National Roundup

Parents of slain Democratic staffer sue Fox News over story

NEW YORK (AP) — The parents of a Democratic National Committee employee who was killed in 2016 have filed a federal lawsuit alleging Fox News exploited the slaying as a “political football.”

Joel and Mary Rich allege Fox News, a reporter and a guest commentator used “lies, misrepresentations and half-truths” in a May 16, 2017, article that claimed their son had leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks during the presidential campaign.

The network removed the week-old story, saying it was not initially subjected to its “high degree of editorial scrutiny.”

Seth Rich was killed in what Washington police believe was a random robbery attempt. He was 27 years old.

The report quoted a private investigator suggesting that Seth Rich had some connection to WikiLeaks.

Appeals court: Officer justified in shooting dog

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court says a police officer in Utah searching for a boy acted reasonably when he entered a fenced yard and fatally shot a dog running toward him.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Tuesday ruled in favor of Salt Lake City police officer Brett Olsen.

The court in a 3-0 decision said Olsen did not violate Sean Kendall’s constitutional rights when he entered the backyard without a warrant and shot his dog in June 2014.

Olsen had been conducting a neighborhood search for a missing child.

Kendall sued Salt Lake City and five police officers in 2015.

The lawsuit claimed officers weren’t properly trained to deal with dogs. Kendall also argued Olsen violated both search and seizure and due process laws when he entered his yard.

Electrician settles for $610K after fall from courthouse

TORRINGTON, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut electrician who was injured in a fall during construction of a new courthouse has settled a lawsuit against three contractors for $610,000.

The Republican-American reports that Matthew Davidson suffered compression fractures in his back when he fell about 20 feet while working on the new Litchfield Judicial District Courthouse in Torrington.

Davidson’s lawyer says the ladder was the only route from the fourth floor of the building to the fifth. He says it was unsecured and started sliding as Davidson climbed it.

The lawyer says Davidson narrowly avoided being impaled by electrical equipment when he fell.

His medical bills have already topped $145,000.

The settlement will be paid out by an insurance company.

Activist pleads guilty in second sex abuse case

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland activist has pleaded guilty to a second round of sexual abuse charges against him, this time for having sexual contact multiple times with a 17-year-old boy.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Rhodes pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual abuse in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

The victim couldn’t consent to the contact because he was a minor. Rhodes — then 20 or 21 — was more than three years older than the teenager at the time of the 2014 or 2015 encounters. It’s a crime in Oregon for an adult to have sexual contact with a minor if there’s three or more years in age difference.

His sentencing is scheduled for June, after he’s sentenced in Washington County for second-degree sexual abuse of a 17-year-old girl in 2014.

West Virginia
Former judge set to be released from prison

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) — A former West Virginia judge is scheduled to be released from federal prison this week.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the Federal Bureau of Prisons website indicates former Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury is set for release on Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston sentenced Thornsbury to 50 months in prison in June 2014 after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against civil rights. Thornsbury and former Mingo Prosecuting
Attorney Michael Sparks pleaded guilty to charges related to a 2013 scheme to force a defendant in a drug case to change attorneys.

The website says Thornsbury is currently incarcerated at the residential re-entry management facility in Nashville, Tennessee. He previously was incarcerated at the federal correction institution in Pensacola, Florida.
After release, he will be subject to three years of supervised release.

Tribal leaders question AG on water rights

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine tribal leaders and environmental groups are criticizing Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills for calling for review of a federal court ruling backing tribal fishing rights in Washington.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to review a federal court order that could force Washington to pay billions of dollars to restore salmon habitat by removing barriers that block fish migration. The ruling stems from a 2001 lawsuit filed by 21 tribes and the Justice Department.

The lawsuit says tribes are being deprived of fishing rights guaranteed by treaties. Maine tribes and other critics say Mills’ efforts threaten such rights and clean water rules.

Mills says she respects sustenance fishing rights of the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribes. Mills, who’s running for governor, argues the Washington case is about federal overreach.

Judge tosses lawsuit against city of Peoria, police officers

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A lawsuit against the city of Peoria and several police officers that alleged they conspired to falsely prosecute the plaintiff has been dismissed.

U.S. District Judge Sara Darrow dismissed the lawsuit by Christopher L. Coleman that alleged Peoria and four police officers fabricated evidence in connection with a 1994 home invasion.

In a ruling handed down last week, Darrow asserted Coleman didn’t provide evidence the officers acted inappropriately.


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