Daily Briefs

Conviction in 2011 murder thrown out over bad verdict form

LAPEER, Mich. (AP) — A murder conviction after a 12-day trial in Lapeer County has been thrown out because of a bad verdict form.

Ken Grondin III was found guilty of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of his 20-year-old girlfriend. But the Michigan appeals court says the jury might have been confused.

The verdict form suggested there were two crimes, first-degree murder and second-degree murder. The court says a juror could have believed there was no option to find Grondin not guilty of all charges.

The trial wasn’t easy for prosecutors. The appeals court notes that some fingerprints and DNA at the murder scene in 2011 didn’t belong to Grondin. Evidence also showed that he was miles away when the victim’s stolen debit card was
Grondin is serving a life sentence.


Judge declines to appoint guardian for frozen embryos

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit judge has declined to appoint a guardian for frozen embryos while she determines whether she can intervene in a dispute over their control.

Gloria Karungi wants custody over as many as 10 frozen embryos. She believes a baby born from one of them could potentially help a daughter with sickle cell disease. But her former partner no longer wants to participate. Ronaldlee Ejalu says his consent to implant an embryo is necessary, under a contract with a clinic.

Judge Lisa Langton on Tuesday rejected Karungi’s request to appoint a guardian over the embryos. She says it’s outside the scope of her immediate task: whether the Family Division of Oakland County court has any authority in a contract dispute.

Langton will hear arguments next Wednesday. Ejalu wants the case dismissed.


House-passed bill opens door to online gambling, sports bets

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Bills that have cleared an initial legislative hurdle would legalize online gambling in Michigan and start the process toward possibly also allowing internet sports betting in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
The state House late Tuesday voted 68-40 in favor of the legislation, which is not expected to be considered by the Senate until September at the earliest after lawmakers adjourned for a summer break. An 8 percent tax would be collected from wagers, minus winnings paid out — which would be less than a 19 percent tax now paid by Detroit’s three casinos.
Those casinos could seek an internet gambling license. The state’s 23 tribal casinos could conduct online gambling if they secure authorization from the state through a compact.