From a hiker who led nearly 140 people on a Grand Canyon hike pleading guilty, a Phoenix firefighter being accused of raping a woman after a night out, and a teen being killed after falling off a free-fall ride, these are this week's top stories from March 20-26.
1. Man who led nearly 140-person Grand Canyon hike pleads guilty: A man who acknowledged organizing a rim-to-rim hike at Grand Canyon National Park for 139 people when the size of such groups is limited pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor charge connected to the October 2020 trip.
2. ‘The Masked Singer’: Season 7 contestant revealed, rammed out of the competition: (It's the second week in a row this story is in our top 10!) On a new episode, another contestant was forced to "take it off" and be revealed — and this time it was the Ram that would be herded out of the competition.
Ram in THE MASKED SINGER episode airing Wed. March 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX.
3. Complaint reveals chilling details in case of AMBER Alert abduction: The man who authorities say kidnapped a 2-year-old boy, triggering an AMBER Alert, allegedly used a window to abduct the child from the room the boy shared with his mother while she was out working and other members of the family were sleeping, according to a criminal complaint filed in district court today.
Authorities have charged a man with kidnapping for allegedly abducting a two-year-old boy.
4. Teen falls from Florida ride: Video shows moments leading up to deadly plunge: A 14-year-old boy tragically fell to his death from a ride at Orlando's ICON Park. Witnesses shared video of the moments right before he fell. The video has been edited due to its graphic nature.
Authorities said a 14-year-old boy fell off the Orlando Free Fall ride at ICON Park. He later died from his injuries, March 24, 2022.
5. Phoenix firefighter accused of raping woman inside her home: According to court documents, the victim was out with her friends in downtown Phoenix on March 17 and was too intoxicated to drive home. Carlos Encinas, 25, who knew the victim, offered to drive her home in her truck.
6. ‘X’ movie review: The Texas Horndog Massacre: "The House Of The Devil" became an instant indie-horror classic upon its release in 2009, but the key word there is "indie." Now, West returns to the big screen after a six-year absence backed by powerhouse distributor A24, whose films, for better or worse, have come to epitomize the "elevated horror" trend.
"X." Photo: A24.
7. New job, ride for teen driver who drove red truck in Texas tornado: The teen driver who survived being hit by a tornado says he is getting a new job and a Texas car dealer wants to give him a new truck. Video of 16-year-old Riley Leon and his red truck has been viewed thousands of times since the Texas tornado. He was going back home from a job interview at Whataburger.
8. Hank Williams Jr's wife, Mary Jane Thomas, dead: Williams, 72, and Thomas were married about 30 years. After meeting in 1985 at one of Williams’ shows in Washington state, the pair tied the knot in 1990.
Mary Jane Thomas and 2020 inductee Hank Williams Jr. seen during the 2021 Medallion Ceremony. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum)
9. 'I just did what I thought was right': Man saves teen girl during downtown Phoenix assault: On Feb. 1, a teenage girl was waiting for her boyfriend downtown near Roosevelt Street when a man approached her and reportedly began to assault her. That's when bystander Josh Jones took the suspect down and sat on him until police officers arrived, officials said.
10. Major Phoenix-area freeway closures, restrictions this weekend: What to know for March 25-28: It was bad news for Phoenix-area drivers on March 26 and 27. Interstate 10, Loop 202 and other major freeways saw some big closures and restrictions due to ongoing improvement projects, according to the Arizona Dept. of Transportation.