Texas Man Guilty of Murdering and Dismembering College Student After Falsely Claiming She Died During Sex

A Texas man was convicted Monday of murdering a college student who was found dismembered and burned in 2016.

The 12-member jury rejected Charles Dean Bryant’s defense that he panicked only after the 24-year-old woman died during consensual “kinky” sex.

Jacqueline Vandagriff, a junior at Texas Woman’s University, vanished on the evening of Sept. 13, 2016 — not long after she spent time with Bryant, 31, at a bar in Denton, Texas. Her remains were later found burning in a plastic kiddie pool in a park near Lake Grapevine.

Police soon uncovered security footage of her sharing a drink with Bryant, and they said the two eventually left the bar together.

Authorities also suspect that Bryant, 31, updated Vandagraff’s Twitter account after her death.

The night before her body was found, a tweet on Vandagriff’s account read, “I’m glad I decided to get off tinder and waked into a bar.”

“Never knew I could feel like this,” reads the tweet that appeared on Vandagriff’s page on Sept. 15, one day after her charred corpse was recovered.

Bryant had been charged with capital murder in Vandagriff’s slaying.

During her opening statement on April 9, defense attorney Glynis McGinty told jurors that Bryant is only guilty of evidence tampering but was not guilty of murder.

McGinty argued that Bryant “freak out” after Vandagriff’s death, which the defense claimed occurred during sex, and tried to hide her body.

“He went to Walmart at 4 a.m. and bought a shovel and goes back to his house where he had left Jackie and tried to dig a hole but the earth was too hard,” she told the jury.

But the prosecution argued otherwise, pointing out that Vandagriff’s purse was found in a garbage can in Bryant’s home. The prosecution also cited evidence that Vandagriff was bound.

The indictment against Bryant stated that he “killed and caused serious bodily injury to Jacqueline Vandagriff using a zip tie, a knife or machete, and an unknown object.”

“Jackie had just started a new path at TWU,” prosecutor Lucas Allen said in his opening statement, according to local TV station WFAA. “It was a good path, until an evil, destructive figure, Charles Bryant, stepped .”

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Jurors in Fort Worth agreed with the prosecution. They deliberated less than three hours before finding Bryant guilty of murder. He was also found guilty of tampering with evidence.

The punishment phase of the trial is underway. Bryant faces up to life in prison.

PEOPLE’s call to McGinty were not immediately returned and it was unclear if Bryant planned to appeal.


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Former Pennsylvania Officer Pleads Guilty to Death of Pregnant Wife After Claiming He Shot Her by Accident

A former Pennsylvania State Police Trooper has pled guilty to the deaths of his wife and unborn child in 2014, which he claimed was accidental.

Joseph Paul Miller pled guilty on Thursday to two counts of involuntary manslaughter for causing the deaths of his wife, JoAnna Miller, and the baby girl she was pregnant with at the time, while he was cleaning his gun, according to the Associated Press.

Miller’s wife was taken to the hospital in critical condition while she was given an emergency cesarean section, according to the Montgomery Colonial. She was given an emergency cesarean, but the 24-week-old baby and the mother died after surgery.

Miller, 36, faces a maximum of 5 to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in the coming months, according to CBS Philadelphia.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Miller told investigators he had been taking apart a gun he owned in the family room to clean it when it discharged, according to the AP.

He initially said the gun was about 10 feet away from his wife when it accidentally went off, but he later revised that distance to about 2 feet away. Prosecutors, however, said ballistics and forensics tests showed the gun was only 3 to 6 inches from his wife’s head when it fired, and they charged him.

In a 911 call he said: “I, ah, was cleaning. I was about to clean my gun, and I didn’t realize there was a round … I shot my wife.” Miller’s children can also be heard in the background of the call, reports CBS Philadelphia.

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Miller’s defense attorney Tim Woodward told the AP that Miller had resigned from the state police.

Miller remains out on bail and maintains custody of the couple’s two other children while he waits to be sentenced in Montgomery County.


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Drake Rep Slams Former Porn Star’s Paternity Accusation: ‘She’s Just Another Woman Claiming He Got Them Pregnant’

Drake is hitting back at accusations from former porn star Sophie Brussaux, who claims she is pregnant with his child.

Brussaux—who was spotted with the rapper, 30, in January following his split from Jennifer Lopez—has hired two major New York City attorneys to begin the proceedings to prove paternity and seek child support, TMZ reports.

The site says Brussaux claims she is three and-a-half months pregnant, and believes the conception occurred at the end of January. A photo of the pair together in Amsterdam was taken on Jan. 24.

“If it’s in fact Drake’s child, which he does not believe it is, he will do right by the child,” Drake’s rep tells PEOPLE. “She’s just another woman in a long line of women claiming he got them pregnant.”

FROM COINAGE: What Is the Grammy Bounce? (No, It’s Not a Dance Move)

Brussaux also claims to have texts, purportedly from Drake, urging her to undergo an abortion. A rep for Drake tells PEOPLE that they have not seen the message and cannot comment on its veracity.

Brussaux didn’t immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Reporting by MELODY CHIU


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Ivanka Trump Executive Strikes Back, Claiming Expansion Continues Across Categories and Distribution

WILL THE OTHER SHOE DROP?: Is Neiman Marcus cutting ties with the Ivanka Trump company to stop selling its jewelry?
That possibility was hashed out and (asserted by some) web sites Friday after noting that Ivanka Trump fine jewelry was no longer available on Neiman Marcus’ web site. But the retailer presented a different picture.
A Neiman Marcus spokeswoman said Friday, “Neiman Marcus has a very small Ivanka Trump precious jewelry business, which is comprised 100 percent of consigned merchandise (merchandise owned by the vendor). Based on productivity, we continuously assess whether our brands are carried in stores, on our web site, or both.”
Executives at Neiman Marcus did not respond to requests for comment about whether that arrangement will continue for fall. Unlike the Ivanka Trump clothing and accessories that are sold in department stores and specialty stores and are geared for working women, the label’s fine jewelry is more expensive and is not sold in mass stores.
Meanwhile, executives at Ivanka Trump have broken their silence about the state of the business, after a few weeks of declining to comment. Rosemary K. Young, senior director of marketing at Ivanka Trump, said in a statement Friday, “The Ivanka Trump brand continues to expand across

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Vivica A. Fox Angers Fans By Claiming Her Strip Show Isn’t For Gays

Just two days after the premiere of her new reality series, Vivica A. Fox is courting controversy. 

Last year, the 52-year-old actress launched an all-male, all-black “Magic Mike”-style exotic dance revue called “Black Magic” in Las Vegas. She’s documented the whole thing for a new Lifetime reality series, “Vivica’s Black Magic,” which debuted Wednesday. 

From the sounds of it, however, she might want to reconsider her approach to her new business. In a Friday interview with New York radio station Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club” morning show, Fox said she has no interest in having her strippers dance for anybody but women ― and that means no gay men, too.  

“There’s no need to. They dance for women,” she told “The Breakfast Club” co-hosts Charlamagne tha God and DJ Envy, as seen in the TMZ video above. “It’s called ‘the ultimate girls’ night out’ for a reason.”

Fox’s comments instantly sparked debate on social media and among a number of LGBTQ-inclusive media outlets. A BET piece questioned whether or not the remarks were offensive, while writer Nigel Campbell claimed he’d been invited to watch the dancers perform at the “Vivica’s Black Magic” launch party. “Clearly [Fox] wanted support from the gay audience,” Campbell wrote in an article for Instinct, which caters to queer readers. “Guess I was wrong.”

Others, like The Wrap, pointed out that Fox previously incensed the LGBTQ community when she seemed to imply that her ex-boyfriend, 50 Cent, was gay in a 2015 “Watch What Happens Live” appearance. 

Perhaps in an effort to avoid the fallout that occurred after the 50 Cent controversy, Fox attempted to clarify her comments on Twitter. She didn’t mean to offend, she said, but felt that gay men would be better off seeking male strippers elsewhere. 

She didn’t seem to mind if gay men watched “Vivica’s Black Magic” ― from the comfort of their living rooms, that is. 

The Huffington Post has reached out to Fox’s representative for further comment. In the meantime, here’s to hoping she makes an effort to be more inclusive of all audiences. 

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