Investigators were picking through the rubble of a burned-out cabin in California’s San Bernardino Mountains on Wednesday, trying to piece together details of the violent last stand for a fugitive former Los Angeles police officer whose life apparently ended hours earlier in a barrage of bullets and blazing fire. Hours earlier, Dorner killed one sheriff’s deputy and wounded another as his deadly two-week rampage across Southern California came to a close. Los Angeles Police Department Cmdr. Andrew Smithsaid it was “highly likely” that Dorner had been inside when authorities heard a single gunshot and saw the cabin burning in Seven Oaks, a small community in the San Bernardino Mountains, about 90 miles east of Los Angeles.
North Carolina lawmakers Tuesday moved to drastically slash jobless benefits, joining the ranks of states that have decided they can no longer sustain the growing financial burden of the unemployed. Despite having one of the nation’s highest jobless rates, North Carolina’s government took steps to enact some of most severe benefit cuts in the country. The measure would shrink the maximum period of time someone could receive state jobless benefits to 20 weeks from 26 weeks and reduce the maximum weekly benefit to $350 from $535. The Washington Post reports the state Senate gave preliminary approval to the proposal on Tuesday, and Gov. Pat McCrory (R) has promised to sign it into law, which would take effect July 1.
Federal authorities announced the arrest of 10 metro law enforcement officers Tuesday on charges of arranging protection for a street gang’s drug deals. The case began as a street gang investigation by the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, whose undercover agents learned that gangs had officers on the payroll for protection, U.S. Attorney Sally Yates said. The FBI took command of the public corruption aspects of the case. At least one officer recommended that the gang use a school parking lot to exchange drugs for cash because trading backpacks there would not look suspicious, Yates said at a 2 p.m. news conference. Some of the officers were retired and some were active duty. The highest rank was sergeant and the payoffs ranged as high as $7,000 per transaction. Each transaction involved at least five kilograms of cocaine, which carries a 10 year minimum sentence, Yates said.
Two former judges in Philadelphia’s Traffic Court, which has been plagued by allegations of rampant corruption, pleaded guilty Tuesday to fixing tickets in a continuing sweeping criminal probe. Prosecutors say that ticket fixing was a pervasive practice among judges and politicians in the city and surrounding suburbs, and Pennsylvania state lawmakers are considering two bills that could eliminate the troubled court altogether.The two judges were among 12 people—including seven other elected judges, a traffic-court staffer and two local businessmen—charged last month by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Philadelphia in a fraud conspiracy for allegedly giving breaks on traffic citations to friends, family, politically connected people and business associates.
While Colorado lawmakers consider a ban on high-capacity magazines and other gun-control measures, a separate bill making its way through the statehouse would reduce the minimum mandatory sentences for crimes committed with guns. House Bill 1148 is sponsored by Boulder Democrat Mike Foote in the House and Durango Republican Ellen Roberts in the Senate. Currently, shooting someone and causing “serious bodily injury” carries a minimum 10-year sentence. HB 1148 would drop that minimum to four years.