World News

4 people charged with attempted murder after reported attack on Cañon City man – The Denver Post

Four individuals are being charged with criminal attempt to commit second-degree murder after they allegedly entered a Cañon City man’s home, where one man proceeded to choke him and threaten to kill him and two other individuals took his children.

According to an arrest affidavit, David Mark Hayes, 46, Marta Danielle Helsel, 24, Nicholas Griffith Machart-Kline, 23, and Trenton Michael Nordby, 29, were arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, child abuse, criminal mischief, first-degree criminal trespass and false imprisonment.

Helsel, who is in the process of divorcing the victim, also is charged with domestic violence.

Colorado Department of Corrections confirmed Monday that Helsel briefly was employed as a correctional officer for DOC in 2019.

Authorities were dispatched to a mobile home at 1616 Chestnut at 6:18 p.m. June 19 after the victim – whose name will not be released because he is an alleged victim of domestic violence – had gone to his neighbor’s home to get help because he had just been assaulted.

Upon arrival, deputies found the victim to be “very distraught, scared and shaking.” He told authorities that he had been assaulted and his children had been taken.

Deputies noticed what appeared to be marks on his mouth, head, arms and hands and blood on his lips, hands and arms.

The victim said his parents had left to get pizza for the family for dinner when he heard someone at the door. He told his daughter to stay in the living room when Helsel and her new boyfriend, Machart-Kline, walked in but quickly were told to leave.

“Nicholas then got in his face and started flexing his arms,” the affidavit states. “Marta picked up (the child) and Nicholas pushed him. Nicholas then started choking him with both hands around his neck.”

Hayes and Nordby then entered the home and Helsel said, “kill him,” as Hayes stepped between Machart-Kline and the victim, the affidavit states. Hayes told Machart-Kline to grab all the children, who did so and set them outside the home.

The victim said Hayes held him down by a desk in the living room while someone took his phone.

Helsel and Machart-Kline left with the children in a vehicle while Hayes punched the victim repeatedly while telling him he was going to kill him.

The victim said Nordby tried to talk Hayes into leaving, but he continued to tell him he was going to kill him while “choking him and hitting him multiple times all over his body.”

“He was trying to escape out the window when (Hayes) pushed the kitchen table into him while stating ‘You are going to go with us or you or going to die,’” the affidavit states. “He was then hit with a dustpan – which broke – and a broom on the head.”

The victim was able to leap out of the kitchen window, landing on his side, and then ran to his neighbor’s house for help.

He told authorities he believed that the four suspects would have killed him.

Hayes and Nordby soon were located in the area of 1611 Ash St., where they were taken into custody.

Authorities requested dispatch ping Machart-Kline and Helsel’s phones, which led officers to their car at 2070 Seven Arrow Drive in Colorado Springs. Both suspects were taken into custody by the Colorado Springs Police Department just after 9:30 p.m. and were transported to the Fremont County Jail.

The affidavit states that Helsel and Machart-Kline had been at the FCSO lobby and had spoken with deputies on two different occasions. Machart-Kline reportedly had asked what would happen if he had someone distract the victim “by having some men beat him up and they grabbed the kids.”

All four suspects are scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday for filing of charges.

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World News

The president who ‘argued with God’

In the unmistakable cadence of a preacher, Malawi’s new President, Lazarus Chakwera, appealed for unity in his country shortly after he was sworn in on Sunday.

The day of the week seemed fitting as the former head of the Malawi Assemblies of God, one of the largest Christian denominations in the country, treated the stage like a pulpit to inspire fervour with his words.

The country is fractured after a divisive 13 months following the disputed 2019 election, the result of which was cancelled by the courts.

Speaking in a style and accent that had hints of US civil rights leader Martin Luther King, President Chakwera talked about the dream “that binds us together [which] is for us to enjoy shared prosperity, not just freedom”.

But he then he said it was no good just having a dream.

“The time has come for us to go beyond dreaming.

“We all must wake up because this is a time to arise from slumber and make our dream come true.”

Mr Chakwera is a man of God in a deeply religious country.

The 65-year-old emerged as leader of the Malawi Congress Party in 2013 without having any previous political experience.

Fighting with God

He came to the job after leading the Assemblies of God for 24 years, but admitted, when he was first running for president in 2014, that making the decision to become a politician was not easy.

“I had to argue with God over a direction in life that didn’t seem natural to me,” he said in a video published by St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in California.

But after a lot of discussion “God was saying that: ‘I’m extending your ministry so that you’re able to pastor a whole nation'”.

In another interview, in 2017, he said that in the conversations with God he turned to chapter three of the book of Exodus in the Bible, in which God appears to Moses and says he should lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

This showed him how a leader can address both the spiritual and the social needs of the people, his adviser Sean Kampondeni told the BBC.

But he does not want to turn Malawi into a theocracy and neither does he want to proselytise, he added.

“The president believes that government is something that God subscribes to in nations in order to bring about order and progress in society, for the flourishing of human beings,” Mr Kampondeni explained.

“In Malawi, he feels that the government institutions have been deliberately crippled over the last 25 years to not provide that service and he is there as someone who is offering themselves to do that.”

President of Malawi

Born 5 April 1955

Studied theology in Malawi, South Africa and USA

Pastor and leader ofthe Malawi Assemblies of God church

Authored several books on religion including Reach the Nations

Ran for president in 2014 and came second

Became presidentin 2020 after defeating the incumbent

Standing at the apex of power and addressing the nation on Sunday, Mr Chakwera has come a long way from the boy who grew up in a village outside the capital, Lilongwe, who was, by his own admission, crippled by shyness.

The son of a preacher and evangelist who established several churches, his career as a pastor may have already seemed mapped out.

But at his prestigious secondary school, where he learned his accent by mimicking an American teacher, he initially had ambitions to be a doctor.

He thought that by being a medic he would have to talk to large numbers of people, he told journalist Joab Chakhaza in an interview in 2017.

Political v spiritual leadership

But during his education he says he “met God” and “began to redirect my life towards ministry”.

The father of four now wants to take that energy and vision and put it into running a country.

To those who think that there is a big difference between the lofty aims of spiritual leadership and the often low skulduggery of politics, Mr Chakwera’s adviser said the president was well aware of how to be political.

“Anybody who understands the political process and the journey to the presidency – the politics does not begin when you enter office,” Mr Kampondeni told the BBC.

“You have to do a lot of politics even just to enter public office.”

But, he said, the president’s approach will be different and he will not treat it like a dirty game.

He will now have to use his skill to bring the country together.

Addressing the nation and not just the crowds of jubilant supporters in Lilongwe, Mr Chakwera said that those who did not vote for him may view his presidency with “fear and grief”.

But he tried to reassure them.

“This new Malawi is a home for you too and so long as I am its president, it will be a home in which you too will prosper.”

The president’s defeat of the incumbent, Peter Mutharika, was so overwhelming, with 59% of the vote, that initially many will be prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, journalist Chakhaza told the BBC.

Transcending tribalism

“But he’s got a huge task as the past regime was so openly tribalistic in its appointments of people and people felt sidelined, especially from the central and northern regions,” he added.

There will be pressure to try and rebalance the past and people “will be keen to see if he can transcend that”.

The president’s supporters believe he can and he will offer a new kind of leadership inspired by God and driven by the needs of Malawians.

Inevitably, though, tough decisions will need to be made, not only in relation to the immediate challenge of coronavirus, but also how to tackle corruption and foster economic growth. These may begin to test his popularity.

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