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Clippers sign Doc Rivers to 5-year extension

August 28, 2014

 

Associated Press

  

Doc Rivers is staying with the Los Angeles Clippers for another five years.

 

In Steve Ballmer’s first big move since taking over as... Read more...

Emergency room visits down due to Obamacare

August 28, 2014

 

City News Service

 

The pace of growth in Los Angeles County emergency room visits slowed in the early months of Obamacare, according to state records cited recently. During... Read more...

Celebrities join public TV anti-dropout effort

August 28, 2014

 

Tony Bennett and Edward James Olmos are among the celebrities joining a public media effort to boost school graduation rates.

 

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and... Read more...

Source: BET suspends producer after Blue Ivy joke

August 28, 2014

 

Associated Press

  

NEW YORK (AP) — BET has suspended a producer after a joke about Beyoncé and Jay Z’s daughter that aired Monday on the network's music video countdown... Read more...

California to appeal ruling tossing death penalty

August 28, 2014

By PAUL ELIAS 

Associated Press

  

California’s attorney general says she will appeal a federal court ruling that called the state’s death penalty unconstitutional.

 

The... Read more...

June 14, 2012

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (AP) — A former police detective who blamed the antidepressant Zoloft for his behavior was found guilty Wednesday of kidnapping and raping a waitress at gunpoint in a brutal attack.

A San Bernardino County jury will now have to determine whether Anthony Nicholas Orban was sane at the time of the attack.

Orban’s attorney argued during trial that his client suffered a psychotic break because he was taking Zoloft and was effectively unconscious when he kidnapped the woman in the Ontario Mills mall parking lot in San Bernardino County.

Prosecutors say the off-duty officer used his service weapon to force the woman to drive to a self-storage lot, where he sexually assaulted her and shoved a gun in her mouth on April 3, 2010. The woman escaped when Orban was distracted by an incoming cellphone call, prosecutors said.

Deputy District Attorney Debbie Ploghaus declined to comment on the verdict, noting the sanity phase of the trial begins Tuesday.

Orban, a 32-year-old who served in the Marines in Iraq, had pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to eight counts, including kidnap and rape. Defense attorney James Blatt said the crux of the case is not the elements of the crime but whether his client was aware of what he was doing.

Blatt said his client had been taking Zoloft for six months, but had gone off the medication and recently restarted it. Orban does not recall the incident, Blatt said.

“This is something that appears to be totally out of character for him,” Blatt said.

If Orban is found to have been sane, he could face a life sentence, Blatt said. If he is found to have been insane, he would be sent to a mental institution for treatment.

The woman, who was 25 at the time of the attack, testified that Orban sexually assaulted her, punched her, choked her, stuck a gun in her mouth and took cellphone photos of her. She told jurors that the attacker did not appear disoriented or unconscious, the San Bernardino Sun reported.

But she also testified that at the end of the attack, he looked at her and asked: “Who are you? How did I get here? Whose car is this?”

A friend of Orban’s, Jeff Jelinek, testified against him. Prosecutors said the former prison guard and Orban had been drinking at the mall and Jelinek was standing next to Orban during the kidnapping and picked him up after the attack.

In a plea deal with prosecutors, Jelinek pleaded no contest last year to being an accessory, false imprisonment and assault.

Parent Category: ROOT
Category: News

June 14, 2012

By DON THOMPSON | Associated Press

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Everything is bigger in Texas, the saying goes, and that is now also true of its prison system.

California used to have the nation’s largest state prison system, topping 173,000 inmates at its peak in 2006. But since a law took effect last year that shifts responsibility for less serious criminals to county jails, the state has reduced its prison population and is no longer the largest in the nation.

California now has fewer than 136,000 state inmates, eclipsed by about 154,000 in Texas. Florida previously was third, according to 2010 figures from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, and currently has about 100,000 inmates.

The reduction in California was ordered by federal judges in a decision backed last year by the U.S. Supreme Court. The courts ruled crowded prisons were causing poor care of sick and mentally ill inmates.

The news comes as the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Wednesday announced a new round of layoffs because fewer guards and other employees are needed as the inmate population shrinks.

“I believe we’re No. 2,” said Jeffrey Callison, the department’s press secretary.

The population dropped by nearly 25,000 inmates from about 160,000 inmates when the law took effect last fall. The courts ordered the state to reduce the population by about 33,000 inmates in the state's 33 adult prisons by June 2013, though corrections officials now argue they can provide acceptable inmate care without meeting that deadline.

The 33,000 inmate reduction is larger than the entire 2010 prison population in 37 other states.

Parent Category: ROOT
Category: News

June 07, 2012

By SARAH BRUMFIELD | Associated Press

 

BALTIMORE (AP) — A victim left partially blinded by a baseball bat attack at a Maryland university now believes a cannibalism suspect in another case may have been planning to eat his organs, too, his attorney said Tuesday.

When 22-year-old Joshua Ceasar regained consciousness after the attack last month at a Morgan State University dormitory apartment, he saw Alex Kinyua standing over him with a knife, said attorney Steve Silverman. Days later, Kinyua told investigators that he had eaten the heart and brain of a family friend he is charged with killing at his family’s home in Joppatowne, according to charging documents.

“In hindsight, knowing what transpired only days later, Josh is convinced that Alex was going to cut open his body and likely consume his organs,” Silverman said. What may have prevented it was two other apartment residents followed a blood trail from the front door and stopped Kinyua before he could use the knife and he fled into nearby woods.

Campus police charged Kinyua with assault and reckless endangerment in the bat attack. Prosecutors asked a court commissioner to refuse bail, but he was freed on $220,000 bail, according to the State’s Attorney’s office. Ceasar said Kinyua randomly attacked him, according to a probable cause statement obtained from Baltimore police. Witnesses told police that Kinyua attacked Ceasar with a bat, but the statement does not mention witnesses interrupting a knife attack in a back room.

Kinyua’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

Kinyua was waiting with a bat wrapped in barbed wire and chains when an unsuspecting Ceasar walked through the front door of the apartment Kinyua had been sharing with Ceasar’s friends on May 19, Silverman said. Ceasar was visiting campus for another friend’s graduation. He lost consciousness when Kinyua cracked him on the head, fracturing his skull and shattering his left eye socket. Ceasar is blind in that eye and doctors aren’t optimistic that he will regain his sight, Silverman said.

Kinyua, 21, a U.S. citizen originally from Kenya and a Morgan student, admitted using a knife to kill and carve up 37-year-old Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie before eating his organs, the Harford County Sheriff's Office said when they arrested him May 30. The older man, a native of Ghana, had been staying with the Kinyua family for about six weeks at their townhouse in the Baltimore suburb of Joppatowne and disappeared May 25. His body was found four days later; investigators haven’t given a possible motive.

Silverman said he is investigating if there were earlier signs that Kinyua was a danger.

“We are in the process of ... determining whether or not university officials should have or could have done anything in light of what was known to them to protect students, family and friends on campus for graduation,” he said. “It appears preliminarily there were a number of indicators.”

A December campus police report obtained by The Baltimore Sun states that Kinyua was kicked out of an ROTC program after he punched holes in the walls of the cadet computer lab and a military instructor referred to him as a “Virginia Tech waiting to happen.” The report said Kinyua was barred from campus until a meeting with school officials and that two officers didn’t think a psychological ­evaluation was needed.

The university is reviewing whether officials could have responded in a different way, said Morgan spokesman Clinton Coleman.

“At this point we believe the university did everything it should have,” he said. “You always have to bear in mind that you are dealing with student issues and young people and you have to deal with each person individually.”

Agyei-Kodie’s sister, Irene Konadu Asante, said the family would discuss the possibility of taking legal action on Thursday, following tradition in Ghana of waiting a week after a death before holding a family meeting.

She said the funeral would be held in Ghana, “whatever it takes,” but arrangements had not yet been made. When asked how her family is reacting to the horrific way in which her brother was killed, she said it is not easy.

“It’s not only my family — the way it hit the whole world,” Asante said. “It’s more than you can imagine.”

Parent Category: ROOT
Category: News

 June 07, 2012

 

By JACK ELLIOTT JR. | Associated Press

 

 

 

PARCHMAN, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man convicted of killing four young nieces and nephews in a 1990 stabbing rampage was executed Tuesday, despite pleas from his two sisters to spare the brother who killed their children.

 

Henry “Curtis” Jackson Jr. was pronounced dead at 6:13 p.m. CDT Tuesday after receiving an injection at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, officials said.

 

Clad in a red prison jumpsuit as he lay strapped to a gurney, Jackson was asked if he wanted to make a statement.

 

“No, I don’t,” he responded as family members sat somberly in a nearby witness room.

 

Jackson’s sister, Glenda Kuyoro, stifled a sob when she walked into the witness room earlier and saw her brother on the gurney. Jackson’s eyes were closed when the witnesses arrived and he never looked in the direction of his family.

 

Earlier, the 47-year-old inmate had spent the day receiving relatives, including one of the sisters whose two children were slain and who survived the stabbing attack. The slain children ranged from 2 to 5 and were killed as Jackson reportedly was trying to steal his mother’s safe while she was away at church, court records showed.

 

Late Tuesday afternoon, Repub­lican Gov. Phil Bryant declined to stop the execution though he said he was “deeply touched” by requests for clemency from the sisters and his brother-in-law.

 

“There is no question that Mr. Jackson committed these heinous crimes, and there is no clear and convincing evidence that compels me to grant clemency,” Bryant said.

 

His statement added: “One of these sisters was a stabbing victim, and both of the sisters are mothers of the murdered children. However, as governor, I have the duty to see that justice is carried out.”

 

Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said at a penitentiary briefing earlier Tuesday that the inmate acknowledged the crime and was talkative as he received relatives. Visitors included his sister Regina Jackson, who was stabbed five times and survived the attack that killed her two daughters and two nephews.

 

Regina Jackson had met with the governor Monday and pleaded for her brother’s life. She also wrote Bryant a letter last month saying she “just can’t take any more killing.”

 

“As a mother who lost two babies, all I’m asking is that you not make me go through the killing of my brother,” she wrote.

 

Kuyoro and her husband, Andrew, also had asked Bryant to spare the inmate in a letter dated May 15.

 

“We are the victims in this case, and we are begging you not to let Curtis be killed. You can keep him in Parchman forever, but please don’t put our family through this horrible execution,” the Kuyoros had written earlier.

 

The attack took place Nov. 1, 1990, at Jackson’s mother’s home in the Delta region.

 

The mother was at church that day, and Regina Jackson was there with her two daughters and four nieces and nephews. Her two daughters and two nephews were stabbed to death, records showed. Another niece was so severely injured that she was a paraplegic until her recent death.

 

Jackson has said he doesn’t remember stabbing the children, but there was testimony at his September 1991 trial that he cut the phone line before going in the house, then demanded money and began the attack, according to the court record.

 

Regina Jackson testified at trial that she lapsed in and out of consciousness after being tied up and stabbed in the neck, but she could hear her brother dragging a safe down a hall. The noise awoke 5-year-old Dominique, one of her daughters.

 

“Regina testified that Jackson called Dominique to him, told her that he loved her, stabbed her and tossed her body to the floor,” according to the court record. “Jackson returned to Regina, stabbing her in the neck and twisting the knife, at which point she pretended to be dead until she heard him leave.”

 

Jackson subsequently surrendered to police. He was convicted of four counts of capital murder at trial and sentenced to death.

 

Parent Category: ROOT
Category: News

News

Electric vehicle charging stations now available at county facilities for public visitors

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August 28, 2014   LAWT News Service   Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Don Knabe announced the installation and launch of electric...

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Community

County invites residents to community meetings to discuss community development and housing funds; Five community meetings are scheduled from September 9 through September 23, 2014; Public can also submit written comments through October 23, 2014

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August 28, 2014   LAWT News Service   The Community Development Commission of the County of Los Angeles (CDC) invites residents to a series of five...

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Arts & Culture

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