According to Dennis Byron, of HipHopEnquirer.com, Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane booted the press from the courtroom Tuesday during the contentious child custody trial of singer Usher Raymond and his ex-wife, Tameka Foster.

Judge Lane ordered the press removed from the courtroom in advance of testimony by Usher Raymond, who was asked by Tameka's lawyer, Lisa West, to explain a violent incident involving his own mother, Jonetta Patton.

According to Mr. Byron, Tameka Foster's attorney objected to the press being removed from the courtroom. It is her contention that Mr. Raymond is an unstable and unfit father.

Read Dennis Byron's report after the break, and stay tuned for more news from the courtroom later today.

Read more »

The dramatic coverage of Usher Raymond and Tameka Foster's child custody hearing continues today in a Fulton County courtroom.

According to celebrity blogger Dennis Byron, of HipHopEnquirer.com, who is in the courtroom, Usher is on the witness stand right now, and Tameka's attorney, Lisa West, is attempting to prove that his schedule is too busy to get full custody.

And just moments ago, Usher was admonished by the judge for referring to Tameka Raymond as "Tameka Foster." Apparently, the judge recognizes Foster Tameka Raymond because she kept Usher's last name after the couple's divorce in 2009.

Update: According to Dennis, Judge Lane just removed all media from courtroom while Usher was about to give testimony on evidence photos.

Update II, 3:48 pm ET:
According to Dennis, the court personnel are monitoring his coverage and that of a "famous blogger." It isn't clear who the famous blogger is.

Read more »

More testimony in the ongoing child custody case of Usher Raymond IV vs Tameka Foster. During today's proceedings, Usher explained a disturbing incident involving his crazed ex-wife, Tameka Foster, and his current boo, Grace Miguel.

According to TMZ:

... under questioning by his attorney, [Usher] revealed how Tameka once went ballistic and "wanted to fight" ... when he showed up at her house with his new sidepiece.

Ush testified Tameka walked to his car and said, "I'm gonna kick your ass. Bitch get out of the car. How dare you bring this woman into my subdivision in my house?"

He added, "She continued to spit. At this point she pulled the door open, tried to swing at her."

Usher claims he had to get out of the car and block Tameka ... who then hit him. Usher said he pleaded with Tameka to calm down, but claims "she threw a plate of food at the car" ... as he fled the situation.

Update: Usher broke down in tears during a tense cross examination by Tameka Foster's attorney Lisa West.

Read more »

According to WSB TV, Joselinne Rivera-Ruiz was arrested in Canton, GA, today following a domestic dispute with her lover, Maria Americano.

The two women got into a fight, and when police arrived, they found Americano locked in a bedroom with some children.

Police said Josephine Americano, Maria's daughter, called police.

According to the police report, the women fought in front of their children from previous relationships with men.

Read more »

Adina Parson, the attorney who was shot 8 times -- 3 times in the head -- was transferred to Shepherd Center where she will undergo rehab to improve her quality of life.

Parson's husband, Michael Parson, is accused of shooting his wife with the intent to kill.

Parson, 40, was shot as she left the Residences of Morgan Falls Apartments, off Roswell Road, around 11:45 p.m. on April 20. She was reportedly heading to pick up her husband from work.

Sandy Springs police initially said Michael Parson was not a suspect in the shooting. But Parson, who was cooperative at the start of the investigation, later refused to answer questions after holes developed in his story.

Parson remains in a Texas jail where he has been since he was stopped by the Texas Highway Patrol just before midnight Saturday. He was apprehended one day after Sandy Springs police issued a warrant for his arrest.

"He was taken into custody without incident," said Capt. Steve Rose of Sandy Springs police.

Read more »

R&B crooner Usher Raymond appears to be stressing on day 3 of the Epic Raymond vs Raymond child custody battle in the Fulton County courthouse.

According to my spy, who has attended all of the court sessions, Usher had a very good day in court yesterday. His children's court-appointed guardian recommended that Usher receive full custody of his and Tameka Foster's two sons.

The court appointed guardian is back on the witness stand today. And my source tells me that Tameka Raymond's attorney scored some huge points in her cross-examination of the court ordered guardian.

(See what the children's court appointed guardian looks like after the break.)

Read more »

According to my spy down at the Fulton County courthouse, there were major developments on Day 2 of the custody hearing between Usher Raymond and his ex-wife Tameka Foster. Usher is battling Tameka for custody of their sons, Usher Raymond V, 5, and Naviyd Ely Raymond, 3.

Usher believes Tameka is an unfit mother and he is asking for full custody of his sons. Usher and Tameka currently share joint custody of the boys. Yesterday, the judge ordered both Usher and Tameka to hash out an agreement behind closed doors. But the two parties could not come to an agreement that suited them.

According to my spy, a court appointed Psychologist was called to give testimony about whether Tameka Raymond was mentally stable to keep custody of her two son's, however Usher's attorney filed a motion to exclude media during the testimony of the doctor, citing details of a sensitive nature that would not be in the best interest of the children if the details were made public.

We can only speculate as to what that means. Obviously, Usher is worried about Tameka spilling the beans about something personal pertaining to Usher.

Read more »

Fire investigators continue to sift through the charred rubble this morning to determine if arson sparked a 4-alarm blaze at the renowned Tyler Perry Studios in southwest Atlanta Tuesday night.

"The fire's out, but the cause remains under investigation," Capt. Jolyon Bundrige with the Atlanta Fire Department told the AJC just before 11 p.m. Tuesday.

As many as a dozen fire trucks lined Continental Colony Parkway around 9 p.m. as 100 firefighters battled the blaze that caused one building to collapse inside the massive complex.

No one was injured and the structure was empty at the time of the fire.

A nearby highrise was evacuated as a safety precaution.

Perry arrived on the scene after the fire was extinguished Tuesday night and spoke with Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, according to the AJC.

Read more »

This is getting ridiculous. Just when we thought the recent arrests of weave thieves meant the weave stealing spree in Atlanta was over -- they strike again.

WSBTV reports that brazen hair weave robbers stole a U-Haul truck, and used it to crash through the storefront of J&J Beauty Supply store on Sylvan Road early Wednesday morning.

After crashing through the window, the thieves abandoned the truck and made a beeline for the high priced weave before fleeing in a second vehicle.

Read more »

The middle aged couple don't fit the profile of common criminals. As they fiddled with the lock on the door of the foreclosed trailer their son had just bought, the couple didn't hear danger creeping up behind them.

Porterdale resident Robert Canoles and his teenage son, Branden, heard noises coming from the property next door Thursday night. Just like George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Florida -- the Canoles saw a black man, and automatically assumed he was a criminal.

They grabbed their AR-15 rifles and snuck up behind Jean-Joseph Kalonji, 61, and his 57-year-old wife, Angelica.

"Shut up or I'll shoot," Canoles allegedly told the Kalonjis who attempted to explain that their son Benji purchased the property legally.

But when asked to provide paperwork to prove the sale, the Kalonjis didn't have the papers with them.

Earlier that day, after their son closed on the sale, their real estate agent urged the couple to go out to the 11 acre property and change the locks on the door.

Read more »

The subpar ratings for the Residences of Morgan Falls apartments in the Sandy Springs suburb of Atlanta tells the story of residents living in fear for their lives.

It's not just the open air drug dealing, or the crumbling structures that cause 2nd floor railings to give way at the slightest touch -- it's the two shootings that occurred there within a week of each other.

Just two days after turning 40, attorney Adina Parson was shot eight times -- 3 times in the head -- and left for dead in the breezeway of her apartment building.

On Monday she was in critical but stable condition in Grady Memorial hospital's ICU unit, a close friend told the AJC.

So far, Sandy Springs police have no leads.

“Adina is very loving person so we’re all baffled," Lisa Baker, Parson's friend, said by telephone from Grady. "It just doesn’t fit. We’re just dumbfounded."

Parson was on her way to pick her husband up from work when she was shot around 11:45 p.m. Friday, according to the AJC. The shooter, laying in wait, emptied a gun clip into her -- a sign that the shooting may not have been random.

Read more »

VH1's reality tv series "LOVE & HIP HOP: ATLANTA" is filming the opening credits sequence in Atlanta today. The show, which is a spin off of the successful New York show, features rappers Diamond, Rasheeda; and singer Nivea, among others. If you want to be seen in the opening credits, you will have 2 chances to represent for your hood today.

See how you can participate in the casting call after the break!

Read more »

Most of us who didn't watch season 4 of Bravo's partially scripted 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' really don't care that the reunion show is coming up. But some of you do care. So here's the tea: RHOA veteran Sheree Whitfield has apparently been shown the door -- but she won't be leaving quietly. Sources say Sheree will "lose her mind" during the show's finale. She was irrelevant anyway.

It didn't help matters for Sheree that her ex-husband, Bob Whitfield, started dating Atlanta blogger Michelle, owner of StraightfromtheA.

They say Sheree was so intimidated by Michelle that she apparently used her pull with the show's producers to keep Michelle from joining the cast 2 seasons ago.

Well, Sheree's "pull" is now gone, and apparently so is she.

Bob Whitfield's disastrous appearance on the show this season failed to generate a story line. So he packed his things and moved to the west coast where he has enrolled in college. According to sources, Michelle and Whitfield continue their relationship long distance. She is considering a move to the west coast, since Bob has no plans to return to the Atlanta area.

Read more »

Actress Gabrielle Union was among the celebrities in town for the 'Think Like a Man' Atlanta screening yesterday. It was a star-studded week in Atlanta as the cast of Screen Gems' upcoming romantic comedy 'Think Like a Man' hit the city for promotional activities.

Think Like a Man is based on the best-selling book by Steve Harvey, seen here with his wife, Marjorie Harvey.

Read more »

A high ranking member of the controversial New Black Panther militant group was jailed yesterday on charges of illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

...or so says his jail paperwork.

The real reason that Hashim Nzinga, 49, sits behind bars is that $10,000 "bounty" that the Black Panthers announced for the capture of George Zimmerman, the man who gunned down 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.

The media is making a mockery of this shocking case of racial profiling gone wrong.

In a shameless rush to blame the victim, the national media is portraying the middle class Miami teenager as a gold teeth wearing thug who was suspended for 10 days for having weed residue in his book bag.

Read more »

According to celebrity gossip blog, TMZ.com, the estranged wife of former NBA star Allen Iverson wants him to list all the names of every groupie he has slept with "from the date of the marriage to the date of trial.”

That's a mighty tall order, even for a professional basketball "playa" like Iverson.

Everyone in Atlanta knows at least one groupie that Iverson has slept with. Given that the population of the city of Atlanta is around 600,000 residents -- give or take a hundred thou -- that's a lot of groupies for Iverson's legal team to hunt down for their government names.

Back in June 2011, Tawanna Iverson told TMZ her split from Allen had "nothing to do with another woman."

But Tawanna has changed her tune and earlier this month filed documents requesting A.I. "give the name and telephone number of every person other than your spouse whom you have had sexual relations and/or intimate physical contact from the date of the marriage to the date of trial." Source

TMZ is guessing that Tawana is trying to make Iverson look bad in court. But he can do that all by himself. Iverson has been hit with lawsuits from jewelry and auto companies demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars for unpaid bills.

Sports groupie Stiletto Jill believes that Tawana wants to show the judge who Iverson gave all that jewelry (and maybe a couple of cars) to.

The assumption is that Tawanna wants this evidence to help push Iverson towards a settlement faster. She’s also looking for documentation of any purchase he’s made over $1,000 during the course of their marriage. If you recall, Tawanna accused AI of buying jewelry instead of providing for her and their 5 children. Source

According to a well-connected source, local attorney Phaedra Parks has lawyered up, one day after a VIBE magazine ran an exclusive exposing Phaedra's alleged criminal history.

According to my source, Phaedra has retained the services of B.J. Bernstein and Lin Wood, two of the top defense attorneys in Atlanta.

Both attorneys are considered among the best in their fields. Most of you are familiar with Bernstein, who filed a sexual misconduct suit against embattled Pastor Bishop Eddie Long in 2010. Wood is currently representing disgraced former presidential candidate Herman Cain, who is now a radio host on WSB in Atlanta.

According to my source, Phaedra, who is a cast member on 'Real Housewives of Atlanta,' must think she's in hot water if she hired both Bernstein and Wood, who don't come cheap!

She could have just as easily hired B.J. Bernstein by herself, said my source, but Phaedra obviously thinks her situation is dire if she hired two of the top criminal attorneys in the country.

Read more »

A verdict has been reached in the infamous Dunwoody day-care shooting case that dominated Atlanta headlines for over a year.

The eight-woman, three-man jury found former GE engineer Hemy Neuman guilty but mentally ill in the shooting death of Russell "Rusty" Sneiderman outside a Dunwoody pre-school in Nov. 2010.

Sneiderman, a married father of two had just dropped off his 2-year-old son at school and was walking back to his car when a gunman approached him from behind and fired four shots into him at close range. Sneiderman collapsed and died in the parking lot of the school his toddler attended.

One of the pre-school's 48 surveillance cameras captured the getaway vehicle -- a silver Dodge minivan -- as it exited the parking lot traveling west on Mount Vernon Road. The van was later determined to be a rental -- a fact that would figure prominently later on in Neuman's trial.

Police said Sneiderman likely didn't see his killer, but if he did, he would have recognized Neuman.

Less than a year earlier, Neuman's wife, Ariela, had begged her husband to give Sneiderman's wife a job. "There is a couple, they have two babies and the husband's not working," recalled Neuman's Israeli-born wife of 22 years.

"I told him, ‘Please, help this couple,'" she told the Atlanta Journal exclusively.

Neuman eventually hired Sneiderman's wife, Andrea Sneiderman. The two co-workers later began an office romance that would end in Sneiderman's assassination.

Read more »

Incest is defined as "sexual relations between people classified as being too closely related to mary each other."

According to the late Whitney Houston's mother, Cissy Houston, Whitney's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, 19, and her fiance, Nick Gordon, 22, are involved in an incestuous relationship.

But are Bobbi K. and Nick even blood relatives? No, according to Nick who tweeted that he and Bobbi K. "got a little closer" after Whitney died.

Whitney reportedly moved Nick into her home when he was only 12, and his mother was unable to care for him. Sometime after that, Bobbi K. and Nick, who referred to each other as "brother" and "sister" began getting to know each other more intimately.

Read more »

When news of Whitney Houston's tragic death was announced on Feb. 11, everyone's thoughts were with her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, 19. Few people knew she had a so-called "adopted son," named Nick Gordon. Later we learned that Whitney took Nick in when he was 11-years-old, but she never formally adopted him.

Now we find out that sometime after Nick moved into Whitney's home, he started getting real intimate with her daughter. Bobbi K. and Nick were spotting kissing and holding hands together last Friday outside a Target store in Johns Creek, Georgia, according to Hollywoodlife.com.

And last night, Nick updated his Twitter page to let everyone know: "Yea we got a little closer and what!!!" He also posted a new pic of himself and Bobbi Kristina together. This is the same dude who was reportedly being evicted from Whitney's home. I guess that's not happening now.

After Whitney passed away, a loyal reader emailed me photos of Nick Gordon taken from Bobbi K.'s Twitter account. The email author wondered if I would ask my readers to pray for her "adopted son." But I politely declined for two reasons: 1. I had never heard of Whitney having an adopted son, and 2. Bobbi K. and Nick looked like they were more than just siblings to me.

Photos: Twitter.com

More photos from the set of the upcoming season of VH1's 'Single Ladies' starring LisaRaye McCoy, newcomer Denise Vasi, who replaced Stacey Dash; and Charity Shea. I still think the show won't be as DVR worthy without Stacey. The fully scripted series is filmed on location in Atlanta.

The upcoming season features cameos by rapper T.I., former rapper-turned-actor Romeo Miller; and reality TV personality LaLa Anthony (pictured above with Denise). More pics after the break.

Read more »

Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, is back in Atlanta grieving for her mother in the townhouse the two once shared.

“She’s doing okay,” an unnamed source close to the family told People.com. “She’s still obviously got a lot to deal with, but she's doing a little better each day, and being back home in Atlanta seems to be a good thing.”

Houston, 48, was found unresponsive in a bathtub, her face partially submerged under water, police said. An autopsy revealed there was a little water in Houston's lungs. But not enough to cause her death.

Houston reportedly died from a deadly mixture of anti-anxiety drugs and alcohol in her system.

Bobbi Kristina, 18, was crushed by the sudden death of her mother. She was transported twice to a LA area hospital for treatment of anxiety and panic attacks in the hours following Houston's death.

Read more »

Dareal Damare Williams skipped town when he heard he was wanted for that brutal beating of a gay man that was captured on video. But the long arms of the law found the 17-year-old thug hiding out in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he had relatives.

According to the Atlanta Journal, Williams turned himself in to Erie, Pa., authorities around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, without incident. Federal agents had identified him with the help of tips from the public. The feds tracked Williams to Pennsylvania where they issued an all-points alert Wednesday.

Williams is the last of three suspects to be arrested for the Feb. 4 assault of 20-year-old Brandon White outside a grocery in southwest Atlanta. White drew the men's wrath for wearing skinny jeans, a popular fashion trend among young males, gay and straight.

Williams is being held on $250,000 bond at the Erie County Prison while he awaits extradition back to Atlanta.

According to the AJC, Mayor Kasim Reed raised an Atlanta Crime Stoppers reward several times, until the final sum reached $25,000.

Tips called in to police led to the arrests of Christopher Cain, 19, and Dorian Moragne, also 19, who turned himself in to police on Feb. 17.

A tip called in to an Ohio fugitive task force ended the 2-year manhunt for a fugitive wanted for murder in Riverdale, GA.

According to Fox 5, the tip led police to the doorstep of the Cleveland, Ohio home where Wisdom Jeffrey was holed up. He was arrested peacefully after U.S. Marshals surrounded the home early Friday.

Jeffrey was charged with the Aug. 11, 2010 shotgun death of his estranged wife, Corrissa Friends, 21, at the Chateau Phase II apartments at 6603 Church St in Riverdale.

He is being held without bond while he awaits extradition to Atlanta.

Corrissa met Jeffrey at her family owned car wash when she was 17. Jeffrey occasionally brought in one of singer Keyshia Cole's cars to be washed. The music industry insider often dropped Cole's name to impress the high school student. He took her on dates to industry parties where he introduced her to celebrities. It was heady stuff for a teenager.

Corrissa and Jeffrey were soon married. But their brief marriage was an abusive one.

Corrissa's murder case was profiled on 'America's Most Wanted' in April of last year. Jeffrey had been on the run for nearly a year by the time the program aired on FOX.

The couple's baby girl, Casey, 3, is now being raised by Corrissa's parents, Charles and Patricia Friends.

“It’s a burden off of us because now, the protectiveness that we’ve had in terms of watching over our shoulder in reference to the baby is all gone,” said Charles Friends.

Kim Zolciak's former 'slave' Sweetie Hughes wants you all to know that she is not a common criminal who swipes from her former employees.

According to celebrity blogger ATLien, 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' reject was a "huge topic last season after NeNe Leakes pointed out that Kim treated her like her personal 'slave'."

ATLien recently met up with Sweetie and asked her point bank if she stole from Zolciak.

SWEETIE: I seen it [on] twitter… some person tweeted me point blank ‘did you steal from Kim?’ and it was my first time hearing about it.

That shit is crazy! Do you know how much money I handled for Kim. As her assistant I had bank account access and all that… something that other assistants never had the opportunity to get that far… so as far as loyalty it’s been very high.

I think someone just made it up and I realize that out of every assistant she’s ever had, I’m the one they always talk about… they always try to keep my name out there, which is cool, it ain’t hurting me.

When asked why she was fired, Sweetie responded:
"To be honest, I really don’t even know… I guess it was just spur of the moment."

It sounds to me like her contract with Bravo expired and it was not renewed. But what do I know.

ATLien has more from the interview.

“When a person disappears without a trace, often the most critical information is hidden in their actions and words in the days before they vanished,” says the narrator of ID Channel’s TV series ‘Disappeared‘.

According to the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office, Stacey Nicole English, who was reported missing in December, died of hypothermia. Her death has been ruled accidental.

Hypothermia is a clinical term that means prolonged exposure to external cold temperatures, which causes internal body temperatures to drop dangerously below normal.

"Based on a combination of information sources including the autopsy, the sequence of events and circumstances, toxicology results, medical and mental health records, and statements of witnesses and acquaintances, the most likely cause of Stacey English’s death is cold exposure complicating underlying neurological and psychiatric disorders," the statement reads.

The Atlanta Journal reports that "English's badly decomposed body was found, nestled in a hole created by an uprooted tree, on Jan. 23 by two men searching for scrap metal." Her body was found less than a mile from where English's Volvo was left abandoned in a business park near Lakewood Amphitheater. The Volvo's engine was still running when police found it.

Read more »

An arrest has been made in the beating of a 20-year-old gay man that was captured on video and uploaded to the internet.

Brandon White, left, was assaulted by 3 men shouting anti-gay slurs as he left a convenience store on McDaniels street on Atlanta's southwest side last Saturday.

The beating was captured on 2 cell phone cameras and uploaded to Worldstarhiphop.com where it went viral.

Channel 2 Action news and the Atlanta Journal reports that Christopher Cain, 18, (inset) was arrested at midnight on Saturday in DeKalb County and charged with aggravated assault and robbery. He is currently being held at the Fulton county jail without bond.

Police have identified the other two assailants seen beating White in the video, but their names have not been released. Police are offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to their arrests.

Meanwhile, concerned citizens of the Pittsburgh community and gay rights advocates have joined together to protest the beating and to foster unity in both communities.

Channel 2 Action News reports that Duone Clark, a Gwinnett County Sheriff's deputy, has been arrested for having sex with a male inmate in full view of other inmates.

Gwinnett sheriff's officials are trying to determine if any Gwinnett County employees also witnessed the lewd act between the deputy and the inmate, who is serving time for financial identity fraud, theft by deception and probation violations.

The inmate, whose identity is being protected, reported the sexual encounter to jail officials after the Jan. 13 incident.

"The witnesses included definitely other inmates. I'm not sure about other deputies," Gwinnett County Sheriff's Lt. Sean Smith told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh.

According to Channel 2 Action News, Clark is being held without bond at the Oconee County Jail on charges of violation of oath by a public officer and sexual assault.

A loyal reader writes:

Please do not include me info but he is engaged to be married (2nd marriage) and doing this. How many of our men are on the DL? None of his close friends (one of whom is my cousin) had a clue! They are shocked