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Monday, November 24, 2014

Marissa Alexander agrees to plea deal

Photo - First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Facing a possible 60 years in prison for firing a gun at her estranged husband and his two sons, Marissa Alexander agreed Monday to a plea deal that effectively ends the four-year old criminal case against her.

According to the terms of the plea, Alexander was ordered to serve three years in prison after pleading guilty to all three counts against her. The Florida Times-Union reports the Alexander will get credit for the 1,030 days she's already spent in jail.

That means she'll have to spend 65 days in jail. Alexander will return to Duval County Jail following Monday's hearing. She'll be released on Jan. 27.

Because the second count against Alexander is considered an 'open plea,' she could still be sentenced to five years in prison at the hearing on Jan. 27.

The case has drawn national attention, in part because Alexander unsuccessfully tried to invoke a Stand Your Ground defense, and later because, when she was convicted, Florida's 10-20-Life laws mandated a stringent 20-year prison sentence -- despite the fact that her shot didn't injure or even hit anyone.

Alexander herself became the focus of anti-domestic violence advocates, since she claimed the victim in the case, estranged husband Rico Gray, was a serial abuser who attacked her first.

Alexander was convicted by a jury in 2012 of three counts of aggravated assault, but that conviction was overturned on appeal because of an error in jury instructions.

Following her jail term, Alexander's been ordered to spend two years under community control, or house arrest, with a monitor.

Source - First Coast News
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Ferguson cop Darren Wilson married fellow police officer last month

Officer Darren Wilson, the cop who shot dead unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August, has quietly gotten married.

The 28-year-old officer, who hasn't been seen in public since the shooting, visited a St Louis County office last month to apply for a marriage license.

Barbara Spradling

Wilson then married Officer Barbara Spradling, 37, several days later on October 24 in front of his lawyer, Greg Kloeppel, and Judge Christopher B Graville, in Clayton, Missouri.

The marriage license was reported by the New York Times on Monday.

Records showed that Officer Wilson and his new wife had both been married before. Wilson's divorce came through on November 10, 2013.

Wilson married his first wife Ashley Brown in Old Monroe, Missouri in October 2011 but divorced last year. They had no children.

The new Mr and Mrs Wilson already own a home together in Crestwood, Missouri. She had previously been named as his girlfriend prior to their wedding.

The new bride also has not been seen since the August 9 shooting.

Both Officer Wilson and Officer Spradling have received honors for their police work.

She received a medal of valor award in 2012 for her work. Officer Wilson received a commendation earlier this year for his arrest of a suspect in a drug case.

Conflicting Messages About Grand Jury Testimony as Members Set to Meet Again

CLAYTON, MO (KTVI)- The Grand Jury in the Michael Brown case is set to meet again Monday morning at the Justice Center in Clayton. Members could be hearing more evidence or voting. Law Enforcement is prepared for the announcement at any moment.

They have set up a command post in a parking lot near Ferguson. This post will serve as hub for the response to any protests after the announcement.

Members of the National Guard are helping secure the command post.

The preparation comes as we learn more about what will happen with evidence and testimony transcripts after the Grand Jury announcement.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch has said that if Officer Darren Wilson is not indicted for shooting Michael Brown to death evidence and testimony the Grand Jury heard will be made public.

However, on Sunday Court Administrator Paul Fox said that the judge overseeing the case had not agreed to release anything at this point.

Source - Fox 2 Now
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Ex-NBC Employee Says He Brought Women to Bill Cosby, Sent Them Money

A former employee of NBC Entertainment has come forward to claim he regularly brought young women to Bill Cosby's dressing room and was asked to send money to multiple women over the years.

Frank Scotti, who says he worked as a facilities manager for the Brooklyn NBC Studio where "Cosby Show" was filmed, is the latest to go public with stories of Cosby’s past.

Scotti, 90, said it was once his job to guard the door after bringing young women to Cosby's dressing room.

"I felt like a pimp,'' Scotti told "Today." "Every time he had somebody I had to watch, I had the girl stay there. I felt dirty."

Scotti also claims he was asked by the comedian to send money to various women, sometimes thousands of dollars a month.
"I just felt, you know, he's not the person I thought he was,'' Scotti said of his decision to come forward.

Scotti told the New York Daily News he eventually quit working with Cosby, "because of the girls."
Cosby has never been charged with a crime, but 18 women have now publicly accused the star of sexual assault or attempted assault.

In response to Scotti's allegations Cosby's attorney, Martin Singer, told NBC News, "It appears that his story is pure speculation so that he can get his 15 minutes of fame.''

"I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn't have to answer to innuendos,'' Cosby told Florida Today after receiving a standing ovation at a comedy show on Saturday. "People should fact-check." Cosby has always denied allegations of assault.

Source - NBC Miami
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