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Westlake Legal Group > fnc/us (Page 47)

South Carolina pastor, buddy killed in DUI accident while helping to change a flat tire: cops

A South Carolina pastor and his friend died the night before Father’s Day after they were struck by a suspected drunk driver while changing a flat tire on the side of the highway.

Rev. Brian Kinney Walker, 49, a father of four from Columbia, was helping a buddy change a tire at around 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

SOUTH CAROLINA WOMAN ARRESTED FOR CRUISING DOWN THE ROAD IN A CHILD’S TOY TRUCK WHILE IMPAIRED

Carnelius Joseph Floyd was allegedly driving under the influence when he crashed into another vehicle on the side of the road and pushed it into the van, crushing the two men. Police said Andrew Tad Reeser, 45, the friend, died at the scene. Walker was rushed to Prisma Health Richland Hospital, where he died just before 10:45 p.m., The State reported.

According to GoFundMe, Walker’s wife Pattie and four children, Becca, 21, Isabella, 19, Jake, 17, and Connor, 14, were all at the scene of the crash. The wife and eldest daughter were taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries, the page said.

Westlake Legal Group Carnelius-Jospeh-Floyd South Carolina pastor, buddy killed in DUI accident while helping to change a flat tire: cops fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/south-carolina fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 94359153-6478-55fd-878d-c38fcbfb8f15

Carnelius Joseph Floyd faces two counts of felony DUI resulting in death. (ALVIN S. GLENN DETENTION CENTER)

Walker was the pastor of Bennettsville First Church of the Nazarene since Easter Sunday 2019. He also served as the pastor of Columbia Grace Church of the Nazarene Church Family for more than ten years over two tenures.

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Floyd was charged with two counts of felony DUI resulting in death and is being held in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center after his bond was denied, The State reported. He also faces attempted murder charges related to a 2018 shooting.

Westlake Legal Group Carnelius-Jospeh-Floyd South Carolina pastor, buddy killed in DUI accident while helping to change a flat tire: cops fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/south-carolina fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 94359153-6478-55fd-878d-c38fcbfb8f15   Westlake Legal Group Carnelius-Jospeh-Floyd South Carolina pastor, buddy killed in DUI accident while helping to change a flat tire: cops fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/south-carolina fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 94359153-6478-55fd-878d-c38fcbfb8f15

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Man pleads guilty to decapitating Montana casino patron

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Man pleads guilty to decapitating Montana casino patron fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc BILLINGS, Mont. Associated Press article 2af0cd87-5201-50b4-99b8-8852a7b00a47

One of two men charged with decapitating a casino patron has pleaded guilty.

The Billings Gazette reports that 34-year-old Jeffery Glen Haverty pleaded guilty Monday.

Haverty and 32-year-old Donald Ray Cherry were both charged with deliberate homicide in the October 2017 death of 41-year-old Myron Wesley Knight.

Prosecutors and Haverty’s attorneys say they will seek 50 years in prison under a plea agreement.

Authorities say Knight asked a Billings casino employee to hold $120 in winnings before leaving with the men.

Police say Haverty robbed Knight of his remaining $6 and began decapitating him in a transient camp.

Authorities say Cherry took part in the decapitation after returning from a gas station.

Knight’s body was found three weeks later.

Cherry’s trial is scheduled to begin in July.

___

Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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Dramatic Florida video shows driver hitting 2 cars after running red light

Westlake Legal Group Saratosa-Crash-4 Dramatic Florida video shows driver hitting 2 cars after running red light Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/tech/technologies/video fox news fnc/us fnc article 3c678508-f87d-5014-9392-1b203b06ae27

Dramatic video that police in Florida posted Monday on Twitter captured a driver running a red light and slamming into two cars without stopping.

Traffic cameras were rolling around 6:45 p.m. last Saturday night when a driver plowed into two cars driven by people who had the green light at a Sarasota intersection while a police officer was there and witnessed the crash, Fox 13 reported.

Sarasota police posted the video writing, “We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. We need drivers to #StopOnRed.”

Police added, “Thankfully there were no major injuries.”

MIAMI MAN CHARGED WITH MURDERING HIS FATHER ON FATHER’S DAY, POLICE SAY

Police said the driver who caused the crash received a citation for running the red light.

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Police said the crash was still under investigation and the driver could face charges, Fox 13 reported.

Westlake Legal Group Saratosa-Crash-4 Dramatic Florida video shows driver hitting 2 cars after running red light Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/tech/technologies/video fox news fnc/us fnc article 3c678508-f87d-5014-9392-1b203b06ae27   Westlake Legal Group Saratosa-Crash-4 Dramatic Florida video shows driver hitting 2 cars after running red light Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/tech/technologies/video fox news fnc/us fnc article 3c678508-f87d-5014-9392-1b203b06ae27

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US-Iran move closer to a flashpoint as tensions spike

The U.S. and Iran edged toward a flashpoint Monday as Tehran announced it was breaking compliance with the accord that keeps it from making nuclear weapons and the Trump administration followed by ordering 1,000 more troops to the Middle East.

The Pentagon said the deployment includes security forces and troops for additional surveillance and intelligence gathering in the region. While the number is small, it represents an escalation of U.S. military might aimed at deterring Iran and calming allies worried that transit through key shipping lanes could be in jeopardy.

Tehran’s announcement earlier Monday means it could soon start to enrich uranium to just a step away from weapons-grade levels, challenging President Donald Trump’s assurances to allies that the U.S. withdrawal from the deal last year made the world a safer place.

The developments are bound to inflame tensions in the Middle East and pose a test of resolve and credibility for both adversaries.

Iran said it would break a limit on uranium stockpiles established by the 2015 agreement with world powers that was intended to restrict the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in exchange for an easing of international sanctions.

After Trump withdrew from the agreement, signed by his predecessor, he reinstated punishing economic sanctions, leaving the European and other partners in the accord struggling to keep Iran on board.

On Monday, the U.S. administration found itself in the awkward position of demanding that Iran comply with a nuclear accord that the president derided as the worst deal in history.

“We continue to call on the Iranian regime not to obtain a nuclear weapon, to abide by their commitments to the international community,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters.

The move comes as Washington accuses Iran of attacking two tankers near the Persian Gulf and the Iranians deny responsibility. With details murky and no one owning up to the attacks, the Pentagon released new photos intended to bolster its case that Iran carried out the attacks.

The State Department spokeswoman said Iran’s uranium announcement amounted to “extortion” and a “challenge to international norms,” as well as to the 2015 agreement known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“It’s unfortunate that they have made this announcement today,” Ortagus said. “It doesn’t surprise anybody and this is why the president has often said that the JCPOA needs to be replaced with a better deal.”

Trump appeared to say the deal should not be violated in a tweet: “Iran to defy Uranium Stockpile Limits.”

In announcing the new deployment, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the forces are “for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East.”

“The United States does not seek conflict with Iran,” Shanahan said. “The action today is being taken to ensure the safety and welfare of our military personnel working throughout the region and to protect our national interests.” He added that the U.S. will continue to adjust troop levels as needed.

On the unravelling of the multinational nuclear deal, some of its supporters blamed the Trump administration for Iran’s provocative announcements, saying they were predictable given the renewed U.S. pressure.

“While Iran’s frustration with Trump’s reckless and irresponsible pressure campaign is understandable, we strongly urge Iran to remain in compliance with the nuclear deal,” the Arms Control Association said in a statement. “It remains in Iran’s interests to abide by the limits of the agreement and to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s more intrusive monitoring and verification.”

Iran has shown no willingness to negotiate another deal and vowed not enter into talks with the United States while the administration maintains its “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions.

Administration officials found themselves Monday grappling with whether to press the remaining parties to the deal, including Britain, France and Germany, to demand that Iran stay in compliance. They must also consider if such a stance would essentially concede that the restrictions imposed during the Obama administration, while short of ideal, are better than none.

Under the deal, Iran can keep a stockpile of no more than 660 pounds (300 kilograms) of low-enriched uranium. Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s atomic agency, said it would pass that limit June 27.

A senior U.S. official said the administration is most concerned about any violation of the deal that would reduce the breakout time that Iran would need to produce a nuclear weapon. The deal aimed to keep the breakout time at one year.

The official said certain violations, while they should be not accepted, would not necessarily reduce that time. But other violations, such as enriching uranium to 20%, should be addressed immediately if they occur, the official said. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said it would be up to the Europeans to decide if Iran was in violation of the deal and whether to initiate a dispute resolution mechanism that could bring the Iranians back into compliance. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to meet this week with E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, a leading deal proponent, at which this issue is likely to be raised.

Pompeo, who was a leading critic of the deal while he was in Congress, has said in the past that Iranian compliance is not really an issue as the administration sees the agreement as fundamentally flawed because over time it eases many limits on Iran’s nuclear activities.

Yet, just last week, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog accused Iran of violating a provision of the deal that relates to advanced centrifuges and called on the Europeans to ensure that Iran remains in compliance.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-33774f4db3d640d4a0c8e38d55e23d91 US-Iran move closer to a flashpoint as tensions spike MATTHEW LEE fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7d907bc4-c69c-5588-bea3-30cf57e01b69   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-33774f4db3d640d4a0c8e38d55e23d91 US-Iran move closer to a flashpoint as tensions spike MATTHEW LEE fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7d907bc4-c69c-5588-bea3-30cf57e01b69

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US sending more troops to Middle East as Iran tensions mount

The Pentagon on Monday ordered another 1,000 American troops to the Middle East, moving to bolster security in a region reeling from hostile attacks on commercial ships that the U.S. has blamed on Iran.

Officials said the deployment includes security forces and troops for additional surveillance and intelligence gathering in the region. And while the number is small, it represents an escalation of U.S. military might aimed at deterring Iran and calming allies worried that transit through key shipping lanes could be in jeopardy.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan issued a statement saying the forces are “for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East.”

The forces are part of a broader military package of options that were initially laid out to U.S. leaders late last month, totaling as much as 10,000 forces, Patriot missile batteries, aircraft and ships. The decision to send 1,000 troops signals a measured approached by President Donald Trump, who campaigned against the Mideast entanglements of his predecessors and has struggled to bring troops home, despite ongoing threats.

“The United States does not seek conflict with Iran,” Shanahan said. “The action today is being taken to ensure the safety and welfare of our military personnel working throughout the region and to protect our national interests.” He added that the U.S. will continue to adjust troop levels as needed.

The troop decision comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other top officials reached out to leaders in Asia and Europe to convince them that Iran was behind the alleged attacks on ships in the Middle East. The Pentagon released new photos intended to bolster its case that Iran was to blame.

The images, many taken from a Navy helicopter, show what the Pentagon said were Iranian forces removing an unexploded mine from the side of the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman.

Officials last week said the move appeared to be an attempt to remove forensic evidence from the scene of the attack. But it’s not clear if examination of the mine would have made it definitively clear that the device was planted by the IRGC.

The Trump administration also finds itself in the awkward position of demanding that Iran comply with a nuclear accord that the president has derided as the worst deal in history.

Iran announced Monday it would break a limit on uranium stockpiles established by a 2015 agreement with world powers that was intended to restrict the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in exchange for an easing of international sanctions.

Trump withdrew from the agreement, signed by his predecessor, and reinstated punishing economic sanctions, resulting in sharply rising tensions that deteriorated further with Iran’s warning that it could soon start to enrich uranium to just a step away from weapons-grade levels.

That put the State Department in the position of defending the limits set by the 2015 deal that was so maligned by Trump and his national security team.

“We continue to call on the Iranian regime not to obtain a nuclear weapon, to abide by their commitments to the international community,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters.

Ortagus said Iran’s uranium announcement amounted to “extortion” and a “challenge to international norms,” as well as to the 2015 agreement known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“It’s unfortunate that they have made this announcement today,” Ortagus said. “It doesn’t surprise anybody and this is why the president has often said that the JCPOA needs to be replaced with a better deal.”

Supporters of the deal blamed the Trump administration for Iran’s provocative announcements, saying they were entirely predictable given the renewed U.S. pressure.

“While Iran’s frustration with Trump’s reckless and irresponsible pressure campaign is understandable, we strongly urge Iran to remain in compliance with the nuclear deal,” the Arms Control Association said in a statement. “It remains in Iran’s interests to abide by the limits of the agreement and to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s more intrusive monitoring and verification.”

Iran has shown no willingness to negotiate another deal and vowed not enter into talks with the United States while the administration maintains its “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions.

Administration officials are grappling with whether to press the remaining parties to the deal, including Britain, France and Germany, to demand that Iran stay in compliance. They must also consider if such a stance would essentially concede that the restrictions imposed during the Obama administration, while short of ideal, are better than none.

Under the deal, Iran can keep a stockpile of no more than 660 pounds (300 kilograms) of low-enriched uranium. Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s atomic agency, said it would pass that limit June 27.

A senior U.S. official said the administration is most concerned about any violation of the deal that would reduce the breakout time Iran would need to produce a nuclear weapon. The deal aimed to keep the breakout time at one year.

The official said certain violations, while they should be not accepted, would not necessarily reduce that time. But other violations, such as enriching uranium to 20%, should be addressed immediately if they occur, the official said. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said it would be up to the Europeans to decide if Iran was in violation of the deal and whether to initiate a dispute resolution mechanism that could bring the Iranians back into compliance. Pompeo is expected to meet this week with E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, a leading deal proponent, and this issue is likely to be raised.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-9143e7e508b449a69f8ce8d0909b75d9 US sending more troops to Middle East as Iran tensions mount LOLITA C. BALDOR and MATTHEW LEE fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7d907bc4-c69c-5588-bea3-30cf57e01b69   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-9143e7e508b449a69f8ce8d0909b75d9 US sending more troops to Middle East as Iran tensions mount LOLITA C. BALDOR and MATTHEW LEE fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7d907bc4-c69c-5588-bea3-30cf57e01b69

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The Latest: Health authorities threaten US Steel shutdown

The Latest on a fire at U.S. Steel coke plant (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

Health authorities are threatening to shut down U.S. Steel’s suburban Pittsburgh coke plant unless it comes into compliance with air emissions standards.

The Allegheny County Health Department issued an emergency order Monday after a fire at the steel producer’s coke works in Clairton knocked out equipment used to remove toxic gases.

Health officials say U.S. Steel must submit a plan within 24 hours and achieve compliance with emissions limits for hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide within 20 days.

The health department says air monitors have not detected elevated sulfur dioxide levels from the early-morning fire. Officials say residents should be aware of the potential for elevated levels of the gas but don’t yet need to take precautions.

___

Noon

Health officials in western Pennsylvania say a fire at U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works has shut down pollution control systems, and residents are being warned about possible elevated levels of sulfur dioxide.

The Allegheny County health department says fire in an electrical breaker panel shortly after 4:30 a.m. Monday shut down three control rooms, and two still down house equipment used to operate pollution controls, including desulfurization.

Officials say the elderly, parents of children and people with respiratory conditions should be aware that elevated levels of sulfur dioxide are possible.

U.S. Steel says it is taking mitigation steps such as replacing coke oven gas with natural gas and flaring while the damage is being repaired.

The same two control rooms were damaged in a $40 million Christmas Eve fire.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-e735f4abaf1e49cabb0949d6d1cae460 The Latest: Health authorities threaten US Steel shutdown fox-news/us/environment/air fnc/us fnc CLAIRTON, Pa. Associated Press article 405a7665-2172-5047-a7d4-62dcde457dac   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-e735f4abaf1e49cabb0949d6d1cae460 The Latest: Health authorities threaten US Steel shutdown fox-news/us/environment/air fnc/us fnc CLAIRTON, Pa. Associated Press article 405a7665-2172-5047-a7d4-62dcde457dac

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Lawyers ask board to spare condemned Georgia man’s life

A Georgia man scheduled for execution this week didn’t cause the slaying for which he was condemned and should not be put to death, his lawyers argue.

Marion Wilson Jr., 42, is set to die Thursday. He and Robert Earl Butts Jr. were convicted of murder in the March 1996 slaying of Donovan Corey Parks in Milledgeville, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southeast of Atlanta.

Butts, who was 40, was executed last year.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday declassified the clemency application Wilson’s lawyers filed ahead of a closed-door clemency hearing on Wednesday. The parole board is the only authority in Georgia that can commute a death sentence.

Wilson’s lawyers describe a childhood characterized by abuse, neglect and instability that led him to engage in criminal behavior that escalated as he got older. They argue his trial lawyers failed to present evidence of brain impairments likely caused by his mother’s use of drugs and alcohol during pregnancy and failed to counter prosecutors’ misstatements and exaggerations.

While there was enough evidence to convict him, it doesn’t support a death sentence, Wilson’s lawyers argue.

A witness heard Butts ask Parks for a ride at a Walmart store on March 28, 1996, prosecutors have said.

Butts was in the front passenger seat and Wilson was in the back as they left the parking lot, according to court filings. Parks’ body was found lying face down on a nearby residential street a short time later. Butts and Wilson fled in Parks’ car, later burning it after trying unsuccessfully to find someone to buy it, prosecutors said.

“Marion Wilson admittedly should not have been in Donovan Parks’ car that night, but he was not the man who shot Mr. Parks causing his death,” Wilson’s lawyers wrote.

While Wilson suspected Butts planned to rob someone, he didn’t know Butts meant to harm or kill anyone, they wrote.

Former Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright, who prosecuted both men, testified under oath years later that he believed Butts was the shooter.

During the sentencing phase of Wilson’s trial, Bright told jurors “without a shred of evidence” that Wilson shot Parks, Wilson’s lawyers wrote. But during the sentencing phase of Butts’ trial a year later, Bright told jurors the state had proved Butts pulled the trigger.

“That the prosecution falsely maintained that Marion was the shooter in order to obtain the death penalty was, and still remains, highly unethical and contrary to the State’s higher duty of probity and truthfulness in any criminal proceeding,” Wilson’s lawyers wrote.

Bright also exaggerated Wilson’s juvenile criminal record and provided misleading speculation on Wilson’s gang involvement, the clemency application says.

Bright died last year. But Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, who was the Baldwin County chief deputy sheriff when Parks was killed, said Wilson called himself the “enforcer” for a violent gang and that both men were responsible for Parks’ death.

“No, we don’t know which one of them pulled the trigger, but we do know without any doubt that Marion Wilson and Robert Earl Butts, acting in concert together as parties to the crime, robbed and murdered Donovan Parks,” Sills wrote in a letter to the parole board.

He wrote that Wilson has “lived one continuous life of crime” from the time he was very young and “has demonstrated no respect for the law and astonishingly no respect for life itself.”

Before Wilson’s trial, Bright offered him a plea deal that would include the possibility of parole, his lawyers wrote, noting that Bright never offered Butts a deal.

Wilson’s lawyers ask the parole board “to consider Marion’s rejection of the plea deal as the unsurprising response of an immature youth whose abysmal childhood and accompanying lack of judgment led him to make poor choices about the course of his life.”

They urge the board to give him another chance at a life sentence with the opportunity “to prove himself worthy of parole” or, alternatively, to resentence him to life in prison without parole.

Wilson’s lawyers are also seeking a new trial and DNA testing on the necktie worn by Parks. They say the necktie was critical to the prosecution’s argument that Wilson pulled Parks from the car and shot him.

A judge has rejected that request. Wilson’s lawyers are asking the state Supreme Court to halt his execution and hear an appeal of the lower court’s ruling.

Westlake Legal Group 6e42ac28-ContentBroker_contentid-b983f2ff04094d7182f6c91dbba6276e Lawyers ask board to spare condemned Georgia man's life KATE BRUMBACK fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc cda61985-2ea1-5ac3-b9aa-3aaab19b1aaf Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group 6e42ac28-ContentBroker_contentid-b983f2ff04094d7182f6c91dbba6276e Lawyers ask board to spare condemned Georgia man's life KATE BRUMBACK fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc cda61985-2ea1-5ac3-b9aa-3aaab19b1aaf Associated Press article

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California warehouse fire defendant: No one was in charge

The San Francisco Bay Area warehouse where a fire killed 36 people more than two years ago was a communal artist enclave where nobody was fully in charge, one of two men blamed for the fire testified Monday.

Max Harris told a packed Oakland courtroom that everyone treated each other as friends in the shared space known as the Ghost Ship, where at least once a month, residents invited people to the warehouse for gatherings to play music or showcase their art.

“There was no power structure,” Harris said. “It was an autonomous place where everybody brought their insights to the table. There was a lot of shared understanding among the residents as far as what’s appropriate behavior. Everyone understood what the space is.”

Harris faces involuntary manslaughter charges along with Derick Almena, who is accused of illegally converting the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse into an artist live-work space where the Dec. 2, 2016, fire killed 36 people.

Prosecutors allege that Almena, 49, stuffed the warehouse full of highly flammable furniture, pianos, rugs and other material and failed to provide smoke detectors, fire alarms, sprinklers and other required safety equipment. Prosecutors say Harris, 29, helped Almena convert the warehouse, collect rent and schedule concerts.

Both men pleaded no contest to 36 counts of manslaughter last summer, but a judge scuttled the plea deal after victims’ families objected to their proposed sentences as too lenient.

Judge James Cramer said he rejected the deal because he felt Almena did not show remorse.

Harris’ lawyers say he was made a scapegoat for the tragedy. He testified Monday that he was a struggling tattoo artist and jewelry maker when he found a Craigslist ad offering a studio within the large warehouse for $750 per month. After moving in, he performed menial tasks such as cleaning the communal space and pooling the monthly rent to reduce his rent.

He said the landlord hired an unlicensed electrician to perform electrical work at the warehouse and an auto body shop next door. When the lights went out at the warehouse, Harris said he sometimes had to call workers at the auto body shop to replace the fuse.

Although fire inspectors never determined the cause of the fire, prosecutors raised the possibility that the fire was caused by electrical equipment.

Harris’ attorney, Curtis Briggs, said his client’s testimony showed the electrical system “was completely jerry-rigged and illegally done.”

“If the prosecution wants to advance that theory, then the owners and the electrician should be on the defense seat,” Briggs said.

The owner of the building has not been charged and has not spoken about the fire.

Prosecutors say a fire alarm went off the night of the fire but no one heard it. The warehouse also lacked sprinklers to slow the blaze so people had time to escape.

Harris and Almena are also accused of failing to provide adequate safety equipment, exits and signage.

In his opening statement last month, Briggs sought to distance his client from Almena and raised the possibility of arson as he tried to shift blame to others.

Defense witness Sharon Evans testified earlier this month that while the fire raged, she heard a group of men celebrating, saying no one was going to come out alive. She said she heard them indicate they set the fire themselves, although most of her testimony wasn’t allowed to be heard by the jury after the prosecution objected that it was hearsay, the East Bay Times reported.

Federal fire officials traced the origin of the fire to a back corner of the warehouse’s ground floor but could not determine a cause.

The men could face up to 36 years each if convicted on all counts.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-3be101a47e5242828578d79f644656d7 California warehouse fire defendant: No one was in charge fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc e1739fe9-d514-5026-9ef3-0e4d62a40ebb DAISY NGUYEN Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-3be101a47e5242828578d79f644656d7 California warehouse fire defendant: No one was in charge fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/crime fnc/us fnc e1739fe9-d514-5026-9ef3-0e4d62a40ebb DAISY NGUYEN Associated Press article

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Report: Childhood poverty persists in fast-growing Southwest

A report on childhood well-being shows improved overall chances for U.S. children to thrive based on broad measures of economic circumstances, education and community support.

Released Monday, the annual Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation also finds that the number of children living in poverty has swelled over the past three decades in fast-growing, ethnically diverse states such as Texas, Arizona and Nevada as the nation’s population center shifts south and west.

About 18% of the nation’s children live in poverty, down from 22% in 2010 during the Great recession.

Since 1990, however, the national rate of childhood poverty has remained unchanged as the number of impoverished children swelled border and Southwest states.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-7a4643ddc7ea43fd8bbf8f2776fbc50e Report: Childhood poverty persists in fast-growing Southwest MORGAN LEE fox-news/us fnc/us fnc Associated Press article a89a24fc-e324-5c6f-8db2-b5ac66360526   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-7a4643ddc7ea43fd8bbf8f2776fbc50e Report: Childhood poverty persists in fast-growing Southwest MORGAN LEE fox-news/us fnc/us fnc Associated Press article a89a24fc-e324-5c6f-8db2-b5ac66360526

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US: Iran should still comply with nuke deal Trump derided

The Trump administration found itself in the awkward position Monday of demanding that Iran comply with a nuclear accord that the president has derided as the worst deal in history.

Iran announced Monday it would break a limit on uranium stockpiles established by a 2015 agreement with world powers that was intended to restrict the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in exchange for an easing of international sanctions.

President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement, signed by his predecessor, and reinstated punishing economic sanctions, resulting in sharply rising tensions that deteriorated further with the Iranian warning that it could soon start to enrich uranium to just a step away from weapons-grade levels.

That put the State Department in the position of defending the limits set by the 2015 deal that was so maligned by Trump and his national security team.

“We continue to call on the Iranian regime not to obtain a nuclear weapon, to abide by their commitments to the international community,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters.

The Iranian announcement seemed likely to further inflame Mideast tensions as the U.S. was working with allies on a response to attacks on two oil tankers near the Persian Gulf that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said was carried out by Iranian forces.

The State Department spokeswoman said Iran’s uranium announcement amounted to “extortion” and a “challenge to international norms,” as well as to the 2015 agreement known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“It’s unfortunate that they have made this announcement today,” Ortagus said. “It doesn’t surprise anybody and this is why the president has often said that the JCPOA needs to be replaced with a better deal.”

Trump appeared to say the JCPOA should not be violated in a tweet that said “Iran to defy Uranium Stockpile Limits.”

Supporters of the deal, meanwhile, blamed the administration for Iran’s provocative announcements, saying they were entirely predictable given the renewed U.S. pressure.

“While Iran’s frustration with Trump’s reckless and irresponsible pressure campaign is understandable, we strongly urge Iran to remain in compliance with the nuclear deal,” the Arms Control Association said in a statement. “It remains in Iran’s interests to abide by the limits of the agreement and to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s more intrusive monitoring and verification.”

Iran has shown no willingness to negotiate another deal and vowed not enter into talks while the United States while the administration maintains its “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions.

Administration officials found themselves Monday grappling with whether to urge the remaining parties to the deal, including Britain, France and Germany, to demand that Iran stay in compliance. They must also consider if such a stance would essentially concede that the restrictions imposed during the Obama administration, while short of ideal, are better than none.

Under the deal, Iran can keep a stockpile of no more than 660 pounds (300 kilograms) of low-enriched uranium. Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for Iran’s atomic agency said it would pass that limit on Thursday, June 27.

A senior U.S. official said the administration is most concerned about any violation of the deal that would reduce the breakout time that Iran would need to produce a nuclear weapon. The deal aimed to keep the breakout time at one year.

The official said certain violations, while they should be not accepted, would not necessarily reduce that time. But other violations, including enriching uranium to 20% should be addressed immediately if they occur, the official said. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said it would be up to the Europeans to decide if Iran was in violation of the deal and whether to initiate a dispute resolution mechanism that could bring the Iranians back into compliance. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to meet this week with E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, a leading deal proponent, at which this issue is likely to be raised.

Pompeo, who was a leading critic of the deal while he was in Congress, has said in the past that Iranian compliance is not really an issue as the administration sees the agreement as fundamentally flawed because over time it eases many limits on Iran’s nuclear activities.

Yet, just last week, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog accused Iran of violating a provision of the deal that relates to advanced centrifuges and called on the Europeans to ensure that Iran remains in compliance.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-33774f4db3d640d4a0c8e38d55e23d91 US: Iran should still comply with nuke deal Trump derided MATTHEW LEE fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7d907bc4-c69c-5588-bea3-30cf57e01b69   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-33774f4db3d640d4a0c8e38d55e23d91 US: Iran should still comply with nuke deal Trump derided MATTHEW LEE fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7d907bc4-c69c-5588-bea3-30cf57e01b69

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