National Roundup

California

City considers $290K payout for Journey wedding

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco supervisors are considering a $290,000 payout to settle a lawsuit by the guitarist of rock band Journey over his lavish 2013 wedding to a former reality television star.

Neal Schon married "Real Housewives of D.C." star Michaele Salahi in December 2013 at the Palace of Fine Arts with a reception at an adjacent building that once housed the Exploratorium science museum.

Schon said he agreed to pay the city $58,000 for the use, but was surprised to learn days before the wedding that he would have to pay $240,000 for the opulent event to go on. He reluctantly paid, likening the price hike to "extortion."

The couple sued in federal court in February, claiming that the city unfairly jacked up the fee after learning the couple planned to broadcast the event on pay-per-view.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera initially defended the higher charge as appropriate for a commercial event. He could not be reached immediately for comment Wednesday, which is a government holiday.

In a statement this week, Michaele Schon called the city's conduct "reprehensible" and said "hopefully, this will make the city think twice before doing this to anyone else in the future."

Journey is a band nearly synonymous with San Francisco in some circles. Its song "Don't Stop Believing" is the unofficial theme song of the San Francisco Giants.

Before starring in the 2010 season of "Housewives," Salahi made headlines when she and her then-husband crashed a state dinner at the White House in 2009.

Virginia

Police stunned man many times before death

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Three Virginia police officers repeatedly used stuns guns on a man who later died in their custody, according to recently released video that has brought new attention to the case from May 2013.

The video, first obtained by MSNBC, shows the officers in South Boston, Virginia, repeatedly shocking Linwood R. Lambert Jr. after he ran from a police cruiser to the doors of an emergency room and again when he's back in the cruiser, restrained in the back seat.

Lambert's family filed a $25 million lawsuit in April, accusing the officers of unlawfully arresting him and using "excessive, unreasonable and deadly force."

Defendants, including the officers and the town, have denied the allegations in court documents. The officers weren't criminally charged, and their attorney didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press on Thursday.

The officers, who were not named in the lawsuit, took Lambert into custody after responding to a noise complaint at a motel and took him to a hospital for a mental health evaluation, according to court documents.

The video shows the officers and Lambert arriving at the hospital and Lambert kicking out the window of the police cruiser and running toward the emergency room doors. The officers chase after Lambert and shock him repeatedly as he stands in front of the doors and falls to the ground.

The officers can be heard yelling at Lambert to roll over on his stomach. One of them tells him, 'I'm going to light you up again." Another warns that every time he gets up the officer is going to "pop" him.

While lying on the ground, Lambert says: "Why are you trying to kill me, man?"

The officers put Lambert back in the squad car, where they shocked him again while he was restrained, according to the video. When he is taken back to the hospital about an hour later, he is pronounced dead.

Lambert told the officers in the video that he did cocaine and the autopsy report obtained by The Associated Press says he died of "acute cocaine intoxication."

The officers have rejected claims that they used excessive use of force, saying in court documents that the use of the stun gun "an appropriate and necessary use of force alternative to more harmful and lethal options available to law enforcement officers."

Pennsylvania

Scalia asks if court expresses U.S.'s principles

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The presence of three women on the U.S. Supreme Court isn't enough to convince Justice Antonin Scalia that the court has become a diverse body.

In remarks Wednesday night in Philadelphia, Scalia noted that four of the high court's members are from New York City, one is from New Jersey and two are from California.

They are all either Catholic or Jewish. And all nine studied law at Harvard or Yale universities.

Scalia questioned whether the court, therefore, expresses "the deeply felt principles of the country."

Scalia, a conservative jurist, joined the court in 1986.

Speaking to a receptive audience at The Union League, he repeated his criticism of the way the court has reached decisions on gay marriage, public Christmas displays and other issues.

Scalia considers himself a "textualist" who applies the words in the Constitution as they were understood by the founding fathers.

He said it's not always the easiest path to take.

On the issue of flag burning, he found himself compelled to support the right to burn the flag because of the Constitution's guarantee of free speech.

"If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag," he said. "But I am not king."

He accused colleagues who try to tease out the underlying values of the Constitution, and apply them to modern life, of "overreaching."

"There are some wonderful decisions that have been made by an overreaching Supreme Court. That doesn't mean they're right," Scalia said.

The justice answered questions for about an hour in an exchange with Princeton University law professor Robert George.

Massachusetts

No new trial in murder-for-hire case, rules court

BOSTON (AP) - The highest court in Massachusetts has refused to grant a new trial to a gunman hired by a man to kill his estranged wife's boyfriend.

Scott Foxworth is serving a life sentence after being convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy in the 2006 shooting death of Edward Schiller.

Prosecutors say Foxworth was hired by James Brescia to kill Schiller months after Brescia's wife served him with divorce papers. Schiller was found shot in his car in a Newton parking garage near his workplace.

Brescia was convicted in a separate trial.

Foxworth argued that prosecutors should not have been allowed to tell the jury about an earlier prison sentence or statements he made to a jailhouse informant.

On Thursday, the Supreme Judicial Court declined to order a new trial or reduce his convictions.

Published: Fri, Nov 13, 2015