News Roundup

WRAL reported earlier this week that Wake County District Court Judge Michael Denning determined that pretrial release conditions for thirty-two people arrested during a May protest at the Legislative Building which banned them from the building were too broad and that Denning planned to modify the conditions of release.  Yesterday, a follow-up report said Denning ruled that five protestors, including State NAACP President Rev. William Barber, would be banned from the building until their trespassing charges arising from the protest are resolved, while four other protestors may visit the building only if invited and accompanied by a lawmaker.  The varying conditions were based on the number of times a person had been charged with trespassing at the Legislative Building.  Keep reading for more news.

CMPD Officer Strikes Pedestrian.  The Charlotte Observer reports that Officer Phillip Barker of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle after fatally colliding with a pedestrian in his cruiser over the weekend.  The Observer says that Barker was traveling through a green light at 100 mph in a 35 mph zone when he hit James Michael Short as he was crossing the street.  Barker was responding to a motor vehicle crash at the time of the incident and had his siren and lights on.

Ramblers and Gamblers.  The mythical Willie O’conley was the gamblin’est man around but he had a charitable streak, spreading his money far and wide to help the sick and poor.  See Bob Dylan, Rambling, Gambling Willie, on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1-3 (Columbia Records 1991).  One place Willie won’t be coming ‘round, at least for the time being, is North Carolina as WRAL reports that Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed legislation that would have legalized occasional charitable casino night fund raisers.  Cooper expressed concern that the legislation “could cause unintended problems” by giving the video poker industry an opportunity to masquerade as a charity.

Lawyer Convicted of Embezzlement.  The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Devin Ferree Thomas, a disbarred Charlotte personal-injury lawyer who had offices in various cities across the state, was convicted on embezzlement charges in Forsyth Superior Court last week.  The Journal article says that an SBI investigation revealed that Thomas had embezzled more than $100,000 from clients.

Artis Charges Dismissed.  As the Daily Tar Heel reports, misdemeanor assault on a female and sexual battery charges against Allen Artis, a UNC student and member of the football team, were dismissed late last week.  The News Roundup previously noted that UNC student Delaney Robinson made allegations of sexual assault against Artis last year, and that the allegations became national news.  Artis has been reinstated to the football team according to the report.

Body Camera Feedback.  According to WRAL, the Raleigh police Department is seeking resident feedback about the Department’s use of body cameras.  The Department will be giving a presentation about its body camera program in a series of public meetings throughout July and August.  Dates for the meetings are available at the link.

The Perfect Crime.  Sometimes a clever criminal scheme is so flawlessly executed that the likelihood of bringing the perpetrators to justice is vanishingly small.  Other times, a father and son conspire to rob the store where the father works by having the son dress as a woman and pilfer the register while the father conveniently isn’t looking; the son then sets his disguise ablaze right outside the store and the fire department shows up.  In these latter cases, Mooresville authorities achieve investigatory efficiencies because “the fire and the robbery investigation happen simultaneously.”

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