In the last few hours it’s been reported than Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer, has pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud and has implicated the president in breaking electoral law.
Most significant amongst the guilty pleas is that of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate or campaign, directly implicating the president himself.
Speaking during the hearing, held at a Manhattan court, Mr Cohen said that he had been instructed by ‘a candidate for federal office’, alluding to Mr Trump, who was not named directly during today’s proceedings.
Mr Cohen said that he had acted ‘for the principal purpose of influencing [the] election’.
The president’s former lawyer payed ‘hush money’ to two alleged mistresses of Mr Trump, one of whom is Stormy Daniels, who Mr Cohen previously admitted to paying on the eve of the election in order to win her silence.
View original post 304 more words
On July 24, 2017, I blogged about the strangling death of John Hernandez. Two persons were charged; Terry Thompson and his wife, Harris County Deputy Sheriff Chauna Thompson.
John Hernandez was at a Denny’s restaurant on May 28, 2017 in a town not far from Houston. Wait staff said he was celebrating his soccer team winning and was drunk, but he was not behaving belligerently. Terry Thompson engaged John outside of the restaurant, who Thompson accused of urinating in public. Thompson’s daughter called her mom, Chauna Thompson, who was off-duty.
Terry beat John who landed on the ground and then Terry proceeded to place John in a choke hold and got on John’s back. Chauna arrived and pinned down one of John’s arms. His other armed was underneath him. On her knees, Chauna yelled at Hernandez to “stay the f— down.” Her husband said to Hernandez: “Do you want me to hit you again?”
After paramedics arrived, John Hernandez was rushed to the hospital. Some witnesses say that it took paramedics 40 minutes to arrive. John was brain dead, went into a coma and died three days later.
A by-stander filmed the incident. Read the rest of this entry
The New York Times Reports:
After two mistrials, Prosecutor, Joseph T. Deters, said his decision to drop the charges against Ray Tensing is because he spoke to the jurors. Those jurors told him that a unanimous conviction was not possible. Federal prosecutors will now review the evidence to consider whether a civil rights investigation is warranted.
For other posts on this case, please see;
In December 2016, we followed the trials of Michael Slager and Dylann Roof. There was also another trial.
In August 2012, Officer Patrick Tuter of Garland, Texas led a vehicle chase of unarmed 25 year old Michael Allen. Tuter fired at Michael 41 times, reloading several times and hitting Michael 3 times. The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Officer performed the autopsy and determined that Michael suffered gunshot wounds to his upper back, side, and left elbow.
Tuter’s official report was that he opened fired after Michael rammed a patrol car. The dashboard video however, showed that it was Tuter’s patrol car that rammed into Michael’s truck. Tuter fired his gun from the back, left-side of Michael’s truck.
Michael Allen’s body was pulled out of the cab of his truck by a K9 who chewed his face.
In March 2013, Tuter was fired for violating department policies on pursuits and use of force. He had been on the force 7 years.
William G. Porter was the first of the Baltimore 6 to be tried in the death of Freddie Gray. Judge Barry G. Williams declared a mistrial because the jury hung on all four charges.
The Baltimore Sun reports that legal experts say the information on how the jury voted is critical to understanding the process now playing out as prosecutors and Porter’s defense attorneys prepare for his scheduled retrial in June. The information also could help shape legal strategies in the pending cases against the other five police officers charged in Gray’s April arrest and death.
A gag order prevents prosecutors and defense attorneys from discussing the case,but one juror agreed to be interviewed. That one juror said that some were driven to tears during deliberations.
The anonymous juror said that the jury changed their votes multiple times during deliberations. For instance, a few more jurors wanted to convict Porter of manslaughter at the start of deliberations but changed their minds.
The jury consisted of 4 black women, 3 black men, 3 white women, and 2 white men. The only juror identified is Susan Elgin, an attorney.
The six police officers charged in Gray’s arrest and death have all pleaded not guilty. Four have been suspended without pay; the other two who only face misdemeanors are suspended with pay.