The General Assembly passed a $23 billion state budget bill this week that includes provisions likely of interest to blog readers. In what would be a significant change to the criminal justice system, the proposed budget raises the age of juvenile court jurisdiction such that most cases against 16- and 17-year-olds will be handled in the juvenile system, rather than the adult system, beginning in December 2019. The News Roundup previously noted that the proposal to raise the age had broad support from law makers and criminal justice system stakeholders. A more controversial provision of the bill cuts roughly $10 million from the administrative and legal services budget of the Department of Justice. Keep reading for more news.
Charlotte School of Law. The ABA Journal reports that troubles continue to mount for Charlotte School of Law as its state license is now in jeopardy. According to the report, the UNC Board of Governors has placed various conditions on the school’s state license, including that it must submit an ABA-approved teach-out or remedial plan to the Board no later than August 10, must admit no new students, and must obtain a tuition guarantee bond for students who participate in the teach-out plan. The article says that the school also is the subject of a fraud investigation by the North Carolina Attorney General’s office.
Pizzagate. Edgar Maddison Welch, the Salisbury man who stormed a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant with a rifle and handgun in an effort to investigate an internet rumor that the restaurant was part of a child sex ring connected to Hillary Clinton, was sentenced Thursday to four years in federal prison.
Breaking In is Hard to Do. There are a lot of good reasons not to commit burglary or breaking and entering – a few stories in the news this week provide examples of the less obvious ones. A group of armed intruders in Florida found themselves face-to-face with a machete-wielding homeowner who refused to have an otherwise quiet evening with friends ruined by unexpected guests. A would-be burglar in Carolina Beach was beaten up by a homeowner and left lying in the front yard to be picked up by the police. And a Marion woman had the misfortune of choosing to break into a house that happened to belong to the chief of police, who caught her in the act.
Castile Acquittal. Last week, a jury acquitted Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez of all charges related to the shooting death of Philando Castile during a traffic stop last year. The shooting made national news, in part because Castile’s girlfriend livestreamed the immediate aftermath on Facebook. Dash cam footage of the incident was released to the public this week. The link in the previous sentence is to a New York Times article that includes the graphic video.
Flint. Five people were charged last week with involuntary manslaughter as part of an investigation into lead contamination in the water in Flint, Michigan. Among those charged is Nick Lyon, the director of Michigan’s Health and Human Services Department. Michigan’s chief medical officer, Dr. Eden Wells, also has been charged with crimes arising from the lead contamination. Wells is charged with obstruction of justice and lying to investigators. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has expressed support for both Lyon and Wells, who will remain on duty at the Michigan DHHS.
Courthouse Facility Dog. According to the Johnston County Report, the county’s newest courthouse employee is so rambunctious that four handlers from the district attorney’s office have been tasked with keeping her focused on her work. Last week, Teghan the Golden Doodle became Johnston County’s first “courthouse facility dog” and, after some professional training, will be responsible for providing emotional support to victims and witnesses in criminal cases. Teghan is named in memory of Teghan Skiba, a Johnston County child who was murdered in 2010.