Court Roundup

Last count in Texas Tech coach lawsuit dismissed

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — The last remaining count in former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach’s lawsuit stemming from his firing has been dismissed by a judge in Lubbock.
State District Judge William Sowder wrote the school and Leach’s attorney Monday that Texas Tech didn’t violate the coach’s due process rights when he was fired in December 2009.
Texas Tech spokesman Chris Cook says the school is pleased with the decision. Leach’s attorney Ted Liggett tells the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Leach is considering options that include a court appeal.
Sowder previously dismissed most of the other counts in Leach’s lawsuit.
Leach sued a month after he was fired for alleged mistreatment of a player. He denied the accusation. He was Texas Tech’s most successful football coach and now coaches at Washington State.

Bridgeport settles lawsuit over fatal fire for $825,000

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — Bridgeport officials have agreed to pay $825,000 to a city man whose wife and three children were killed in a 2005 apartment fire.
The Connecticut Post reports the City Council settled a lawsuit Monday night with Rihn Thach, a Vietnamese immigrant who said the city fire marshal failed to make inspections that could have prevented the deaths.
Thach and his family lived on the second floor of an apartment building on Iranistan Avenue. An investigation showed the apartment had no smoke detectors, windows were barred and a possible escape route was nailed shut.
Thach’s 35-year-old wife, his 14-year-old son and two daughters, ages 11 and 3, were killed. He was the family’s only survivor.
Thach’s landlord pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in 2006 and received a suspended sentence.

Convicted killer in Waco case gets execution date

WACO, Texas (AP) — A state district judge in Waco has set a May 7 execution date for convicted killer Carroll Joe Parr.
The 35-year-old Parr told family members, some of them crying as he was being led from Judge Matt Johnson’s courtroom Monday, that death was “a prize” and urged them not to cry.
Parr was condemned for the 2003 robbery and slaying of 18-year-old Joel Dominguez during a drug deal. Another man was wounded in the shooting.
McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna says the date setting moves justice one step forward for the families of Parr’s victims.
The U.S. Supreme Court last month refused to review Parr’s case. The Waco Tribune-Herald reports he was known on the streets of Waco as “Outlaw.”

State Sup. Ct. to hear sex offender registry case

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oral arguments are scheduled before the Oklahoma Supreme Court involving lawsuits challenging the state’s sex offender registry.
Attorneys for three men convicted of different sex offenses in other states will argue their cases before the court on Tuesday. They want to block the state from forcing them to place their names on the state’s sex offender registry.
Although each case is different, they all challenge the state’s attempt to enforce its sex offender registration rules retroactively.
Two of the men claim they are exempt from the rules because their crimes pre-date the creation of the registry in 1989. The other was required to register for 10 years when he was sentenced and is challenging the state’s attempt to make him register longer following legislative amendments to the registry rules.


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