AP NEWS

AM-Prep: Cooler Copy

June 5, 2019

EX-CENTRAL PARK FIVE PROSECUTOR RESIGNS FROM NONPROFIT BOARDS AFTER TV SERIES ENDS

NEW YORK (AP) — A former prosecutor in the Central Park Five case has resigned from at least two nonprofit boards as backlash intensified following the release of the Netflix series “When They See Us,” a miniseries that dramatizes the events surrounding the trial.

The president of Vassar College posted a letter on the school’s website yesterday saying that Linda Fairstein had resigned as a Board of Trustees member. The victims-services agency, Safe Horizon, also confirmed Fairstein’s resignation.

Fairstein was the top Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor when five teenagers were charged with the 1989 rape and beating of a woman jogging in Central Park.

Their convictions were overturned in 2002 after a prison inmate confessed to the crime and DNA linked him to it.

The city later paid the Central Park Five $40 million.

MAN, PUPPY, TRAPPED IN GARBAGE TRUCK

PROVO, Utah (AP) — A puppy and its 43-year-old owner are recovering after getting trapped in a garbage truck.

Provo Police Sgt. Nisha King says officers rescued the man and his puppy after they got caught by the truck’s compactor mechanism. The unidentified man and puppy were sleeping in a dumpster when the truck collected and compacted the bin’s contents with them still inside.

The driver stopped the machine after hearing the man call for help. He sustained minor injuries and was treated and released from a local hospital.

King said the pit bull-lab mix puppy was not hurt and has been transported to a shelter.

SURPRISE BY ORIENTATION DEFENSE REJECTED IN CONN.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Criminal defendants in Connecticut would be barred from claiming as their sole legal defense that they panicked after learning about their victim’s sexual orientation.

The state House of Representatives approved legislation yesterday preventing defendants from using the so-called gay panic defense. That defense blames a violent reaction on discovering a victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

The legislation already cleared the Senate and now moves to the governor.

Defense attorneys unsuccessfully attempted to use the “gay panic defense” in the case of Matthew Shepard, the college student beaten to death by two men in Wyoming in 1998. The judge would not allow it, and those men were convicted.

WOMAN WHO MOSQUE AREA SENTENCED TO PROBATION

PHOENIX (AP) — A woman captured on video making derogatory comments about Muslims as she and a friend lifted Qurans and other items from an Arizona mosque was sentenced Tuesday to two years of probation for an aggravated criminal damage conviction.

Tahnee Savanna Gonzales was ordered to complete 225 hours of community service and write a letter of apology to the mosque where she, an adult friend and Gonzales’ three children took pamphlets, fliers and other items from a fenced-in courtyard behind the place of worship.

Gonzales, who faces a 30-day deferred jail sentence if she does not satisfactorily complete her probation, posted a social-media video of the encounter — including footage of her starting a shouting match with a Muslim man after he walked out of the mosque and tried to pet her dog.

“Muslims are not all terrorists any more than Christians are all (Oklahoma City bomber) Timothy McVeigh,” Superior Court Judge Mark Brain told Gonzales before he handed down the sentence.

WHITE MISSISSIPPI WOMAN CHARGE WITH BRANDISHING HANDGUN AT BLACK COUPLE AT CAMPGROUND

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A white Mississippi woman accused of brandishing a handgun at an African American couple while telling them to leave a campground faces a misdemeanor charge.

The Oktibbeha (awk-TIB’-ih-hah) County Sheriff’s Department says 70-year-old Ruby Nell Howell of Starkville turned herself yesterday and was released on bond. A sheriff’s department news release says Howell faces a misdemeanor charge of “threatening exhibition of a weapon.” She has a June 25 hearing date at Oktibbeha County Justice Court.

The charge follows last month’s widely shared video of a woman in a Kampgrounds of America shirt holding a gun as she tells the couple to leave because they had no reservation.

KOA said last week that the woman had been fired.

MLB UMPIRES INJURED

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home plate umpire Mike Everitt left a game between the Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals after being struck in the chest by a pitch last night.

Everitt was hit by a 95 mph fastball from White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez that was untouched by swinging hitter Trea Turner or catcher James McCann in the third inning.

Everitt was examined by trainers and remained in the game for the rest of the inning but was replaced in the fourth by second base umpire Lance Barrett.

Two other umpires also left games with injury yesterday. In New York, plate umpire Tom Hallion was forced to leave a game between the Giants and Mets soon after he was hit in the mask by a foul ball and in Milwaukee second base umpire Scott Barry left a game between the Marlins and Brewers with an apparent leg injury.

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