05 24 2016
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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  • Some hope killing will bring peace in Afghanistan     
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NEWTOWN, Connecticut (CNN) -- The sound of gunfire, confusion, a lockdown and then an evacuation. Witnesses, students and parents told frightening stories Friday about a school shooting that police say left six adults and 20 children dead.

Many details of the attack were still unfolding, but the sight of dozens of emergency vehicles and police spread across the wooded campus made it clear Sandy Hook Elementary School has become the nation's latest infamous crime scene.

For now, evacuated children are being comforted and reuniting with their parents at a nearby firehouse where, outside, an American flag flies at half-staff.

There, couples enter and exit, some leaving without children and walking silently and tearfully past a nearby cemetery. One couple, escorted by firefighters seemed especially shaken -- eyes bloodshot and lips trembling -- stricken by the events of a clearly devastating day.

In the hours following the morning attack, parents rushed to the school after first hearing the news. They reunited with their children, clutching them and then hurrying away.

Lynn Wasik wrapped her arms around her 8-year-old daughter, Alexis, cloaked against the cold in an oversized jacket. The girl described her ordeal after police and teachers barged into her third-grade classroom and ordered her and her classmates to hide in a corner.

"Everybody was crying," Alexis said. "And I just heard the police officers yelling."

Her mother said she first learned about the emergency through an automated phone call message. She said the message wasn't clear about the school where the incident had occurred. In a panic, she raced to Sandy Hook, eventually finding Alexis unharmed.

"My heart is in a million pieces for those families," said Lynn Wasik. "Who could do something like this? It's just sickening."

Like Wasik, other parents wrapped their arms around their children as they hurried away from the scene.

The FBI presence became much more evident in the afternoon. Several federal officers in tactical gear were coordinating with state and local law enforcement. Officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrived to join the investigation.

"I was in the gym at the time," student Brendan Murray told CNN affiliate WABC. "I heard screaming and I thought a custodian was knocking down things. Police came in, teachers yelled to get to a safe place. Police were knocking on the doors -- police were at every door, leading us down, quick, quick."

Brendan said he later joined classmates and ran to the firehouse "really quick. We were all really happy that we were all alive."

At the firehouse, counselors such as Rabbi Shaul Praver lended a hand to help the traumatized. Some suffered from "terrible anxiety," Praver told CNN. "It's very hard to console parents in this situation," he said. "There's no theological answer to this. What you have to do is hug them and just be with them and cry with them."

'Why? Why?'

Teary-eyed parents continued to emerge from the firehouse. Some were talking on cell phones, using words like "chaotic" and "devastating."

Others were openly weeping into their phones as they walked up a wooded roadway leading away from the school.

"Why? Why?" one woman cried as she walked away.

Earlier, a woman who lives near the firehouse described seeing "a bunch of children with a bunch of adults" apparently evacuating toward a nearby park. "I seen five children running up through our back field," the woman told CNN. "And by God, those poor little guys were running."

Temperatures weren't far above freezing at the time of the evacuation. Adults led children away from the school. Many of the kids wore no coats and were dressed in brightly colored clothing. They marched in a line -- one behind another -- with their hands resting on the shoulders of the children in front of them.

'Pop, pop pop'

Children and adults shared their versions of the attack.

One parent who was inside the school at the time of the shooting described hearing a "pop, pop, pop," sound around 9:30 a.m. In the room with her were the school's principal, vice principal and the psychologist. All three left the room and went into the hall to see what was happening. The parent ducked under the table and called 911.

"I cowered," she told CNN's Meredith Artley. The shooter "must have shot a hundred rounds."

Later the parent said she saw two adults lying dead in the hallway, in a pool of blood.


President Obama's statement

Although school shootings have become sadly familiar in 21st century America, violence is not common in this picturesque 300-year-old town of about 27,000.

"I can't believe -- in a small town like this -- we've never had anything like this happen," a father of a Sandy Hook student told local CNN affiliate WTNH. "I was pretty shaken up. I did not know who or what happened."

"It doesn't seem possible," said another parent. "You have something happen so close to home. ... I guess I'm still in shock."

At the Stone River Grill, just a few blocks away from Sandy Hook, residents sat quietly watching TV news announce every dark detail of the tragedy.

"It's insane," said grill employee Jill Richelsoph. "This is a really nice community. We've never had anything like this." Surrounded by restaurant co-workers Richelsoph shared a conversation she had with a friend whose 5-year-old daughter attends Sandy Hook.

"She's really shaken up right now," said Richelsoph. "I don't know how she's ever going to bring her daughter back to that school."

Also at the restaurant was Tracy Ryan, who teaches at another elementary school. Newtown's schools, she said, have helped to attract new residents from different parts of the state.

"People move here for the school system," she said. "It's got great schools. I'm just totally speechless."

"My heart goes out to those families."

Just a few weeks ago Newtown -- about 60 miles outside New York City -- was recovering from Hurricane Sandy, which downed trees and knocked out power to most customers. A year before, residents suffered through Hurricane Irene. 

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