National Roundup

Police officer's trial in 2014 shooting stays in Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) - A judge has decided that the murder trial of a white Chicago police officer charged in the 2014 shooting death of a black teenager should not be moved out of the city.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan announced his decision Monday morning.

Defense attorneys requested that the trial be moved because the extensive publicity since the 2015 release of the video that shows Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times makes it impossible to find impartial jurors needed for a fair trial.

But attorneys were able to select a jury in less than a week.

Opening statements began Monday.

Ex-Virginia Tech student heads to trial in girl's death

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) - Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a former Virginia Tech student charged as an accessory in the 2016 killing of a 13-year-old girl.

Natalie Keepers is charged with being an accessory before the fact to first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of Nicole Lovell, a Blacksburg middle school student who had a relationship with Keepers' friend, David Eisenhauer.

Keepers, of Laurel, Maryland, and Eisenhauer, of Columbia, Maryland, were both freshmen engineering students at Virginia Tech when Lovell was killed.

Eisenhauer is serving a 50-year sentence after pleading no contest to first-degree murder and other charges.

Keepers, now 21, pleaded guilty to concealing Lovell's body, but has denied helping Eisenhauer plan the killing, as prosecutors allege.

Prosecutors have said Keepers told police she and Eisenhauer talked about various ways to kill the girl and admitted she later helped dump her body in North Carolina after Eisenhauer stabbed her. She insisted that she wasn't present for the actual killing.

During Eisenhauer's trial, prosecutors said Eisenhauer met Lovell online and communicated with her for months before meeting her in person. They said he subsequently killed her because he feared she would expose their relationship.

A medical examiner testified that she had 14 stab wounds, including a lethal wound to her neck.

Keepers' trial in Montgomery County Circuit Court is expected to last about two weeks.

New Jersey
Sotomayor tells kids: ­Reading helped me reach Supreme Court

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Justice Sonia Sotomayor says reading helped her reach the Supreme Court.

Sotomayor on Sunday celebrated the release of her two children's books by speaking to parents and children at the Newark Public Library in New Jersey.

The Star-Ledger of Newark reports she said she never dreamed she would become a Supreme Court justice because she didn't know what one was when she was a child. She says her mother made sure books were part of her upbringing.

Sotomayor's books, "Turning Pages: My Life Story" and "The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor!" examine how her family and her determination moved her through life.

Ex-senator may get life in prison for child sex trafficking

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A former Republican state senator in Oklahoma faces a minimum of 10 years in prison on a child sex trafficking charge.

Ralph Shortey is due in federal court in Oklahoma City Monday. He could be sentenced to as much as life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Shortey pleaded guilty in November in exchange for prosecutors dropping three child pornography charges against him. He said the plea deal was in the best interest of him and his family.

The 36-year-old Shortey was arrested in March 2017 after police found him in a suburban Oklahoma City motel room with a then-17-year-old boy. He resigned shortly after the arrest.

Shortey was twice elected in a district covering south Oklahoma City and parts of two suburbs.

High court ­justices side with university in ­professor sex case

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - The Montana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a university accused of hiring and supervising a music professor despite sexual-misconduct allegations.

The high court ruled Tuesday that a lower court erred by saying a former student should win her case without trial because Montana State University destroyed email evidence.

Five of the seven justices said the lawsuit should go back to district court for further proceedings, saying there was no evidence the university intentionally destroyed emails to conceal evidence.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports Montana State hired Shuichi Komiyama in 2006.

The unidentified student alleges Komiyama had a relationship with her and eventually raped her. The student claims a university official became aware of a variety of accusations against Komiyama, including that he'd sexted underage students.

Committee ­narrowly OKs lawyer's federal judge nomination

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly advanced the nomination of St. Louis lawyer Stephen Clark for a federal judgeship, suggesting his final confirmation could be close.

The committee voted 11-10 Thursday to approve Clark's nomination by President Donald Trump to be a judge in the Eastern District of Missouri. Clark was one of about a dozen judicial nominees approved Thursday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports some civil rights and gay rights organizations wrote letters to the committee opposing Clark's nomination, citing statements he made about abortion, gay rights, and other issues.

All 10 Democrats on the committee voted against sending Clark's nomination to the full Senate.

Carl Tobias, a professor who is an expert in federal courts. predicted the Senate will probably confirm Clark but the vote may be close.

Published: Tue, Sep 18, 2018