11-24-2020  9:52 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Automatic Recount Initiated for the Gresham Mayoral Contest

Gresham mayoral race currently falls within margin for automatic recount, House District 52 race does not

Portland’s Black Business Owners Struggle to Find Relief

Targeted funding could address disparities in federal aid.

California, Oregon, Washington Issue Virus Travel Advisories

Governors urge people entering their states or returning from outside the states to self-quarantine 

Democrats Won't Reach 2/3rd Supermajority in Legislature

Oregon’s Democratic lawmakers will fall short of winning enough state legislative seats to prevent Republicans from staging walkouts

NEWS BRIEFS

D’artagnan Bernard Caliman Named Meyer Memorial Trust’s New Director of Justice Oregon for Black Lives

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Oregon Safeway and Albertsons Shoppers Register Support for Schools and Hunger

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Oregon Employment Department Begins Issuing 'Waiting Week' Benefits

246,300 Oregonians to receive a combined total of $176 million in benefits in the initial payment run ...

Officials Suggest a Visit to Oregonhealthcare.gov This Thanksgiving Holiday

As gatherings go virtual, families and friends can help each other access health insurance ...

Meyer Memorial Trust Awards $21 Million for Equitable Work in Oregon

The 150 grants will support organizations that work with and grow communities that have long experienced disparities. ...

Hood River man arrested in crash that killed woman, child

HOOD RIVER, Ore. (AP) — A Hood River man has been arrested in a rollover crash that killed two passengers early Tuesday in the Columbia River Gorge, police said. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Noel Hernandez was driving east on Interstate 84 between Hood River and Mosier when his vehicle...

Oregon DOJ lawyer reprimanded for 'inappropriate' treatment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A high-ranking lawyer at the Oregon Department of Justice has been reprimanded and will work with an executive coach after an outside investigation found he violated state policy in an interaction with another lawyer.The investigator found sufficient evidence to support...

Missouri, Bazelak start fast to beat South Carolina 17-10

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz was proud his team wouldn't let the obstacles they've faced this season keep them from success. And he happily congratulated them, COVID-19 worries and all, after the Tigers' 17-10 victory over South Carolina on Saturday night. “Can...

Missouri's Drinkwitz seeking more success vs South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz has some good memories of playing at South Carolina. He hopes to make a few more this week. It was a year ago that Drinkwitz, then the coach at Appalachian State, brought the highly overmatched Mountaineers into Williams-Brice Stadium in...

OPINION

Thanksgiving 2020: Grateful for New Hope and New Direction in Our Nation

This hasn’t been a normal year, and it isn’t going to be a normal Thanksgiving. ...

No Time to Rest

After four years under a Trump administration, we see there is a lot of work to be done. ...

Could America Learn a COVID-19 Lesson from Rwanda?

As of October 28, in a country of just over twelve million people, they have experienced only 35 deaths from the coronavirus ...

Trump’s Game

Trump’s strategy is clear: maintain control of the Republican Party as the Trump Party, install “acting” officials who will not cooperate with the Biden transition team ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Bruce Boynton, who inspired 1961 Freedom Rides, dies at 83

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — Bruce Carver Boynton, a civil rights pioneer from Alabama who inspired the landmark “Freedom Rides" of 1961, died Monday. He was 83.Former Alabama state Sen. Hank Sanders, a friend of Boynton’s, on Tuesday confirmed his passing.Boynton was arrested 60 years...

Amid racial reckoning, Grammys honor the Black experience

NEW YORK (AP) — With police brutality continuing to devastate Black families and the coronavirus ravishing Black America disproportionately, the world was driven to the significance of this year’s Juneteenth more than ever before.And Beyoncé knew she wanted to release a song on...

Judge: California can't ban offensive license plates

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California can't enforce a ban vanity license plates it considers “offensive to good taste and decency” because that violates freedom of speech, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar ruled in a case filed in March against Department of...

ENTERTAINMENT

BTS, Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa react to Grammy noms

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Reactions from some of the nominees for the 63rd Grammy Awards: “What??? Who me? Oh my God.” — Megan Thee Stallion, during a livestream after the Recording Academy president and CEO Harvey Mason Jr. told the Houston-based rapper about her...

The Weeknd criticizes Grammys over nominations snub

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Weeknd angrily slammed the Grammy Awards, calling them “corrupt” after the pop star walked away with zero nominations despite having multiple hits this year.The three-time Grammy winner criticized the Recording Academy on Tuesday after he was severely...

Review: 'Ma Rainey' is Boseman's final, perhaps finest gift

Chadwick Boseman surges onto the screen as fast-talking trumpeter Levee in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” like a man on an electrified tightrope -- balancing precariously between hope and cynicism, humor and sadness, joy and pain, and love and hate.Unlike with some of...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

The Weeknd criticizes Grammys over nominations snub

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Weeknd angrily slammed the Grammy Awards, calling them “corrupt” after...

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma pleads guilty in criminal case

Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty Tuesday to three criminal charges, formally taking responsibility for its part in an...

Punishing hurricanes to spur more Central American migration

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (AP) — At a shelter in this northern Honduran city, Lilian Gabriela Santos...

Drones to the rescue: Berlin lab seeks quicker virus tests

BERLIN (AP) — A German lab is hoping to cut the time it takes to send coronavirus tests across Berlin by...

UK eases restrictions so families can gather over Christmas

LONDON (AP) — British authorities gave the green light Tuesday to holiday reunions, relaxing restrictions...

With Ethiopia on brink of escalation, diplomacy in doubt

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Alarm spiraled Tuesday over Ethiopia's imminent tank attack on the capital of the...

ODOT Open House
Kyle Hightower Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Jurors aren't talking. Prosecutors are stunned that they lost. Defense attorneys are lashing out at the media. And Casey Anthony could be free by the weekend.

A case that involved years of forensic investigation, weeks of often highly technical testimony and untold hours of media analysis turned out to be a quick decision for the jurors weighing whether Anthony killed her 2-year-old daughter. Early in their second day of deliberations, the 12 men and women concluded Tuesday that Anthony lied to investigators but wasn't guilty in her child's death.

Now Anthony waits to learn if she could spend her first night out of jail in almost three years since she was first accused in the case. She was only convicted of four misdemeanor counts of lying to investigators, and it's possible that Judge Belvin Perry could sentence her Thursday to time already served for those crimes. The four counts of lying to sheriff's deputies each carry a maximum sentence of one year.

Anthony, 25, has been in jail since her October 2008 arrest on first-degree murder charges. She avoided a possible death sentence thanks to her acquittal on the murder count. The case began in July 2008 when Caylee Anthony was reported missing.

"I'm very happy for Casey, ecstatic for her and I want her to be able to grieve and grow and somehow get her life back together," defense attorney Jose Baez said Tuesday. "I think this case is a perfect example of why the death penalty does not work ... Murder is not right, no matter who does it."

The trial became a national sensation on cable TV, with its CSI-style testimony about duct-tape marks on the child's face and the smell of death inside a car trunk.

After a month and a half of testimony, the jury took less than 11 hours to find Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse.

Tears welled in Anthony's eyes, her face reddened, her lips trembled, and she began breathing heavily as she listened to the verdict.

Anthony's parents, George and Cindy Anthony, left court quickly after the verdict without hugging or saying anything to their daughter. Their attorney, Mark Lippman, told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday that they hadn't spoken with their daughter since the verdict. Lippman wouldn't answer whether the Anthonys believe their daughter killed Caylee.

The jurors - seven women and five men - would not talk to the media, and their identities were kept secret by the court.

But an alternate juror told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday he thought they came to the right verdict. Russell Huekler told the network he didn't think the prosecution presented enough evidence to sustain a murder charge.

"When they explained to us what reasonable doubt was, I definitely had reasonable doubt then," said Huekler, who wasn't involved in deliberations as an alternate.

Huekler also said he didn't think prosecutors provided a motive for why Anthony would kill her daughter.

"Just because Casey was a party girl did not show why she would possibly kill Caylee," he said.

Also on NBC, prosecutor Jeff Ashton said the verdict left him and other prosecutors in shock.

"I think I mouthed the word `wow' about five times," he said.

Many in the crowd of about 500 people outside the courthouse Tuesday reacted with anger after the verdict was read, chanting, "Justice for Caylee!" One man yelled, "Baby killer!"

Given the relative speed with which the jury came back with a verdict, many court-watchers were expecting Anthony to be convicted in the killing, and they were stunned by the outcome.

Prosecutors contended that Anthony - a single mother living with her parents - suffocated Caylee with duct tape because she wanted to be free to hit the nightclubs and spend time with her boyfriend.

Defense attorneys argued that the little girl accidentally drowned in the family swimming pool and that Anthony panicked and hid the body because of the traumatic effects of being sexually abused by her father.

The case played out on national television almost from the moment Caylee was reported missing three years ago. CNN's Nancy Grace dissected the case at every turn with the zeal of the prosecutor she once was, arguing that Anthony was responsible for her daughter's death. The TV host turned the term "tot mom" into shorthand for Anthony.

Anthony's attorney Cheney Mason blasted the media after the verdict.

"Well, I hope that this is a lesson to those of you having indulged in media assassination for three years, bias, prejudice and incompetent talking heads saying what would be and how to be," Mason said.

"I'm disgusted by some of the lawyers that have done this, and I can tell you that my colleagues from coast to coast and border to border have condemned this whole process of lawyers getting on television and talking about cases that they don't know a damn thing about."

State's Attorney Lawson Lamar said: "We're disappointed in the verdict today because we know the facts and we've put in absolutely every piece of evidence that existed." The prosecutor lamented the lack of hard evidence, saying, "This is a dry-bones case. Very, very difficult to prove. The delay in recovering little Caylee's remains worked to our considerable disadvantage."

Caylee's disappearance went unreported by her own mother for a month. The child's decomposed body was eventually found in the woods near her grandparents' home six months after she was last seen. A medical examiner was never able to establish how she died.

The case became a macabre tourist attraction in Orlando. People camped outside for seats in the courtroom, and scuffles broke out among those desperate to watch the drama unfold.

Because the case got so much media attention in Orlando, jurors were brought in from the Tampa Bay area and sequestered for the entire trial, during which they listened to more than 33 days of testimony and looked at 400 pieces of evidence. Anthony did not take the stand.

"While we're happy for Casey, there are no winners in this case," Baez said after the verdict. "Caylee has passed on far, far too soon and what my driving force has been for the last three years has been always to make sure that there has been justice for Caylee and Casey because Casey did not murder Caylee. It's that simple. And today our system of justice has not dishonored her memory by a false conviction."

In closing arguments, prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick showed the jury two side-by-side images. One showed Anthony smiling and partying in a nightclub during the first month Caylee was missing. The other was the tattoo Anthony she got a day before law enforcement learned of the child's disappearance: the Italian words for "beautiful life."

"At the end of this case, all you have to ask yourself is whose life was better without Caylee?" Burdick asked. "This is your answer."

Prosecutors also focused heavily on an odor in the trunk of Anthony's car, which forensics experts said was consistent with the smell of human decay.

But the defense argued that the air analysis could not be duplicated, that no one could prove a stain found in the trunk was caused by Caylee's remains, and that maggots in the compartment had come from a bag of trash.

Prosecutors hammered away at the lies Anthony told when the child was missing: She told her parents that she couldn't produce Caylee because the girl was with a nanny named Zanny - a woman who doesn't exist; that she and her daughter were spending time with a rich boyfriend who doesn't exist; and that Zanny had been hospitalized after an out-of-town traffic crash and that they were spending time with her.

Baez said during closing arguments that the prosecutors' case was so weak they tried to portray Anthony as "a lying, no-good slut" and that their forensic evidence was based on a "fantasy." He said Caylee's death was "an accident that snowballed out of control."

He contended that the toddler drowned and when Anthony panicked, her father, a former police officer, decided to make the death look like a murder by putting duct tape on the girl's mouth and dumping the body in the woods a quarter-mile away. Anthony's father denied both the cover-up and abuse claims.

The verdict could divide people for many years to come, just as the O.J. Simpson case in the mid-1990s did, with some believing Anthony got away with murder.

Ti McLeod, who lives near the Anthony family, said, "The justice system has failed Caylee." Jodie Ickes, who lives a mile away and goes to the same hairdresser Anthony uses, said she is against the death penalty and was glad that Casey wasn't facing execution. "I'm comfortable with the outcome," she concluded.

Among the trial spectators was 51-year-old Robin Wilkie, who said she has spent $3,000 on hotels and food since arriving June 10 from Lake Minnetonka, Minn. She tallied more than 100 hours standing in line to wait for tickets and got into the courtroom 15 times to see Anthony.

"True crime has become a unique genre of entertainment," Wilkie said. "Her stories are so extreme and fantastic, it's hard to believe they're true, but that's what engrosses people. This case has sex, lies and videotapes - just like on reality TV."

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