DA Says Libel Case Against N. Carolina Attorney General Over

Written by GARY D. ROBERTSON


A North Carolina prosecutor said Thursday that campaign-related charges won’t be pursued further against Attorney General Josh Stein or his aides, one day after an appeals court ruled the political libel law her office was seeking to enforce is most likely unconstitutional.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said that the ongoing investigation and prosecution of potential misdemeanor violations related to a 2020 ad from Stein’s campaign has been closed.

A senior assistant prosecutor in Freeman’s office had been investigating allegations whether the commercial criticizing Stein’s Republican challenger at the time broke a 1931 law that makes certain political speech unlawful. When it appeared last summer that Freeman’s office could soon seek indictments, Stein’s campaign and others sued in federal court to stop the effort and asked that the law be declared unconstitutional.

In August, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, blocked enforcement of the law while an appeal was heard. On Wednesday, the same appeal panel vacated a trial judge’s ruling that had refused to order Freeman to stop using the law to prosecute anyone over the disputed commercial.

A statement released by Freeman also said the ruling prevents her office from moving forward given that there is two-year statute of limitations for such a misdemeanor.

“Understanding that the case was one of intense public interest, it has been the assigned prosecutor’s intent to exercise due diligence and to evaluate the evidence and apply the law without partiality from the beginning of this matter,” Freeman said. “As prosecutors, we respect the role of the court in determining the constitutionality of a duly enacted state law.”

The decision by Freeman — the local prosecutor for North Carolina’s largest county — ultimately could make the Stein lawsuit moot. And Stein, who announced

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Tyre Nichols’ family, attorney ask United Nations for help | News

The family of Tyre Nichols and their attorneys are taking their fight for justice to the international stage. They sent a letter to the United Nations demanding change in MPD and law enforcement agencies nationwide Friday.

Attorneys for Nichols’ family released the following statement:

“Today, we filed an Urgent Appeal before the United Nations asking it to condemn the tragic killing of Tyre Nichols, to demand transparency from the police department, and to demand that Officer Preston Hemphill and all officers that participated in the incident are criminally charged. The video evidence shows that all who were involved in Tyre’s death committed reprehensible acts that require international condemnation.”

In the letter obtained by FOX13, the appeal requests urgent action for the “torture and extrajudicial killing” of Nichols that occurred on Jan. 7 and caused his death three days later.

The letter, addressed to the UN High Commission for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland describes Tyre Nichols’ death as being part of a larger pattern of police brutality around the country. It compares his death to those of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Nichols’ family and their attorneys believe that former MPD officer Preston Hemphill was not criminally charged because of his race, according to the letter.

The family is asking for the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office to arrest and criminally charge Hemphill for his role in Nichols’ death.

In addition to justice, they are asking for changes at the Memphis Police Department, and the US “long pattern and practice of lethal police violence” against Blacks.

“I’m not surprised,” Bennie Cobb, veteran of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement expert, said. “The egregious nature of this incident, this murder, this assault by the gang in blue; I see the attorney and the family

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District attorney to review all prior cases of former Memphis police officers charged in Tyre Nichols’ death

The local district attorney‘s office in Tennessee’s Shelby County announced Thursday that it will review all prior cases — closed and pending — of the five former Memphis police officers charged in the death of Tyre Nichols.

“This is still an active and ongoing investigation,” the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office said.

Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith were involved in the traffic stop that allegedly led to Nichols’ death last month. Nichols was arrested in Memphis on the evening of Jan. 7, after officers attempted to make a traffic stop for reckless driving near the area of Raines Road and Ross Road, according to separate press releases from the Memphis Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. A confrontation unfolded as the officers approached Nichols, who ran away. Another confrontation occurred when the officers pursued Nichols and ultimately apprehended him, police said.

After the incident, Nichols “complained of having a shortness of breath” and was transported by ambulance to Memphis’ St. Francis Hospital in critical condition, according to police.

Due to Nichols’ condition, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office was contacted and TBI special agents were subsequently requested to conduct a use-of-force investigation, according to the TBI.

Nichols “succumbed to his injuries” on Jan. 10, the TBI said. He was 29.

PHOTO: This combo of booking images provided by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office shows, from top row from left, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, bottom row from left, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith.

This combo of booking images provided by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office shows, from top row from left, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, bottom row from left, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith. The five former Memphis police officers have been charged with second-degree murder and other crimes in the arrest and death of Tyre Nichols, a Black motorist who died three days after a confrontation with the officers during a traffic stop.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

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1st black female NC superior court judge Shirley Fulton dies

Shirley Fulton, a trailblazing judge in Charlotte and across North Carolina, has died.

Shirley Fulton, a trailblazing judge in Charlotte and across North Carolina, has died.

Staff Photographer

Longtime Mecklenburg County Judge Shirley Fulton, the first Black woman to win a Superior Court seat in North Carolina, died Wednesday morning.

The cause of death: complications from gall bladder cancer.

Fulton, whose influence stretched from the courthouse to a decades-long list of significant community endeavors, was 71.

At different points during her legal career, the Kingstree, S.C., native worked as an assistant Mecklenburg County district attorney, a District Court judge, a Superior Court judge and a law professor.

For 14 years she served as Senior Resident Superior Court judge, the most powerful judicial seat in the Mecklenburg courthouse. Once again Fulton made history by being the first Black woman in North Carolina to hold the job.

Shirley Fulton.jpg
Michael Shane Neal’s 2004 portrait of former Judge Shirley Fulton hangs in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. Fulton, the first Black woman in North Carolina ever elected to a Superior Court seat, has died. She was 71. Michael Shane Neal

After leaving the bench in 2002, Fulton went into private practice. But she continued to throw herself into highly public community initiatives — from reforms in the courts to public housing and local schools.

She served as president of Queen City Congress, a coalition of inner city neighborhoods, and was former board chair of the Charlotte Housing Authority.

In 2015, she re-donned her judicial robes to preside over a mock grand jury hearing in Raleigh to consider “indicting” Republican legislators who had voted to block the expansion of Medicaid, the major form of federal health assistance for low-income families.

“She was an absolute gem for this community and this court system,” said Carla Archie, the county’s current senior resident judge, and the first Black woman

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District attorney clears deputies involved in fatal shooting in Windsor last year

Three Larimer County Sheriff’s Office deputies have been cleared in the fatal shooting of a Fort Collins man near Crossroads Boulevard and Centerra Parkway in Windsor last year.

Justin Anderson, 51, was shot and killed Nov. 21, 2022, following a vehicle pursuit. The Critical Incident Team investigated the shooting, and Gordon McLaughlin, district attorney for the 8th Judicial District, shared his decision in a letter dated Feb. 9 but released to the media Friday. In that letter, McLaughlin said the deputies involved in the shooting — Justin Napolitano, Jonathon Wedemeyer and Jaime Smith — were justified in their use of force and would not face any criminal charges related to the shooting.

Here’s what we learned from that letter about the circumstances surrounding the shooting, the investigation into it and McLaughlin’s decision. You can find the full letter at www.larimer.gov/da/critical-incident-response-team.

What led up to the Windsor shooting

According to McLaughlin’s letter, the incident leading up to Anderson’s shooting began when Napolitano was doing “proactive patrol” at the Love’s Travel Stop off the Berthoud exit of Interstate 25. The sheriff’s office provides contracted law enforcement services for the town of Berthoud, including the portions of the town that aren’t in Larimer County, such as where the Love’s Travel Stop is located.

McLaughlin noted that Love’s is “a common location for illicit drug transactions” and that Napolitano had made drug-related arrests there before. During his patrol, Napolitano saw a car pull up to an out-of-service gas pump and then move to another pump after the driver saw his patrol vehicle, McLaughlin wrote, adding that the car ultimately left without getting gas and the driver didn’t get out of the car before leaving.

McLaughlin said Anderson arrived as that vehicle was leaving, and he parked the gray Chevrolet truck he was driving

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DOJ, Georgia, New York: A guide to Trump’s legal threats

Meanwhile, the Jan. 6 select committee is still pursuing wide-ranging inquiries into Trump’s conduct and preparing to reveal reams of evidence to federal prosecutors as well.

“We’ve spoken a lot about accountability,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), a member of the select panel on the Capitol attack by Trump supporters. “And in order for that, for there to be true accountability, the Department of Justice may have to act.”

DOJ has signaled particular interest in the bevy of lawyers who surrounded Trump during his final weeks in the White House — including Eastman, Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis. Federal grand jury subpoenas that went out in recent months to witnesses in Georgia and Arizona cited potential contacts with Giuliani, Eastman and Ellis. The Washington Post first reported on the Arizona subpoena, and a person familiar with the Georgia document shared information about its contents with POLITICO.

Bernie Kerik, the former New York police commissioner and longtime Giuliani ally, was also named on both Georgia and Arizona subpoenas. Kerik worked with Giuliani on Trump’s post-election legal strategy, making him a potentially valuable witness.

But DOJ’s interest in that strategy may come with its own built-in challenges. Tim Parlatore, a lawyer for the former commissioner who also represents Trump on a separate matter, told POLITICO that he would move to quash any DOJ subpoena of Kerik.

“He was a member of the legal team, so a large portion of his knowledge would be privileged and therefore something the DOJ is not permitted to look into,” Parlatore said.

And Trump’s legal exposure isn’t just of the federal criminal variety. He still faces a

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Tex McIver: Georgia’s Supreme Court overturned a prominent attorney’s murder conviction. Prosecutors now want to retry him

Claud “Tex” McIver was convicted in 2018 of felony murder and other charges stemming from the 2016 killing of his wife, Diane, who was fatally shot by McIver while sitting in front of him in a car. The attorney previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the shooting was an accident and that the gun, which was on his lap while he was sleeping in the back seat, fired after he was abruptly awoken.

In June, Georgia’s highest court overturned McIver’s felony murder conviction, ruling that the jury should have been instructed that they could consider a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

In a motion filed on Friday, Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis asked the county superior court to set a new date for the trial within 180 days of receiving the Supreme Court’s ruling.

The district attorney‘s office said it plans to retry McIver on felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

“The jury which served at the original trial of this case evaluated all of the evidence and unanimously convicted Defendant of intentional crimes of violence against his wife,” the district attorney’s office said. “This fact weighs heavily in the State’s consideration of how best to serve the interests of justice in this case.”

McIver remains in the custody of the Georgia Department of Corrections, according to jail logs.

In its request for a trial, the district attorney’s office said McIver is serving his five-year sentence for his conviction of influencing a witness, which the Supreme Court did not overturn, adding that while he “has not spent five years in custody, five years will have elapsed soon.”

In a statement to CNN, McIver’s attorneys maintained their client’s previous murder conviction was wrong.

Atlanta lawyer's bail set at $200,000 in wife's shooting deathmciver-atlanta-lawyer-charged-pkg-00001003-small-169.jpg”
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List of Georgia district attorneys not prosecuting abortion grows | News

ATLANTA — At least seven Georgia district attorneys have vowed not to prosecute abortion-related cases following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In the hours following the June 24 court decision, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr Carr filed a notice to the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit requesting it allow Georgia’s 2019 “heartbeat” law to take effect.

The 11th Circuit had put the law on hold until the Supreme Court made a ruling in a landmark Mississippi case, which overturned Roe v. Wade — a 1973 court decision protecting a woman’s freedom to have an abortion — on June 24.

The 11th Circuit has now asked both sides in the Georgia lawsuit — the state of Georgia and women’s health organization — to file legal briefs within 21 days before deciding on Georgia’s law (HB 481) taking affect. The heartbeat law, once in affect, will ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected, typically at six weeks.

However, the seven Georgia district attorneys, some of them representing multiple counties, have already vowed not to prosecute abortion-related cases. District attorneys from Chatham, DeKalb, Douglas, Gwinnett, Augusta Judicial Circuit, Macon Judicial Circuit and Western Judicial Circuit (Athens) have joined the movement of nearly 90 DAs nationwide.

“We stand together in our firm belief that prosecutors have a responsibility to refrain from using limited criminal legal system resources to criminalize personal medical decisions,” a joint statement from the prosecutors reads. “As such, we decline to use our offices’ resources to criminalize reproductive health decisions and commit to exercise our well-settled discretion and refrain from prosecuting those who seek, provide, or support abortions.”

Though the Georgia law is vague in who — either the woman, person performing or aiding the abortion, or both — to persecute in

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