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TRIAL OF OFFICER DAUNTE WRIGHT
Closing arguments for the ex-officer in the death of Daunte Wright
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Final arguments are scheduled for Monday in the manslaughter trial of the former Minnesota policeman who said she intended to use her Taser instead of her gun when she killed Daunte Wright as he tried to pull away from a traffic stop. Kim Potter’s case will go to the jury after Judge Regina Chu gives final instructions. The judge says she won’t have jurors deliberate on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. They will come back after the holidays if they haven’t delivered a verdict yet. The defense rested on Friday after Potter said they “didn’t want to hurt anyone” and were “sorry that happened”.
7 bodies found in a house in Minnesota; unknown cause of death
MOORHEAD, Minnesota (AP) – Authorities say the bodies of seven people were found in a twin house in a town in northwest Minnesota, but have not specified how they died. Police said the victims included four adults and three children. They were found just before 8 p.m. on Saturday by family members performing a welfare check at the Moorhead home. These family members called the police. There was no sign of violence or burglary at the residence, police said. The authorities are not actively looking for any suspects. The bodies were taken to the Ramsey County medical examiner’s office in St. Paul, where autopsies will be performed.
CONFIRMED FEDERAL JUDGE
US Senate confirms Menendez as federal judge in Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – U.S. Magistrate Kate M. Menendez has been confirmed by the Senate to fill the vacant Minnesota Federal Court seat. Menendez was appointed by President Joe Biden in September. She appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in early November to answer questions and talk about her five-year tenure as a magistrate judge. Menendez previously served as a Federal Public Defender for over 18 years. His experience includes several positions as adjunct professor of law, including at the University of Minnesota, Hamline University and St. Thomas University. Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith said in a joint statement on Saturday that Menendez had been recommended by the judicial selection committee, made up of prominent members of the Minnesota legal community.
DAUNTE WRIGHT-OFFICER TRIAL-POTTER
Experts: Potter missed the opportunity to explain the confusion between tasers
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The former Minnesota police officer who shot Daunte Wright alternated between tears, statements of remorse and stark, pragmatic responses as she testified at her manslaughter trial in the death of the motorist noir. But Kim Potter’s testimony on Friday was notably limited on a key part of her defense – that she made a mistake by drawing her handgun instead of her Taser and killed Wright during a traffic stop last April in Brooklyn Center. Some legal experts have said that it seemed Potter had missed an opportunity to tell the jurors how confusion could have happened and what she was thinking – and that some jurors were probably waiting to hear that.
Planned Parenthood leader in the upper Midwest resigns
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The president of Planned Parenthood’s upper Midwestern branch has said she will step down from her post next year. Sarah Stoesz oversaw the organization for nearly 20 years and made it one of the largest Planned Parenthood subsidiaries in the country as it expanded from Minnesota and South Dakota to incorporate North Dakota, the ‘Iowa and Nebraska, reported the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The five-state organization provides health care to more than 100,000 patients each year. Stoesz does not plan to step down until October while the organization searches for his replacement.
Kim Potter on Daunte Wright’s Death: “I’m Sorry That Happened”
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minneapolis suburban police officer who shot black motorist Daunte Wright said she was sorry this had happened. Kim Potter was the last witness on Friday before the defense took a rest in his trial. She is charged with manslaughter in Wright’s death during an April 11 traffic stop at the Brooklyn Center. Potter said she intended to use his Taser to subdue Wright as he pulled away from the officers and got back into his car as they attempted to arrest him under a pending warrant . She shot him with her handgun instead. Potter said the situation “got chaotic” after Wright tried to get back into his car.
Drunk Sheriff DRIVING
Hennepin County Sheriff Pleads Guilty to Drunk Driving
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Hennepin County Sheriff has pleaded guilty to impaired driving. Dave Hutchinson pleaded Thursday to the misdemeanor charge and said he enrolled in an outpatient treatment program to address his drinking problems. Hutchinson crashed his SUV on Interstate 94 near Alexandria on December 8 at 2:30 a.m. after attending a state sheriff’s conference. Hutchinson’s blood alcohol level was 0.13%. The legal limit for driving is 0.08%. The sheriff said in a statement that the accident was a “wake-up call” for him. He sustained three rib fractures and head and hip injuries when he rolled the SUV.
At least 24 tornadoes confirmed this week in Nebraska, Iowa
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – At least two dozen tornadoes ravaged parts of Nebraska and Iowa earlier this week as part of a powerful storm system that swept through the Great Plains and the Midwest earlier this week. The National Weather Service confirmed tornadoes on Friday that stretched across a swath from south-central Nebraska to northeast Iowa. The service says more tornadoes in those states are expected to be confirmed as storm crews continued to assess damage on the ground on Friday. The service says nine of those tornadoes rated an EF2, with wind speeds of 111-135 mph. The rest were moderate EF1 or weak EF0 tornadoes.
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