5 things to know Tuesday, April 18

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)- 1. Gary Simpson sentenced to 25 years after Carlie Trent kidnapping case.

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Gary Simpson, the man accused of kidnapping Carlie Trent in 2016, was sentenced to 25 years in state prison on charges of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault Monday.

According to the Hawkins County Clerk of Courts, Simpson appeared in court Monday afternoon, where he entered a guilty plea to his charges of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault.

Gary Simpson, Carlie Trent's uncle, was arrested after a week-long AMBER Alert was put into place for the girl.

Officials said 9-year-old Carlie Trent was picked up from school on May 4, 2016. An AMBER Alert was issued on May 5 after surveillance footage was released of Gary Simpson and Carlie Trent at a grocery store.

Hawkins County residents found Carlie on May 12.

2. Search for missing mother continues.

Family and friends of missing mother and LMU student Veronica Casciato are trying to piece together a possible reason behind her disappearance.

"It's the feeling of being helpless, you don't know what to do, you don't know where to go, she's my girl and I just want her back," Veronica's father, Mike Machen said.


Loved ones say Veronica Casciato disappeared from her LMU dorm room Thursday, April 6 without a trace. They describe her as a very peaceful and caring person who loves animals and being in nature, as well as taking long scenic drives.

3. Taxes are due at midnight Tuesday.

Tax returns are due to the IRS by midnight on Tuesday, April 18 unless you file an extension. The IRS has already processed 101 million individual returns and has issued $229 billion in refunds. The average refund is $2,851.

The tax agency said last week that nearly 40 million taxpayers have yet to file their returns. Taxpayers can request an automatic six-month extension.

But there is no extension for paying your tax bill. If you owe additional taxes, they are still due Tuesday.

4. Manhunt continues for man who captured murder on Facebook.

n a rambling video, Steve Stephens said, "I snapped, I just snapped." But as the manhunt dragged on Monday for the man accused of posting Facebook footage of himself killing a Cleveland retiree, police were unable to explain what set him off.

"Only Steve knows that," Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said as authorities posted a $50,000 reward for Stephens' capture in the shooting of Robert Godwin Sr., a 74-year-old former foundry worker.

In the video, Stephens blamed a former girlfriend he had lived with, saying he woke up last week and "couldn't take it anymore." But in a statement Monday, the woman shed little light on what might have gone wrong and said Stephens was good to her and her children.


As for the shooting victim, Godwin appeared to have been selected at random, gunned down while picking up aluminum cans Sunday afternoon after spending Easter with some of his children.

5. New study says Facebook is making us unhappy.

- Are you one of the many people that scrolls through your Facebook feed first thing in the morning? People wake up, they snooze the alarm and they look at their phones—but could that habit be setting a negative tone for the whole day?

A new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that using Facebook throughout the day could contribute to a negative trend in your well-being. The study reported that the more users "click likes," click links and post status updates, the lower the status of one's mental health becomes. It also found that social media use does not replace the mental health benefits of interacting with people face-to-face.

The study used results from the participation of 5,000 adults across three years, from 2013 until 2015. The purpose behind the research was to find links between the amount people use Facebook and their mental and physical health, along with their general well-being.

Our results showed that overall, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with well-being," the study found.

"The negative associations of Facebook use were comparable to or greater in magnitude than the positive impact of offline interactions, which suggests a possible trade off between offline and online relationships," the study said.