National Roundup

California
Guard won’t be charged in ­shooting outside LA synagogue

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles prosecutors say they won’t charge a synagogue security guard accused of shooting a person who was recording video of the building.

The Los Angeles Times reports the announcement Thursday came as the woman who was shot filed a civil lawsuit against the guard and his employer.

Edduin Zelayagrunfeld was arrested last month after the shooting outside the Etz Jacob Congregation/Ohel Chana High School.

Prosecutors said they wouldn’t be able to prove he wasn’t acting in self-defense.

The victim described the wound as deep graze to one leg. She is Zhoie Perez, a self-described First Amendment “auditor” who pushes the bounds of her rights in public spaces and posts videos to YouTube.

Her lawsuit alleges assault and discrimination. The guard and the synagogue didn’t immediately comment on the lawsuit.

Wisconsin
Court: Farmers don’t need to sell crops to get tax break

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Supreme Court says Wisconsin farmers don’t need to sell crops to qualify for property tax breaks.

The ruling Thursday stems from a dispute over whether the Town of Delafield Board of Review properly reclassified two parcels owned by the Ogden family from agricultural to residential in 2016. The change resulted in the Ogdens’ property taxes jumping from $17,000 to $886,000.

The board argued the Ogdens weren’t commercial farmers so the land couldn’t be classified agricultural. The family countered that they grow apples, hay and Christmas trees on the land, agricultural uses as defined by the state Department of Revenue.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a business purpose isn’t required for an agricultural classification.

The Board of Review’s attorney, R. Valjon Anderson, didn’t immediately return a message.

Minnesota
Man charged with murder in overdose death of ailing wife

SEARLES, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota man accused of removing his ailing wife from a care center, taking her home and holding what he described as a “death party” before she died has been charged with murder.

Fifty-eight-year-old Duane Johnson had been charged with criminal neglect in the January death of his wife, Debra Lynn Johnson, at their home in Searles. Brown County prosecutors have now added a third-degree murder charge.

Prosecutors say Johnson told investigators he was fulfilling a promise to his wife that he would not let her die in a nursing home when he removed her from a transitional care facility against medical advice.

Authorities say Johnson told them he gave some methamphetamine to his wife because she wanted to party before her death.

A criminal complaint says the 69-year-old woman died of a methamphetamine overdose.

Virginia
Ex-state ­congressional candidate gets prison for fraud

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A former congressional candidate has been sentenced to three years in prison for defrauding the federal government through a summer meal program for children.

News outlets report 59-year-old Shaun Brown was sentenced Wednesday for fraud by a judge who accused her of showing no remorse. She’ll serve an additional year of home confinement.

Federal prosecutors said Brown asked for reimbursement for thousands of meals that were never served. Defense attorney James Ellenson said she didn’t “steal any money for her own personal gain.”

Brown ran for Congress in 2016 as a Democrat against Republican Rep. Scott Taylor, who was unseated by Democrat Elaine Luria last year. A judge found evidence that Taylor’s campaign staff forged signatures to put Brown on the 2018 ballot as an independent.

New York
Hate crimes unit investigates Ginsburg poster graffiti

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Police Department’s hate crimes unit is investigating after a poster of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was defaced with a swastika and an anti-Semitic insult.

WNBC says a straphanger tweeted a photo of the defaced poster on a Brooklyn subway platform to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and police.

“DIE JEW” was written across her forehead and glasses. There was a swastika over her mouth.

The NYPD said on Twitter: “There is no room for hate in NYC.”

Subway officials say the graffiti had been removed.

The poster advertises a book about Ginsburg.

Florida
Officer who shot at autistic man testifies in own defense

MIAMI (AP) — A South Florida police officer insisted during his attempted manslaughter trial that he thought a severely autistic man was holding a gun when he fired three shots at him in 2016.

But the shots fired by North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda missed Arnaldo Rios Soto and struck his caretaker Charles Kinsey in the leg. It turned out Rios was holding a silver toy truck.

The Miami Herald reports Aledda testified in his own defense Wednesday, insisting that he never heard another officer radio that the object was a toy.

Video of the shooting caused outrage across the country.

Aledda said he was stunned when he realized he’d struck Kinsey and tried “to do everything in my power to help him.”

He’s charged with attempted manslaughter and culpable negligence.

Ohio
State’s ­congressional map in hands of federal judges

CINCINNATI (AP) — The future of Ohio’s congressional district map is in the hands of three federal judges.

Testimony concluded Wednesday about a lawsuit charging that the GOP-controlled redistricting resulted in an unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.

After considering post-trial legal briefs from attorneys, Judges Timothy Black, Karen Nelson Moore and Michael Watson are expected to rule within weeks on a case that could potentially result in a change of the congressional map for 2020 elections.

Their decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Veteran Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, of Toledo, testified that gerrymandering hurts America.

Republicans have noted repeatedly that each side lost one seat in the remap after the 2010 U.S. Census and that the plan had bipartisan support. The delegation has held at 12 Republicans, four Democrats, ever since.
 

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