Trial Jury Thu, 19 May 2022 23:51:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Trial Jury 32 32 Connecticut Supreme Court Orders New Trial For Firing Original Developers Of Dunkin’ Donuts Park – Hartford Courant Thu, 19 May 2022 19:25:13 +0000

Hartford — In the ongoing, years-long saga over the construction of Dunkin’ Donuts Park, the state Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ordered a new lawsuit regarding the City of Hartford’s firing of the original developers in 2016 for not completing the stadium in time.

The original developers – Centerplan Construction Co. and DoNo Hartford LLC – filed a $90 million lawsuit in July 2016 challenging the termination. In 2019, a Hartford Superior Court jury sided with the city, accusing Centerplan and DoNo of missing the deadline. The jury also awarded the city $335,000 in damages.

On appeal, Centerplan, through its attorney Louis Pepe of McElroy, Deutch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, and DoNo argued that the trial court in 2019 did not allow them to present evidence they could not. not be held responsible for “countless flaws” in the ballpark designs because the architect was under the control of the city. This, according to the developers, led to cost overruns, delays in the construction of the ballpark, and ultimately the developers’ layoffs.

The Supreme Court, in a 5-0 decision, ruled that who had legal control of the architect and design of the stadium from January to June 2016 – from when a term sheet was executed until when the city fired Centerplan and DoNo – was ambiguous and, therefore, must be decided by the jury.

“The complaint was that the trial court had erroneously determined – before the start of the trial – that the [original developers] were responsible for all errors and omissions by the architectural team before, during and after construction,” Pepe said in an interview. “We argued that just couldn’t be the case. … [T]The architect was hired by the city before contracts were made with Centerplan and had begun the design and was in fact well completed before the city awarded its contract with the architect to Centerplan.

The original developers also argued on appeal that, under the terms of the contract and the common law, they were entitled to notice of default and an opportunity to cure the default before termination could be implemented. Evidence supporting this argument was improperly withheld from the jury during the 2019 trial, Pepe said.

“In construction, termination is the functional equivalent of capital punishment,” Pepe said. “The law is very clear that before imposing this extreme remedy, you must strictly comply with your obligations as an owner which are conditions precedent to termination. We argued that the city had failed to do so. … It was a question for the jury and it was improperly removed from the jury. If we go back to this trial and this question comes up, it becomes a question for the jury to decide. »

With the Supreme Court ordering a new trial, the city could be held liable for tens of millions of dollars in damages to Centerplan and DoNo. Judge Thomas Moukawsher, following the 2019 verdict, lifted restrictions that would allow a new developer to continue construction of apartments, retail and entertainment space and parking lots.

New developer, Stamford-based RMS Cos., has paved the way on one of four parcels that make up North Crossing, formerly known as DoNo. The project is a mixed-use development which includes apartments, parking and a restaurant.

“When we took over the case, we informed the city that before entering into a new development agreement with a new developer, they should understand that we would challenge the termination of these development agreements,” said Pepe.

The city and the new developer essentially proceeded at their own risk, Pepe said.

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Mayor Luke Bronin said the decision was “disappointing” and the city “strongly” disagrees with it.

“Having said that, we believe the facts are clear and that a new trial will, once again, result in a decision in favor of Hartford,” he said. “If the city hadn’t fired Centerplan when we did, there would be no baseball in Hartford today, no development around the ballpark, and Hartford taxpayers would have been responsible for dozens millions of dollars wasted by Centerplan – with nothing to show for it.

Pepe, meanwhile, said he and his client were “delighted” with the Supreme Court’s opinion.

“The City of Hartford has grossly mistreated [Centerplan CEO Robert] Landino, his partners and his companies when he wrongfully terminated his construction contract for the Dunkin’ Donuts baseball stadium after it was substantially complete and did the same with his contracts with the development of the city-owned parcels neighbor before he could even start working on it. ,” he said. “Now the city will be held accountable for these wrongdoings and the prodigious pain and suffering they have caused. We look forward to the new trial that the Supreme Court has ordered.

The Supreme Court ruling is another chapter in an ongoing battle that began with an admittedly aggressive schedule that called for the minor league’s 6,100-seater park to be built in just 13 months, with the Yard Goats – the Double-A subsidiary of Colorado. Rockies – hosting their home opener in May 2016.

With construction delays, the Yard Goats played their first season on the road, with a new contractor brought in to complete construction. The project was completed in 2017.

Ken Gosselin contributed to this story.

APO Group and Africa’s Business Heroes Win Prestigious PRovoke Africa SABER Award Thu, 19 May 2022 09:24:36 +0000

APO Group (, the leading pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service, is delighted to announce that it has won a prestigious PRovoke Africa SABER award for the PR campaign around the Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) award competition. ).

The ABH program ( is designed to promote entrepreneurship in Africa and empower the next generation of African business leaders. APO Group’s involvement in a dedicated PR campaign in 2021 has led to one of the most successful editions of the ABH Prize competition ever and helped raise the profile of African entrepreneurship across the board. the continent and beyond.

The PRovoke Africa SABER Awards are the leading public relations awards in Africa. Held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the 2022 SABER Awards attracted over 2,000 entries from PR agencies across the continent. A judging panel of industry leaders chaired by PRovoke Media founder Paul Holmes was looking for campaigns that were brave, authentic, shareable and captivating – and ABH ticked all of those boxes.

The ABH Prize is one of the main philanthropic initiatives of the Jack Ma Foundation, with a 10-year commitment to support the development of a new entrepreneurial ecosystem. Each year, ten finalists are selected from tens of thousands of entries to win a share of a $1.5 million prize pool in grants.

Jack Ma, founder of the Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation, launched the ABH Prize after taking his first trip to Africa in 2017 and was inspired by the energy and entrepreneurial potential of the young people he met.

Since 2020, APO Group has been working alongside the Jack Ma Foundation to execute a holistic campaign for the ABH Prize across the continent, while APO Group Founder and Chairman Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard served as a semi-final judge. for the last two editions of the competition.

The work done by APO Group and the ABH team was voted the overall winner in the North Africa category of the 2022 SABER Awards. The ABH award is a truly pan-African campaign, reaching candidates across the continent. The APO Group team worked to deliver a strategic media relations plan for ABH that would generate maximum media coverage and drive applications across Africa.

Despite the vast geographic challenges of the pandemic, the campaign was a huge success. Highlights included: three major media events attended by hundreds of African media; 94 amazing media interviews obtained for ABH spokespersons, judges and contractors; and a social media promotion campaign that reached more than 29 million people.

This added up to one of the most successful ABH competitions ever with over 20,000 quality entries, more women entrepreneurs than ever before and every African country represented.

“Africa’s Business Heroes is an ambitious project, and to cover all 54 African countries requires extensive public relations knowledge and expertise,” said Jason Pau, Executive Director of International, Jack Ma Foundation. “Working with APO Group has always been fun and efficient, and we are delighted that the campaign, and the community of African entrepreneurs it represents, has received the recognition it deserves with this fantastic SABER award.”

“The Jack Ma Foundation shares our vision for the future of business in Africa and together our teams have worked tirelessly to raise the profile of the ABH Prize,” said APO Group Founder and Chairman Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard. . “This campaign has truly captured the public imagination and shown the world Africa’s vast potential as a hub for the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of APO Group.

Media contact:
[email protected]

About Africa’s Trade Heroes:
The Africa’s Business Heroes Prize competition is the Jack Ma Foundation’s flagship philanthropic initiative, aimed at supporting and inspiring the next generation of African entrepreneurs across all sectors, building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the continent’s future. . Over a ten-year period, ABH will reward 100 African entrepreneurs and commit to providing grants, training programs and support for the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Each year, the ABH Prize competition and show will feature ten finalists who will pitch their business to win a share of $1.5 million in grants. Jack Ma, founder of the Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation, established the award after taking his first trip to Africa in 2017 and was inspired by the energy and entrepreneurial potential of the young people he met.

About APO Group:
Founded in 2007, APO Group ( is the leading pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service. We help private and public organizations to build their reputation and increase their brand image in target countries across Africa. Our role as a trusted partner is to leverage the power of media and build tailored strategies that enable organizations to deliver real and measurable impact in Africa and beyond. The trust and recognition accorded to APO Group by global and multinational companies, governments and NGOs drives us to continuously improve our value proposition in Africa to better meet the needs of our customers.

Among our prestigious clients: Facebook, Dangote Group, Nestlé, GE, NBA, Canon, Coca-Cola, DHL, Marriott Group, Ecobank, Siemens, Standard Chartered, Orange, Jack Ma Foundation, African Development Bank, World Health Organization , Islamic Development Bank, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, Rotary International, Kaspersky, Greenpeace…

Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland | Offices in Senegal, Dubai and Hong Kong

This press release was issued by APO. Content is not vetted by the African Business editorial team and none of the content has been verified or validated by our editorial teams, proofreaders or fact checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Johnny Depp, Amber Heard: a decision that could turn against him during a legal battle Thu, 19 May 2022 03:53:12 +0000 Amber Heard’s legal team may be planning for Johnny Depp to return to the helm, but experts say there’s a reason that could work against her.

Amber Heard recalling Johnny Depp to the stand could be a ‘risk’, in part because of his sympathy when he first testified in the defamation lawsuit he filed against his ex-wife, sources have said. legal experts.

Sources close to Heard said The post office last week that his legal team could ask Depp to testify again as they argued alongside him in the ongoing court battle in Fairfax, Va.

But such a plan could backfire, as the actor, who had already been on the witness stand for four days, came across as credible and sympathetic to the jury, experts said. Giving him a second round at the helm could unintentionally hurt Heard’s case.

“There’s a risk he’ll spend more time being sympathetic on the stand,” civil attorney Katherine Lizardo said, “when it’s actually time for Amber Heard to present her case.”

Seattle defamation attorney Bruce Johnson agreed that Depp’s apparent sympathy could be a problem for Heard.

“It’s a huge risk if he’s a good witness and he’s going to perform well again,” Mr Johnson said. The post office.

Halim Dhanidina, a criminal defense attorney and former California judge, said Depp’s “very unique personality” likely led him to appeal to the jury the first time around.

“He didn’t really strike me as someone who was roleplaying or fabricating,” he said. “The jury is going to want to know if they can rely on testimony not based on the intelligence of the witness, but on his sincerity.”

Depp, 58, is suing his 36-year-old ex-wife for $50m (A$70m), accusing her of defaming him when she called herself a ‘public figure representing domestic violence’ in a 2018 Washington Post editorial.

Heard filed a $100m (A$134m) countersuit, claiming it was Depp who defamed her by accusing her of lying about the alleged abuse.

His side are now presenting their case, concluding Heard’s fourth day on the stand on Tuesday, and continuing to call witnesses until closing arguments, scheduled for May 27.

“Right now, we’re hearing Amber Heard’s side of the story,” Ms. Lizardo said.

“Calling on your opponent to speak on your behalf seems counter-intuitive.”

Mr Dhanidina noted that Depp could try to get the “advantage” if he had the chance to address the jury again.

“If he landed with the jury and if the jury likes him, then more time before the jury is good for him,” he said. “Maybe it’s something that [Heard] does it out of necessity but [Depp] himself can benefit from it.

Jurors, however, would not receive an explanation as to why Depp is back on the stand, which could “confuse them”, Ms Lizardo added.

“Most of the time when you’re cross-examining it comes across as hostile,” she said. “A jury might think, ‘OK, he’s back on the stand. Are they harassing him again?

Libel barrister Mr Johnson also said Heard’s team needed to consider whether calling Depp again would attract the jury’s attention, as some jurors were reportedly spotted falling asleep while as the trial extends into its fifth week.

“You’re putting on a performance for a jury and you don’t want to drag it out too long,” Mr Johnson said. “In any long trial, that’s a consideration.”

Some of the pundits, however, said Heard’s legal team could try to get the better of Depp if they put him back on the stand.

“I would suspect they would want to cut [Depp] at the waist,” Virginia libel attorney Jeremiah Denton said. The post office.

“He behaved reasonably well in his first appearance at the helm, so I guess they feel they must necessarily attack his credibility – it could be his memory, his veracity [or] covering something that hasn’t been covered,” Denton said.

Dhanidina said Heard’s lawyers might be able to surprise Depp with their questions, as they “will likely have new topics and new areas to cover,” including topics they weren’t authorized to discuss. question the first time.

But the more time Depp has on the stand, the more opportunity he has to slip up and contradict something he has said previously, the experts all agreed.

“The more a witness talks, the more likely they are to say things that could be easily contradicted,” Mr Johnson said. “Even if they try to be honest, we all have memory lapses.”

Mr Dhanidina said he could not predict which side would benefit the most from Depp’s second stint at the helm, but if it happened it would certainly grab the attention of the world.

“Buckle up, because this is going to get really, really interesting,” he said.

“Any time you have a party questioned by the other side, it can be very, very difficult to predict who is going to win and whether it looks like a chess match or a knockdown fight,” Mr Dhanidina said. . “And we don’t really know what we’re going to get.”

Representatives for Depp and Heard both declined to comment.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and has been reproduced with permission

Eagles reporter shares what Jalen Hurts needs to do to keep his job Wed, 18 May 2022 18:47:23 +0000
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Strategist Jalen hurts should like the changes that are happening with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Key additions on defense like Haason Reddick, white kyzirand James Bradberry should help maintain any lead they build.

But he should be happy to have wide receivers pascal pascal and A.J. Brown.

These two broads will join DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins in what promises to be a solid receiving unit.

Philadelphia also has a powerful rushing offense with Miles Sander, Boston Scottand Kenneth Gainwell.

With all those goals around him, Hurts should do better than his performance last season.

This time, as reporter Eliot Shorr-Parks said, Hurts should raise his target for this campaign.

Shorr-Parks tweeted, “Jalen Hurts needs to win a playoff game next season to be the #Eagles QB in 2023. Just making the playoffs won’t be enough for the Eagles to commit. Must win a playoff game.

The jury is still out on whether Hurts is the Eagles’ long-term solution under center.

Undoubtedly it is a better option than Carson Wentz, that the Eagles once traded to the Indianapolis Colts.

But consistency in the passing game should be his priority.

Offensive linemen and their running backs will find ways to keep the ground game going.

However, Hurts needs to show his passing accuracy.

This way, the Eagles will win more games and have a long playoff run.

Now or never for wounds

He must show a marked improvement to maintain his position.

Otherwise, the Eagles will use one of their 2023 first-round picks to select a quarterback.

Unlike the 2022 class, the 2023 pool is more promising with players like CJ Stroud, Bryce Young, Spencer Rattler and Will Levis.

Therefore, Philadelphia could sign his replacement if Hurts doesn’t make the team feel safe at quarterback.

Once that happens, time will be running out for his starter tenure.

2022-05-18 | NDAQ:ALA | Press release Wed, 18 May 2022 15:28:47 +0000

Jurors received incorrect instructions even after judge agreed to change them

FORT WORTH, TX, May 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Lawyers representing a former American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) flight attendant in her sexual assault case against the airline are seeking a new trial after learning that jurors in the case had received an instruction that the judge had agreed to remove from the charge of the jury.

Last week, a jury found that a celebrity chef hired by American had in fact sexually assaulted Kimberly Goeslingbut did not assign any responsibility to the airline.

But on reviewing the jury verdict form, Ms Goesling’s lawyers noticed that one of the questions the jury had to answer included a line which the plaintiff’s lawyers had objected to in court and which the court had accepted to delete.

“It is not a legal formality. It is the court giving the jurors an instruction which does not respect the law”, says the lawyer Robert Miller of Miller Bryant LLP in dallas. “It’s crucial because after the verdict we spoke with some of the jurors and the part we’re talking about is what tripped them up.”

Mr. Miller’s motion asks the court to overturn the verdict and order a new trial in the case. To review a copy of the motion, Click here.

The just-concluded trial included testimony from Ms Goesling, who described her treatment by the airline after reporting the 2018 assault, which happened in her hotel room at Germany. She told jurors that she was attacked by a celebrity chef that American hired without performing a background check. Evidence in the case showed the airline continued to employ him even after learning of previous allegations against him of alcohol abuse and inappropriate conduct towards women.

She first publicly told the story of what happened to her – and American’s role in it – in a Facebook and Instagram video from 2021. Ms Goesling airline retiree in December 2021. To visit for more information.

The case is Kimberly Goesling against American Airlines et al., Case No. 342-314565-20 in the 342nd Judicial District Court of Tarrant County.

dallasMiller Bryant LLP is a national practice that represents catastrophically injured people and those who have been harmed by the negligent acts of others. More information at

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]]> Death penalty sought in Texas for man who admitted killing 5 people Wed, 18 May 2022 14:00:34 +0000

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Texas prosecutors said Monday they would seek the death penalty for a man who authorities say confessed to killing five people, including three whose dismembered bodies were found in a dumpster on fire last year.

The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office said it filed the paperwork seeking the death penalty for 41-year-old Jason Thornburg. He was arrested in September for capital murder in the deaths of David Lueras, 42, Lauren Phillips, 34, and Maricruz Mathis, 33. Their bodies were found in a burning dumpster in Fort Worth.

FILE – This undated file photo provided by the Fort Worth Police Department shows Jason Thornburg. On Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, a grand jury in Fort Worth, Texas returned a capital murder indictment against Thornburg, who authorities say confessed to killing five people, including three whose dismembered bodies were found in a burning dumpster earlier this year. . (Fort Worth Police Department via AP, file)

During a police interview, Thornburg confessed to killing these three people as well as his roommate and girlfriend, according to his arrest warrant.

Thornburg also faces a murder charge in the death of her roommate, Mark Jewell, 61. He was found dead in a house fire last May.

Tanya Begay, a Navajo from Gallup, New Mexico, disappeared after a trip to Arizona with Thornburg in 2017.

In March, Thornburg was indicted by a grand jury for first degree murder, assault with intent to murder and assault causing grievous bodily harm in the March 2017 killing in the Navajo Nation of a person listed as TTB , according to an indictment. filed in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

Thornburg remained imprisoned in Fort Worth on bail of over $1 million. His lawyers did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Monday.

Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss offers job promotion to drop sexual harassment lawsuit – NBC New York Wed, 18 May 2022 04:24:47 +0000

A partial audio recording obtained by the I-Team appears to show the mayor of Irvington, New Jersey, and his township attorney offering a job promotion and a pay raise to a city employee – in exchange for him to drop out. the employee’s wife from his 2014 sexual harassment complaint against the mayor and the city.

In the recording, which documents a pretrial discussion about the settlement of the lawsuit, Mayor Tony Vauss and Irvington Township Attorney Ramon Rivera offer benefits worth “a lot of money” to Carl Brown, the husband of Tamara Smith, a former township code enforcer. officer who accused Vauss of sexually assaulting her inside the Irvington Municipal Building.

“What we’re willing to talk about is a raise for Carl which, you know, would be a raise in salary, an annual raise to his base that he would receive every year for a period of time that would be a lot of money over a long period,” Rivera said. “That’s something we could do as early as Monday and solve the case.”

In the conversation, secretly recorded by Smith, Vauss said he was unwilling to discuss a cash settlement with his accuser, but would agree to compensation being paid to her husband.

“The reason we’re talking about compensating you is that we have a different view of what happened here — in terms of who’s the victim and who’s not the victim,” Vauss told Brown. “So compensating you is something I’m willing to do because you could be the victim in this scenario.”

Settlement negotiations ultimately failed, and Mayor Vauss was victorious in a jury trial. His lawyers successfully argued that the mayor was being targeted by an employee with ulterior motives and credibility issues.

Still, some Irvington ratepayers were disappointed to learn that a city job was used as a bargaining chip in settlement negotiations over a sexual misconduct complaint.

“I disagree with that,” said Golden Robinson, a longtime Irvington resident. “You get a job on your merits.”

Singer Irie, a fellow taxpayer who has lived in Irvington for decades, said the recording raises questions about how the township has handled other legal settlements.

“How do we know how much of this is still going on?” Irie said. “People should get their jobs because of their skills.”

Various federal and state bribery laws prohibit offering resources to taxpayers in exchange for personal benefit, but former prosecutors say the legality of the mayor’s conduct depends on his intent.

“If the public official’s intent was to benefit himself, it could be a crime, but if he was trying to benefit the municipality, the conduct may be permitted,” said Chuck Rosenberg, a former prosecutor. federal. “There’s a big difference between something horrible and something illegal.”

Mayor Vauss did not respond to questions from the I-Team. In the past, he has flatly denied Tamara Smith’s allegation of sexual harassment, calling it “scandalous” and “outlandish”.

Township Attorney Ramon Rivera, who did much of the talking on the audio recording, emailed a statement defending the settlement negotiations.

“The meeting you refer to was a routine settlement discussion with the plaintiffs,” Rivera wrote. “It is important to note that the meeting, which was surreptitiously recorded, took place in the plaintiff’s attorney’s office 8 years ago. The plaintiffs rejected all attempts at settlement, and the mayor and township were ultimately successful at trial, where the plaintiff was also found to have defamed the mayor and was ordered to pay damages. It should also be noted that the judge prohibited the plaintiff from using the subject’s recording during the trial. »

Although the jury ordered Tamara Smith to pay $7,000 in damages for defaming Mayor Vauss, she says she will never pay it and stands by her sexual assault allegation. After the jury sided with Vauss, Smith was fired from her job as a code enforcement officer after she allegedly issued a flawed summons to the mayor’s ex-wife. She appealed unsuccessfully to get her job back and now works in the private sector.

Her husband, Carl, now works as a sanitation superintendent in Irvington. Had he accepted the 2014 job offer in exchange for dropping the sexual harassment suit, Smith says the additional benefits would have represented a legal settlement disguised as a regular municipal payroll.

“If money was coming out of Irvington Township, I think residents — if they were to pay for it — they have a right to know where their money is being spent,” Smith said.

Lawyers for former Fort Worth officer tell court they are needed elsewhere on murder trial date | PA Tue, 17 May 2022 21:32:09 +0000

FORT WORTH, Texas — Two attorneys who represent a former Fort Worth police officer who is due to stand trial next month for murder have filed a motion outlining their work in seven other cases they claim local and state legal code assigns scheduling priority.

The lawyers, Bob Gill and Miles Brissette, did not explicitly request a new trial date for Aaron Dean, but wrote in the motion that they had commitments elsewhere on June 21, when jury selection is due to begin. in the Dean case, and in the weeks before that date.

Among the considerations, the attorneys said in the motion they filed Monday, is that Dean is not being held in jail, as are the defendants in the contentious cases. Dean was released on bail.

Planning in conflicting cases must be resolved by Texas criminal procedure code, state code and local rules, according to the motion. The other Gill and Brissette cases should be given priority, according to the motion, because codes and rules elevate the cases of other defendants, who were charged before Dean, or because of the age of the victim or the nature of the case. ‘offense.

Scheduling issues have beset the trial of Dean, who is charged with the death of Atatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth in October 2019. The case, in Tarrant County’s 297th District Court, has already been delayed by the unavailability of two defense expert witnesses, other defense witnesses conflicting lawyers’ schedules, the illness of a third dean’s lawyer and, first, by a stalemate in trials caused by the coronavirus pandemic .

A grand jury has indicted Dean, who is white, with murder after he shot Jefferson, a 28-year-old black woman, through a window while responding to a call about open doors at her home. Jefferson was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew, Zion Carr, when she thought she heard a prowler in the backyard, grabbed a handgun from her purse and pointed it at the window, said Zion to a forensic investigator, according to a warrant affidavit supporting Dean’s arrest.

Dean, 37, did not identify himself as a police officer and shot Jefferson seconds after seeing her through the window, according to body-worn camera video. He resigned from the police department the same day he was arrested, two days after the shooting. The department said he would have been fired had he not resigned.

Brissette is set to represent Clifford Glenn on June 23 at a final preliminary hearing in a child aggravated sexual assault case. The jury in Dean’s case is scheduled to hear opening statements on that date.

“Mr. Glenn is currently in poor health in the Tarrant County Jail. He has been confined for over 390 days based on these charges,” Brissette and Gill wrote in the motion.

Brissette is also due to start a bench trial for robbery on June 23.

Gill refers in the motion to several trials between now and the end of June that he is scheduled or preparing for. Gill also refers to his early June deadline to file an appeal brief.

The attorneys wrote that they were available to speak with prosecutors and Judge David Hagerman, whom they asked to grant a hearing on the motion.

Hagerman has occasionally expressed irritation at the hiccups that led him to continue. Most recently, on May 4, Hagerman adjourned the case because the Dean’s lead attorney, Jim Lane, has been ill for about two months and unable to prepare for trial.

Hagerman said the court “will not be held hostage indefinitely” by unknown factors, such as the length of Lane’s illness, which he said appears to be “serious, debilitating and possibly even serious.”

Hagerman described the postponement of the trial as a “monumental inconvenience” at the time.


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Group of 12 George Floyd protesters file civil rights lawsuit against Denver Police Department Tue, 17 May 2022 14:15:30 +0000

A group of a dozen protesters filed a new civil rights lawsuit against the Denver Police Department on Tuesday, adding to a growing pile of lawsuits the city has faced over its excessive use of force during protests. following the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

The 67-page complaint alleges the department used “constitutionally illegal” tactics to control peaceful protesters. According to the lawsuit, officers indiscriminately threw tear gas, pepperballs and flashbang grenades at the crowd, violating their First Amendment rights.

Department leadership failed to issue dispersal orders prior to the use of force in many cases, the complaint states. Senior commanders also did not ask officers to complete use of force reports until weeks after the protests.

The claims echo those at the center of a three-week federal trial held in March, when a jury awarded a separate group of protesters $14 million in damages for DPD’s constitutional violations. A judge in this case is still weighing whether to issue permanent policy changes within the department.

“The $14 million verdict appears to have had no effect on the city’s policymakers,” said Elizabeth Wang, an attorney at Loevy & Loevy, the firm representing the protesters in the case filed Tuesday. Wang also represented several of the plaintiffs in the March trial.

“We expect the city to recognize its mistakes and it hasn’t,” Wang said.

The city argued that the officers’ actions were necessary due to the chaotic nature of the protests. Groups of demonstrators sometimes threw objects at the police. They also smashed windows and sprayed graffiti on downtown businesses and government buildings.

A spokeswoman for the city attorney’s office declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.

After the March verdict, the prosecutor’s office said it would continue to review how law enforcement is responding to the protests. The statement acknowledged that officers made mistakes in some incidents.

“We continue to evaluate our policies and training to ensure we are using best practices identified by law enforcement across the country to better protect peaceful protesters while reaching out to those who are just there. to engage in violence,” the statement said.

DPD has implemented changes to the way it responds to protests since before any litigation, according to a spokesperson for the department. These changes include the elimination of the use of less lethal 40mm equipment during demonstrations and improved training.

The latest case brought by protesters cites at least 12 incidents of alleged excessive force that occurred between May 30 and June 5, 2020.

In one, officers from several Denver Metro departments under DPD command ‘largely entrapped’ a group of protesters who marched down Colfax Avenue near the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. . Officers used separate skirmish lines to block off protesters on the east and west sides, according to the complaint.

Without warning or order, officers then fired tear gas, flash grenades and pepper balls into the crowd in both directions, the lawsuit says.

In an attempt to escape, Mariah Wood, a plaintiff, attempted to scale the basilica’s wrought iron fence. At the top, Wood’s shoelace got caught in one of the metal spikes in the fence. As she attempted to descend, DPD officers shot her “several times” with pepper balls.

“At no time did Wood throw anything, commit an act of violence or destruction of property, or commit an act that would have warranted the use of force,” the complaint states.

In another, Mark Rosenthal, a local property manager, was standing at the edge of Civic Center Park near Broadway when DPD officers pulled into a vehicle and began shooting at protesters without warning, the complaint said.

Rosenthal was shot several times in the chest and head, leaving a bloody gash on his forehead. He had to go to the hospital to get stitched up, the suit explains.

Other complainants suffered bruises, skin burns and concussions during their interactions with police. Many are still struggling with post-traumatic stress, according to the complaint.

Protesters are seeking damages for their injuries in the case. If the case goes to trial, which will take months, a judge could order a policy change in the department.

The case could also be settled before going to trial. In February, the Denver City Council unanimously approved settlements with two protesters without going to court. Denver has spent more than $1.3 million settling claims to date.

Potential jurors interviewed in phase two of jury selection process for Parkland School shooter Nikolas Cruz’s penalty trial – CBS Miami Tue, 17 May 2022 13:18:45 +0000

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) — The second phase of the jury selection process for the trial of Parkland school gunman Nikolas Cruz began Monday with attorneys asking potential jurors questions, with one candidate matching him to an interview for “ hardest job of my life.”

Lawyers asked jurors about their views on the death penalty and the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 14 students and three staff members dead.

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Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty in October to 17 counts of first-degree murder, so the 12 ultimately selected jurors will decide only whether he is sentenced to death or life in prison without parole. Eight alternates will also be selected.

During the morning session, Cruz’s attorney, Casey Secor, probed potential jurors’ beliefs with an interrogation that lasted 45 minutes or more, in part due to legal wrangling over some of his questions. It took nearly four hours to interview the first three potential jurors, the first of a group of 400 who said in the previous selection they could sit from mid-June until September, the expected length of the trial. They are expected to return for questioning in the coming weeks.

The prosecution, meanwhile, asked some basic questions and was done — except to repeatedly object when they felt Secor’s questions went overboard by being too specific to the Cruz case. Due to the time it took to question potential jurors, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer later changed to questioning jurors in groups over the objection of Cruz’s attorneys.

The parties’ opposing strategies became apparent from the first potential juror interviewed, a woman in her mid-40s. While the names of potential jurors are announced in court, The Associated Press does not use them to protect their privacy during the trial.

The woman told lead prosecutor Mike Satz that while she knows about the Stoneman Douglas shooting, she doesn’t know many details. She told him she could follow the law and impose the death penalty if necessary.

Secor, a death penalty expert, asked the woman that if she was the ruler of an island, would she face the death penalty. She said no. When asked why, the woman stopped for several seconds.

“I understand how some acts are just plain inexplicable,” she said. “But I’m just human, right? And I don’t have the power to understand what made someone commit an act. No one has this power except God. … Nothing will bring back the victims. Due to prosecutors’ objections, his interview lasted nearly 90 minutes. She passed the screening and was told to come back for a third and final round of questioning in a few weeks.

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Either the prosecution or the defense can ask Scherer to dismiss a juror for cause if they can convince her that the candidate cannot be right on their side. Each side also has 10 peremptory challenges to remove a juror for a reason other than race or gender. Due to the complexity of the case, Scherer indicated that she could give each side more.

To be selected, jurors must agree to set aside their knowledge of the case and base any decision on what is presented at trial. They also have to agree that they could impose the death penalty if they think the evidence requires it, but also don’t think that all killers should be executed.

Under Florida law, the jury will have to decide whether the aggravating factors that the prosecution will present – such as the number of victims, Cruz’s planning and the cruelty he exhibited – outweigh any mitigating factors such as his long history of mental and emotional problems, his eventual abuse and the death of his parents. For Cruz to receive a death sentence, the verdict must be unanimous. If even a juror disagrees, they will receive a life sentence without parole.

The second potential juror, a woman in her 20s, said sentencing someone to death “is a big decision that would take a lot of thought.” But she also believed that sentencing a first-degree murderer to death “is the most reasonable position.”

“Kind of an eye for an eye,” she said. But when asked by Satz, she said she didn’t think the death penalty should be automatic. She was fired after the defense objected.

The third potential juror, a man in his 60s, said his cousin was recently released from prison after 40 years for killing someone as a teenager. At first, he said he could impose a death sentence if the prosecution made their case. But pressed by Secor, the man indicated that the death penalty might be the appropriate punishment for Cruz.

“It’s way beyond anything any of us had ever thought of. It’s not a person and a victim,” he said. “It’s mass murder – what else could it be?” He then referred to the killing of 10 people on Saturday in Buffalo, New York, allegedly by an 18-year-old, saying, “It seems like a thing that happens. happening in our country.” He was told to come back for further questioning.

In total on Monday, 10 of the 17 jurors interviewed passed the second phase and will be brought back for the third round.

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(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)