National Roundup

Georgia
Law license suspended for Atlanta attorney who killed wife

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia Supreme Court has suspended an Atlanta attorney’s law license after his murder conviction for fatally shooting his business executive wife.

Claud “Tex” McIver was sentenced last month to life in prison with the possibility of parole after his conviction for felony murder in the September 2016 shooting death of 64-year-old Diane McIver as they rode in an SUV. He has maintained that the shooting was an accident.

McIver has filed a motion for a new trial and plans to appeal his conviction to the state Supreme Court if that motion is denied. The high court agreed to suspend his law license pending his appeal.

Tex McIver was a partner at a prominent law firm and served on the state election board. Diane McIver was a business executive.

Illinois
Judge: ‘In God We Trust’ isn’t a religious endorsement

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal court has ruled that printing “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency doesn’t amount to a religious endorsement and therefore doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution.

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reports the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago made the ruling Thursday in a lawsuit brought by a self-declared Satanist, Kenneth Mayle. He argued that the motto propagates a religious view he opposes.

A lower court tossed the suit citing a Supreme Court decision that a motto on currency isn’t something people display prominently and thus that people are not forced to publicly advertise views that clash with their own.

Mayle appealed to restore the suit, but the 7th Circuit refused, describing the phrase as a “historical reminder” of the nation’s heritage.


Illinois
Food truck case goes to state Supreme Court

CHICAGO (AP) — A lawsuit that challenges the rigidity of Chicago’s restrictions on mobile food vendors will go before the Illinois Supreme Court.

The state Supreme Court agreed on May 30 to hear Laura Pekarik’s case, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Pekarik owns LMP Services Inc. and runs a food truck called Cupcakes for Courage. She sued Chicago in 2012 shortly after the city’s food truck regulations were introduced.

Those rules require food trucks to be at least 200 feet away from businesses that serve food and have a city-monitored GPS device to help facilitate health inspections.

Pekarik’s lawsuit contends that the restrictions make most of downtown Chicago off-limits to food trucks. Other food truck owners have said the restrictions unfairly favor restaurants and have caused many mobile vendors to close their businesses.

The lawsuit doesn’t challenge the ordinance’s third mandate, which says food trucks can’t be parked in a space for more than two hours.

Chicago officials have said the city has the right to “balance the interests of food trucks and those of restaurants.”

The regulations create an environment where both food trucks and restaurants can flourish, said Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the Chicago Law Department.

A Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the city in 2016. An Appellate Court upheld that decision in December.

The high court likely won’t hear the case until November, said Chris Bonjean, a spokesman for the state Supreme Court.


Alabama
Death row inmate found dead inside cell

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Authorities say an Alabama death row inmate was found dead in his cell from an apparent suicide Sunday morning.

The Alabama Department of Corrections said 57-year-old Jeffrey Lynn Borden was found hanging by a bed sheet in his cell during a security check at 2:30 a.m. He was pronounced dead at 3 a.m., a prison spokes­man said.

Borden was convicted of killing his estranged wife, Cheryl Borden, and her father, Roland Harris, in Jefferson County in 1993. Borden, who was separated from his wife, was returning their three children to the Christmas Eve gathering after a weeklong visit with him.

Prosecutors said he shot Cheryl Borden in front of the children as she helped move their Christmas gifts and clothing and then shot Harris as he ran for help.

Borden had been scheduled to get a lethal injection last year, but a federal judge halted the execution hours before Borden was to be put to death.

The stay was issued because the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals ordered additional proceedings in an ongoing lawsuit filed by Borden and other inmates challenging the humane­ness of the state’s lethal injection process.

Pennsylvania
Woman gets 5 to 12 years in crash that killed fireman

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A woman has been sentenced to five to 12 years in state prison in a crash that killed a firefighter who was rushing to a fatal hoverboard fire.

Nineteen-year-old Khanyae Kendall was sentenced Monday in Dauphin County Court in the March 2017 crash that killed 45-year-old Lt. Denny DeVoe.

Prosecutors alleged that Kendall was high on the powerful psychedelic PCP in a vehicle reported stolen that ran a stop sign and hit the car driven by the father of four in Harrisburg.

DeVoe had just attended the funeral of a retired firefighter and was on the way to a fire that claimed the lives of a 10-year-old girl and a 2-year-old little girl.

Kendall was convicted in February of vehicular homicide and homicide by vehicle while under the influence.

Idaho
Teacher accused of feeding puppy to snapping turtle

PRESTON, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho teacher accused of feeding a sick puppy to a snapping turtle in front of several students has been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Preston Junior High School science teacher Robert Crosland was charged Friday. He faces up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted. The school is in rural Preston, where the 2004 teen cult classic film “Napoleon Dynamite” was set.

The Idaho attorney general’s office handled the investigation after Franklin County Prosecutor Vic Pearson cited a conflict of interest.

Several parents came forward to say Crosland fed the puppy to the turtle on March 7. Several weeks later, state officials seized the turtle and euthanized it as a non-native species.

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