6 suspects in Whitmer kidnapping plot set to stand trial in March
DETROIT — Three months after their arrests, six men charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have been ordered to stand trial in March for their alleged roles in a scheme that was foiled by undercover FBI agents. Chief U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker set the trial date for March 23 in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, though that date is likely to get changed if past federal prosecutions involving militia members and threats against the government are any indication. For example, seven Hutaree militia members charged with plotting a violent revolt against the gove...
Detroit Free Press
Supreme Court denies fast-track hearings for remaining GOP challenges to Pa. election results
PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. Supreme Court declined to fast-track remaining legal challenges to Pennsylvania's election results on Monday, underscoring the justices' reluctance to wade into widely discredited Republican arguments for reversing the outcome of the 2020 vote. The decision did not dismiss the election challenges outright and kept them alive for the justices to potentially take up in the future. But Monday's orders — along with denials for expedited consideration in several other election-related cases arising from states such as Wisconsin and Georgia — pushed those considerations until...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Dreamers' fate remains in limbo with ruling delayed in Texas case challenging DACA
AUSTIN, Texas — Diego Abelar Morales came to Texas from Puebla, in central Mexico, when he was just 2 years old. His parents sought a better future for him, and later his sister, and moved into a home in North Austin. Morales, now 24, is a graduate of Texas State University and works as a cloud engineer at Oracle, the Austin-based software giant. But his success would not be possible without his parent’s decision to come to the United States, and the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. “My parents made the choice to search for a better life elsewhere...
Prosecutors drop case against man accused of shooting 6-month-old Chicago girl in 2013
CHICAGO — Cook County prosecutors last week quietly dropped all charges against a man accused of fatally shooting 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins as her father held the child in his arms. Koman Willis, who had been in custody awaiting trial since 2013, walked free after a hearing Dec. 14 at which prosecutors threw out the case, records show. “We’re very happy that he is now home with his family,” his attorney Jed Stone told the Chicago Tribune. A statement from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office said they decided not to bring him to trial “in light of significant developments that occurred ...
5 accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plead not guilty
DETROIT – Federal prosecutors say they have a "large volume of evidence" — so much that they requested an extra 40 days before bringing an indictment — but five of the six men charged with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pleaded not guilty Thursday. The evidence ranges from interviews with FBI agents, secret recordings, text messages and chat room exchanges, audio and video sent through social media and material seized via search warrants, ranging from drug paraphernalia to firearms to a taser, according to records filed Thursday. Nevertheless, Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Fr...
Detroit Free Press
6 Whitmer kidnap suspects indicted. 1 called for killing police, feds say
DETROIT – More than two months after their arrests, six men were indicted late Wednesday on charges they plotted to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and possibly hold her for ransom or leave her in the middle of Lake Michigan, according to testimony and court records. A federal grand jury concluded there is enough evidence to bind the suspects over to trial in U.S. District Court on one count of kidnapping conspiracy, which carries a maximum prison sentence of life. This was the last day that the empaneled grand jury could deliver an indictment. Both sides had agreed to extend the deadline for pro...
Detroit Free Press
New leads may hold key in search for parents of 628 children separated at border
SAN DIEGO — The intensive effort to locate the parents of 628 children who remain apart from their parents after being separated at the border under Trump administration policies has been bolstered by new leads, attorneys reported this week. A group of volunteers dedicated to the search have recently gained access to two additional databases — including one belonging to the federal government — that hold potentially new contact information for parents who up to this point have been unreachable. While the development is promising, it is also drawing ire from attorneys who question why the gover...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Ivanka Trump beefs with D.C. attorney general on Twitter after deposition about 2017 inaugural fund
Like father, like daughter. Ivanka Trump got into a Twitter spat with Washington’s attorney general on Thursday after news broke that she was recently questioned in his investigation into her father’s inaugural committee’s sketchy spending patterns. The Trump daughter, who serves as a senior adviser in her father’s White House, claimed Attorney General Karl Racine’s probe into the president’s 2017 inaugural committee is a “waste of taxpayer dollars.” “This ‘inquiry’ is another politically motivated demonstration of vindictiveness,” she tweeted shortly after fresh court papers revealed she was ...
New York Daily News
Georgia hot car death case featured in documentary ahead of motion for new trial
ATLANTA — When they got the news that would change their lives forever, Evelyn Harris didn’t say a word. Her husband, Reggie, wailed in agony. She stayed quiet.“My husband fell to his knees and I was catatonic,” said Evelyn Harris, recalling the summer afternoon six years ago when she found out her grandson, Cooper, was dead and her son, Justin Ross Harris, was suspected of his murder. “I kept saying, ‘it’s not real. It’s not real.’ I didn’t even absorb it. It took awhile for me to come with grips that it was a reality.”In December 2016, Justin Ross Harris was sentenced to life in prison plus ...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Florida Supreme Court won't reinstate death penalty for killers once sentenced to execution
MIAMI — The Florida Supreme Court won’t be returning dozens of convicted murderers to death row.In two decisions on Wednesday that clarified months of confusion, justices said they did not have the legal authority to reinstate the death penalty for the killers who had previously been on death row, but had sentences tossed out because of legal questions over whether juries must be unanimous in meting out the ultimate punishment.In one of the cases, against convicted Orange County murderer [Bessman Okafor](“We acknowledge the burden that resentencing proceedings will place on the victims of Okaf...