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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John Van Allen IIThe Sherman County District Attorney has completed his review of the shooting death of John Van Allen II.

DA Wade M. McLeod concludes that Oregon State Police Trooper Matt Zistel was justified in shooting Van Allen, saying it was in self-defense. Zistel said Van Allen refused his commands and started shooting at him during a traffic stop.

Van Allen a former soldier, was reportedly on his way to South Carolina to live with family. His three children were in a car close to the scene.  Van Allen had no arrest record and had served in the military.

 Read The Skanner News story about the shooting

Here's the full press release.



 Sherman County District Attorney Press Release

 

Wade M. McLeod, the Sherman County District Attorney, announced today that he has concluded his review of the officer-involved shooting which occurred on August 29, 2013 resulting in the death of John Van Allen II (DOB: 02/18/1979).

 

A full investigation of the incident was conducted by law enforcement agencies from the Sherman County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police, City of The Dalles Police Department, Wasco County Sheriff's Office as well as the Oregon Department of Justice and the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office.      

On August 29, 2013 at approximately 12:50PM, Oregon State Police Trooper Matt Zistel initiated a traffic stop on I-84 eastbound near milepost 105.5.  Trooper Zistel stopped the Cadillac Catera for traveling at 76MPH in a construction zone.  The suspect vehicle pulled to the side of the road and Trooper Zistel pulled in behind the suspect vehicle.  Before Trooper Zistel could bring his patrol vehicle to a complete stop, the driver of the suspect vehicle, John Van Allen II exited his vehicle.  While standing next to the driver's door of his vehicle, John Van Allen II took an aggressive stance and hid his right hand behind his back.  John Van Allen II was wearing camouflaged military fatigues.  Trooper Zistel explained the reason for the stop and repeatedly asked John Van Allen II to get back into his vehicle.  John Van Allen II refused Trooper Zistel's requests and began aggressively approaching the officer.  John Van Allen II quickly closed the distance between himself and Trooper Zistel. While continuing to advance on Trooper Zistel, John Van Allen II pulled a gun from his rear waistband, took a combat shooting stance and began firing at Trooper Zistel.  Trooper Zistel was struck by a bullet in the left side.  Trooper Zistel fired at John Van Allen II, striking John Van Allen II in the right side of the chest.  John Van Allen II continued to stalk Trooper Zistel before retreating to his vehicle and leaving the scene.  John Van Allen II and with his three children were located in his vehicle approximately one-half mile from the location of the shooting.  The suspect vehicle was parked on the shoulder of I-84 eastbound.  John Van Allen II was deceased.  The three minor children were not harmed.

    

The District Attorney is charged with reviewing incidents where deadly physical force is used by the police and must determine if the use of deadly physical force was consistent with Oregon law.  The Sherman County District Attorney finds that Trooper Mathew Zistel was justified in using deadly physical force in this incident.   At the time Trooper Zistel decided to employ deadly physical force, it was reasonable for him to believe that his life was endangered.  Trooper Zistel acted in self defense.  Given the overwhelming evidence supporting Trooper Zistel's decision to employ deadly physical force, the District Attorney will not present this case to the Grand Jury.

 

District Attorney McLeod would like to thank all the law enforcement agencies and emergency service entities that responded to this incident and further thank all the agencies involved for a thorough and detailed investigation of this event.

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