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United States Attorney News
Los Angeles lawyers insist on client's release
Blair Berk and Leonard Levine, defense lawyers in Los Angeles, are arguing for the release of their client, Darren Sharper, who used to play in the National Football League.
Sharper has submitted a not guilty plea to sexually assaulting two women in Los Angeles.
However, Sharper remains on indefinite custody with no bail after prosecutors pointed out that he also has an arrest warrant issued by authorities in Louisiana.
Sharper's lawyers are insisting on his release because no case has been filed yet pertaining to the Louisiana arrest warrant.
Judge denies third trial for man convicted of murder
Nicholas Christopher Ferro was denied a third trial for the death of Marques Butler in 2009.
Ferro's first trial had ended in a hung jury. In his second trial, he was convicted of murder in the second degree last September.
However, he had asked for a third trial with Miami attorney Carlos Gonzalez pointing out several things, the main of which is that the charges should not have been murder in the second degree because of the scant amount of time that Ferro and Butler have known each other before the incident happened.
According to Ferro's defense, a murder in the second degree charge would require that the perpetrator and victim are familiar with each other thus the need for a time requirement on how long they have known each other basing on the murder laws of Florida.
However, the judge said the amount of time is not required.
With Ferro's demand for a third trial denied, a life imprisonment sentence looms for him.
Philadelphia Church official granted bail after his conviction was reversed
After 18 months in prison, Monsignor William Lynn, may be released when he was granted bail following the reversal of his conviction.
Lynn, who served as a secretary for clergy at the Philadelphia archdiocese, will have to give up his passport. He will also be made to wear an electronic device for monitoring.
The Roman Catholic official was sentenced to between three to six years after he was convicted for endangering an abuse victim of a priest.
However, appeal judges reversed Lynn's conviction because the child-endangerment law which he was accused of violating did not apply to him.
Following the reversal, Lynn's defense lawyers asked for his release which the prosecution opposed during the bail hearing claiming that the priest is a flight risk.
However, Philadelphia defense attorney Thomas Bergstrom said that Lynn would never run away from conviction.
Former prosecutor sentenced to 10 days for wrongful conviction
Ken Anderson, the former District Attorney of Williamson County, was meted with a 10-day jail term after the judge accepted his no-contest plea for the charge of contempt of court.
The charge steamed from the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton who was found guilty for the murder of his wife in 1986 and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
However, in 2011, Morton's conviction was overturned using DNA as proof that he did not kill his wife.
In the light of that development, Anderson, who had prosecuted Morton's case, was scrutinized and was determined to have erred when he withheld evidence which would have been beneficial for Morton's defense.
Aside from the short jail stay, Anderson will also have to give up his license as a lawyer and as part of the plea bargain, he will also be disbarred for five years.
Austin attorney Eric Nichols, however, pointed out that there will be no conviction for Anderson on any criminal charge.
Morton, for his part, said he is more than happy with the result because all he wanted was for Anderson not to practice law anymore to prevent what happened to him from happening to anyone else again.
Anderson was also fined and made to do community service.
Jury clears King of Pop's concert promoter of negligence
A jury rejected a negligence lawsuit brought by Katherine Jackson, the mother of Michael Jackson, against AEG Live LLC, the This is It concerts promoter of the King of Pop.
Katherine Jackson's lawyers claimed that the promoter erred when it failed to verify if Dr. Conrad Murray was qualified when it hired him as the singer's doctor.
AEG denied the allegation but said that Murray was hired by Michael Jackson himself.
Murray is already serving a jail sentence for the death of the popstar.
Los Angeles lawyer Marvin S. Putnam, AEG's lead defense counsel, said the jury made the right decision.
The Jackson lawyers had pointed out that the promoter was only after its own profits thus it did not bother to make sure that Murray was a qualified physician.
Putnam and his defence team claimed Murray's hiring was the singer's choice and that if their client had known about what Murray and Jackson were up to they would not have gone on with the series of concerts.