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Swedish court temporarily frees A$AP Rocky from jail
Law Firm Business | 2019/08/14 16:28
The bodyguard of A$AP Rocky has told a Swedish court that the strange behavior and the "glossy" eyes of the man that the American rapper and his entourage are accused of assaulting in June alerted him that something was not right.

Timothy Leon Williams testified before Stockholm District Court on Friday that he saw 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari, the alleged victim, approaching the rapper's entourage outside a restaurant in Stockholm and trying to talk with them.

Speaking in English, Williams said he didn't understand what language Jafari was speaking. Williams said he knew "something's not right about him. I'm noticing it because I'm a bodyguard. I'm looking at him and saw that his eyes were really glossy, like he's on something."

Trump had sought earlier to personally intervene on the rapper's behalf, a move rebuffed by Sweden's leader. On Friday Trump tweeted, "It was a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP!"

Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, is accused with two others of beating a 19-year-old man in Stockholm on June 30.

A Swedish court has ruled that the three suspects can be freed from detention until the verdict is announced Aug. 14.

Trump tweeted "A$AP Rocky released from prison and on his way home to the United States from Sweden." But it wasn't immediately clear from the decision Friday by Stockholm District Court whether the suspects could leave the country.


Suspect in Norway mosque attack bruised but smiling in court
Headline News | 2019/08/14 16:27
A suspected gunman accused of an attempted terrorist attack on an Oslo mosque and separately killing his teenage stepsister appeared in court on Monday looking bruised and scratched, but smiling.

The suspect did not speak, and his defense lawyer Unni Fries told The Associated Press he “will use his right not to explain himself for now.”

Philip Manshaus, 21, was arrested Saturday after entering a mosque in Baerum, an Oslo suburb, where three men were preparing for Sunday’s Eid al-Adha Muslim celebrations. Police said he was waving weapons and several shots were fired but did not specify what type of weapon was used. One person was slightly injured before people inside the Al-Noor Islamic Center held the suspect down until police arrived on the scene.

Police then raided Manshaus’ nearby house and found the body of his 17-year-old stepsister. He is also suspected in her killing, police said, but did not provide details.


Cosby lawyers ask appeals court to toss #MeToo conviction
Law Firm Business | 2019/08/11 23:28
A Pennsylvania appeals court on Monday questioned why actor Bill Cosby never got a supposed non-prosecution agreement in writing as his lawyers asked the panel to overturn his sexual assault conviction.

Cosby, 82, is serving a three- to 10-year prison term for drugging and molesting a woman at his home in what became the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

The three-judge panel asked why Cosby’s top-shelf lawyers didn’t follow the norm and get an immunity agreement in writing, and approved by a judge, when accuser Andrea Constand first came forward in 2005.

“This is not a low-budget operation. ... They had an unlimited budget,” said Superior Court Judge John T. Bender. “Could it be they knew this was something the trial court would never have allowed?”

Cosby’s lawyers have long argued that he relied on the promise before giving testimony in Constand’s 2005 lawsuit that proved incriminating when it was unsealed a decade later.


Puerto Ricans get their 3rd governor in 6 days
Headline News | 2019/08/08 23:24
Justice Secretary Wanda Vazquez became Puerto Rico’s new governor Wednesday, just the second woman to hold the office, after weeks of political turmoil and hours after the island’s Supreme Court declared Pedro Pierluisi’s swearing-in a week ago unconstitutional.

Accompanied by her husband, Judge Jorge Diaz, and one of her daughters, Vazquez took the oath of office in the early evening at the Supreme Court before leaving without making any public comment. She then issued a brief televised statement late Wednesday, saying she feels the pain that Puerto Ricans have experienced in recent weeks.

“We have all felt the anxiety provoked by the instability and uncertainty,” Vazquez said, adding that she would meet with legislators and government officials in the coming days. “Faced with this enormous challenge and with God ahead, I take a step forward with no interest other than serving the people ... It is necessary to give the island stability, certainty to the markets and secure (hurricane) reconstruction funds.”

The high court’s unanimous decision, which could not be appealed, settled the dispute over who will lead the U.S. territory after its political establishment was knocked off balance by big street protests spawned by anger over corruption, mismanagement of funds and a leaked obscenity-laced chat that forced the previous governor and several top aides to resign.

But it was also expected to unleash a new wave of demonstrations because many Puerto Ricans have said they don’t want Vazquez as governor.

“It is concluded that the swearing in as governor by Hon. Pedro R. Pierluisi Urrutia, named secretary of state in recess, is unconstitutional,” the court said in a brief statement.


Puerto Ricans await court decision on potential new governor
Headline News | 2019/08/04 23:22
Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court on Monday agreed to rule on a lawsuit that the island’s Senate filed in a bid to oust a veteran politician recently sworn in as the island’s governor.

The court gave all parties until Tuesday at noon to file all necessary paperwork, noting that no extensions will be awarded.

The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction ordering Pedro Pierluisi to cease his functions immediately and also asks that the court declare unconstitutional a 2005 law that says a secretary of state does not have to be approved by both the House and Senate if he or she has to step in as governor.

“I want to put an end to this, but I want to do it correctly,” Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz said during a special session in which he stated he would let the court decide the outcome, adding that Pierluisi only had five of 15 votes needed from the Senate for his earlier nomination as secretary of state.

It is unclear how quickly the Supreme Court might rule or whether it would hold a hearing or simply issue a written opinion. The announcement comes as Puerto Ricans who successfully ousted the previous governor from office following nearly two weeks of protests await yet another twist in what is a deepening constitutional crisis.


Judge files order against lawyer with ties to Southern group
Law Firm Business | 2019/08/03 23:21
An attorney who previously led the North Carolina chapter of a group that advocates for Southern secession has been ordered not to handle clients' money.

A Wake County judge filed an order that prohibits Harold Ray Crews of Walkertown from accepting or disbursing client funds. The order signed Monday says the North Carolina State Bar received information that Crews had mishandled money entrusted to him.

It also says that Crews wants to cooperate and won't appeal the order. As recently as 2017, Crews was chairman of the state chapter of the Alabama-based League of the South, which advocates for Southern secession.

After a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Crews sought charges against DeAndre Harris, a black man who was severely beaten during the rally. A judge acquitted Harris.




Democratic governor getting to shape Kansas' top court
Law Firm Business | 2019/07/29 17:25
The Kansas Supreme Court's chief justice plans to retire before the end of the year, allowing first-year Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly to leave a bigger mark on the state's highest court than her conservative Republican predecessors.

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss announced Friday that he would step down Dec. 17 after serving on the court since 2002 and as chief justice since 2010. During Nuss' tenure as chief justice, GOP conservatives increasingly criticized the court as too liberal and too activist for the state over rulings on abortion, capital punishment and public school funding.

His announcement came a little more than two weeks after Justice Lee Johnson, another target of criticism on the right, announced plans to retire in September. That means Kelly will have two appointments to the seven-member court since she took office in January when conservative GOP Govs. Sam Brownback and Jeff Colyer had only one appointee between them during the previous eight years.

Both justices voted repeatedly to direct legislators to increase education funding in recent years and were part of the 6-1 majority that declared in April that the state constitution protects access to abortion as a "fundamental" right. They also voted to overturn death sentences in capital murder cases, though Nuss concluded that the death penalty law itself is constitutional.


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