News Roundup

As I write this, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is in federal court in San Francisco for sentencing. She was convicted of defrauding investors and owes restitution of more than $100 million. She could potentially be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, and given the loss amount, federal prosecutors have asked for a 15-year sentence. Holmes is asking for house arrest, and has submitted letters from Senator Corey Booker and over 100 other people in support of her compassion and character. Plus one of the letters says that she’s pregnant, and another says that her dog was “carried away by a mountain lion” from her front porch. The Verge has some highlights and a link to her sentencing memorandum here. Keep reading for more news.

Former NC State football player charge with threatening current NC State football coach. WRAL reports here that a former NC State football player named Joseph Boletepeli, who played on the defensive line for NC State in 2018 and 2019 and then transferred to Maryland, has been charged with communicating threats and other charges after posting on social media, “Imma get him I promise. Dave Doeren and the rest.” Boletepeli has allegedly threatened Doren at other times and has gone to Doren’s workplace uninvited. The recent murder of several University of Virginia football players also apparently contributed to the decision to move forward with criminal charges.

New police chief in Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill Chief of Police Chris Blue is retiring after a long and successful career. He will be replaced by current Assistant Chief Celisa Lehew, just the Town’s ninth chief and its first female chief. She has served on the force for 18 years so far, according to this local article. As someone who spends a lot of time in Chapel Hill, I’m hoping that Chief Lehew’s tenure will be as long and honorable as her predecessor’s.

Weinstein trial. Fallen Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is on trial again. He has previously been convicted of sex crimes in New York and is serving a 23-year sentence, but is now on trial in California for similar offenses. Variety reports here that the prosecution rested its case today. Among the witnesses against him was “actor and filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newson, the First Partner of California.” She testified to being raped by Weinstein in 2005. In opening statements, defense attorneys reportedly characterized her as “just another bimbo who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead.” I assume the defense lawyers know their business, but wow.

Krasner impeached. Following up on a recent news roundup item, the Washington Post reports here that Philadelphia’s progressive district attorney, Larry Krasner, has been impeached by the Pennsylvania House on a vote that “split almost entirely on party lines.” If that pattern holds in the state senate, he will not be removed as Republicans do not hold the two-thirds majority that would be required for removal.

New SOG resource about “First Amendment audits” and citizens filming on government property. My colleagues Kristina Wilson and Kristi Nicodem have just released new bulletin on First Amendment audits, which is when a person enters government property and starts recording in order to test the reception that they receive. It should be of interest to court officials and law enforcement officers who may encounter enthusiastic amateur videographers at their places of work.

I don’t know what the blog may hold next week given the holiday, so if I don’t get a chance to say it before Thanksgiving, everyone be safe and enjoy friends, family, and pumpkin pie!

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