National Roundup

Minnesota

Police officer's attorneys request new judge in shooting case

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Attorneys for the Minnesota police officer who faces a manslaughter charge in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile are removing the judge who was assigned to the case.

Lawyers for St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez filed a notice Thursday to remove Ramsey County District Court Judge Edward Wilson. Under rules of criminal procedure in Minnesota, defense attorneys and prosecutors can each strike one assigned judge from a case without giving a reason. The requests are automatically granted.

Wilson, who is black, was initially assigned to the case because of his experience - he's been on the bench since 1987 and is the second most senior judge in the district.

Defense attorney Earl Gray said they filed the notice to remove Wilson based on research. He did not elaborate further.

"We felt that we had to remove him. Simple as that," said Gray, who has previously tried a case before Wilson.

Castile, who was black, was killed July 6 during a traffic stop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights. The shooting's gruesome aftermath was streamed live on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend, who was with him in the car at the time. Prosecutors have said the 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker was shot at seven times after telling Yanez he was armed and had a permit to carry.

Yanez, who is Latino, has claimed in court documents that Castile didn't say he had a permit. His attorneys are asking that the case be dismissed, saying Castile was negligent in his own death because he was high on marijuana and didn't obey Yanez's commands.

Ramsey County Chief Judge John Guthmann said Monday that he assigned Wilson to the case because of the judge's availability and experience. He said Wilson's race didn't play a role.

Gray said he expects Guthmann to assign a new judge within a week. Then, he said, the defense team can begin laying out its strategy.

"Obviously, this is a case that is going to have a lot of motions filed, and this is obviously a case that is going to go to trial, so we will find out from the judge we get what his schedule will be and then go from there," Gray said.

New Jersey

Family sues to let girl play on boys' basketball team

KENILWORTH, N.J. (AP) - A girl who wants to play for her school's boys' basketball team has sued the Archdiocese of Newark.

Sydney Phillips' father, Scott, told NJ.com that he doesn't want any money from the lawsuit. He just wants his daughter to be able to play basketball.

Sydney played for the girls' team at St. Theresa's School in Kenilworth last year, but the team stopped playing because there weren't enough girls interested.

The family says that the archdiocese does not have a specific rule prohibiting girls from playing on the boys' team. The school said in a legal response that her application was filed late. Scott Phillips disputes that.

A spokesman for the archdiocese declined to comment on the lawsuit.

A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 5.

New Jersey

Pilot admits to smuggling $195K in cash into US

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A commercial airline pilot has admitted he smuggled more than $195,000 in cash into the U.S. through New Jersey's Newark International Airport.

He faces up to five years in federal prison when sentenced in April.

NJ.com reports that 55-year-old Anthony Warner, of Dallas, Texas, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Newark to a charge of bulk cash smuggling. Prosecutors didn't identify the origin of the cash.

Prosecutors say Warner participated in Global Entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program designed to speed up entry into the country for certain pre-approved travelers.

But Jan. 10, a Global Entry terminal at the airport was down and Warner had to present his customs declaration to officials. Officers found $195,736 in U.S. bills wrapped inside a newspaper in Warner's laptop bag.

Georgia

Judge orders lawyer to wear ankle monitor after wife killed

ATLANTA (AP) - A judge has ordered a prominent Atlanta attorney to wear an ankle monitor and turn over his passport after the shooting death of his wife.

Claud "Tex" McIver is charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a judge Thursday allowed him to be freed on bond.

McIver's attorney hasn't responded to requests for comment, but McIver has insisted the shooting was an accident.

Atlanta police have said McIver was riding in a rear seat of an SUV late Sept. 25 when a gun he was holding fired and the bullet hit his wife, 63-year-old Diane McIver, who was in the front passenger seat. She died at a hospital.

Diane McIver was president of U.S. Enterprises Inc., parent company of Corey Airport Services.

Connecticut

Teen to be tried as adult in attack on Yale professor

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A judge has ruled that a Connecticut teen will be tried as an adult for his alleged role in the beating of an elderly Yale University professor last year.

The New Haven Register reports the Superior Court judge on Thursday denied pleas from supporters of Aymir Holland to keep the 17-year-old on youthful offender status.

Holland and two young men were arrested after the November 2015 attack on the 79-year-old professor. Holland faces charges that include first-degree assault.

The professor told police that he was hit from behind and attacked by five people after dark on Nov. 27.

One of Holland's two attorneys told the judge that Holland, who was 16 at the time of the assault, "was a child then" and is a child now.

Iowa

Man pleads guilty, admits using child to produce porn

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a Cedar Rapids man has admitted using a child to produce pornography.

Federal prosecutors said in a news release Friday that 23-year-old Michael Bordman pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography.

Bordman's sentencing date in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids hasn't been set yet. Prosecutors say he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 50 years.

Published: Mon, Dec 26, 2016