News Roundup

The News & Observer reports that this week a federal jury in Charlotte convicted Greg Lindberg of attempting to bribe State Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey to give favorable treatment to Lindberg’s insurance business.  As the News Roundup previously has noted, Lindberg was accused of working with Robin Hayes, the former chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, to bribe Causey.  Lindberg has been one of the largest political donors in North Carolina in recent years.  Causey, who reported the attempted bribe to federal investigators, said in a statement following the conviction that it “show[ed[ that the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance is not for sale.”  Keep reading for more news.

YMCA Civil Suit.  The Greensboro News & Record reports that a group of seven men who allege that a former Kernersville YMCA counselor sexually abused them when they were children have filed a civil suit against the Kernersville Family YMCA and its parent organizations, the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina and the YMCA of the USA, for failing to properly supervise the counselor.  The former counselor, Michael Todd Pegram, pleaded guilty in state court last year to several counts of sex offense and indecent liberties.  The abuse at the Kernersville YMCA is alleged to have occurred between 1988 and 2002.

Gun in Jail.  The Associated Press reports that this week federal authorities discovered a loaded handgun inside a housing unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, the detention center where Jefferey Epstein died by suicide last year.  The gun was found during a lockdown of the detention center that revealed other contraband and resulted in a criminal probe into guard misconduct with regard to the flow of contraband into the facility.  The AP story says that attorney visits at the facility have been suspended since the lockdown was initiated late last week and that court proceedings involving defendants housed at the facility have been delayed.

Avenatti.  Speaking of the Manhattan Correctional Center, last month Michael Avenatti was convicted by a federal jury in New York of attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike and now is being housed at the facility as he awaits sentencing as well as trials on other pending charges.  Avenatti became well known across the country in 2018 as he represented Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump, suits which ultimately were dismissed by the courts.  He has since been charged with stealing nearly $300,000 from Daniels.

Orange Detention Death.  WRAL reports that a fight this week between at least two inmates being held at the Orange County Detention Center resulted in a Durham man’s death.  Maurice Antoine King, a federal inmate being held at the detention center, reportedly became involved in a verbal altercation that escalated into a fight that resulted in King being transported to Duke University Medical Center, where he died from injuries sustained in the fight.

911 Recordings.  The Greensboro News & Record reports that recordings of two 911 calls made in connection with a fatal officer-involved shooting in Guilford County last month were released yesterday.  On February 23, utility workers were repairing a water line break in Jamestown and were in the process of informing residents about that work when one resident, Boyce Melvin Thayer, reportedly displayed a pistol.  A sheriff’s deputy responding to the 911 report of that incident, Cp. Kyle Mikesell, fatally shot Thayer after Thayer brandished the pistol at him.  The first of the two 911 calls captures a utility crew supervisor reporting the initial incident, and the second captures utility workers reporting that shots had been fired at Thayer’s home. 

Weinstein Surgery.  The Associated Press reports that Harvey Weinstein was moved to an infirmary unit at Rikers Island this week after undergoing a heart procedure immediately following his conviction last month on charges of rape and sexual assault.  After experiencing high blood pressure and heart palpitations, Weinstein was detoured to the hospital on his way to Rikers where he was to be detained while awaiting sentencing.

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