Michigan school settles suit over suicide for $500,000
LANSING, Mich. – A Michigan school district accused of failing to stop a teenager from being bullied settled a lawsuit over his suicide for $500,000, a newspaper reported. Michael Martin, a 13-year-old student at Lansing Everett High School, took his own life in 2019. Michael's mother, Joanna Wohlfert, said she asked school staff and a bus company for help in addressing bullying but they failed to take action. There was no immediate comment from the Lansing school district. Teachers said they noticed a change in his behavior before his death and had asked the Everett administration to intervene.
Mom pleads guilty to neglect in sons drowning at Michigan beach
HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) The mother of a 6-year-old boy who drowned in Lake Michigan pleaded guilty Thursday to child neglect. Iain Rowe drowned at Holland State Park on June 6, a day of high waves and warnings. Miranda Rowe, 33, of Spring Lake Township pleaded guilty in Holland District Court. Its not unheard of but its a little unusual to have a parent charged in the drowning death of a child. At least 36 people in four states have drowned in Lake Michigan this year, according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.
Michigan judge boots challenge to mass mailing of ballot applications
LANSING, Mich. A Michigan judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit challenging the secretary of state's mailing of absentee ballot applications to millions of voters who did not request one, ruling that Jocelyn Benson had clear and broad authority to do so. State Court of Claim Judge Cynthia Stephens' decision had been signaled after she rejected a request for a preliminary injunction in June. Benson, a Democrat, in May began sending the applications to all voters who were not already on permanent absentee ballot lists for the August primary and November general elections, as a way to encourage absentee voting and dissuade in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic. Stephens said Benson's actions are not contrary to election law and noted that voters in 2018 approved a constitutional amendment letting people vote absentee for any reason. The Secretary of State, as chief election officer of this state, merely sent applications that will make it easier for voters to exercise that constitutional right, should they choose to do so, she wrote.
California high court overturns Scott Petersons death sentence
SACRAMENTO, Calif. The California Supreme Court on Monday overturned the 2005 death sentence for Scott Peterson in the slaying of his pregnant wife, but said prosecutors may try again for the same sentence if they wish in the high-profile case. It upheld his 2004 murder conviction in the killing of Laci Peterson, 27, who was eight months pregnant with their unborn son, Connor. Peterson contends his trial was flawed for multiple reasons, beginning with the unusual amount of pretrial publicity that surrounded the case. We reject Petersons claim that he received an unfair trial as to guilt and thus affirm his convictions for murder, the court said. He was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his wife and the second-degree murder of their unborn son.
Michigan Supreme Court throws out jury tampering conviction
Not someone who is simply told to report for jury duty, the Michigan Supreme Court said Tuesday as it overturned the jury tampering conviction of a man in western Michigan. He told two women they could choose their conscience over the law if they were picked to serve on a jury. Wood was charged with jury tampering, under a 1955 law, and convicted of a misdemeanor. In a dissenting opinion, Justice David Viviano said the majority’s opinion was an “absurd result,” quoting from a 2015 court decision in a tampering case in Maine. Attorney David Kallman also made a free speech argument on behalf of Wood, but the court decided the case on other grounds.
Washtenaw County courts remain closed amid reopenings
ANN ARBOR Although Monday marks the reopening of several governmental offices -- including operations at Larcom City Hall -- Washtenaw County courts will not be reopening for in-person business for now. Phases one and two will only allow employees in court buildings, and in-person services are expected to start up again in late June and early July. Until then, all court proceedings, probation interviews and any other public services will be conducted via videoconferencing, phone calls, mail or other means. If a visitor does not have a face covering, some court locations will be able to provide them at the security screening locations. Visitors will be screened for symptoms and COVID exposure at the security screening locations.
Actress Lori Loughlin, husband plead guilty in Varsity Blues case
Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges in connection with securing the fraudulent admission of their two children to the University of Southern California as purported athletic recruits, the U.S. Attorneys Office District of Massachusetts announced Thursday. Loughlin, 55, and Giannulli, 56, both of Los Angeles, Calif., will plead guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton on a date to be specified by the Court. Loughlin will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, while Giannulli will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and honest services wire and mail fraud. Loughlin and Giannulli are the 23rd and 24th parents to plead guilty in the college admissions case. We will continue to pursue accountability for undermining the integrity of college admissions, said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling.
Statement from Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen on the United States v. Safehouse Ruling
WASHINGTON Statement from Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen on the United States v. Safehouse ruling:The Department is disappointed in the Courts ruling and will take all available steps to pursue further judicial review. Any attempt to open illicit drug injection sites in other jurisdictions while this case is pending will continue to be met with immediate action by the Department.justice.gov