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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The Massachusetts man accused of fatally poisoning Stephen Rakes, a regular at James "Whitey" Bulger's murder trial, has been ordered held without bail for 90 days.

A judge deemed that William Camuti's release would not "reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community," said MaryBeth Long, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office.

Camuti, 69, confessed to putting potassium cyanide in an iced coffee that he provided to Rakes, 59, according to testimony by a Massachusetts state trooper at a hearing in Concord District Court on Tuesday.

"He indicated that he had purchased two iced coffees. He did in fact purchase potassium cyanide, which had been delivered and stored," said Trooper Michael Banks.

Rakes took only one sip before deciding the coffee tasted too bitter. Camuti then drove him around the cities of Waltham, Woburn, Burlington and Lincoln for several hours until he "succumbed to ... ingesting" the cyanide, Banks testified.

Rakes had been a regular attendee at Bulger's trial until he was found dead in a wooded area in Lincoln on July 17, about 30 miles from his home in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Camuti was arrested and charged with attempted murder, misleading police and unlawful disposition of human remains in connection with Rakes' death on August 2, a Middlesex County District Attorney news release said.

CNN's requests for comment from Camuti's attorney were not immediately returned.

Camuti and Rakes were longtime business associates, and Camuti allegedly poisoned Rakes at a time when Camuti owed Rakes money.

In a phone call on July 16, Camuti asked Rakes to meet him about a potential investment property in Wilmington. The investment deal was a ruse to lure Rakes into meeting him, authorities said.

The same day, surveillance video showed Rakes leaving the federal courthouse where he regularly attended Bulger's murder trial. Rakes appeared to be wearing the same clothing in which his body was found, according to authorities.

The two men met that afternoon in a McDonald's in Waltham, where Camuti allegedly bought two iced coffees, laced one with two teaspoons of potassium cyanide and gave it to Rakes, authorities said.

Investigators alleged Camuti dumped Rakes' body in the wooded area, where it was found the next day.

Camuti pleaded not guilty to the charges at this arraignment in August. His next court date is scheduled for October 3, said Long, the District Attorney's Office spokeswoman.

Rakes had been a reported extortion victim of Bulger's and had learned shortly before his death that prosecutors no longer planned to call him to testify, a friend said.

Bulger, a reputed Irish mob boss in Boston, was found guilty in August on 31 of 32 counts, including extortion, money laundering, drug dealing and weapons possession. A federal jury held Bulger responsible for the murders of 11 people.

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