Feb. 13


Justices lean toward death row inmate in dispute with lawyer

The Supreme Court appeared to be in broad agreement Wednesday that a lawyer for a criminal defendant cannot override his client's wish and concede his guilt at trial, even if the lawyer's aim is to avoid a death sentence.

"People can walk themselves into jail. They can walk themselves, regrettably, into the gas chamber. But they have a right to tell their story," said Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the high court member with the most experience as a trial lawyer and trial judge.

Sotomayor seemed to reflect a consensus view of the justices in the case of Louisiana death row inmate Robert McCoy. He repeatedly objected to his lawyer's decision to acknowledge that McCoy killed the son, mother and step-father of his estranged wife in 2008.

Larry English, McCoy's trial lawyer, has said the evidence against McCoy was overwhelming and that the only way to keep McCoy off death row was to beg for mercy. In the end, the strategy failed and a jury sentenced McCoy to death. If he wins at the Supreme Court, he could get a new trial.

The high court is weighing who is ultimately in charge of the case, the lawyer or his client, and whether the right to a lawyer that's guaranteed by the Constitution is meaningful if, even with the best intentions, he can ignore his client's wishes.

The court has previously held that the defendant typically is in charge, but that he cedes some control to his lawyer.

Seth Waxman, McCoy's Supreme Court lawyer, said the decision to admit guilt rests with the defendant.

"If the defendant says I did not do X, I did not kill my parents, my family members, defense counsel may not affirmatively tell the jury that he did and ask that he be required to spend the rest of his life in prison," Waxman said.

Justice Neil Gorsuch described English's concession as a grave error requiring a new trial. "A total denial of assistance of counsel, absence of an assistance of counsel," Gorsuch said.

Defending the Louisiana Supreme Court decision that rejected McCoy's claims, Louisiana Solicitor General Elizabeth Murrill urged the justices to decide that there are some death penalty cases where a lawyer can override his client's wishes "when the strategy that the client wants counsel to pursue is a futile charade."

McCoy's case is one such example, Murrill said. Court records point to considerable evidence against McCoy, including a gun found in the vehicle in which he was riding at the time of his arrest in Idaho that was linked to cartridge casings found at the scene of the killings in Louisiana.

McCoy testified in his own defense, saying he was innocent and suggesting that a drug trafficking ring led by law enforcement officers had framed him for the killings. He tried to recruit witnesses he said would vouch for him, including then-Sen. David Vitter. Vitter said he did not know McCoy.

The trial court found McCoy was competent to stand trial, but Justice Samuel Alito wondered whether that decision was correct. "If somebody like McCoy really sincerely believes that he did not commit these physical acts, but it was all done as part of an elaborate conspiracy, is he capable of assisting in his own defense?" Alito asked.

English, the trial lawyer, argued consistently that McCoy was in a fragile emotional state and that he lacked the intent to kill that is necessary for a jury to impose the death penalty.

English's view of McCoy's chances led him to concede in his opening argument that McCoy "committed these crimes."

Justice Elena Kagan said she understood English's dilemma, but questioned whether a lawyer had any choice when a client says his "paramount goal is to insist until my last breath that I didn't kill my family members."

A decision in McCoy v. Louisiana, 16-8255, is expected by late June.

(source: Associated Press)


Why Indiana should abolish the death penalty

The 11 men are just sitting there, waiting to die.

Frederick Baer, Alton Coleman, Joseph Corcoran, William Gibson, Kevin Isom, Wayne Kubsch, Michael Overstreet, Benjamin Ritchie, John Stephenson, Jeffrey Weisheit and Roy Lee Ward make up the sordid roster of Indiana's death row.

Cumulatively, they're responsible for 24 deaths. All the cases are heinous, but some are just unspeakably awful.

Weisheit duct-taped 2 Vanderburgh County children to chairs and set their house on fire, burning them alive. Ritchie killed a policeman and during his trial, when Officer William Toney's wife spoke in court, he laughed and called her a bitch.

Then there's Roy Lee Ward: a horrific monster who raped and murdered Dale teenager Stacy Payne while her little sister hid upstairs.

These men have exhausted any reasonable expectation for human empathy. I would have no problem seeing Weisheit and Ward killed by the state. They're monsters and deserve to be treated as such.

But that's not going to happen. The state Supreme Court is still weighing a Court of Appeals decision to ban the use of Brevital in lethal injections. And after Brevital, there aren't many options left. Several pharmaceutical companies have refused to allow their drugs to be used in executions.

Right now, there doesn't seem to be any legal way for Indiana to continue on this path. It may be time for the state to do what 18 other states have already done: abolish the death penalty.

2 tales of UFOs invading the Tri-State

It's an unwieldly, expensive, morally dubious albatross that's fading in favor and may soon have to be hurled out altogether.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, executions peaked in 1999, when nationwide 98 prisoners were put to death. That number shriveled to 23 last year and dropped to 20 in 2016, which marked the fewest executions since 1991.

There have been 3 executions already this year. All of them, unsurprisingly, took place in Texas.

But Indiana hasn't put anyone to death since Eric Wrinkles in 2009. Aside from the drug shortage, there are several other reasons for that.

For one, death penalty cases are ridiculously expensive. In 2015, the Legislative Services Agency did a study for the Indiana legislature. It found that the average cost for a death penalty trial and its subsequent appeals was $385,458 -- almost 10 times the bill for a life-without-parole trial ($39,414).

Life without parole is basically what Indiana's death row prisoners are enduring right now. Hell, Ward was supposed to die 10 years ago.

Plus, the death penalty process exposes deeply racist tendencies in juries.

The majority of death row inmates are white. But a study out of Louisiana found that juries were 97 % more likely to recommend a death sentence if a victim was white than if a victim was black.

And in Washington, California and North Carolina, jurors were 3 times as likely to recommend a death sentence for a black defendant.

None of this addresses the biggest concern - that some death row prisoners are innocent. The Death Penalty Information Center counts 161 exonerations since 1973.

But some aren't. And people such as Weisheit and Ward, who commit the worst crimes imaginable, deserve something more than sitting in a jail cell for the rest of their lives.

At your basest instinct, it makes you roots for people like Randall Margraves, the aggrieved father who begged Judge Janice Cunningham for five minutes alone with Larry Nassar - the monster who abused countless women, including Margraves' daughters, during his years as team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University.

But we're stuck with the system we have. The death penalty isn???t working and we'll likely never find a constitutional way to carry out executions.

We may as well drop all pretense. End the parades of appeals that keep people like Ward alive, and turn death sentences to life without parole.

Those 11 men are waiting to die. We may as well admit that they're going to be waiting for awhile.

(source: Jon Webb; Evansville Courier & Press)


Death penalty bill advances out of Iowa Senate subcomittee----Senate subcommittee voices support

A Senate subcommittee voted 3-2 Monday to support reinstating a limited death penalty in Iowa after an hour-long debate of Biblical proportions. And there were indications the debate would become even more expansive if the issue progresses to the Senate floor.

Proponents and opponents alike used references from the Bible and religious doctrine to argue in favor of and against Senate Study Bill 3134, a measure designed to provide a limited deterrent in situations in which someone aged 18 or older kidnaps, rapes and murders a minor or kills a peace officer in the line of duty.

Under current Iowa law, criminals convicted of a Class A offense is sentenced to life in prison without parole, which Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller argued is "a de facto death sentence" in a statement read by a spokesman.

"Defendants convicted of 1st-degree murder in Iowa die in prison," Miller said.

But Sen. Dan Dawson, R-Council Bluffs, said "there has to be a higher penalty" for perpetrators who commit heinous crimes for which they show no remorse and who continue to be a threat while they're held in custody or prison.

Sen. Julian Garrett, R-Indianola, who chaired the 5-member subcommittee, said he is bothered that - without the threat of capital punishment - there is nothing to deter a perpetrator who kidnaps and rapes a minor from killing the victim to cover the crime and the absence of a death penalty almost is an incentive for murder.

"There needs to be something more," Garrett said.

However, Sen. Tony Bisignano, D-Des Moines, who also served on the 5-member subcommittee and managed a death penalty bill in 1992 that failed to gain Senate approval, said the issue is too important to be rushed through the process during "funnel week" and will undergo considerable work if Republicans choose to move it forward this session.

"This is not the bill to rush," Bisignano said in an interview. "I will do everything I can to slow the bill down so that people truly have the opportunity to understand what they're voting for."

If the bill does advance, Bisignano, an opponent of the legislation, said he would attempt to broaden it into a full-blown death penalty that would be fairer rather than a limited option.

He also would push for a requirement that the governor be present when a convicted person is executed, saying "if they're the person signing the death warrant, then they're the person who should witness the death, and if you don't have the courage to do that, then that's like hiring a hit man and then it becomes a political document."

The bill calls for a 2-tiered process whereby an accused perpetrator deemed mentally competent is tried before a jury or judge. If convicted of a capital offense eligible for the death penalty, a 2nd, separate review would be conducted to determine if the person should be put to death via a lethal injection.

The bill has enough votes to advance in the Senate. The overall fate of the death-penalty issue, however, is uncertain given that a broader reinstatement bill has stalled in the House.

"I was hoping that we would wait for House action, which looks like there's not going to be and, if not, I don't understand why the Senate would want to waste the time and the energy that comes with that type of a bill," Bisignano said.

Garrett said he expected the full Senate Judiciary Committee would take up the bill yet this week, given the Friday deadline for non-money bills to clear at least 1 standing committee in the House or Senate to remain eligible for consideration for session.

"We'll see where it goes from here," he said.

(source: The Gazette)


Segebart: Bring back death penalty, execute Iowa's drug lords----More than 70 people attend Carroll Chamber's legislative forum at DMACC

State Sen. Mark Segebart, R-Vail, said Saturday he would vote yes to restoring the death penalty in Iowa but also wants to add on another capital offense charge - drug dealing.

At a Carroll Chamber of Commerce Legislative Forum Saturday at Des Moines Area Community College in Carroll, Segebart responded yes to the idea of voting for the death penalty if it makes it to the legislative 2018 session, he said.

Talks of restoring capital punishment in Iowa's legislative 2018 session have been debated by politicians such as State Sen. Jerry Behn, R-Boone, who wants to re-instate the death penalty for offenses in which a minor is kidnapped, raped and murdered. Behn formerly represented Carroll County. Greene County is in his current sweeping central Iowa district.

Current law in Iowa allows life-sentence convictions to those found guilty of 1st-degree murder and the most serious cases of rape and kidnapping.

Segebart doesn't just want murderers sentenced to death row but drug lords, he said.

"I believe the bill is specific to certain crimes," Segebart said. "I am not sure of the specific crimes. One of those is murder, so under those circumstances I might be in a favor of it. In fact, I might add another category to it, and that's drug kingpins. There's nothing causing more trouble in the state of Iowa and our whole country than the drug problem that we currently have, and for that to go on and continue the way it is, is breaking up families and ruining the whole fabric of the country, so I think we need to send a message. While I don't know how far it will get. If it gets to the floor - I will probably vote for it."

It has been 53 years since capital punishment was last used in Iowa.

Between the years 1834 and 1965, 46 men were executed in Iowa; 43 were executed for murder and three for rape, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Gov. Harold Hughes signed an abolition bill in 1965 to end the death penalty.

In 2016, Iowa's murder rate was 2.3 per 100,000 people. That is less than 1/2 the national average of 5.3 people, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Contrary to Segebart's yes, State Rep. Brian Best, R-Glidden, said he does not agree with the death penalty.

"I would not vote for the death penalty," Best said. "A couple reasons: It's final. You could never correct a mistake. I think that happens very seldom, but if it happens once - that's bad. I think it's pretty much common knowledge that it costs much more to execute somebody than it does to keep them in prison for the rest of their natural life. For various reasons, I would not vote for the death penalty."

For Segebart, the problem isn't the drug transporters or the people in charge of the drug cartels - it's the people selling the drugs to Iowans.

"You know we had a methamphetamine problem," Segebart said." We've had it for a long time. We slowed it down significantly when we passed the law that you can only buy so much pseudoephedrine at Wal-Mart at a time. That has lowered the amount of methamphetamine that has been made in Iowa significantly. Only the drug cartel from Mexico has picked up the slack and is coming with a much more potent product that was produced by the pseudoephedrine type of cooking of methamphetamine. The transporter here is not the problem. It's the person that's supplying it on the other end."

Segebart answered a follow-up question from Bethany Sweeney, a DMACC in Carroll English and history instructor, who asked if the senator also thinks those addicted to methamphetamine should be charged with capital punishment.

"No, but I would support help to get them off methamphetamine," Segebart said. "That's the most important issue here. Meth and its run through Iowa was a drug that could have you so addicted to it that you couldn't get yourself off of it. The only place you could go to find help for that was go to jail. Unfortunately, that's still the case."

Segebart said that someone who is addicted to meth has a worthless life.

"Where you end up if you get caught for possession is in jail, and at that point, there should be some remedy to get you back off of it because if you're hooked for life on this stuff. Your life is worthless, literally," Segebart said.

More than 70 people attended the hour-long forum, which covered other topics such as a recent question of legality for Carroll store owners.

Recently, local stores Nature Ammil and Healing Arts Center in Carroll were raided by the Carroll City Police Department.

Both stores were caught selling CBD oil or Cannabidiol.

Carrie Bluml, the owner of Nature Ammil, asked at the forum what the state senators would do to clarify what the police department calls "the gray area" in the law. Both senators were unsure of the specifics of the law regarding hemp-derived CBD oil and medical CBD oil, which contains THC.

Best said he thinks CBD oils and creams should be legal, but said he would look into the incident further by talking with the Iowa Department of Public Health.

"I would be in favor of trying to find a way to allow this to be sold," Best said. "Unless I find out there's a down side. I just don't see how anybody is going to take a cream, and if you've got arthritis and you're rubbing it on your wrist or something - I don't see how you would be able to get high from it."

(source: Daily Times Herald)

ARIZONA----death row inmate dies

Mohave County man on death row dies of natural causes

1 of 7 Mohave County inmates sitting on Arizona's death row died Friday of natural causes.

Graham Saunders Henry, 71, was convicted and sentenced in February 1995 on charges of 1st-degree murder, kidnapping, theft and robbery for kidnapping and killing an elderly Las Vegas man in a remote desert about 40 miles north of Kingman in June 1986, according to the state department of corrections.

Henry was assigned to the state prison in Florence. All inmate deaths are investigated with the county's medical examiner's office.

Mohave County has 2 death penalty cases currently pending in Superior Court.

Justin James Rector, 28, is charged with 1st-degree murder in the Sept. 2, 2014, death of 8-year-old Isabella Grogan-Cannella and leaving her body near her Bullhead City home. His next hearing is set for June 2.

Darrell Bryant Ketchner, 59, faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted a 2nd time for the July 4, 2009, murder of Ariel Allison, 18, in Kingman. His 1st conviction for 1st-degree murder was overturned in December 2014.

(source: Mohave Valley Daily News)


District attorney to seek death penalty for Michael Mejia, the gang member accused of killing Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer

The Los Angeles man accused of killing one Whittier police officer and wounding another in a shootout on Colima Road last February is scheduled to appear in court Friday, where a deputy district attorney said prosecutors will announce they're seeking the death penalty in the case.

Michael Christopher Mejia faces 2 counts of murder, 1 count of attempted murder and 1 count of carjacking in connection with the shootings in East Los Angeles and Whittier, said Deputy District Attorney Garrett Dameron.

In an email, Dameron said there would be "no chance" of a plea deal for Mejia.

Officials believe the 27-year-old Mejia is responsible for a pair of deadly shootings on Feb. 20, 2017. Police said the man first shot his cousin, 47-year-old Roy Torres, to death in an East Los Angeles converted garage, before stealing the victim's car.

Hours later, police said Mejia crashed that car at Colima Road and Mar Vista Street. After 2 Whittier officers responded, police said Mejia shot them both. Officer Keith Boyer was killed, while Officer Patrick Hazell was wounded.

Mejia was also wounded in the brief shootout.

His Friday appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. at Norwalk Superior Court. Mejia pleaded not guilty in May 2017.

Mejia previously testified that he told two detectives that he was high on marijuana and other drugs at the time of the shooting. He also told the detectives he blacked out after being shot, and only remembered the incident later after watching news reports about it on television.

Investigators have not released any information indicating whether Mejia had drugs in his system the day of the shooting.

In June 2017, a pair of witnesses to the shooting who were riding in the car Mejia is suspected of crashing testified that the suspect asked how they were after colliding with them. One helped push Mejia's cousin's disabled car from southbound Colima to eastbound Mar Vista.

"He told me that he didn't own the car, and he didn't have any insurance," said Ching Ta Chin through a court interpreter. "He told me to come closer to get information, but I said, 'OK, but we can wait for the officers.'"

After he returned to his car, Chin said he heard shots coming from where the silver car had stopped.

The same month, prosecutors released audio of an interview with Mejia conducted the same day as the shooting, in which he laid out the timeline for the gun battle.

"I know I smoked this one," Mejia said to the investigators, apparently referring to Boyer. "Yet the 2nd one. Could not get him."

Police said Mejia was a known gang member with a history of cycling in an out of prison. At the time of the shooting, he was on probation for an auto theft conviction in 2016. The shooting led to local elected officials calling for changes to several prison reform laws, like A.B. 109 and the voter-initiated Propositions 47 and 57.

Boyer's killing almost 1 year ago - only the 3rd in the history of the Whittier police, and the 1st since 1979 - led to an outpouring of support from the community for the fallen officer's family. About 4,000 people, many fellow members of law enforcement, attend his March 2017 funeral.

(source: Whittier Daily News)


Illegal alien cop killer found guilty in slayings; now faces death penalty

Luis Enriquez Bracamontes, an illegal immigrant accused of killing 2 California deputies in 2014, was found guilty of their killings on Friday in Sacramento Superior Court.

Bracamontes, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, shot and killed Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Davis Jr. in 2014.

Bracamontes, who was deported from the U.S. multiple times on drug-related charges, carjacked several people during a day of mayhem in October 2014 and killed 2 officers during his attempt to flee.

When Oliver approached Bracamontes' suspect vehicle - which was parked in the parking lot of a Motel 6 - Bracamontes fired a round into Oliver's head, killing him. During his flight from authority, Bracamontes ran over Oliver's lifeless body in an attempt to get away.

Bracamontes and his wife fled to a nearby neighborhood and attempted to carjack a man. When the man resisted, Bracamontes reportedly shot the man 5 times, 3 of which were in the face. The man miraculously survived his injuries.

After carjacking several more vehicles, Bracamontes and his wife faced off with authorities, injuring several of them and killing Davis.

Bracamontes fled once again, barricading himself in a nearby home and opening up the stove's gas valves in what appeared to be a suicide bid.

Before he could follow through with killing himself, Bracamontes surrendered to law enforcement, pleading with them not to kill him.

What happened in court?

After about 5 hours of deliberation, a jury on Friday found Bracamontes guilty in the officers' murders.

The Sacramento Bee reported that Bracamontes was found guilty on what would have been Oliver's 51st birthday.

Bracamontes quietly said, "Yay," as the verdict was read, and later blew kisses to the victims' families.

As he was being ushered out of the courtroom, Bracamontes promised that he would kill more law enforcement officers in coming days.

"I'm going to kill more cops soon," he said.

What else?

This isn't the 1st time Bracamontes has acted erratically inside the courtroom.

Bracamontes, in a January court appearance, laughed about slaying the officers, noting that he'd wished he'd killed more of them during his crime spree.

"I don't regret that s**t," Bracamontes laughed, grinning at the jury. "Only thing that I f***ing regret is that I just killed 2. I wish I had killed more of the motherf***ers.???

Bracamontes warned the court that he'd break out of jail soon, and kill more officers.

"I will break out soon and I will kill more, kill whoever f***ing gets in front of me," he added. "There's no need for a f***ing trial."

Fox News on Saturday reported that prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Bracamontes' crimes.

Bracamontes was found guilty on 15 different charges, which, aside from the murder charges, include attempted murder, gun charges, and carjacking.

The sentencing portion of Bracamontes' trial begins March 5.

(source: theblaze.com)


How IQ tests are used to justify the death penalty

As a concept, IQ is terrible. The idea that we can reduce intelligence to a simple number, quantifiable in a test, exacerbates inequality in numerous racist, classist, sexist, and ableist ways. Not only do people have worth beyond their measurable cognitive ability, but IQ also routinely awards higher numbers to abled middle- and upper-class white males, reinforcing pre-existing ideologies in the name of "science." Over the last many decades, scholars and activists have pushed back against the regime of IQ testing in all contexts, often successfully.

Now, prosecutors in at least 8 states have been hiring experts to testify about the racist use of IQ in order to kill more black and brown men.

The Supreme Court has slowly been carving out exemptions to the death penalty for people with intellectual disabilities. In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that people with intellectual disabilities could not be executed, but left it up to the states to determine who is or is not eligible for that protection. In 2014, in Hall v. Florida, the court ruled that a state can't use a simple IQ cut-off. Then, in last year's Moore v. Texas, the court ruled that states must consider the best psychiatric and medical information about disability when determining disabled status. Still, IQ testing continues to play a major role, with a threshold of around 70 serving as the cutoff score, below which a person cannot legally be executed.

Here's where "ethnic adjustments" come in. The practice, as documented by attorney Robert Sanger in a 2015 article in the American University Law Review, adjusts IQ scores upward for people of color convicted of capital crimes. According to Sanger, prosecutors in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio have all used ethnic adjustments to successfully impose the death penalty on people who otherwise might have been deemed exempt. In his article, Sanger works methodically through case after case, noting in particular the role played by expert witnesses for the prosecution, who testify to the racial biases of IQ testing. In most cases, these experts have never met the person convicted of the capital crime or assessed that person for disability, even as their testimony clears the way for execution.

At the end of his article, Sanger writes, "The idea of racially classifying a person and then using 'ethnic adjustments' to increase his or her IQ score, thereby qualifying that person for execution, is logically, clinically, and constitutionally unsound. In fact, when looked at more closely, it is a wonder how the practice has gone largely unchallenged over the last few years." When I spoke to him over the phone, Sanger confirmed to me that no clear constitutional challenge to the practice has emerged to his knowledge, and certainly not at the United States Supreme Court, or in California, where he practices law.

As I wrote last year, most people on death row are disabled. In reporting the story, I found that this fact presents a challenge to people trying to save lives: Do they fight for total abolition of the death penalty, or do they try to carve out ever-increasing exemptions? Everyone who ends up on death row has experienced a complex panoply of mitigating factors - intersecting disabilities, traumas, and inequities - that led them to be convicted of a capital crime. So anti-death-penalty lawyers look for narrow legal strategies to protect their specific clients, which of course is just what they should do, while slowly pushing new exemptions up through the court process to seek new exculpatory precedents. Atkins, Hall, and Moore - the big 3 Supreme Court decisions protecting people from intellectual disabilities - are the result of these Herculean efforts.

It's not enough. As Sanger writes, "A more profound conclusion of this article may be that the project of attempting to determine who should live and die is an endeavor lost from the beginning. Perhaps there is no way to devise a just means to implement an unjust result. If the state's executing prisoners is wrong, there can be no right way to do it." He's correct. Racism, ableism, and classism are too deeply held for incremental efforts to effect true change. Even the anti-racist work against the tyranny of the IQ test is being used to perpetuate the state's killing of people of color. Abolition is the only answer.

(source: David Perry; theweek.com)


Christensen trial pushed to April 2019

The trial for accused kidnapper and killer Brendt Christensen has been pushed back to April 2, 2019.

U.S. District Court Judge Colin Bruce set the date at a scheduling hearing Monday that lasted about 20 minutes.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin April 3, 2019, with the actual trial scheduled to begin April 9.

Neither the prosecutors nor Christensen's attorneys objected to the new schedule.

Christensen, who attended the hearing but did not speak at it, was arrested June 30, 2017, 3 weeks after visiting University of Illinois visiting scholar Yingying Zhang, 26, of China, was last seen. He was indicted on a single charge of kidnapping, which was upgraded in October to kidnapping resulting in death and lying to federal agents.

On Jan. 19, the government filed notice that it would seek the death penalty, leading both sides to agree that a delay to the trial previously scheduled for Feb. 27 would be necessary.

Capital cases require more work for both sides, but especially the defense lawyers, who have to prepare for the penalty phase at the same time they are building a defense to Christensen???s alleged crimes.

Prosecutors had asked that the trial be delayed until October, while Christensen's attorneys sought a delay until June 2019.

While leaving the federal courthouse in Urbana, Christensen's lawyers declined to talk with reporters.

(source: The News-Gazette)
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