News Roundup

Yesterday afternoon United States Attorney Timothy Shea filed a motion to dismiss criminal charges that the Department of Justice brought against Michael Flynn, the retired Army General who briefly served as President Donald Trump’s national security advisor in early 2017, as part of the special counsel inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  The charges were based on allegations that Flynn misled FBI investigators about conversations he had with a Russian diplomat soon after the election regarding sanctions.  As the New York Times reports, the motion says that the interview where Flynn misled investigators was not “conducted with a legitimate investigative basis” and, for that reason, the government would be unable to prove that Flynn’s false statements were material to an investigation.  Flynn had previously pleaded guilty to the charges.  Keep reading for more news.

Shooting Arrests.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that two Georgia men, Travis McMichael and his father Greg McMichael, have been arrested and charged with murder two months after the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia.  In late February, the men confronted Arbery while he seemingly was out on a run for exercise.  Another person, William Bryan, who is said to have aided the McMichaels in confronting Arbery, filmed the incident and the footage shows Travis shooting an unarmed Arbery several times.  The video sparked widespread public outrage and calls for the men to be arrested.  Another article from the AJC says that Greg McMichael previously worked as an investigator for the Brunswick District Attorney’s office and planned to make a citizen’s arrest of Arbery because he thought he recognized him from surveillance video from a recent burglary.

NC Prison Releases.  The Associated Press reported this week that the Department of Public Safety has allowed 192 state inmates to serve the remainder of their sentences outside of prison in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.  More than half of those released already were on work release or home leave, and many of the others were men who were at least 65 years old or women at least 50 who were scheduled to be released this year or next.  Three pregnant inmates also were released.

NC Prison Deaths.  The News & Observer reports that an inmate at Neuse Correctional Institution died this week at a hospital due to complications from the coronavirus.  The man, who was in his late 60’s and had pre-existing health conditions, is the third person at Neuse to have died from the virus.  As the News Roundup noted last month, the outbreak at Neuse is among the largest of any prison in the nation.

The N&O report in the link above notes that N.C. Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh has the second highest number of coronavirus infections in the state prison system, with 90 inmates testing positive.  The Greensboro News & Record reports that an inmate at the women’s prison died at a hospital this week, becoming the first person associated with the facility to succumb to the virus.  According to the News & Record, Faye Brown, who was serving a life sentence for being an accomplice to the murder of a state trooper in 1975, died on Wednesday.

Prison Staff Testing.  WRAL reports that State Treasurer Dale Folwell and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety failed to reach an agreement this week to test state prison workers for the coronavirus.  According to WRAL, Folwell worked with the State Employees Association of North Carolina in an effort to have prison workers tested and the State Health Plan would have paid the costs.  Division of Adult Corrections Chief Deputy Secretary Tim Moose said that there were concerns about the safety and privacy of employees regarding the proposed testing.

Creighton.  WLOS reports that former Buncombe County assistant manager Jon Creighton has been released from a federal prison in Kentucky, perhaps due to coronavirus concerns.  As the News Roundup noted last year, Creighton was serving an 18 month sentence for corruption while in office.

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