Daily Briefs (Feb10)

Life, no parole for killer of armored truck guard in Dearborn
DETROIT (AP) — A man convicted of murder but spared the death penalty for the robbery-slaying of an armored-truck courier in Dearborn has received the mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole in Detroit federal court.

U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts imposed the sentence Tuesday against 37-year-old Timothy O’Reilly.

He was convicted in the fatal shooting of Norman Stephens outside Dearborn Federal Credit Union in Dearborn in 2001. O’Reilly and others got away with $204,000.

A jury in August found O’Reilly guilty of murder but decided not to impose the death penalty against him.

Jurors say they couldn’t unanimously find that O’Reilly intentionally killed the 30-year-old Stephens.

Boston area man faces charges of sex with Michigan girl, 13
DETROIT (AP) — A 54-year-old Boston-area man traveled to Michigan to have sex with a 13-year-old girl who was his bride in an online role-playing game, authorities in Detroit said Tuesday.

Charges against John Phillips of Fitchburg, Mass., include sexual assault, child sexually abusive activity and accosting a child for immoral purposes, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon said at a news conference.

“I’ve been in law enforcement almost 35 years now, and this guy is one of the worst people that I have seen,” Napoleon said.

Phillips faces a preliminary examination Thursday in Detroit’s 36th District Court. He was arraigned Jan. 13 after his arrest in New York state and remained jailed in Wayne County.

“I think it’s entirely inappropriate what Sheriff Napoleon said, and what he said about my client,” defense lawyer Joseph Niskar told The Associated Press. He said people should wait until after the airing of evidence at Thursday’s hearing before forming judgments about Phillips.

“There's going to be lots of twists and turns in this case,” Niskar said.

According to authorities, Phillips met the girl online last year while playing RuneScape.

“They got married in the game,” sheriff’s corporal Ray Johnson said. “Maybe he thought that was legitimate in real life. It’s not.”

Phillips traveled to Michigan three times to see her, authorities said.

Ginsburg: Don’t count on fast-track SCOTUS health care review
BOSTON, MA — Virginia’s attorney general and others may want the challenge to the health care overhaul law fast tracked to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put the brakes on that notion.

During a conversation with NPR’s legal correspondent Nina Totenberg at an event at George Washington University, Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the justices don’t rush to take up a case just because those bringing the challenge want them to, or because the issue has been the subject of hot national debate.

“The court itself is a reactive institution,” Ginsburg told Totenberg, according to the GW Hatchet. “We don't decide, ‘We better get this or that case sooner rather than later.’”

Letting the case work its way through the lower appellate courts first has its benefits, Ginsburg said.

“We have a range of views before us and can make a better informed decision,” Ginsburg said.


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