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Singer Tamar Braxton broke her silence about the "toxic" reality TV environment that drove her to attempt suicide.

The 43-year-old R&B star was hospitalized in Los Angeles on July 16 after her boyfriend, David Adefeso, found her disoriented and lethargic in her hotel suite after she apparently swallowed a handful of prescription pills.

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She spent several days in a coma but has since regained consciousness and is currently being treated for mental health issues.

On Thursday, July 30, Braxton opened up about her suicide attempt in a candid post on Instagram.

Alongside a photo of herself and her seven-year-old son, Logan Herbert, Braxton began by thanking fans for their well wishes.

"First and foremost, Thank you," she wrote. "Thank you to each and every individual who has prayed for me, thought of me, sent me their love and has showered me with their support."

"In this present moment, it is my only responsibility to be real with myself and to be real with the ones who truly love me and care for my healing," she continued.

"I have without fail, shared with you my brightest days, and I know that sharing with you what has been my darkest will be the light for any man or woman who is feeling the same defeat I felt just only a week ago."

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Braxton explained life under the reality TV spotlight has slowly eaten away at her spirit, and blamed producers behind her family series Braxton Family Values of doing little to help with her mental health struggles, particularly over the last five years, during which she split from her now ex-husband and manager Vincent Herbert.

She claimed to have been betrayed by show producers, who "filmed the damage made, for monetary gain".

"Over the past 11 years, there were promises made to protect and portray my story, with the authenticity and honesty I gave," the singer added. "I was betrayed, taken advantage of, overworked, and underpaid."

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Braxton eventually appealed to network officials at WeTV two months ago to release her from her "excessive and unfair" contract, but stated, "My cry for help went totally ignored."

"Who I was, begun [sic] to mean little to nothing, because it would only be how I was portrayed on television that would matter," she continued. "It was witnessing the slow death of the woman I became, that discouraged my will to fight. I felt like I was no longer living, I was existing for the purpose of a corporations gain and ratings, and that killed me."

She went on to insist, "Mental illness is real," and credited "God's grace and His mercy" with saving her life, as she vowed to use her voice going forward to ensure no other reality stars face the kind of exploitation she insists she was subjected to for over a decade.

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"I will make it my mission to establish the initiative that fights for ethical business practices in reality TV, fights the ownership of our businesses, promotes growth and evolution of our stories, and gives us 100 per cent equity in our freedom," she added.

The star's candid statement comes days after WeTV bosses chose to postpone the premiere of her new reality series, Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life, which had been due to launch on Thursday, July 30.

The series will premiere on Sept. 10.
 

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First and foremost, Thank you. Thank you to each and every individual who has prayed for me, thought of me, sent me their love and has showered me with their support. In this present moment, it is my only responsibility to be real with myself and to be real with the ones who truly love me and care for my healing. I have without fail, shared with you my brightest days, and I know that sharing with you what has been my darkest will be the light for any man or woman who is feeling the same defeat I felt just only a week ago. Every one of us has a desire, whether small or big, to make it out of where we come from to an ideal future place that includes, freedom to be who we choose, security for our children and families, and fortune to share with the ones we love. We believe these things can co-exist with just being happy. I believed that, that as a black woman, as an artist, an influence, a personality I could shape my world, and with whom I believed to be my partners, they could help me share my world. Over the past 11 years there were promises made to protect and portray my story, with the authenticity and honesty I gave. I was betrayed, taken advantage of, overworked, and underpaid. I wrote a letter over 2 months ago asking to be freed from what I believed was excessive and unfair. I explained in personal detail the demise I was experiencing. My cry for help went totally ignored. However the demands persisted. It was my spirit, and my soul that was tainted the most. There are a few things I count on most to be, a good mother, a good daughter, a good partner, a good sister, and a good person. Who I was, begun to mean little to nothing, because it would only be how I was portrayed on television that would matter. It was witnessing the slow death of the woman I became, that discouraged my will to fight. I felt like I was no longer living, I was existing for the purpose of a corporations gain and ratings, and that killed me. Mental illness is real. We have to normalize acknowledging it and stop associating it with shame and humiliation. The pain that I have experienced over the past 11 years has slowly ate away at my spirit and my mental. (Swipe to finish )

A post shared by Tamar Braxton (@tamarbraxton) on

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Tamar Braxton has been transferred to a psychiatric hospital where she will receive "specialized" mental health therapy after she attempted to take her own life by swallowing a handful of pills last week.

The Blast reports the 43-year-old reality TV personality and singer is "alert and responsive" and speaking to her family and doctors.

According to The Blast, Tamar was moved to a mental health facility for treatment of her mental health issues.

"Out of respect for Tamar's privacy and that of her family, no additional information is available at this time," a source told the media outlet.

She was rushed to the hospital on Thursday after her boyfriend, David Adefeso, found her unconscious in their apartment at the Ritz Carlton Residences.

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In a letter that she sent to WeTv, Braxton, pictured with superstar sister Toni Braxton, called producers of her reality show "cruel" and she blamed them for ruining her family and making her suicidal.

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In her letter Braxton said her family was "in disarray" due to the show's producers.

"We fight with each other, we betray each other, and now we're physically assaulting each other — all happening because your show ['Braxton Family Values'] has chosen to show the absolute worst side of a strong, independent and successful African American family; a show that I created to showcase a strong Black Family as a beacon of hope for all the young black girls and boys out there; instead you coached and cajoled us into finding the worst in each other," Braxton wrote in the letter obtained by The Blast.

Braxton also blamed producers for revealing a dark secret that she never even told her mother.

"You dug up a secret I'd never shared with anyone, a secret I was so ashamed to talk about that I hid it even from my own mom: the fact that I had been assaulted and raped repeatedly from age 6 to age 16, sometimes multiple times a day," she wrote.

"You broke me that day and I considered ending my own life then for the shame I felt!"

Braxton ended the email by pleading with WeTv execs to set her free from "the chains" because she "can't breathe."

A source tells Sandrarose.com that Braxton was "upset" over promotional material created by producers of her reality show "Tamar Baxton: Get Ya Life."

The source said Braxton did not approve of scenes that were used in the reality show's promotional trailer sent to bloggers on Thursday.

Page Six reached out to the network's executives for a comment about Braxton's allegations.

"We are keeping her and her family in our thoughts and prayers and joining with her fans sending strength and healing at this difficult time," a WeTV rep said.

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Facebook

A Black man's hanging death in Southern California has officially been ruled a suicide based on an autopsy and a purchase from a local Dollar Tree store.

Robert Fuller, 24, was found hanging from a tree in front of Palmdale City Hall in Poncitlán Square on June 10.

Authorities launched a monthlong investigation after Fuller's family rejected the official cause of death.

"The explanation of suicide does not seem plausible," his family said in a statement. "There are many ways to die, but considering the current racial tension, a Black man hanging himself from a tree definitely doesn't sit well with us right now. We want justice, not comfortable excuses."

Authorities focused their investigation on the red rope and fabric found in the tree. Police said there was a May 14 purchase on Fuller's EBT card that was consistent with the red rope used in the hanging.

Sheriff's Commander Chris Marks said Fuller had a history of depression and was hospitalized three times since 2017, according to the NY Times.

Fuller told doctors he had suicidal ideations and had previously put a gun to his head. His last hospital admission was in November. He told doctors at a hospital in Nevada that he "did have a plan to kill himself," Marks said.

Jason R. Hicks, a lawyer representing Fuller's family, said he planned to respond to the sheriff's department's finding. The family does not have any comments at this time.
 

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Instagram.com

A viral video shows the moment when two Tampa police officers forcibly separated an emotionally disturbed mother from her 5 children.

The incident occurred on Saturday, June 27, on a downtown Tampa street. The woman and her 5 barefoot children were forcibly separated by the police as she clung to a toddler.

One of the officers held the woman against a fence as the other officer held another toddler while preventing the woman's sons from snatching their sister.

A bystander recorded a video that went viral on social media over the weekend. The Tampa police addressed the incident in a tweet.

"This afternoon around 12:40 p.m. near Ashley Dr. and Tyler St. in downtown Tampa, The Tampa Police Department responded to a call of a mother, in apparent distress walking in the street with her 5 children barefoot. One of our officers approached the mother offering to help,” the department tweeted.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the mother was putting her barefoot children at risk.

"Officers intervened when the mother attempted to walk on the interstate out of concern for the safety of her and her children. Officers attempted to detain the mother for her safety after her repeated attempts to enter the interstate. While doing so, the children were not wanting to be separated from their mother. Officers were trying to prevent the children from being harmed while trying to detain the mother."

The mother was not arrested. She was transported to a hospital to undergo a psychological evaluation. The children were also taken to the hospital to be with their mother.
 


 

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CBS News issued a “clarification" after promoting a tweet about an ICU nurse who claimed she quit her job because she and other nurses weren't provided with face masks.

Imaris Vera earlier this week posted a video tearfully explaining she quit her job at a hospital after she wasn't provided a mask to wear outside patients' rooms.

CBS promoted Vera's video in a tweet that garnered nearly 55,000 likes and 25,000 retweets.

But, after Senator Bernie Sanders retweeted CBS's story about Vera, she posted a reply to Sanders acknowledging she had indeed been provided with a mask.

"We were each assigned 1 N95 mask around the Nurses station or Halls. Which I came prepared with," she tweeted on Tuesday.

CBS tweeted: "The hospital, Northwestern Medicine, acknowledged that Imaris Vera had quit her job, but referred CBS News to Vera as to the details why."

In a Facebook post on March 26, Vera admitted she suffers from anxiety and bi-polar depression and was "feeling a heavy toll with transitioning back into the ICU" after being out of work for one year.

Vera quit after working just one day on the job.
 

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Rapper T.I.'s daughter Deyjah Harris shared a video discussing her ongoing struggles with mental illness.

In the video posted on YouTube.com, Deyjah admits she has been dealing with depression and anxiety since she was 11 years old.

She shared a message of hope for other young people dealing with mental health issues like hers.

"I feel like mental health overall is just a topic that needs more attention," she said. "There are so many individuals in the world that struggle with and suffer from it."

Acknowledging that she doesn't have all of the answers, Deyjah said the purpose of the video is to "lend a helping hand so that you can be better equipped for your journey ahead than I might've been."

The 18-year-old social media influencer hinted that others are using her "truth" to their advantage.

Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage

Deyjah and her father, T.I., made headlines last year when he joked that he took her for an annual physical exam to ensure that her hymen was still intact. Deyjah’s mom, aspiring rapper, Ms. Niko, denied the story on social media.
 

Sources say Deyjah and her father were not really close as a child growing up. That is not a good sign.

Deyjah is usually the only child missing from most family get-togethers and photo shoots.
 

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Photos: ATLpics.net, Getty Images

Rappers Young Thug and Lil Boosie reacted to Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union normalizing mental illness in their child, Zaya Wade.

Zaya, who was born Zion, is a 12-year-old boy who suffers from the mental disorder Gender Dysphoria.

Thugger, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, was once praised for wearing dresses on his album covers and in print media. But now he faces backlash for opposing Hollywood's attempt to emasculate Black boys.

In a now-deleted tweet on Tuesday, Thug wrote: "All I wanna say to wade son is GOD DONT MAKE MISTAKES but hey live your true self."

In a follow-up tweet, he wrote: "You're gods best creation."

The reaction from Thugger's followers was mixed. He was praised for speaking honestly on a disturbing trend to normalize mental illness, while others labeled him transphobic and homophobic.

In an interview to promote his upcoming documentary on ABC's Good Morning America with Robin Roberts, Wade, 38, said his son knew he was transgender at age 3 -- when most toddlers are mastering potty training.

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Photo: Instagram.com/@dwyanewade

"I don't think I'm gay," Wade said Zaya told him and Union. This is how I identify myself. This is my gender identity. I identify as young lady. I think I'm a straight trans (girl) because I like boys."

Wade, who retired from the NBA in 2019, urged parents to do "proper research" to support their mentally disordered children.

Rather than seek advice from a child psychologist or a licensed therapist, the Wades took advice from cross-dressers and drag queens who make up the cast of a television series, Pose.

Studies show that 98% of children who come out as transgender reverted back to their biological sex as teens and young adults.

Affirming their dysphoria does not help them more than agreeing with an Anorexic that they are fat.

Thousands of teenagers and young adults who came out as transgender in childhood are now transitioning back to their biological sex (see video below).

"I'm not going to sit here and act like we have all the answers," Wade said. "I'm not going to sit here and act like before our child came home and sat us down, that we weren't ignorant parents when it comes to the world. When I say we're learning from our 12-year-old, were literally learning from our child.

Wade said Zaya is now the family leader.

Wade is also father to 18-year-old son Zaire, son Xavier, 6, and 18-month-old daughter Kaavia James.
 

 

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Antonio Brown's agent has filed paperwork with the NFL player's association to cut ties with the troubled wide receiver until he seeks psychological help.

Sports agent Drew Rosenhaus filed the documents to terminate his representation of Brown after the 31-year-old Florida native live-streamed himself screaming profanity at his baby mama, Chelsie Kyriss, and police officers outside his Hollywood, Florida home.

The video was the latest in a string of self-destructive incidents that prompted his release from two NFL teams in 3 months.

Rosenhaus's withdrawal as Brown's agent doesn't become official for five days, according to ESPN.

Rosenhaus informed the NFLPA that he would like to continue working with Brown but only if Brown seeks psychological help for his behavioral problems.

Photo By MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

Brown has been unemployed since he was let go by the New England Patriots after just one game after a woman accused him of rape in September.

Brown was accused or rape, sexual assault and sending threatening text messages. He has denied the allegations.

He was also accused of encouraging violence against a Sports Illustrated reporter who published an interview with one of Brown's accusers.

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Photos: Facebook, GoFundMe

A woman who stabbed her grandfather, 70, then killed her sons, ages 2 years and 7 months, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder.

Aleah Newell, 20, did not appear at her bail hearing in a Chicago courtroom on Saturday because she is still in a hospital recovering from injuries she suffered when she jumped from the 11th floor of an apartment building.

Judge Suzana Ortiz ordered her held without bail.

Police say the bloodshed occurred in an apartment on Chicago's South Side on Thursday, where she was staying with her grandfather, Cardell Walker.

Newell turned on the hot water in a bathtub and let it run. When Walker went in to use the bathroom, Newell crept up behind him, put him in a chokehold and hit him with a towel bar. She then went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and stabbed Walker more than 10 times.

Walker is hospitalized in critical condition but he is expected to live, prosecutors said.

Newell then stabbed her 7-month-old son, Ameer Newell, 19 times in the head before dunking him face first in the scalding hot bath water.

She then cut a hole in a window screen and threw 2-year-old Johntavis Newell through the hole before crawling through the window herself and falling 11 stories to the ground.

Scaffolding around the third floor broke her fall as she landed on the sidewalk next to Johntavis.

Surveillance video captured the scene as mother and son hit the ground. Newell moved and sat up just as police and medics arrived on the scene. She suffered multiple fractures and other internal injuries.

Newell's mother, Zera Newell, told The Chicago Sun-Times that Aleah asked her to come and get the boys on New Year's Day. But when Zera Newell arrived at the apartment, Aleah Newell was gone.

Zera said Aleah took her children to a woman's and children's shelter operated by The Salvation Army. Newell asked workers there to take her sons. The Salvation Army told WBBM-TV that Newell stay overnight Monday and Tuesday at Shield of Hope, and left on Wednesday morning.

Zera said Aleah suffered from depression. "I thought she was over that," Zera said.

In May, 2017 Aleah lost her older brother to suicide. Last summer, another brother posted a Facebook message saying his sister was in the hospital being treated for a psychological issue.

He asked for prayers: "May god show her the right path and let her not go down the same path as our brother."

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Shibbon Winelle gave a tearful account of her son, Bryce Gowdy's final moments before he was hit by a train earlier this week. Authorities in South Florida ruled the 17-year-old's death a suicide.

Bryce was a 4-star Georgia Tech recruit who appeared to be suffering from a mental health crisis in the last few days before he died.

Winelle, who claims she has mental health issues of her own, posted a YouTube video explaining the "spiritual conservations" she had with Bryce.

Winelle and her children were often homeless and had been living in her car and hotel rooms. The night Bryce died, they were homeless again.

Bryce was scheduled to start classes at Georgia Tech in Atlanta on January 6. But he was worried about leaving his family in that predicament.

She said Bryce, the eldest of her three sons, repeatedly asked her questions about religion and about life. She said he talked a mile a minute, and his endless questions made her heart hurt.

When he asked to hold her hand, she refused. She told him to "toughen up" and "get it together."

"A few days ago, Bryce was talking crazy... He was happy though, he was talking about his future. He was talking about going to Georgia Tech," she said through tears. "He had a lot of questions about spirituality and life. He kept asking if I was OK, if his brothers were going to be OK. I said, 'yeah.'"

"We sat in the car all day... because we didn't have anywhere to go," she said. "He sat next to me just talking. I was stressed. I was too stressed to really deal with it. We were on the streets again, homeless. The little job I got wasn't paying me my money on time or in full."

After Winelle picked up her son, Brayden, from work that night, the family went to their hotel room.

She said she locked herself in the bathroom to take a break from Bryce's intense questions. 30 minutes later, she emerged from the bathroom and asked Bryce to go to the car to get her favorite blanket. The time was 3:30 a.m.

When he didn't return, she went out to look for him. Her blanket was gone from her car and Bryce was nowhere to be found.

Winelle said he left his cell phone, wallet and shoes behind in the hotel room. Later that morning, Winelle called her older brother, who told her someone was hit by a train at 4 a.m.

"I've been begging for help for months," she cried. "For months, I've been begging for help."

Over $95,000 in donations have poured in to a GoFundMe page to help the Gowdy family get back on their feet.

A recent study shows a dramatic increase in suicide deaths among Black adolescents and teenagers.

From 1991 to 2017, suicide attempts among Black children and teens rose by 73%.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
 

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Lawmakers in Georgia, Kentucky, and Texas have proposed legislation to ban doctors from prescribing puberty blockers and other hormone drugs for children.

Georgia State Rep. Ginny Ehrhart is drafting a bill that would block medical providers from facilitating a medical "transition" for minors by prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.

The lawmakers acted out of a sense of concern for children after a Texas mother brainwashed her 3-year-old son to believe he was a girl.

The child, now 7, attended school as a boy for the first time in his young life this week. His mother, a pediatrician, convinced the youngster that he was a girl because he played with a girl's toy in a McDonald's happy meal when he was 3.

The boy's father asked a judge to grant him full custody of the boy, but a Texas jury awarded primary custody to the mother and allowed her to continue transitioning the boy into a girl.

In response to the overwhelming public backlash, the presiding judge overturned the jury's decision.

"We're talking about children that can't get a tattoo or smoke a cigar or a cigarette in the state of Georgia, but can be castrated and get sterilized," Ehrhart told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In 2018, Ehrhart defeated Democrat Jen Slipakoff, who is raising her son as "transgender" because at 2 years old he showed an interest in pink pajamas and cupcakes.

People who "transition" their minor children to the opposite sex tend to be white women who suffer from Munchausen by proxy syndrome.

Munchausen by proxy syndrome is a mental condition in which a parent or caregiver fakes or causes illness in children for attention from healthcare workers and the news media.

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Douglas County Sheriff's Office

A Colorado woman who sought donations to fulfill her terminally ill daughter's "bucket list" was arrested and charged with the girl's murder.

Kelly Renee Turner, 41, organized ride-alongs with police and fire crews for 7-year-old Olivia Gant, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation paid $11,000 for a "bat princess" costume party for Olivia.

Turner publicized her daughter's terminal illness and promoted the girl's "bucket list" of dreams to fulfill before she died.

When Olivia died in 2017, her cause of death was listed as a variety of ailments including an intestinal disorder, brain seizures, and a buildup of fluid deep in the brain.

But when Olivia's body was exhumed last year, a coroner did not find physical evidence of those disorders. Her cause of death was listed as undetermined.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office arrested Turner at a Denver-area hotel on Friday. She is being held without bond.

Police say Olivia was in and out of hospitals for most of her 7 years. In the months before she died she received nutrition through a feeding tube.

She was admitted in July 2017 to Children's Hospital Colorado, where doctors said she showed signs of malnutrition.

One doctor told investigators Turner insisted that he sign a "do not resuscitate" (DNR) order for her daughter.

The doctor said Turner wanted to withdraw all medical care and give Olivia nutrition intravenously (via IV) rather than through a feeding tube in her stomach.

Doctors told Turner Olivia wouldn't survive on IV nutrition, and Turner was given the option of taking her home on hospice care. Olivia died at home a few weeks later.

Doctor's suspicions grew when Turner brought another daughter to the hospital and claimed she had "bone pain."

Turner brought up Munchausen syndrome by proxy in an interview with investigators last year.

Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a psychological condition in which a parent or caregiver exaggerates or causes medical illnesses in children for attention from healthcare workers.

"That has never been my case, like at all, whatsoever," Turner said in the interview.

Turner is also accused of fraudulently obtaining about $539,000 worth of medical care for her two daughters from the government-funded Medicaid program.

Last week, a Dallas woman was sentenced to six years in prison for subjecting her 10-year-old son to hundreds of procedures and 13 major surgeries in another case of Munchausen by proxy.

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theAdvocate.com

A Louisiana man was shot dead by an East Feliciana Parish deputy who responded to a burglary call at a Texaco gas station early Monday.

The family of Christopher Whitfield, 31, say he had a history of mental illness and he fled from the cops because he had previous trouble with the law.

The store's owner, Danny Williams, said Whitfield broke into a cooler and stole a box of raw chicken before fleeing the store.

East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Chief Deputy Greg Phares confirmed the deputy encountered Whitfield behind the gas station and shot him, according to The Advocate.

Whitfield had a previous arrest in 2010 for breaking into the same store.

Phares declined to say if Whitfield was armed with a weapon.

Myrtle Jackson described her grandson as a nice person who didn't carry guns.

"I don't think he should have been shot," she said.

Whitfield's death is the latest fatal shooting of an unarmed Black person by white police officers.

Atatiana Jefferson, 28, of Fort Worth, Texas, was shot and killed by a cop when she looked out her bedroom window after hearing a prowler in her back yard early Saturday.

The cop, 34-year-old Aaron Dean, was arrested and charged with murder hours after he tendered his resignation. He was also dishonorably discharged from the police force.

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Youtube.com, Court TV

Opening statements began Tuesday in the high-profile murder case of Ezra McCandless in a Wisconsin courtroom.

A defense attorney portrayed his client as the victim during his detailed opening statement. McCandless, 21, is accused of stabbing her boyfriend, Alexander Woodworth, 16 times.

McCandless and Woodworth, 24, were in his truck that got stuck in the mud on a dirt road in rural Dunn County, Wisconsin on March 22, 2018.

According to a criminal complaint, McCandless claimed she crawled into the back seat when Woodworth attempted to rape her. She said she grabbed a knife to defend herself and started stabbing "anywhere and everywhere."

She said Woodworth didn't stop even after she stabbed him multiple times. Police say she spent time mutilating his penis.

After McCandless stabbed Woodworth to death, she carved the word "boy" in her own forearm and slashed her clothes.

In her opening statement, the prosecutor described McCandless as a cold-blooded killer who committed premeditated murder. She reportedly took her father's EMT knife with her.

McCandless, who was born a biological female, experimented with her gender identity in high school. She changed her name multiple times, finally settling on the boyish name "Ezra". On that basis, the media insists on calling McCandless "transgender".

But friends say McCandless has always dressed in feminine clothing and never appeared as a male to them. They describe her as "mentally ill" and "weird".

The jury will hear from a former boyfriend who said McCandless followed him as he drove 150 miles to a friend's house. He found her sleeping in her car in his friend's driveway the next morning.

McCandless reportedly had three boyfriends at the time of Woodworth's death.

She pleaded not guilty of first-degree intentional homicide by reason of mental illness. She was later found competent to stand trial. She is being held on $250,000 bail in the Dunn County jail.

McCandless faces life in prison if convicted.
 

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Handout: Katie Alwood

The mother of a 9-year-old boy charged with starting a fire that killed 5 family members says he made a mistake, but he has a good heart.

28-year-old Katie Alwood told CBS News her son, Kyle Alwood, is not a monster.

"Everyone is looking at him like he's some kind of monster, but that's not who he is."

Alwood said her dead family members would want Kyle "to get the help he needs."

"People make mistakes, and that's what this is. Yes, it was a horrible tragedy, but it's still not something to throw his life away over."

Police say Kyle set fire to the family's mobile home while everyone was asleep on April 6. Alwood and Kyle were the only ones who managed to escape the blaze.

"I stood at the window and I told my kids I was sorry I couldn't save them. Mommy was right there, and I loved them. At least hopefully they heard that," she said.

"I don't know what's worse. Hearing them scream or hearing them stop."

Among the dead are Alwood's children, 2-year-old Daemon Wall and 1-year-old Ariel Wall; her niece, 2-year-old Rose Wall; her 69-year-old grandmother, Kathryn Murray; and her fiancé, 34-year-old Jason Wall.

The NY Daily News reports Kyle was arrested on Tuesday and charged with five counts of first-degree murder, two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson.

Alwood says Kyle, who was recently diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia, ADHD, and bipolar disorder, "has a good heart."

She added that he helped her around the house and took care of the younger kids.

"He helped feed his brother and sister, helped teach them how to walk," she told The Chicago Tribune. "Yes, he should be punished, but he needs mental help, that's what he needs."

ALwood gave permission to media outlets to publish Kyle's photo and name.