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United States Attorney News
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.
Austin man convicted in shooting death of motorist
A sentence of life imprisonment looms for Darius Lovings after the jury found him liable for the death of William Ervin in 2012.
Court heard that Lovings had shot Ervin when the latter stopped to help him while he was pretending to have car trouble.
Austin criminal lawyer Jon Evans had asked the jury to consider that mental health issues have been at play during the incident.
Lovings had told the police after his arrest that he had heard voices.
Aside from Ervin's death, Lovings is also facing charges of robbery and attempted murder.
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.
Life sentence looms over woman found guilty of murder
Jeannette Silvia is looking at a life in prison after a jury found her guilty of murdering Michael Ramirez.
The body of 59-year-old Ramirez was found inside a motel room paid for by Silvia and her ex-boyfriend, Joseph Santos-Torres, who is also charged in connection with Ramirez's death.
Evidence presented in trial showed that Ramirez had paid Silvia for sex then a few days later, Ramirez was made to go to the motel where he was found dead.
Sarah Christensen and Phil Dubois, Colorado Springs defense attorneys, downplayed their client, Silvia's participation in the murder, saying that it was Santos-Torres who killed Ramirez and all she did was helped him escape as he had asked.
The jury, however, did not buy it.
Santos-Torres himself is awaiting trial.
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.