05-22-2018  2:39 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Police identify driver in Oregon crash that killed 4

YONCALLA, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have identified the wrong-way driver in a fiery, quadruple fatal crash in southwestern Oregon.Oregon State Police say a car driven by 65-year-old Gayle Ward of Vancouver, Washington, was southbound on Interstate 5 when it suddenly turned around and began...

Agencies warn of cougars after fatal attack on cyclist

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Local and federal agencies are warning residents in western Washington and central Oregon to be on the lookout for cougars.The Sunriver Police Department and the Bureau of Land Management both issued warnings Saturday after sightings of the animal were reported in Sunriver...

Police identify driver in Oregon crash that killed 4

YONCALLA, Ore. (AP) — Authorities have identified the wrong-way driver in a fiery, quadruple fatal crash in southwestern Oregon.Oregon State Police say a car driven by 65-year-old Gayle Ward of Vancouver, Washington, was southbound on Interstate 5 when it suddenly turned around and began...

Agencies warn of cougars after fatal attack on cyclist

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Local and federal agencies are warning residents in western Washington and central Oregon to be on the lookout for cougars.The Sunriver Police Department and the Bureau of Land Management both issued warnings Saturday after sightings of the animal were reported in Sunriver...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Clinton backing Abrams for Georgia governor

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the gubernatorial primary in Georgia (all times local):5:40 p.m.Hillary Clinton is urging Democrats in Georgia to make sure to vote in support of Stacey Abrams for governor.Clinton recorded a 60-second endorsement used by the Abrams campaign in direct phone calls...

Palestinians ask ICC to investigate alleged crimes by Israel

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Accusing Israel of systematic crimes, including apartheid in the occupied territories, Palestinians on Tuesday urged the International Criminal Court to open an investigation that could ultimately lead to charges against Israeli leaders.Israel immediately...

Man charged with shooting at black teen waives hearing

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A white suburban Detroit homeowner accused of shooting at a black teenager who came to his door to ask for directions will stand trial.Jeffrey Zeigler was bound over Tuesday to circuit court after waiving his preliminary examination on assault with intent to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Roseanne Barr promises an upbeat 'Roseanne' season finale

NEW YORK (AP) — Roseanne Barr says the season finale of her revived and controversial ABC sitcom "Roseanne" will come to a climax Tuesday with the embrace of a hopeful principle."We're wrapping up the season in a great way that kind of gives the idea that government can really help people....

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

NEW YORK (AP) — R. Kelly sexually abused and demeaned a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment and infected her with herpes, according to a lawsuit that furthers a string of misconduct accusations against the platinum-selling singer.Faith Rodgers said in the suit filed Monday...

A farewell to the road for Paul Simon

NEW YORK (AP) — Farewell tours don't always mean farewell, but are a ripe time for appreciation and appraisal. Paul Simon's concerts and a new biography offer the opportunity for both.Simon's "Homeward Bound" tour began last week in Vancouver and takes him across North America, to Europe and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Judge sides with parents, boots adult son from New York home

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — In a real-life case of "Failure to Launch," an upstate New York judge Tuesday ordered...

Trump won't say if he has confidence in Rosenstein

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declined to say Tuesday whether he has confidence in Deputy...

The princes, the president and the fortune seekers

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a year spent carefully cultivating two princes from the Arabian Peninsula, Elliott...

Tear gas, broken windows disrupt Paris labor march

PARIS (AP) — Clashes between police and groups of masked youths erupted Tuesday on the sidelines of a labor...

The Latest: Italy PM pick had 'no official status' at NYU

MILAN (AP) — The Latest on the law professor picked to be Italy's next premier (all times local):9:45...

The princes, the president and the fortune seekers

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a year spent carefully cultivating two princes from the Arabian Peninsula, Elliott...

Michael Pearson, Greg Botelho and Ed Payne CNN

(CNN) -- Jurors in the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial will be allowed to consider at least one lesser charge -- manslaughter -- when they get the case after closing arguments, Judge Debra Nelson ruled Thursday.

But she put off a decision whether they could consider a charge of third-degree murder after attorney Don West offered fierce objection to the charge, which prosecutors said is based on the idea that Zimmerman committed child abuse in killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

"Oh my God," he told Nelson. "Just when I thought this case couldn't get any more bizarre, the state is seeking third-degree murder based on child abuse."

Prosecutors are seeking the additional charges to give jurors more options should they find Zimmerman didn't commit second-degree murder when he killed Martin on February 26, 2012.

In arguing unsuccessfully against the manslaughter charge, West told Nelson that Zimmerman believes that because the "state has charged him with second-degree murder, they should be required to prove it, if they can."

Closing arguments in the case were expected to begin Thursday afternoon, after attorneys finish arguing over legal points in the jury instructions -- including decisions on explaining justifiable use of force and Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law.

The law provides legal protections to people who use deadly force against attackers when faced with a fear of death or serious harm.

Zimmerman, 29, has never denied shooting Martin. But he's contended that he did so in self defense, portraying himself as the victim and Martin as the aggressor.

But the late teen's backers say the shooting could not be justified, with activists leading widely attended rallies and taking other steps urging authorities to press charges. Faulting Zimmerman for ignoring a 911 dispatcher's direction not to follow the teen, they believe Zimmerman profiled Martin because he was black.

Many of those arguments, on both sides, will likely play out during closing arguments.

Those start Thursday afternoon, when Bernie de la Rionda makes the prosecution's case for up to two hours. Defense lawyer Mark O'Mara will make his case for up to three hours Friday morning, followed by a rebuttal of up to one hour from prosecutor John Guy.

Later Friday, the case will be in the hands of the all-female jury.

No testimony from Zimmerman

Zimmerman, from his comments to police to the arguments of his lawyers, has steadfastly maintained he shouldn't be found guilty of murder, contending he shot the teen in self-defense.

But jurors weighing his fate won't hear that from him directly.

On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Debra Nelson asked Zimmerman if he'd made a decision about taking the stand in his own defense.

"After consulting with counsel," Zimmerman replied, he'd decided "not to testify, your honor."

Moments later -- and after Nelson refused a request from Zimmerman's team to dismiss the case before the jury could weigh in -- the defense rested its case.

Lawyer wrestles with foam dummy

The prosecution had once stated its intention to call up to three witnesses in the rebuttal phase of the trial but did not call any. One potential rebuttal witness was not called because the judge ruled prosecutors couldn't pursue one line of questioning. Another was ruled out because the prosecution wasn't certain the witness was available. The exclusion of the third potential witness wasn't explained.

That means the last witness the jury will have heard from is Robert Zimmerman, George's father.

He testified -- like his wife, Gladys, had earlier in the trial -- that he believes it was his son who was screaming on the infamous 911 recording of the altercation that ended in Martin's death.

Contrast their testimony to that of Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, who said she was "absolutely" certain that the panicked voice was that of her son. The late teenager's brother, Jahvaris Fulton, made a similar declaration in court.

Defense attorneys argue Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense after the teenager charged him. Prosecutors argue Zimmerman followed Martin through his neighborhood and shot him without provocation.

The fatal gunshot

The star Wednesday may have been a foam dummy.

O'Mara grappled with the life-size model inside the courtroom, working to show rapt jurors the competing versions of what happened the rainy night Martin was killed.

Assistant State Attorney John Guy brought out the dummy in an effort to demonstrate that it would have been difficult for Zimmerman to retrieve his handgun from his pocket with Martin straddling him, as defense attorneys have argued was the case.

The fatal gunshot, Guy reminded defense witness Dennis Root, was fired at a 90-degree angle into Martin's body.

"Wouldn't that be consistent with Travyon Martin getting off of George Zimmerman and George Zimmerman raising the gun and firing it?" Guy asked Root, a use-of-force expert.

"It could be consistent with any kind of movement ... We weren't there so the info that we have is George Zimmerman's statement," he said.

Later, O'Mara straddled the dummy himself, pounding the back of its head against the carpeted courtroom floor, demonstrating how he says Martin gave Zimmerman the head wounds seen in police photographs from the night of the shooting.

HLN's Grace Wong, Graham Winch, Jonathan Anker and Anna Lanfreschi and CNN's John Couwels contributed to this report.

 

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