Law

Law
8:53 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Jury to decide fate of Detroit cop who shot Aiyana Stanley-Jones

Jurors will get instructions from a judge and then start deliberations in the trial of a Detroit police officer charged in the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old girl.

Joseph Weekley told jurors Thursday that he wasn't reckless when he accidentally fired his gun during a raid, killing Aiyana Stanley-Jones three years ago. He says he was struggling with Aiyana's grandmother over the gun.

The jury is returning to court Friday. Weekley is charged with involuntary manslaughter, a felony, but the jury also can consider it a misdemeanor crime.

Prosecutor Rob Moran says there was no interference from grandmother Mertilla Jones. But defense attorney Steve Fishman says Jones has no credibility because she's told different stories about what happened.

Aiyana was killed when police raided a house to capture a murder suspect.

Law
5:21 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Judge kicks Duggan off Detroit mayoral ballot

Mike Duggan (file photo)

One of the two front-runners in the Detroit mayoral race is off the ballot for the August primary.

Mike Duggan is the former CEO of the Detroit Medical Center.

He registered to vote in the city on April 16, 2012.

According to city law, a candidate for elected office must be a registered voter a full year before filing.

Duggan filed his nominating signatures for his mayoral run April 2, 2013 - fourteen days short of the requirement.

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Law
8:23 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Charges dismissed in airport pressure cooker case

DETROIT (AP) - Charges have been dismissed against a Saudi man arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after a pressure cooker was found in his bag.

Hussain Al Khawahir was arrested May 11th and charged with giving false statements to federal agents and possessing an altered passport. Authorities said he lied about why he was traveling with the pressure cooker.

The U.S. Attorney's Office told the Detroit Free Press in a statement Friday that Hussain Al Khawahir "will go immediately into the custody of U.S. Customs and Border protection for removal" from the U.S.

Law
10:23 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Court appearance for I-96 shooting suspect Raulie Casteel

I-96 shooting suspect Raulie Casteel.
Livingston County Sheriff's Department

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) - A man charged by the Michigan attorney general's office with a series of shootings on and off Interstate 96 last fall has a court appearance scheduled in Livingston County.

The hearing for Raulie Casteel is set for Friday before Circuit Judge David Reader.

In a separate but related case in Oakland County, Casteel faces attempted murder among 60 charges linked to shootings in Commerce Township and Wixom. The 44-year-old defendant is set to stand trial in that case in November.

The AG's office is prosecuting Casteel on terrorism and other charges in Livingston County.

He's accused in two-dozen random shootings in a four-county area in October. One man was hurt.

Defense attorneys say Casteel is married with no criminal history and has been diagnosed as having a delusional disorder.

Law
5:13 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

AATA does not have to put anti-Israel ad on its buses

AATA

A federal judge says a new advertisement policy adopted by Ann Arbor's bus system is constitutional - unlike its old one.

The new policy bans all political ads.  It was adopted after the bus system rejected an ad for being in "bad taste."

That proposed ad called for a boycott of Israel, and featured an image of a spider crushing a skull.

The federal judge told the AATA in a previous court ruling that the "bad taste" policy could violate free speech rights.

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Law
9:58 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Blacks more than 3 times as likely as whites to be arrested for pot possession

Marijuana plants.
user r0bz Flickr

Blacks are 3.3 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession in Michigan, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The study shows Michigan’s racial discrepancy is close to the national average, despite the fact that blacks and whites use marijuana at roughly equal rates.

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Stateside
7:55 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Recent LGBT tolerance in Michigan mirror national trends

Yvonne Siferd is the Director of Victim Services at Equality Michigan
LinkedIn

An interview with Yvonne Siferd, the director of Victim Services at Equality Michigan.

In August 2012, a 26-year-old Detroiter named Everett Dwayne Avery made gay slurs and attacked Justin Alesna in line at a gas station. 

Avery was sentenced to 18 months in prison after he plead guilty to violating the Federal Hate Crimes Protection Act.

Equality Michigan is a group that is part of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) that works to end violence against and within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-affected communities.

The group recently released a report on anti-LGBTQ and HIV-affected hate violence.

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Law
4:10 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Trial begins today for officer who shot seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones

A protest in 2010 after Aiyana Stanley-Jones was shot
multi.lectical Flickr

The trial of a Detroit police officer who fatally shot a seven-year-old girl began today.

Officer Joseph Weekley shot Aiyana Stanley-Jones during a botched raid for a murder suspect in 2010. 

Weekley is charged with involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors say he showed "gross negligence" in shooting the little girl. 

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Law
2:02 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

The 6 most dangerous neighborhoods in Michigan

Looking down Livernois Avenue in Detroit. Location, Inc. ranks this area as the most dangerous in the country.
Google Maps

With all the problems in Flint and Detroit, it's no surprise we see these cities end up on "most dangerous cities" lists.

The lists are generated using violent crime statistics from the FBI's annual "Uniform Crime Reports."

But all cities have neighborhoods prone to crime and many other neighborhoods that are not. They are safe, for the most part.

Location, Inc. says they took data from the FBI and other "exclusive data" developed by the company to rank the safety of specific neighborhoods around the country. 

Earlier this month, they released their list, Top 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in America, on their website NeighborhoodScout. There are six Michigan neighborhoods on the list. The top three are in Detroit.

(Click on the street names below to see a map of the neighborhoods.)

  1. Detroit (West Chicago / Livernois Avenue)
  2. Detroit (Mack Avenue / Helen Street)
  3. Detroit (Gratiot Avenue / Rosemary)
  4. Detroit (Wyoming Street / Orangelawn Street)
  5. Saginaw (East Holland Avenue / East Genesee Avenue)
  6. Flint (Chambers Street / Stonegate Drive)
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Law
4:37 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

State budget could boost funding for Michigan's veterans' homes

Money awarded to help homeless veterans.
user anonymonous Flickr

Veterans' homes in Michigan could see an increase of about $1.7 million in next year's state budget.

Jeff Barnes is the director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs agency.

"The state is currently ill equipped to deal with some of the metal health challenges that some of our veterans face," Barnes said. "This is an investment that we feel is good for the members of the homes but it is also starts to helps us deal with some of the future care concerns that we have."

The extra funds could also help "increase the number of skilled nursing that we have to also address some of the issues we have with mental health and psychiatric care in the homes and then put some additional controls in place to make sure we are doing our do diligence with pharmaceutical controls" says Barnes.

The budget is expected to see a vote in the legislature in the coming weeks.

-Lindsay Hall, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Law
3:18 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Legislation proposed to criminalize bullying

Bullying like this could soon be a crime in Michigan.
NCWD/youth

Bullying could lead to jail time or a major fine in Michigan under legislation introduced Tuesday.

State Representative Dale Zorn says bullying someone, including cyber-bullying or calling someone a derogatory name, would be a criminal offense on a second occasion.

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Law
2:57 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Hathaway sentenced to 12 months and one day

Former Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway leaving the federal courthouse in Ann Arbor with her attorney Steve Fishman.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison by U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara today in federal court. She was also ordered to pay $90,000 in restitution to ING bank. 

She will also serve two years supervised release after she gets out of prison.

Her attorney Steven Fishman says Hathaway will pay the fine today.

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Law
11:37 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Brass bell stolen from Detroit Catholic church

Sweetest Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church, Detroit, Michigan
Panoramio

DETROIT (AP) - Thieves struck a Detroit church and swiped a brass bell that's more than 100 years old.

The bell belongs to Sweetest Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church. Officials believe a lock was cut on a fence that surrounds the church grounds Thursday night or early Friday morning.

Law
12:49 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Former Detroit Public Library official charged with bribery

Detroit Public Library

Tim Cromer, the former chief administrative officer for the Detroit Public Library, was charged with taking $1.4 million dollars in bribes.

Cromer and two contractors were indicted on 21 counts after the FBI raided the library offices last November.

Christine MacDonald of The Detroit News has more:

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Law
11:45 am
Thu May 23, 2013

The difficulties of setting a legal limit for high driving in Michigan

A marijuana plant.
user elioja Flickr

On Tuesday, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana patients are not automatically breaking the law if caught driving after using marijuana.

Passed in 2008 by Michigan voters, the state’s Medical Marihuana Act does prohibit patients from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of pot.

But the law fails to explicitly say just how much THC, marijuana’s active ingredient, needs to be in the bloodstream for a user to be considered “under the influence.”

Which is why the justices offered this piece of advice to lawmakers: Set a legal limit for pot consumption, just like the blood alcohol content metric for alcohol intoxication.

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Law
5:48 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Ex-Detroit library official indicted in bribery scheme

DETROIT (AP) - The ex-technology chief for Detroit's public libraries and two former business contractors are charged in a $1.4 million bribe and kickback scheme.

The U.S. Justice Department announced the indictments Tuesday.

Forty-six-year-old Timothy Cromer was the library system's chief administrative and technology officer in 2006-13.

The Associated Press left a phone message at his West Bloomfield home Tuesday afternoon seeking comment.

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Law
11:43 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Suspended judge faces tenure commission hearing

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A judge who a state agency says had an affair with a woman who had a child-support case pending in his court is facing a key hearing.

The Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission hearing for Wayne County Circuit Judge Wade McCree began Monday in Ann Arbor and could last several days. A retired judge is presiding.

Geniene La'Shay Mott disclosed an affair with McCree in December. He was placed on leave and then suspended without pay in February.

The commission says McCree lied during the agency's ethics investigation and falsely reported to prosecutors that Mott was stalking him.

McCree's attorney, Brian Einhorn, has said the judge shouldn't lose his job.

The state Supreme Court reprimanded McCree last year after he sent a shirtless photo of himself to a female court employee.

Law
11:43 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Dow Chemical plans to appeal a big class action suit decision

dow.com

A federal judge has slapped Midland-based Dow Chemical with a billion dollar judgment in a price fixing case. The company allegedly colluded with its competitors to fix the price of urethane.

The collusion allegedly occurred between 1998 and 2003. Urethane is used in automotive, construction, appliance and furniture products.

In February, a jury turned in a 400 million dollar verdict against Dow Chemical. This week, a federal judge tripled the penalty to $1.2 billion.   

Dow plans to appeal the verdict. BASF, Huntsman International and Lyondell Chemical Company have already reached out of court settlements with the plaintiffs.

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Law
5:36 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Shelter for sexually trafficked girls launched in Grand Rapids

A group that opened the state's first shelter for underage victims of sex trafficking says there's a need for more such shelters.

Andy Soper is with the Manasseh Project, which opened the 12-bed shelter six months ago.

"We're seeing the growth in the young women getting back up to their grade level in school, working diligently on their therapy and their recovery process, getting jobs, so we're seeing progress and it's wonderful to see," Soper told Michigan Radio.

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Law
5:10 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Don't know much about Detroit's new Chief of Police? Read this.

James Craig was named Detroit's Chief of Police today
LinkedIn

Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr named former Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig as Detroit's new Chief of Police.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Hulett attended the press conference, where Orr announced that Craig will begin July 1, 2013:

The new police chief of Michigan's largest city says he's committed to reducing violence and making the Detroit Police Department a premier police agency.

This announcement followed the plan that Orr outlined in his 45-day report on Detroit's economic status. 

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