Slatest PM: Police Believe Va. Lawmaker Was Stabbed By Son

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 19 2013 4:17 PM

Slatest PM: Police Believe Va. Lawmaker Was Stabbed By Son

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Creigh Deeds on the campaign trail in 2009 when he was the Democratic nominee for governor

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Working Theory: Associated Press: "Police say early indications are that the son of a state senator in Virginia stabbed his father before shooting himself to death. Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said Tuesday afternoon at a news conference that authorities are still investigating the stabbing of Sen. Creigh Deeds, but it appears it was an attempted murder and suicide. Deeds' 24-year-old son, Gus, died at the home of a gunshot wound. Geller says the senator and his son were the only people at the home Tuesday morning. A hospital spokeswoman says Deeds' condition has improved to fair. He was previously listed in critical. Deeds was the Democratic candidate for governor in 2009 and lost to current Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell."

What We Know: Washington Post: "Police found Gus Deeds suffering from a gunshot wound and the senator stabbed several times in the head and upper torso, Geller said. The senator had walked down the hill of his residence to a nearby highway, where he was spotted and picked up by a cousin, police said. The two drove to the cousin’s house, where a 911 call was made, police said. Deeds, who has been alert enough to talk with investigators, was flown to the University of Virginia Health System Hospital, Geller said. Back at the senator’s home, Gus Deeds could not be resuscitated and died at the scene, police said."

Gus' Mental Health: Richmond Times-Disptach: "Gus Deeds had been released Monday following a mental health evaluation performed under an emergency custody order, an official said. ... Dennis Cropper, executive director of the Rockbridge County Community Services Board, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the emergency custody order, or ECO, allowed Gus Deeds to be held as long as four hours to determine whether he should be kept longer, up to 48 hours, under a temporary detention order."

It's Tuesday, November 19th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees, and the whole team at @Slatest.

JPMorgan Settles: Wall Street Journal: "J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and the Justice Department agreed to a landmark $13 billion settlement that resolves a number of legal headaches for the largest U.S. bank and ends months of wrangling between the government and the nation's largest bank by assets. The deal, announced Tuesday, came after the final piece holding up the agreement, terms of $4 billion worth of aid to distressed homeowners, was completed Monday. The historic settlement ends a number of investigations and lawsuits targeting soured mortgage bonds issued before the financial crisis and amounts to the biggest combination of fines and damages extracted by the U.S. government in a civil settlement with any single company."

An Endless Afghan War?: NBC News: "While many Americans have been led to believe the war in Afghanistan will soon be over, a draft of a key U.S.-Afghan security deal obtained by NBC News shows the United States is prepared to maintain military outposts in Afghanistan for many years to come, and pay to support hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces. The wide-ranging document, still unsigned by the United States and Afghanistan, has the potential to commit thousands of American troops to Afghanistan and spend billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. The document outlines what appears to be the start of a new, open-ended military commitment in Afghanistan in the name of training and continuing to fight al-Qaeda. The war in Afghanistan doesn’t seem to be ending, but renewed under new, scaled-down U.S.-Afghan terms."

Liberty Student Shot By Campus Police: Washington Post: "A 19-year-old Liberty University student was shot and killed early Tuesday at an off-campus women’s dormitory in a confrontation with a campus police officer. University officials said they had received reports that a male student attacked the officer with a sledgehammer in the dorm’s lobby. ... Officials said the officer was taken to an area hospital for treatment and was released, and they have not publicly identified the officer as an investigation continues. ... The incident occurred at about 4 a.m. at a hall known as Residential Annex II, on Albert Lankford Drive, a little more than three miles from the main campus. Lynchburg police said they responded to a call for help at 4:07 a.m. from the residence hall."

The Jessica Ridgeway Case: CBS News: "The teen who killed and dismembered 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday. Austin Sigg, 18, pleaded guilty to killing and dismembering Ridgeway in October 2012. Sigg's defense pointed to a recent Supreme Court decision calling mandatory life without parole for juveniles unconstitutional in asking the judge to allow Sigg the possibility of being released someday. Sigg was 17 when he kidnapped and killed Ridgeway. The Associated Press reports that Sigg could have been eligible for parole in 40 years, but the fact that he received sentences on separate charges he had pleaded guilty to eliminated that possibility."

South Africa Mall Collapse: Reuters: "At least one person was killed and up to 50 more were trapped under rubble on Tuesday after a soccer pitch-sized section of a shopping mall under construction collapsed near the South African city of Durban, emergency services and police said. If safety regulations are found to have been flouted, the accident could hurt the ruling African National Congress (ANC) as it moves towards an election next year. Durban and the surrounding province of KwaZulu-Natal are the home of President Jacob Zuma. The region has enjoyed a construction boom in the last few years, based in part on government investment in infrastructure improvements. It was not yet clear what caused the three-storey building in the town of Tongaat to pancake, although Deputy Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala said local authorities had tried to halt construction at the site, alongside a railway, a month ago."

That's all for today. See you back here Monday. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. Follow him on Twitter.