On Air Now

Listen Now


Mostly Cloudy
H 88° L 74°
  • cloudy-day
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 88° L 74°
  • cloudy-day
    Mostly Cloudy. H 88° L 74°
  • cloudy-day
    Cloudy. H 85° L 71°

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00


The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00


The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Family of man executed for Marine’s brutal 1985 rape, murder seeks DNA testing of evidence

Family of man executed for Marine’s brutal 1985 rape, murder seeks DNA testing of evidence

Family of man executed for Marine’s brutal 1985 rape, murder seeks DNA testing of evidence
Photo Credit: Tennessee Department of Correction via AP, U.S. Marine Corps
Sedley Alley, left, was executed in 2006 for the rape and murder of Marine Lance Cpl. Suzanne Marie Collins, 19, who was abducted July 11, 1985, as she went for a late-night run near the Naval Air Station Millington, near Memphis. Alley's daughter is asking that evidence from the crime scene be tested for DNA to either confirm or eliminate her father, who claimed his confession was coerced, as Collins' killer.

Family of man executed for Marine’s brutal 1985 rape, murder seeks DNA testing of evidence

The daughter of a Tennessee man executed for murder in 2006 is asking that DNA evidence in the case be tested to determine once and for all if her father raped and killed a U.S. Marine more than 30 years ago.

Sedley Alley was put to death in the July 11, 1985, murder of Lance Cpl. Suzanne Marie Collins, who was stationed at the Naval Air Station Millington, as was Alley’s wife. Collins, 19, was abducted as she went on a run on the base, where she had just completed a nine-month course in avionics. 

Her body was found the next day in nearby Edmund Orgill Park, according to The Daily Memphian. The Virginia native, who was set to graduate from the training school the day she was found, was severely beaten, with an autopsy showing she had been struck about 100 times, authorities said. 

Collins was also strangled and sexually violated with a tree branch. The New York Times reported that her killer stripped the branch of its leaves and twigs, sharpened one end to a point and drove it repeatedly into her body with enough force that it pierced her lung.

Alley, then 29, was arrested the following day and charged with Collins’ murder, the Memphian reported. He confessed but later recanted the confession, saying it had been coerced. 

Alley said he could not remember what happened the night Collins was killed because he had been drinking heavily. He was convicted in 1987 and sentenced to death. 

April Alley, who, along with her brother, witnessed her father’s execution, filed a petition May 1 in Shelby County Criminal Court seeking DNA testing on evidence found at the scene, including a pair of red men’s underwear investigators believe were worn by Collins’ killer. According to the Memphian, the petition seeks the post-conviction DNA testing that was denied Sedley Alley prior to his death.

>> Read more trending news

It also asks that Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee use his executive authority to order the testing on the evidence, which a legal team from the Innocence Project verified is still intact and housed in storage. That evidence includes the victim’s underwear, the 31-inch branch used to penetrate her and a sample of Sedley Alley’s DNA, which the Times reported was collected and stored before his death. 

The case marks the first attempt to use DNA evidence to clear someone who has been executed for a crime, Stephen Ross Johnson, a Tennessee attorney working on the case alongside the Innocence Project, told the Memphian.

“There have been other cases where certainly people have been exonerated and come off death row,” Johnson told the newspaper. “There have also been situations where DNA testing (was done) after someone died in prison, but this will the first one where someone was subjected to capital punishment and then their DNA tested.”

The Innocence Project, which represented Sedley Alley in his appeals, sought to have the evidence tested for DNA before his execution. The Tennessee parole board recommended that then-Gov. Phil Bredesen order the testing, but Bredesen instead told Alley’s lawyers to seek relief through the court system.

The courts denied Alley’s request.

“The Tennessee courts incorrectly ruled that Mr. Alley was not entitled to DNA testing, even if the testing could produce a match to a third party with a history of committing similar offenses,” Innocence Project officials said earlier this month. 

Watch April Alley and her lawyers announce their bid to have the evidence in Suzanne Collins’ murder tested.

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that the lower court’s denial was incorrect in 2011, five years after Sedley was put to death. The high court ruled in State v. Powers that Tennessee’s post-conviction DNA law intended to allow defendants to prove their innocence by comparing their DNA to that from other possible suspects, including suspects whose genetic profiles are in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS.

“The courts got it wrong in 2006 when they allowed Mr. Alley to be executed before testing the DNA,” said Barry Scheck, a co-founder of the Innocence Project. “If Mr. Alley were alive today, he would be entitled to DNA testing under the Powers ruling and the plain language of the post-conviction DNA analysis statute. We now have a chance to learn the truth in this case.”

A recent tip has also raised the possibility that another man accused in a rape and murder in another state might be the true killer in Collins’ case, the Memphian reported. The court petition filed by April Alley identifies the potential alternate suspect as Thomas Bruce, who, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is accused of sexually assaulting two women and killing a third at a Missouri Catholic supply store in November. 

Bruce was taking courses at the same avionics training school as Collins in 1985, the petition states.  

“I just want the truth,” April Alley wrote in an email to the Memphian. “The DNA evidence should have been tested before my father was executed. It’s too late for my father, but it’s not too late to find the truth. The court or governor should order DNA testing.”

The case against Sedley Alley

The night she was attacked, Collins left the barracks for her daily 10-mile run, the Times reported. Around 11 p.m., two other Marines passed her, jogging in the opposite direction.

The Marines moments later dodged a station wagon swerving in the road, headed in the same direction as Collins, the Times said. 

A few seconds later, the men heard a woman screaming, “Don’t touch me! Leave me alone!”

They ran toward the screams and saw what they believed to be the same station wagon stopped alongside the road, the Times reported. It sped off as they approached.

The men ran to the barracks gate, where a guard sounded an alarm for a possible abduction.

Sedley Alley was stopped about an hour later near the base, driving a 1972 station wagon, the newspaper said. He did not have any visible injuries, according to a Navy investigator. 

After talking to Alley’s wife, investigators concluded the two Marines had heard the couple arguing and, not knowing that Collins was then missing, canceled the alert for the station wagon, according to the Times. The Alleys were sent home and a guard was put on their home. 

Collins’ body was found the next morning, and Alley was arrested.

Read April Alley’s petition to have the evidence against her father tested for DNA.

Sedley Alley petition for D... by on Scribd

Investigators said Alley told them he had hit Collins with his station wagon while driving drunk and then accidentally stabbed her in the head with a screwdriver. The petition filed by his daughter states that the medical examiner determined neither of those claims was accurate.

Alley later said investigators only turned on their tape recorder after he told them what they wanted to hear. 

Physical evidence used to tie Alley to the crime included Type O blood on the driver’s side door of the station wagon. That type matched Collins, but it also matched Alley’s blood type, the Times said

Paper napkins from a local restaurant were also found in the car and on the ground near Collins’ body, and an air conditioner pump found in the station wagon had reportedly been installed at a home near where Collins was jogging, the paper said. 

No physical evidence from Collins was found inside the car or on Alley, the Times said. The petition for DNA testing also indicates that a witness on the base reported seeing a second station wagon carrying a couple -- potentially Alley and his wife -- around the time of Collins’ abduction.

Despite the lack of direct physical evidence, Alley was for decades after his conviction assumed to be the killer. An investigator in 2003 found a handwritten note, however, in which the medical examiner in Collins’ case estimated she had died after Alley and his wife were sent home that night -- and while military police were watching the family’s home.

Read the letter to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee from lawyers for Sedley Alley’s estate.

Sedley Alley attorneys letter to TN Gov. Bill Lee by National Content Desk on Scribd

The investigator also learned that a boyfriend of Collins’ drove a station wagon and matched the approximate height of a man seen near the site of her abduction, while Alley was about 8 inches taller, the Times said. Alley’s complexion and hair color also failed to match the description from a witness.

Alley told his daughter a few weeks before his death that if he committed the heinous acts Collins was forced to suffer, he deserved to be executed, the court petition says. He told her he did not remember committing the crime, however, and did not believe he had.  

Scheck said if the killer’s DNA can be pulled from the evidence, it can not only be tested against the known sample from Alley but can also be compared to profiles uploaded to public genealogy databases. 

Dozens of cold cases have been solved over the past year using genetic genealogy, including murder cases decades old. 

“The public’s interest in having the right defendant brought to justice extends beyond the life of a single defendant,” Scheck said. “If Tennessee executed the wrong person in 2006, the actual perpetrator may still be free to harm other people. This is a matter of public safety.”

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Protests and demonstrations have led to violence in at least 30 cities across the United States in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Floyd, 46, died after he was detained for questioning regarding a possible forgery in progress. Video of his death caught by bystanders showed a Minneapolis police officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than five minutes as Floyd pleaded for air, sparking outrage.  As of Monday, at least 40 cities across 16 states have imposed curfews.  Live updates for Monday, June 1 continue below:  Trump to governors: ‘Most of you are weak’ Update 12:10 p.m. EDT June 1: President Donald Trump is telling the nation’s governors that most of them are “weak” and calling for tougher crackdowns on violence as protests rage across the nation. Trump is speaking to governors on a video teleconference with law enforcement and national security officials. He’s telling them they “have to get much tougher” amid nationwide protests and criticizing their responses, saying: “Most of you are weak.” And he’s chastising them for failing to use the National Guard more aggressively, saying they’re making themselves “look like fools.” Attorney General Bill Barr is also on the call and telling governors they have to “dominate” the streets and control, not react to crowds. He’s calling on them to “go after troublemaker” and use “adequate force.” Curfew will be in effect for next two nights in Washington DC Update 12:05 p.m. EDT June 1: Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday announced that the city will enforce a 7 p.m. curfew for the next two nights amid protests following the death last week of George Floyd. Bowser has enacted a curfew Sunday that didn’t go into effect until 11 p.m. The decision Sunday sparked criticism from White House Press Secretary Kayleigh MeEnany. “I think when you look at some of the befuddling actions, like right here in D.C., the mayor of D.C. didn’t issue a curfew until 11 p.m.,” McEnany said during an appearance on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” according to The Hill. “Well, guess what? At 10 p.m. you had St. John’s Church burning. Several other cities had curfews at 4 p.m., at 5 p.m., at 6 p.m.” Florida police officer suspended after video showed him pushing kneeling protester Update 11:50 a.m. EDT June 1: Interim Fort Lauderdale police Chief Rick Maglione said an officer who appeared to shove a protester without provocation Sunday as she was kneeling near him has been suspended from duty as authorities investigate the situation. Maglione said the situation began when an officer asked for help after she became surrounded by protesters. A short while later, some protesters began to attack a police car, smashing windows and jumping on the vehicle as a police officer sat inside. “In the middle of that event ... our officer, as he passed a female that was on the ground already, appears to shove her as he goes by her,” Maglione said. “That officer has been removed from any contact with the public. He is relieved from duty, basically, while this matter is investigated.” Maglione said officials with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have opened a criminal investigation into the situation. Mayor Dean Trantalis said he thought the situation was “offensive” and “should never have happened.” “I appreciate the fact that the department has relieved him of duty while this investigation happens,” he said at a news conference Monday. “I understand the state attorney has opened a file, an investigation to make sure that we get to the bottom of this and If it’s determined by those agencies that something wrong was done we will follow with swift disciplinary action.” New York City mayor: Police cars driving into crowd of protesters Saturday ‘unacceptable’ Update 11:20 a.m. EDT June 1: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that two police cars caught on video driving into a crowd during a protest Saturday of police brutality was “dangerous” and “unacceptable,' according to The Guardian. “There is no situation where a police vehicle should drive into a crowd of protesters or New Yorkers of any kind,” the mayor said, according to the newspaper. In a video that went viral Saturday, protesters could be seen carrying a yellow metal barricade to block a police SUV in Brooklyn, The New York Times reported. While some demonstrators began to throw things at the vehicles, both of them sped up into the crowd, according to the Times. The newspaper reported it was not clear whether anyone was injured in the incident. De Blasio said he had directed city officials to investigate the situation, the Times reported. Obama: Protests and political action necessary ‘if we want to bring about real change’ Update 11:10 a.m. EDT June 1: Former President Barack Obama said people need to be active in both protests and the political process if they want to bring about real, lasting change as protests erupted nationwide due to the death last week of George Floyd. “If we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics,” Obama said in a post published Friday on Medium. “We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.” Obama noted that while the focus is often on the federal government’s response to events like Floyd’s death, “the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.” “The more specific we can make demands for criminal justice and police reform, the harder it will be for elected officials to just offer lip service to the cause and then fall back into business as usual once protests have gone away,” Obama said. “I recognize that these past few months have been hard and dispiriting — that the fear, sorrow, uncertainty, and hardship of a pandemic have been compounded by tragic reminders that prejudice and inequality still shape so much of American life. But watching the heightened activism of young people in recent weeks, of every race and every station, makes me hopeful. If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals.” At least 12 arrested during demonstrations in Portland, Oregon Update 10:20 a.m. EDT June 1: Police in Portland, Oregon, said they arrested at least a dozen people after peaceful protests in the city spurred by the death of George Floyd turned violent. Authorities said they also detained two juveniles during Sunday night’s protests. Police said thousands of demonstrators marched Sunday to the city’s Justice Center. The gathering remained peaceful until around 11:30 p.m., when authorities said some demonstrators began to throw things at officers. When the crowd refused to disperse, police said they deployed “Riot Control Agents to disperse the crowd.” In response, some demonstrators threw what police described as fireworks at officers before the crowd broke into smaller groups, some of which set fires, smashed storefront windows and vandalized buildings and parked vehicles, authorities said. Police Chief Jami Resch said she met Sunday with demonstration leaders. “We agreed that the majority of demonstrators AND the police want a peaceful protest and are frustrated by those who are engaging in violence and destruction because it is not helpful for change efforts,” she said in a statement. “Unfortunately, while we were meeting, some individuals started to engage in violent acts toward Officers, which continued despite warnings to disperse. Officers deployed riot control agents to disperse the crowd for the safety of all.' NBA coaches: ‘We cannot treat this as an isolated incident of outrage’ Update 9:40 a.m. EDT June 1: The National Basketball Coaches Association released a statement Monday sharing condolences and prayers for the family of George Floyd and condemning his death. “The events of the past few weeks -- police brutality, racial profiling and the weaponization of racism are shameful, inhumane and intolerable,” the group said. “Witnessing the murder of George Floyd in cold blood and in broad daylight has traumatized our nation, but the reality is that African Americans are targeted and victimized on a daily basis. As NBA coaches, we cannot treat this as an isolated incident of outrage.” Coaches said in the statement that they will work with local leaders, officials and law enforcement agencies in the cities where they are based “to create positive change in our communities.” “We have the power and platform to affect change, and we will use it,” the statement said. 1 dead after authorities, protesters exchange fire in Kentucky; police investigating Update 9:20 a.m. EDT June 1: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday that he’s authorized an investigation into a police-involved shooting that left one person dead during protests over the death of George Floyd. Beshear said the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Kentucky National Guard were dispatched around midnight to 26th Street and Broadway. “While working to disperse a crowd, LMPD and the Kentucky National Guard were fired upon,” the governor said. “LMPD and the Kentucky National Guard returned fire resulting in a death. Given the seriousness of the situation, I have authorized the Kentucky State Police to independently investigate the event.” DC mayor: Some protesters brought tools, supplies with them Update 9 a.m. EDT June 1: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Friday that some protesters brought “tools and supplies” with them to demonstrations Sunday over the death of George Floyd. “We know that we have people that came here with tools and supplies and they re-upped their supplies,' Bowser said during an interview Monday with NBC’s “Today” show. 'They went to different parts of the city. So, we think there was a mix of people here but certainly people here who do this type of protest and demonstration.” Ask if the demonstrators were believed to have been “professional protesters,” Bowser told the “Today” show, “We’ve seen some of these tactics before so we know that they were among the groups here.” She described the tactics used as “the types of tools they use, restocking, setting fires here and there to try to draw in the police to various locations.” 2 killed, police officer injured during protests in Iowa Update 8:35 a.m. EDT June 1: Two people died and a police officer is injured Monday following a series of shootings reported during protests overnight in Davenport, Iowa, police said. One person died in a shooting reported at the Walmart on West Kimberly Road and one person died in a separate shooting in the 1100 block of West 15th Street, according to police. Officials said rioters ambushed police officers in a vehicle around 3 a.m., firing several shots, some of which hit a police car while officers were inside. Police Chief Paul Sirkorski said one officer was injured. Police were later able to find the vehicle and arrested several people after it crashed during a pursuit. Sirkorski said the officer was “doing okay” Monday morning. “What we experienced tonight, last night was completely unacceptable and it does not honor the memory of Mr. Floyd,” Sirkorski said at a news conference Monday. Mayor Mike Matson said that in light of the overnight violence, a curfew will be enacted for all of Scott County on Monday. He said he has also requested the help of the Iowa National Guard. Facebook pledges $10 million toward ‘efforts committed to ending racial injustice’  Update 7:51 a.m. EDT June 1: Facebook will donate $10 million to “efforts committed to ending racial injustice,” the social media juggernaut announced early Monday. Several Boston police officers injured, more than 3 dozen protesters arrested Sunday night Update 5:37 a.m. EDT June 1: The Boston Police Department has confirmed multiple officers were injured during Sunday night’s protests, and 40 demonstrators were arrested. According to the department, at least seven officers were transported to local hospitals for treatment of injuries, numerous others were treated at the scene of the violent clashes and at least 21 police cruisers were damaged during the protest.  Citing ‘violence and thefts,’ Washington county declares state of emergency Update 5:14 a.m. EDT June 1: Washington’s King County, which includes the city of Seattle, declared a state of emergency early Monday due to “violence and thefts associated with some of the local protests.” “King County values and respects the peaceful expression of political views, and supports all people in exercising their First Amendment rights,” the county government said in a news release. Derek Chauvin’s 1st court appearance postponed 1 week Update 4:55 a.m. EDT June 1: The first court appearance for the former Minnesota officer charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd has been postponed until June 8. Chauvin, the officer seen in a video kneeling on Floyd’s neck, originally had a hearing set for 1 p.m. Monday. Court records cite no specific reason for the delay. Chauvin was moved to the Hennepin County Jail from the Ramsey County Jail Sunday. Birmingham protesters tear down Confederate monument, set fire to Thomas Jefferson statue Update 4:32 a.m. EDT June 1: Protesters in Birmingham, Alabama, were captured on video Sunday night looping a rope around the neck of a monument to a Confederate naval captain before dragging it to the ground. The statue, depicting Charles Linn, could be seen in the aftermath lying face down with “BLM” painted in large red letters along the back of his leg, The Washington Post reported. In addition to smashing the namesake of Birmingham’s Linn Park, protesters also set a statue of Thomas Jefferson ablaze. Police fatally shoot man at Louisville protest they say opened fire first Update 4:12 a.m. EDT June 1: A man has been shot and killed during protests in Louisville, Kentucky. According to the Louisville Metro Police Department, shots were fired at them first. The shooting occurred around 12:15 a.m., and the victim has not been identified. Washington activates statewide National Guard Update 3:38 a.m. EDT June 1: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has called up the National Guard for statewide deployment. “We must not let these illegal and dangerous actions detract from the anger so many feel at the deep injustice laid so ugly and bare by the death of George Floyd,” Inslee said in a statement. He also noted that members of the Guard engaged in crowd control must remain unarmed to ensure public safety. “But we also will not turn away from our responsibility to protect the residents of our state,” Inslee said in the statement. Florida police officer suspended after shoving kneeling protester Update 3:14 a.m. EDT June 1: A police officer has been suspended after video showed him shoving a kneeling woman during a Sunday afternoon protest in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. According to The Washington Post, the video shows police walking through throngs of protesters as several people dropped to their knees and held their hands overhead. As one officer passed a black woman kneeling at his feet, he reached down and shoved the back of her head, sending her falling forward into the pavement. Nearby protesters erupted in shouts and several people threw water bottles at the police. The officer retreated, followed by other officers who appeared to be yelling at him over his actions, the Post reported. George Floyd's son says heart ‘really touched’ by mass protests Update 2:59 a.m. EDT June 1: Quincy Mason Floyd had not seen his father, George, since he was a young child. On Sunday night, the younger Floyd attended a Bryan, Texas, protest and spoke with CNN affiliate KBTX. 'Everyone is coming out and showing him love. My heart is really touched by all this,” Quincy Mason Floyd told the local station. DC’s historic St. John’s church set ablaze during Sunday protests Update 2:51 a.m. EDT June 1: A fire was set in the basement of historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, across Lafayette Square from the White House, during Sunday night demonstrations calling for justice in the death of George Floyd. Tanker truck driver who plowed into crowd of Minnesota protesters charged with assault Update 2:32 a.m. EDT June 1: Bogdan Vechirko, the man who drove a tanker truck into a crowd of protesters on a Minnesota interstate Sunday, has been charged with assault, according to Hennepin County Jail records. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety described Vechirko’s actions as “inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators.”  He is being held without bail. The Massachusetts National Guard arrives in Boston Update 2:02 a.m. EDT June 1: The Massachusetts National Guard has arrived in Boston to disperse the remaining protesters, Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio told CNN. Police have already made two arrests after two protesters jumped a fence and tried to get onto State House property, the network reported. Austin police fire on protesters after a day of peaceful demonstrations Update 1:42 a.m. EDT June 1: Police in Austin, Texas, opened fire on protesters early Sunday with what demonstrators described as rubber bullets, The Washington Post reported. The clash followed a day of peaceful protests in the Texas capital with witnesses stating the shots were fired by a group of officers on a nearby overpass at protesters who had been descending on police headquarters. .At least three people were struck by the projectiles, including a young woman who was hit in the back of the head, the Post reported. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • One person has been arrested after eight homeless people in California were given food laced with pepper spray, authorities said. The Associated Press reported that the poisonings took place in Huntington Beach over the span of a week in mid-May. Huntington Beach is located in Orange County, about 40 miles south of Los Angeles. “Homeless individuals were poisoned with food laced with oleoresin capsicum, which is twice as strong as the pepper spray used by police,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a news release. The victims’ reactions to the poisoning were filmed, Spitzer said. “The victims suffered a variety of symptoms including seizure-like symptoms, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and intense mouth and stomach pain,” the news release said. “Several of the victims required hospitalization.” The name of the person charged in the case had not been made public as of Monday morning. A scheduled news conference on the case was postponed due to protests in the city stemming from last week’s police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Protests, some violent, have sprung up across the U.S. following the death of Floyd, who was accused of forgery. Cellphone footage from a bystander shows officers holding a handcuffed Floyd face down on the pavement. One officer, Derek Chauvin, held his knee on Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes, according to the footage. Floyd became unresponsive and later died. Four officers were fired following the May 25 incident and Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced on Sunday that the state attorney general would be taking over all prosecutions in the Floyd case, according to the AP.
  • Nearly 6.2 million people worldwide – including almost 1.8 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Monday, June 1, continue below:  Gilead says remdesivir helped some moderate COVID-19 patients recover Update 12:20 p.m. EDT June 1: Officials with Gilead Sciences shared mixed results Monday from its remdesivir trial which showed an improvement in moderate COVID-19 patients who received a 5-day course of the drug with no “statistically significant” difference in recovery time for those who took the drug for 10 days. The trial compared the recoveries of patients who received remdesivir for five days, patients who got the experimental drug for 10 days and patients who were not treated with remdesivir. Scientists said that, by day 11, “a higher proportion of patients in the 5-day treatment group achieved improvement in clinical status versus the standard of care group.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration previously granted emergency authorization to allow remdesivir to be used to treat patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. 54 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in New York Update 11:55 a.m. EDT June 1: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Monday that 54 more people have died of COVID-19 statewide. The number is slightly lower than the 56 new fatal cases reported one day earlier. Former CDC director predicts another 20,000 will die of COVID-19 in next month Update 10:50 a.m. EDT June 1: Tom Frieden, who headed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under President Barack Obama, told Axios Health on Monday that he believes another 20,000 people will die of novel coronavirus infections in the next month. Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, told Axios that people are under the mistaken impression that we’re coming out from under the threat of the novel coronavirus. Businesses in all 50 states that were shuttered due to the pandemic have begun to reopen in recent days. “We hit pause (on the virus), and now we’re hitting play, and we don’t know what the next song’s going to be,” she told Axios. Stocks pull back on Wall Street as trade worries flare again Update 9:45 a.m. EDT June 1: Stocks opened lower Monday on Wall Street as traders worry that trade tensions could flare again with China and as protests spread across the U.S. against police brutality, potentially threatening more outbreaks of the coronavirus. The S&P 500 index fell 0.4% in the first few minutes of trading Monday, led by declines in technology and health care companies. The index is coming off its second month of solid gains. Overseas, Hong Kong’s market rose after President Donald Trump didn’t pull out of a trade truce reached earlier with China. But traders still worried that more trade friction was on the way. Bars, nightclubs allowed to reopen in Georgia Update 8:50 a.m. EDT June 1: Several more businesses will be allowed to reopen Monday across Georgia including bars and nightclubs, according to WSB-TV. Gov. Brian Kemp announced the decision on Friday. “Bars and nightclubs can decide to reopen if they comply with strict sanitation and social distancing rules, all crafted to reflect industry practices and mitigate health risk,” Kemp said, according to WSB-TV. “To open their doors, bars and nightclubs must meet thirty-nine mandatory measures to ensure patron well-being.” WSB-TV reported summer schools and overnight summer camps will be allowed to resume, and pro sports will also be able to do team activities, but live entertainment venues will stay closed for now. >> Read more on WSBTV.com Global cases near 6.2M, death toll tops 372K Update 7:26 a.m. EDT June 1: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 372,377 early Monday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 6,189,560 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 16 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,147. The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows: • The United States has reported 1,790,191 cases, resulting in 104,383 deaths. • Brazil has recorded 514,849 cases, resulting in 29,314 deaths. • Russia has confirmed 414,878 cases, resulting in 4,855 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 276,156 cases, resulting in 38,571 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 239,479 cases, resulting in 27,127 deaths. • Italy has reported 232,997 cases, resulting in 33,415 deaths. • India has reported 191,041 cases, resulting in 5,413 deaths. • France has confirmed 189,010 cases, resulting in 28,805 deaths. • Germany has reported 183,508 cases, resulting in 8,546 deaths. • Peru has reported 164,476 cases, resulting in 4,506 deaths. Armenian prime minister tests positive for coronavirus Update 6:48 a.m. EDT June 1: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan confirmed Monday he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. “It appeared yesterday that I had tested positive for coronavirus. I had no symptoms, but considering my plan to visit military units, I decided to take the test and it came back positive,” Pashinyan said on Facebook, The Washington Post reported. Pashinyan, who said he will be working from home throughout his illness, also confirmed his entire family has also contracted the disease, and the suspicion is that the virus was passed along by “a waiter, who brought us glasses of water” during a recent meeting. “I saw that he was wearing no gloves and rebuked him, but I think they were working without gloves earlier. The waiter has also tested positive for coronavirus,” Pashinyan said. Armenia has confirmed 9,282 cases of the coronavirus, resulting in 131 fatalities to date, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.  2 Connecticut tribal casinos set to reopen amid lingering coronavirus concerns  Update 6:25 a.m. EDT June 1: Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun are touting “limited” re-openings despite Gov. Ned Lamont saying he thinks it’s too early for them to do so, NPR reported. 'I think the idea of opening up on June 1 is early,' Lamont said, adding, “It's earlier than Las Vegas. It’s earlier than any of our regional casinos want to do. I'd like to have more time.' Tribal leaders, however, feel they have done the due diligence required to open safely, such as mandating Foxwoods’ reopening is contingent on maintaining strict 25% occupancy. “We feel like we’ve put forward a plan to mitigate the risk,” Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot tribal nation, told NPR. “Don’t go with the perception of what casinos were. Let’s focus on what we’re doing, and you have to come and see it.” Meanwhile, nearby Mohegan Sun is implementing similar safety guidelines but also requiring table-game players to remain separated by plexiglass and dice to be disinfected between rolls. Find answers to mortgage, rent relief options due to coronavirus Update 5:48 a.m. EDT June 1: Homeowners and renters worried about mortgage and rent payments are not entirely alone. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, more than 8% of U.S. homeowners, or about 4.7 million households, have sought help through mortgage relief programs, representing a roughly 2,000% increase since early March. Meanwhile, the number of the nation’s 40 million renters paying late has doubled since the novel coronavirus pandemic began, The Washington Post reported. In fact, data analytics real estate firm Amherst estimates as many as 28 million renters, or nearly 23% of all U.S. households, are at risk of eviction or foreclosure as a direct result of the virus’ financial toll, the Post reported. Click here for answers, compiled by the Post, to common questions about moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures passed due to the pandemic. US coronavirus deaths top 104K, total cases near 1.8M Update 12:28 a.m. EDT June 1: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States continued to climb past 1.7 million early Monday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,790,172 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 104,381 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 370,770 cases and 29,784 deaths and New Jersey with 160,445 cases and 11,698 deaths. Massachusetts, with 96,965 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,846, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 120,260. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases each. Six other states have now confirmed at least 50,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 111,951 cases, resulting in 4,172 deaths • Pennsylvania: 76,129 cases, resulting in 5,555 deaths • Texas: 64,652 cases, resulting in 1,675 deaths • Michigan: 57,397 cases, resulting in 5,491 deaths • Florida: 56,163 cases, resulting in 2,451 deaths • Maryland: 52,778 cases, resulting in 2,532 deaths Meanwhile, Georgia, Virginia and Connecticut each has confirmed at least 42,000 cases; Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 34,000 cases; North Carolina, Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington each has confirmed at least 21,000 cases; Arizona and Iowa each has confirmed at least 19,000 cases, followed by Wisconsin with 18,403, Alabama with 17,952 and Mississippi with 15,523; Rhode Island and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 14,000 cases, followed by Missouri with 13,438 and South Carolina with 11,861; Utah, Kentucky, Kansas and Delaware each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; the District of Columbia and Nevada each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases; New Mexico and Arkansas each has confirmed at least 7,000 cases, followed by Oklahoma with 6,418. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • An Idaho man is puckering up to beat another world record. David Rush has once again put his name into the Guinness World Record books.  This time, drinking a liter of pure lemon juice in just 16-point-five-three-seconds.  The previous record was just over 17-seconds.  App users, tap here to see the video. Rush has set over 100 Guinness World Records in order to advocate for STEM education.
  • Grab a tissue and watch the video below as Gatorland sadly says goodbye to Blackwater, one of their star alligators, who passed away Saturday night.  The video shares how they first adopted Blackwater from Ookefenokee Swamp in Georgia, where the alligator was living in a tiny pool in Blackwater Pond. Blackwater was sick with pneumonia when he first arrived at the park, but he was nursed back to health and grew to be more than 13 feet long. Gatorland’s Savannah Boan befriended the reptile and shared her love for the animal through shows and on the parks blog.   People, including trainers at Gatorland, were surprised at the relationship between the two.   During mating season male alligators like to fight and Savannah noticed Blackwater had been injured. Park officials secluded the big fellow from the other gators to try to rehabilitate the beast.  He seemed to be doing well, but took a turn for the worse and passed away Saturday during a rainstorm.  “We lost a really, really cool alligator,” said CEO Mark McHugh in the vlog. Savannah held the gator’s head in her lap and cried.  She wrote on her blog, “He was my very best friend and I'm so sad to let you know that he passed away. 😢 Rest In Peace sweet Blackwater.” “Savannah’s goin’ to take a little time off “ said McHugh  “she deserves it.” App users click here to watch the video. 

Washington Insider

  • President Donald Trump ignored advice from GOP lawmakers and allies on Sunday to address the nation as urban unrest spread around the nation in response to the death of black man at the hands of police in Minnesota, as the President instead retreated to his favorite social media platform, and lobbed verbal jabs at his critics. 'Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors. These people are ANARCHISTS,' the President wrote on Twitter. 'LAW & ORDER,' Mr. Trump added in another tweet. Asked about tweets where President Trump said looters would be shot, one GOP ally said he told the President to stop. 'Those are not constructive tweets, without any question,' said Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on Fox News Sunday. Some urged the President to address the nation, as a way to rally Americans. 'Americans are looking for leadership,' said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), in a direct Twitter appeal to the President. Instead, the President attacked Democrats, and his likely opponent in November. 'The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe. Is this what America wants? NO!!!' Mr. Trump wrote. While the President stayed out of sight on Sunday, former Vice President Joe Biden went into his home town of Wilmington, Delaware to meet with protesters. 'We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us,' Biden said in a statement on Instagram. 'The President hid in the White House bunker because there were protesters across the street,' said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).    'Tells you all you need to know,' Cicilline added.