National Roundup

State high court to hear appeal over video of judge being shot

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will hear an appeal of a ruling that surveillance video showing a judge being shot and wounded at a courthouse is a security record and shouldn’t be released to The Associated Press.

The state’s high court decided that it would hear the AP’s appeal of the September 2019 ruling by a three-judge panel with the 7th District Court of Appeals in Youngstown that determined the video shouldn’t be released.

The video shows Jefferson County Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. being shot outside a Steubenville courthouse in August 2017 by 51-year-old Nathaniel Richmond, and then Richmond being killed by a probation officer. Richmond had a pending wrongful death lawsuit in front of Bruzzese at the time. The judge recovered and returned to the bench.

The AP requested a copy of the surveillance video recorded by a camera positioned in front of the courthouse, but Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin denied that request.

She argued that releasing the video could endanger lives of judges and their staffs. The AP’s attorney argued that Ohio case law is clear that the video is a public record, as the Ohio Court of Claims previously ruled, and should be released.

The Court of Claims ruled in February 2019 that the video doesn’t contain information used to protect a public office from “attack, interference or sabotage.”
Man accused of building bomb to  kill ex-girlfriend

BILOXI?(AP) — A Mississippi man is accused of creating an improvised explosive device in his home after watching internet videos about bomb making, prosecutors say.

Brian Richard Sanders intended to maim or kill his ex-girlfriend, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wrote in a criminal complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg.

Federal agents and the Biloxi police bomb squad searched Sanders’ home in Laurel, Mississippi, on Jan. 17, the complaint states. The agents say they found the bomb, two bottles of black powder, a fuse, several guns and ammunition. They were able to dismantle the device in a safe area near the home.

Sanders vowed to place nails inside “and when it explodes it throws the nails all over,” the complaint states. It says there’s an audio recording of him outlining his plans.

Sanders’ ex-girlfriend had been living with him in Laurel. The two had a dispute over drug use in the home and she took his motorcycle and car when she left the residence, the complaint states.
Sanders tried to get the vehicles back, but couldn’t and became angry, it states.

“Sanders began watching videos on the internet via his cellular telephone with the intent to learn how to build pipe bombs and firearm silencers,” according to the complaint.

His plan was to throw a brick through a window to shatter the glass, then throw the bomb through the window when his ex-girlfriend was inside, the complaint states.

In an interview after agents searched his home, Sanders claimed he made the device to destroy a beaver dam in a pond on his property.

Sanders’ lawyer, Joshua Kadel, didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.

Sanders remained in custody Wednesday. A preliminary hearing is set for Friday in Hattiesburg.

Justice Thomas to help dedicate judicial building

ATLANTA (AP) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the dedication of Georgia’s new judicial center.

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton announced Wednesday that Thomas will be on hand for the Feb. 11 dedication of the Nathan Deal Judicial Center. The new building is near the state Capitol building.

Thomas is a Georgia native having been born in the Pin Point community near Savannah. He has served on the nation’s highest court for 28 years.

The new building is devoted entirely to the judiciary. The Supreme Court of Georgia and the Georgia Court of Appeals moved into the building last month. A new statewide business court will also be housed there.

Gov. Brian Kemp, former Gov. Nathan Deal, state Attorney General Chris Carr, as well as other constitutional officers, judges and lawmakers are expected to attend the dedication.

Judge rejects effort to end teen death lawsuit

CINCINNATI (AP) —  An Ohio judge  decided Wednesday to move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a 16-year-old student who died after being trapped by a fold-up vehicle seat despite making two 911 calls.

Hamilton County Judge Robert Ruehlman rejected a motion to dismiss the suit filed by the city of Cincinnati. Ruehlman heard legal arguments last month.

The suit, filed last year, charges the city, a former city official and four city employees with actions it alleges led to Kyle Plush’s 2018 death. The lawsuit’s goals are to determine what went wrong when police were unable to locate him and to make sure it doesn’t happen again, the family said.

The city contends that the employees are protected by governmental immunity and that the lawsuit lacks merit. The city also says it has improved its 911 response system and continues to make improvements.

A trial date has been set tentatively for March 30.

Plush was apparently pinned by a foldaway seat in his family’s van and suffocated in a parking lot near his school.

Kyle’s father Ron discovered his body nearly six hours after his son’s first 911 call, when Kyle warned: “I’m going to die soon.”

Date looms for second sexual assault trial of former athlete

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) — A judge is holding a final case review in advance of the second trial of a former University of Delaware baseball player accused of sexually assaulting six women.

Wednesday’s meeting with attorneys comes in advance of a scheduled Feb. 10 trial for Clay Conaway.

Following a trial last September on a charge of first-degree rape, Conaway was sentenced in November to five years in prison after being found guilty on the lesser charge of fourth-degree rape.

That trial involved a woman who said Conaway raped her after she drove to his house. The encounter happened three weeks after they connected on the online social and dating application Bumble. Conaway sent her a nude picture of himself before they met.