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There are lots of new developments in the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case. Before I get to them, some readers will remember that about 10 days ago, I wrote about the newly released ABC recording of a portion of Benjamin Crump’s March 19, 2012 interview with Witness 8 and said I would follow-up with analysis. [More...]
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The Supreme Court in Italy has overturned Amanda Knox's acquittal by a lower appeals court. According to media accounts, a new trial will be held. According to her U.S. Attorney, Ted Simon, only a "revision" of the acquittal was ordered, which is like a reconsideration, and it's far from certain a new trial will occur.
He characterized the outcome of Tuesday’s court decision as a "revision" of the case, as opposed to a retrial, saying: "Merely because they have sent it back for revision does not mean that anything else will happen other than she will be recognized as not guilty and the same thing will happen again."
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A suspect in the murder of Colorado prison chief Tom Clements has been killed in a shootout with Texas police. The suspect, a 28 year old white supremacist and parolee from a Colorado prison, was stopped by a police officer in Texas. He shot the officer and took off.
The officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest. Two shots were to the chest and did not injure him. The third shot grazed his head. He was able to radio in the car description.
According to a live news conference I just watched here, it was a a drug interdiction stop. The officer had no idea the driver might be connected to the Colorado shooting of Director Clements.
When officers in Wise County, TX spotted him, they tried to stop him and he stuck his gun out the window and started shooting. A high speed chase ensued, and a big 4-wheeler crashed into Ebel's car, setting it on fire. Ebel got out and started shooting at the officers. They shot him multiple times, including in the head. [More...]
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Tom Clements, the Executive Director of Colorado's Department of Corrections, was at home last night when someone rang the doorbell around 8:30 p.m. He opened the door and was shot dead.
There are no suspects and it does not appear robbery was a motive. Clements' home is in Monument, Colorado, which is near Colorado Springs.
Officials with the El Paso County sheriff’s office said they were looking for a “boxy” two-door car that had been spotted Tuesday night in the neighborhood, its engine running but with nobody inside. There were few other insights about who had shot Mr. Clements, or why.
...They said Mr. Clements’s post, overseeing more than 20,000 inmates in Colorado’s prisons and parole system, might have made him a target.
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The indictment against Matthew Keys, the former Sacramento KTXL FOX 40 web producer and Reuters journalist charged in the Eastern District of California yesterday for providing members of Anonymous with network login credentials to hack into the server of the station and the LA times (both are owned by the Tribune company), is a bit of a head-scratcher. It seems he started out as double agent of sorts, infiltrating the group for journalistic purposes. Did he change from role-playing in internet chat room sessions to joining in the group's illegal activity? Clearly, the Government believes he did.
The Indictment is here. One person who turned on him seems to be Anonymous Sabu, aka Hector Monsegur. But others may have as well. [More....]
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Found in a comment by Tara at Conservative Treehouse: this link to ABC's website with 5 minutes of ABC's recording of the telephone call between Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crump and Witness 8, Trayvon's phone friend, recorded on March 19, 2012. Crump has acknowledged ABC's Matt Guttman and his assistant were present during the interview and Guttman tweeted at the time he had a recording of the conversation.
Why are we only finding this clip now? Did ABC recently release this? It appears so. Does it have anything to do with O'Mara's motion for a subpoena to ABC News for the original recordings, to which it filed an objection but which has not yet been heard by the court? Or does it have to do with Benjamin Crump's oh-so carefully worded affidavit about his interview with Witness 8 and the circumstances of the recording?
While this ABC clip is only 5 minutes and 19 seconds of the 14 minute recording, it is so much clearer than any version Crump or the State have produced to date. Witness 8 is much easier to understand.
I'm still working on the analysis I began last night, and won't get to finish it until this evening. In the meantime, please see Diwataman's preliminary analysis.
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(Video by Diwata Man.) A hearing was held in the George Zimmerman case Tuesday. You can watch the hearing here (part 1, begins at 11:45 in) and here (part 2.) The post-hearing press-conference is here.
The first significant motion to be heard was the defense request for a subpoena to obtain the hospital records of Witness 8, Trayvon Martin's 19 year old phone friend. (Starts at 13:40 into part 1.) The defense advised the court the subpoena was no longer necessary as the state told them yesterday the records did not exist. Witness 8 had lied when she told Trayvon Martin's parents' lawyers and the state prosecutor (the latter under oath) she could not attend Trayvon Martin's wake on Friday, March 2, 2012, because she had gone to the hospital where she spent the night. More on this at the end. [More...]
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The New Yorker has a new article about Aaron Swartz, mostly consisting of quotes from his family and friends. It's very sad.
Aaron's former girlfriend, Quinn Norton, has an article in the Atlantic, "Life Inside the Aaron Swartz Investigation" about her experience as "a reluctant witness" in the Government's case against Swartz. The Atlantic's editors have written this post about her article. [More....]
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Kim Dotcom suffered a setback in his extradition case yesterday when an appeals court in New Zealand reversed a High Court ruling that the FBI had to turn over more discovery in order to allow him to prepare for his extradition hearing. (A discussion of the High Court's ruling is here and the text of the ruling is here.) The Appeals Court says the disclosure is not required.
While the ruling is in the context of what information the U.S. must disclose to Kim Dotcom to enable him to defend against the extradition request, it also serves as a primer on NZ extradition law. The full opinion is here. The Court has also issued this press release explaining the decision. [More...]
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Bradley Manning has pleaded guilty to ten counts in the Wikileaks case, and faces up to 20 years in prison.
He is expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison after his conviction on charges related to the misuse of classified information. He is scheduled to stand trial in June on 12 more serious charges, including aiding the enemy and espionage. A conviction on those probably would lead to a life sentence.
In pleading guilty, Manning read from a 35 page statement explaining his motives.
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Eugene Collier of Oregon thought he saw something on all fours crouching at the edge of his property. Thinking it might be a bear, Collier, an experienced hunter, shot it. The target he fatally shot turned out to be Marine reservist Christopher Ochoa.
Eugene Collier admits he was shooting to kill when he fired the .270-caliber bullet that caused Christopher Ochoa’s death on Oct 21, 2011. But he thought he was shooting at a bear.
Collier, who has been a hunter for 60 years, and his grandson had gone hunting for the weekend, and were staying at Collier's cabin in the woods. When he first realized he shot a human, he froze, thinking maybe he had shot his grandson.
Collier said it wasn’t until he was 100 yards away from his target that he knew he had shot a human. “I froze. I thought the only person up there was my grandson, then I realized he wasn’t dressed like that.”
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This may have been the most long and drawn out bail decision ever. It went one way, then the other, for over an hour. It wasn't until the last 2 minutes you knew Oscar Pistorius was getting bail.
Here are the main points expressed by the judge in making his findings and rulings: [More...]
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Court has begun in the final bail hearing for Oscar Pistorius. The prosecutor is finishing his closing argument. He complains Oscar submitted an affidavit instead of testifying. Magistrate Desmond Nair asks: "Is he not permitted to bring the application by affidavit?" Nel says: "Nobody can force him to, he makes an election." (The correct answer is "yes".) [More...]
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Investigator Hilton Botha has been removed from the Oscar Pistorius case, but not suspended.
In court yesterday, the Judge questioned Botha about aspects of his testimony, but not the attempted murder charges against him. (See earlier post here.)
The new team of detectives will be led by "the country's top detective" Vinesh Moonoo. [More...]
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At 11:00 a.m. SAT (2:00 am MT), defense lawyer Barry Roux and prosecutor Gerrie Nel will make their closing arguments as to why Oscar Pistorius should be allowed or refused bail.
Chief Magistrate Judge Desmond Nair will then make the decision. The big questions:
- Will Magistrate Nair reconsider his prior ruling on premeditation and reduce the charge to a class five offense from a class six, which has a lesser standard to meet for bail?
- If he stays with a class six offense, will he find exceptional circumstances for bail?
- If he reduces the charge to a class five offense, will he find the ends of justice require bail?
I predict Oscar Pistorius will be granted bail and the judge will find Oscar is not a flight risk or a significant danger to himself or the community. I do not think he'll conclude, as many have since Investigator Hilton Botha's confused and misleading testimony yesterday, that the prosecution's case is DOA. Nor do I think the revelation of reinstated attempted murder charges against Botha will have any impact on his bail ruling, although it may complicate things. [More...]
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