Ivory Coast's former youth minister Charles Ble Goude has returned to his home country after more than a decade in exile. Ble Goude arrived in Abidjan on Saturday aboard a commercial flight and made no comment at the airport. Ble Goude was acquitted of charges linked to the violence that erupted after the disputed 2010 election when then President Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede. Ble Goude was later arrested in 2013 in Ghana after nearly two years in hiding, and then was extradited to the International Criminal Court. After his acquittal, he sought financial compensation, saying that he was the victim of a wrongful prosecution.
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A federal judge has denied a new trial request by two men convicted of conspiring to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Lawyers for Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. alleged misconduct by a juror and unfairness by U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker following their conviction by a federal jury in August. Jonker in a written ruling Friday shot down claims of juror misconduct and said he found “no constitutional violation and no credible evidence” to convene a new hearing. Whitmer was reelected Nov. 8 to a second term. She was never physically harmed in the plot, which led to more than a dozen arrests in 2020.
A federal judge has denied a request from a 19-year-old woman to allow her to watch her father’s death by injection. The decision upholds a Missouri law that bars anyone under 21 from witnessing an execution. Kevin Johnson is set to be executed Tuesday for killing Kirkwood, Missouri, Police Officer William McEntee in 2005. Johnson’s lawyers have appeals pending that seek to spare his life. His daughter, Khorry Ramey, had sought to attend the execution. The American Civil Liberties Union had filed an emergency motion with a federal court in Kansas City. But U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes ruled late Friday that Ramey’s constitutional rights would not be violated by the law.
A former college student who randomly killed a Florida couple in their garage six years ago and then chewed on one victim’s face is finally set to go on trial on Monday. Austin Harrouff has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to two counts of first-degree murder. He waived a jury trial, so Judge Sherwood Bauer will decide whether Harrouff was insane when he killed John Stevens and Michelle Mishcon Stevens. If found guilty, Harrouff will receive a sentence of life in prison without parole. If found insane, he would go to a mental hospital, likely for life.
Katie Meyer’s parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Stanford, saying the 21-year-old goalie was distressed about facing discipline over an incident from August 2021. Meyer took her own life in late February. The civil lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court. USA Today obtained the lawsuit. The lawsuit says Meyer spilled coffee on a Stanford football player who allegedly had sexually assaulted a soccer teammate. It also said that Meyer received a formal written notice on the evening of Feb. 28 that charged her with a “Violation of the Fundamental Standard.” A Stanford spokesperson told USA Today that the school “strongly disagreed” with the lawsuit’s claim.
A writer who accused former President Donald Trump of rape filed an upgraded lawsuit against him Thursday in New York, minutes after a new state law took effect allowing victims of sexual violence to sue over attacks that occurred decades ago. E. Jean Carroll’s lawyer filed the legal papers electronically as the Adult Survivor’s Act temporarily lifted the state’s usual deadlines for suing over sexual assault. Carroll previously sued Trump for denying that he raped her. But she previously had been barred from suing over the alleged rape because too many years had passed. Trump says Carroll's claims are a hoax.
The alleged shooter facing possible hate crime charges in the fatal shooting of five people at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub has been ordered held without bail in an initial court appearance. Twenty-two-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich appeared by video from jail Wednesday and could be seen slumped over in a chair with injuries visible on their face and head. Aldrich appeared to need prompting by defense attorneys when asked to state their name by the judge. Police say 17 people were injured by gunshots in last weekend's attack. The suspect faces possible murder and hate crime charges. Aldrich's attorneys say in court filings that the suspect is nonbinary but didn't elaborate.
New York officials are warning a judge that a court fight over licensing rules for marijuana dispensaries could wind up hurting small farms that just harvested their first cannabis crop. New York on Monday issued its first 36 licenses for dispensaries. The state has had to delay plans to authorize scores more because of a legal battle over licensing criteria. In a court filing Tuesday, the state asked a judge to loosen an injunction preventing licenses from being issued in some parts of the state. They said marijuana farms could lose millions of dollars if they don't have an outlet for this year's harvest.
Courts in Oregon's Multnomah County, home to Portland, have dismissed nearly 300 cases this year, including felonies, due to a shortage of public defenders. Mike Schmidt, the county's top prosecutor, calls the shortage “an urgent threat to public safety" and released a tally showing that more than 700 low-income defendants lack legal representation. Oregon's public defender system has shown cracks for years but worsened during the pandemic. The state has been sued twice this year for failing to provide public defenders in a timely manner. While the original lawsuit was dismissed, a similar second suit was filed last month.
A Montana man who was among the first people to illegally enter the U.S. Capitol while Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election has been sentenced to just over three years in prison. Joshua Hughes of East Helena was sentenced Tuesday and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution. He and his brother, Jerod Hughes, pleaded guilty in August to obstruction of an official proceeding. Jerod Hughes is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 6, 2023, the two-year anniversary of the insurrection. The Hughes brothers were near the front of a group that pursued a Capitol Police officer up the stairs before he led the mob away from the Senate floor.