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Appeals court revives lawsuit over hotel spider bite

ANN ARBOR (AP) — A man who says he was bitten by a poisonous spider will get another chance to pin responsibility on an Ann Arbor hotel.

James Heuschneider says he was forced to have multiple surgeries on his chest and left leg after an attack by a brown recluse spider. A Washtenaw County judge dismissed the lawsuit in favor of Comfort Inn & Suites, saying the spider was a wild animal beyond the hotel’s control.

But the Michigan appeals court says it was the wrong call. The court says the spider counts as vermin and, as a result, the hotel isn’t off the hook under state law.

The appeals court says a key issue will be whether the hotel’s pest control practices were sufficient.


Three convicted in fatal shooting of Warren woman

MOUNT CLEMENS (AP) — Three people have been convicted in the fatal shooting of a woman whose body was found outside a Detroit-area home.

The two men and one woman were tried together for Julii Larrie Johnson’s January 2017 killing.

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said last Friday that George Rider, 61, of Huntington Woods, Eric Gibson, 26, of Detroit and Marcie Griffin, 48, of Eastpointe were convicted of first-degree murder in Johnson’s killing.

The Detroit News reports Johnson was fatally shot on the front lawn of a Warren house where she was living with her boyfriend.

Police say Griffin was jealous of Johnson because she and Johnson’s boyfriend had two children together.

Authorities say Griffin enlisted Rider, who enlisted Gibson to help kill Johnson.

Smith says the murder arose from “one woman’s enraged jealousy.”


High court to hear death penalty case of Arizona man

PHOENIX (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has added five new cases to its merits docket for next term, including the death penalty case of an Arizona man convicted of killing two people 28 years ago.

At issue is whether high court rulings that have changed death penalty cases since James Erin McKinney’s initial sentence should be applied to his case and other death row inmates convicted before 2002.

McKinney was sentenced to death in after being convicted of murdering a woman in her Chandler home during a 1991 robbery and fatally shooting a man days later in another Phoenix-area robbery.

A federal appeals court overturned the sentence in 2015, ruling the Arizona Supreme Court didn’t properly weigh mitigating factors.

Last September, the state’s high court again upheld McKinney’s death sentences.


Motorcyclist dies after being hit by lightning

DELAND, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Highway Patrol says lightning struck a motorcyclist on the helmet as he drove on an interstate in Florida, causing a crash and his death.

The agency said in a news release that 45-year-old Benjamin Austin Lee of Charlotte, North Carolina, died Sunday afternoon on Interstate 95 near Daytona Beach. Lightning burned his helmet.

Florida troopers say an off-duty Virginia state trooper witnessed the lightning strike and its aftermath.

An investigation continues.

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