News Roundup

On Monday, the New Yorker reported that four women have accused New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of inflicting physical violence and other abuse upon them in the context of romantic relationships.  The allegations have received significant national attention, in part because Schneiderman has presented himself publicly as a staunch supporter of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse.  Schneiderman issued a statement contesting the allegations, but resigned from office within hours of the story’s publication; he is now under criminal investigation.  Keep reading for more news.

Governor on Trial.  Jury selection began yesterday in the criminal trial of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who is charged with felony invasion of privacy.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a story discussing the trial here.  Greitens is accused of taking a compromising photograph of a woman without her consent in the context of an extramarital affair, and then threatening to publish the photograph if she said anything about the affair.  The woman also alleges that Greitens physically abused her and has said that she engaged in sexual activity with him because she feared that he would harm her if she refused.

Peace Officers Memorial.  The Fayetteville Observer reports that a ceremony was held at the Cumberland County Courthouse on Tuesday to honor thirty-five local law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty.  The roll call of fallen officers spanned 100 years, from 1907 to 2007.

DA Elections.  North Carolina primary elections were held this week and in some jurisdictions the results of the primary will be essentially dispositive as to who will serve as elected District Attorney because there is no candidate running from an opposing party in the general election.  Here’s a non-comprehensive list of winners in dispositive primaries that I collected from a brief review of news outlets across the state, chime in with a comment if you know of others:

  • The Greensboro News & Record says that Avery Crump will become the first woman to serve as the elected District Attorney in that county.
  • The News & Record also says that interim District Attorney Jason Ramey has won the race in Rockingham and Caswell counties, which together will be a single prosecutorial district.
  • Satana Deberry won in Durham County according to the Durham Herald-Sun.
  • The Hickory Record says that Scott Reilly won the race in District 25, encompassing Catawba and surrounding counties.
  • Interim District Attorney Spencer Merriweather won the race in Mecklenburg according to the Charlotte Observer.
  • Incumbent Todd Williams won in Buncombe County according to the Asheville Citizen Times.
  • The Hickory Times-News says incumbent Greg Newman won in District 29B, encompassing Transylvania and surrounding counties.

Charges Dropped.  WRAL reports that charges of disorderly conduct, resisting an officer, and assaulting a law enforcement officer against Kyron Dwain Hinton were dismissed this week.  Hinton has said that during the April 2018 encounter giving rise to the charges, officers stopped him while he was walking home and used unnecessary force against him, leaving him with multiple injuries.  Arrest warrants say that Hinton was yelling in a roadway while implying that he had a gun, and that he physically resisted officers during the process of being handcuffed.  Wake Sheriff Donnie Harrison called the dismissal of charges premature; Wake District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has asked the SBI to investigate the incident.

Gun Crimes.  The New York Times says that an examination of court records and crime statistics suggests that under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, federal prosecutors have “increasingly pursued low-level gun possession cases.”  The report says that prior to Sessions’ tenure as Attorney General, state and local prosecutors, rather than their federal counterparts, routinely handled what the Times calls “smaller gun cases.”  The article offers various views on the shift in policy and ultimately says that it is too early to judge its impact as many defendants have yet to be tried or sentenced.

Execution.  Last month, 83-year-old Walter Leroy Moody Jr. was executed at an Alabama prison, becoming the “oldest prisoner put to death in the modern era of American capital punishment.”  Moody had a prolific and violent criminal career; he received the death penalty for murdering Judge Robert S. Vance, Sr. of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1989.  Moody also murdered Robert E. Robinson, a Georgia attorney.  Jeff Sessions was Alabama Attorney General when Moody was tried in state court, and Robert Mueller was involved in Moody’s federal prosecution.

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