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News Roundup

As USA Today reports, fallen United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was killed during a violent insurrection by extremist supporters of former President Donald Trump in early January, laid in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday before his interment at Arlington National Cemetery.  Sicknick is the third Capitol Police officer to receive that honor, the first two being Jacob Chestnut and John Gibson who were shot by an armed intruder in 1998.  Keep reading for more news.

Garner Man Charged.  WRAL reports that a Garner man, Stephen Maury Baker, has joined other North Carolinians charged with criminal offenses for their alleged role in the attack on the Capitol in early January.  Baker, who reportedly announced while livestreaming to YouTube under the name “Stephen Ignoramus” that he “was inside for like an hour, dude” and was “like one of the last 10 people in there,” has been charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted area without lawful authority. 

Hayes Pardoned.  With the news from the last weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency focusing primarily on the deadly insurrection at the United States Capitol, a North Carolina story from those days flew under the radar.  For the last two years, criminal cases against Greg Lindberg and Robin Hayes related to their attempt to bribe State Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey have been fairly big news in North Carolina.  Hayes, who is a former state congressman and a former state Republican Party chairman, pleaded guilty in 2019 to lying to the FBI during the bribery investigation.  As the Associated Press reports, Hayes was among more than 140 people granted pardons or commuted sentences by Trump.

Lab Notes.  Regular readers know that a lot is happening in the SOG’s Criminal Justice Innovation Lab.  Led by Jessie Smith, the Lab takes an evidence-based approach to criminal justice policy.  The January issue of the Lab’s newsletter Lab Notes recently was published and is available here.  This issue provides updates about work on bail reform in Orange County and Judicial Districts 2 and 21.  You can subscribe to the newsletter here. 

Standoff.  The Winston-Salem Journal reports that patience on the part of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office while responding to an incident where an elderly man had fired shots from inside his home resulted in a peaceful resolution to a 5-hour standoff on Monday.  When a deputy went to investigate a 911 hang-up call, the man fired a rifle and the deputy helped the man’s wife evacuate their home.  The man’s wife explained that his behavior stemmed from a medical issue, and a tactical team waited him out to surrender after securing the scene.

Civil Law Faculty Position.  As a reminder, the School of Government is hiring a tenure-track faculty member who will specialize in civil procedure and the practical aspects of conducting civil trials and contested hearings.  The application deadline is February 11, and more information about the position and instructions for applying can be found here.

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