bobby Brown," a reality TV series promising "an artist striving to clean up his life," premieres on Bravo.
The series follows the lives of Brown, wife Whitney Houston and three of his children.
With beer bottles littered throughout an Atlanta hotel suite, Brown dragged on a cigarette on a recent afternoon and recalled being approached for the series last year while he was in a Georgia jail for violating probation on drunken driving charges.
"Basically, with all the garbage press that I've gotten, I found out that people are still interested in Bobby Brown," said the 36-year-old Grammy winner, who lives in suburban Atlanta.
The program promises to be a study in contradictions. The eight half-hour episodes will shed light on Brown's relationships with his children, his brother and Houston _ the 41-year-old multiplatinum pop songstress he married 13 years ago.
It will also document his release from jail and one of many courtroom appearances _ including for charges of hitting Houston during a 2003 argument.
In the series' opening scene at a restaurant, Brown chats up a pair of businessmen who know his reputation but don't realize they're talking to the man himself.
"You recognize me now?" Brown asks, bending over and pushing his hands behind his back to mimic being handcuffed.
Tracey Baker-Simmons, the show's executive producer, said she dreamed up the show after repeatedly seeing Brown in the news for his arrests, court dates and jail stints.
"The idea was that there had to be more to the person," said Baker-Simmons. "He is someone's husband; he's someone's son. There are other titles that people don't normally attach to him that make him human."
In the late 1970s, Brown was one of five friends who began singing together while growing up in Boston. The teens went on to form New Edition, a group that topped the charts with bubblegum hits such as "Candy Girl" and "Mr. Telephone Man," paving the way for boy-band phenoms such as New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys.
Brown left that group in 1986. His 1988 album, "Don't Be Cruel," sold 7 million copies, producing smash singles including "My Prerogative" while pioneering "new jack swing," a marriage of rap and traditional R&B.
An album of remixes "Dance! ... Ya Know It!" went platinum in 1990, then "Bobby" was released to moderate success in 1992.
The same year, he married Houston and began a stretch known more for tabloid headlines than hits.
He was arrested in 1993 by Atlanta police for lewd conduct during a concert. Then there was a pair of brawls in 1995, at a Disney World nightclub and a Los Angeles hotel, and a 1996 drunken driving arrest.
He's been in and out of court on charges of failing to pay child support to a former lover and on drug charges including marijuana possession and refusing to retake a drug test that showed cocaine in his system.
His most recent jail stint, which began in February of last year, was for probation violations including the battery charge against Houston, not submitting to drug testing, failing to pay supervision fees for three months, and failing to prove he completed court-ordered counseling.
Brown, who said he's been diagnosed with "ADD (attention deficit disorder), bipolar or whatever they want to call it," blames drugs.
"I had to smoke weed to come down to other people's level and, for me, it moved on to other things," he said. "Those are the things that didn't agree with me. It took away my personality."
Brown says he still occasionally drinks _ he told a judge in 2000 that he's an alcoholic _ but takes no illegal drugs.
"The narcotics are done," he said. "My kids were the best inspiration for me. ... They didn't know I was high, but at the same time they knew something was wrong with me and they would tell me."
Houston has had her own troubles. In March, she checked herself into a rehabilitation center for the second time in a year after saying she was using prayer to quit drugs.
Despite Houston and Brown's problems, Bravo President Lauren Zalaznick said the series doesn't focus on cheap sensationalism.
"Bravo is really committed to providing programming that goes very deeply into the internal worlds of creative people," she said of the cable network that airs reality programs including "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." "When you do that, you can't shy away from risks or unconventional ideas for programming."
Brown still hopes to revive his career. He said he has more than 1,000 songs ready to record and that he's working to promote a pair of music projects by his children.
He said he also would like to shoot another season of the reality show _ largely because having cameras around makes it easier for him to avoid using drugs.
"My desire now is about my family, my kids, my music and my work," he said. "That's where my frame of mind needs to be."
Days after that interview, two members of Brown's entourage were stabbed during a fight at Justin's, an Atlanta restaurant owned by rapper/producer Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, where Brown was performing at an open-mic showcase.
The next week, a Massachusetts judge issued an arrest warrant for him for not appearing at a child support hearing.
For Brown, turning off the cameras doesn't stop the reality.
On The Net:
Copyright 2005, AP News All Rights Reserved
Teen Mental Health Declining in the United States.
PR Newswire; 6/28/2005
PHILADELPHIA, June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Adolescents in the United States are more likely to suffer from a mental health disorder than ever before, but getting these teens diagnosed and cared for is a challenge that is not being met, a new book warns.
These findings are detailed in Treating and Preventing Adolescent Mental Health Disorders: What We Know and What We Don't Know - A Research Agenda for Improving the Mental Health of Our Youth (Oxford University Press), in which 150 mental health specialists analyze recent research on teen mental health problems.
These experts found while one in five adolescents suffer from a mental health disorder, treating them is not a priority on the nation's public health agenda, and there is limited knowledge about how to best help them. The result: disorders are frequently undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, or teenagers receive treatment whose effectiveness has been mostly studied in adults.
"Teenagers are being neglected by our society, both medically and emotionally," said the book's lead author, Dwight L. Evans, MD, an expert on mood disorders and Psychiatry Department Chair at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Without more research that targets this very malleable age group -- and without early detection and prevention services to get them the help they need -- this mental health crisis will only get worse."
Among the experts' recommendations:
* School-based services for the assessment, treatment, and
* Primary care physicians must improve their ability to
* The health care system should allow treatment of different
* Mental health treatments should receive full parity under
* Public awareness of mental health disorders and their
* More research is crucial on the best treatment methods for teens.
CONTACT: Angela Hayes, of Goldberg McDuffie Communications, Inc. for Oxford University Press, +1-212-446-5104, email@example.com
COPYRIGHT 2005 PR Newswire Association LLC
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The Warning Signs Of An Impending Bipolar Disorder Manic Episode
Bipolar disorder - as the name implies - involves two distinct set of symptoms. One set throws the individual down into the depths of a massive depression. The other places the individual who suffers with bipolar disorder at the top of a peak manic episode.
Most everyone can eventually recognize the warning signs of an impending depressive episode related to bipolar disorder. More likely than not, individuals with bipolar disorder try very hard to avoid it.
However, for many individuals with bipolar disorder, it's more difficult to recognize the signs of an impending manic episode. After all, a manic episode of bipolar disorder can be mistaken in some cases - especially in the very early formation -- for the lifting of the corresponding mood swing of the depression.
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