August 29, 2011
Warren Jeffs, convicted leader of a polygamous church based on the Arizona-Utah border, was in a medically induced coma at a Texas hospital Monday, a source tells the Associated Press.
Michelle Lyons, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said the 55-year-old “prophet” of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was sent to East Texas Medical Facility on Sunday evening.
“When he left last night, he was responsive,” said Lyons. “It doesn’t appear he was taking in enough food and fluids, but that’s not the only issue.”
STORY: Jeffs gets life in prison
She declined to say what other medical problems are affecting Jeffs.
The FLDS sect, which is not affiliated with the mainstream Mormon church, advocates polygamy as a key to salvation, and approves of marriage to brides who are legally underage.
Jeffs was convicted earlier this month of sexual assault against two girls who were his “spiritual wives” in Texas, where one gave birth to a child. He is serving a life sentence at the Powledge Unit of Texas State Prison, in Palestine, where he was placed last week.
Lyons said Jeffs is housed in protective custody at the prison because of his notoriety, serving in solitary confinement with one hour of daily recreation. He is among only 85 inmates in the 156,000-prisoner Texas corrections system to be assigned protective custody.
Article: USA TODAY
(CNN) — A man who went snorkeling with missing U.S. woman Robyn Gardner in Aruba shortly before she vanished is the beneficiary of a $1.5 million accidental death insurance policy tied to Gardner, a local official told CNN Wednesday.
Gary Giordano, 50, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, has told investigators that he went snorkeling with the Gardner, 35, on August 2 and that she failed to return to shore with him.
Giordano and Gardner flew to Aruba on July 31. A local judge recently ordered that Giordano could be held until August 31 in connection with Gardner’s disappearance.
Washington (CNN) — Baseball legend Roger Clemens is hoping to pitch a no-hitter against prosecutors, who are hoping a judge will again put him on trial for allegedly lying to Congress.
Lawyers for the former New York Yankees pitcher filed late Friday a sharply worded critique of prosecutors for their attempt to apologize for showing the jury evidence previously ruled inadmissible.
The judge declared a mistrial last month after the evidence was presented in court.
“The government’s use of this particular exhibit was premeditated,” the defense team wrote, and “not as innocent as the government suggests.”
At issue is a televised congressional hearing from 2008, and an exchange between a lawmaker and the wife of a former Clemens teammate, Andy Pettitte.
The judge had ruled in pre-trial proceedings that the wife’s testimony about steroid use was uncorroborated and inadmissible.
Yet most of the extended video had played for the jury before the judge realized it included the prohibited discussion.
Defense attorneys pounced on the revelation as a deliberate move by prosecutors and have asked the judge to dismiss the indictment.
“This was a critical video clip for the government, featuring a strident accuser of Mr. Clemens quoting what is widely (but wrongly) thought to be corroboration of his guilt,” the defense wrote Friday.
Clemens is fighting a six-count indictment accusing him of lying to Congress as lawmakers investigated the illicit use of steroids in professional baseball. He has denied using performance-enhancing drugs during his professional baseball career.
(CNN) — The highest court in Texas has upheld a special “sin tax” imposed on “sexually oriented” businesses, which the state openly says it hopes will discourage “secondary behaviors” allegedly associated with those going to watch unclothed dancers.
The Texas Supreme Court on Friday said the $5-per-patron fee was constitutional and did not violate the free speech rights of club owners.
“The fee in this case is clearly directed not at expression in nude dancing but at the secondary effects of nude dancing when alcohol is being consumed,” said Justice Nathan Hecht. “An adult entertainment business can avoid the fee altogether simply by not allowing alcohol to be consumed.”
The state-imposed fee was passed by the Legislature four years ago, and was designed to deter “negative secondary effects” of nude entertainment, particularly at establishments where alcohol is served. Such “social ills” were identified by the state as rape, sexual assault, prostitution and disorderly conduct.
At issue is whether the fee amounted to a “content-based” tax — directed at the “constitutionally protected expression in nude dancing.” The state equated the fee to a zoning ordinance.
An Amarillo strip club and the Texas Entertainment Association — a trade group for the exotic dancing industry — had sued the state. Chandra Brown, owner of Players nightclub in the western part of the state, argued the statutory fee was in reality a tax, a distinction the state court concluded really made no difference.
Brown had testified the fee unfairly and directly targeted her dancers, and that the added cost of the fee would drive away customers, who must also pay a $4 cover charge.
The state justices rejected that argument.
“The $5 fee is a minimal restriction on the businesses, so small that (the clubs) argue it is ineffective. And the business that seeks to avoid the fee need only offer nude entertainment without allowing alcohol to be consumed,” Hecht wrote.
Atlanta (CNN) — Former NBA guard Javaris Crittenton is wanted in connection with the murder of an Atlanta woman, authorities said Monday.
Crittenton, 23, of Fayetteville, Georgia, faces murder charges from the August 19 shooting of 22-year-old Julian Jones in Atlanta. Jones suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at a hospital, the FBI said.
Authorities believe Jones was killed in a drive-by shooting involving a dark-colored SUV and an assault rifle.
The FBI said Crittenton probably is in Los Angeles with family and friends. He purchased a one-way plane ticket to Los Angeles five days after the shooting. He is also named in a federal arrest warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Crittenton, who played for Georgia Tech before going pro, was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007 and then traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. He was picked up by the Washington Wizards in December 2008 but was suspended and later released by the NBA in 2010 after a gun-related incident involving teammate Gilbert Arenas.
Crittenton’s representatives could not be immediately reached for comment Monday.
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