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Warrant dropped for professor who spoke Hawaiian in court
Press Release | 2018/01/24 09:57
A judge dropped an arrest warrant Thursday for a University of Hawaii professor who refused to respond in court to English and spoke Hawaiian instead.

Samuel Kaleikoa Kaeo was in court Wednesday facing a trial for charges connected to his participation in a 2017 protest against the construction of a solar telescope on top of Haleakala, a volcano on Maui, Hawaii News Now reported .

When Judge Blaine Kobayashi asked Kaeo to confirm his identity, he repeatedly responded in Hawaiian instead of English.

Kobayashi said he couldn't understand Kaeo and issued a warrant for Kaeo's arrest, saying "the court is unable to get a definitive determination for the record that the defendant seated in court is Mr. Samuel Kaeo."

Kaeo, an associate professor of Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii Maui College, said he has appeared before the judge before and complained that "it was about the fact that I was speaking Hawaiian that he didn't like."

Kobayashi recalled the bench warrant Thursday, the state Judiciary said in a statement. Judiciary spokesman Andrew Laurence declined to answer questions about the recall, including what prompted it.

Kaeo faces misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing a sidewalk. Kaeo, who also speaks English, requested a Hawaiian interpreter in the courtroom but prosecutors had objected, saying it was an unnecessary expense that would have caused delays.


Bill Cosby arrives in court ahead of sexual assault trial
Press Release | 2017/06/05 13:35
Bill Cosby arrived at the suburban Philadelphia courthouse for the start of his sexual assault trial Monday. The 79-year-old Cosby showed up at the Montgomery County courthouse at about 8:40 a.m. amid a large media presence.

Arriving with the disgraced comedian were his defense attorneys and his former "Cosby Show" castmate Keshia Knight Pullman who played his daughter Rudy.

Cosby's life and legacy are on the line when his accuser takes the stand in the only criminal case to emerge from the dozens of sexual assault allegations lodged against the actor. The former college basketball manager says Cosby drugged and assaulted her in 2004.

This is the only criminal case to emerge from the dozens of sexual assault allegations lodged against him. Cosby says he had a romantic relationship with her. She will tell her story in public for the first time when she testifies. Those involved in the case worry about duplicating the media frenzy that dominated O.J. Simpson's murder trial.

Cameras are banned in Pennsylvania courtrooms. The jury will be sequestered for the estimated two-week trial.



Florida asks court to deny inmate's execution-delay request
Press Release | 2016/01/20 16:16
Florida has asked the state's high court to reject a condemned inmate's request to delay his execution based on the U.S. Supreme Court's finding that Florida's procedure for imposing the death penalty is illegal.

In a brief filed Thursday, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's office said the U.S. Supreme Court's finding should not be applied retroactively to already-settled death penalty cases.

Ruling on the Hurst v. Florida case Tuesday, the nation's highest court ruled 8-1 that Florida's procedure is flawed because it allows judges, not juries, to decide death sentences.

Attorneys for convicted killer Michael Lambrix cited the ruling in their request for a new sentencing hearing for him.

Lambrix is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Feb. 11.

It wasn't clear when the court would rule.



Michael Jackson’s doctor pleads not guilty
Press Release | 2015/07/07 11:35
Michael Jackson’s doctor pleaded not guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter in the death of the pop star at a brief hearing that had all the trappings of another sensational celebrity courtroom drama.

Dr. Conrad Murray, accused of giving Jackson a fatal dose of an anesthetic to help him sleep, appeared in court in a gray suit and burgundy tie as Jackson’s father Joe, mother Katherine, and siblings LaToya, Jermaine, Tito, Jackie and Randy watched from courtroom seats behind prosecutors.

Neither Murray nor the Jacksons showed much emotion as the six-foot-five Murray entered his plea through his attorney Ed Chernoff, but as he emerged from court, Joe Jackson declared, “My son was murdered.”

“We need justice,” he added before leaving with family members in a fleet of Cadillac Escalades.

On Monday night, Joe Jackson told CNN’s Larry King that he doesn’t believe Murray is the only person responsible for his son’s death. “To me, he’s just the fall guy. There’s other people I think involved with this whole thing,” Joe Jackson said, without elaborating.

Joe Jackson also told King his son believed his life was in danger. “Michael said it himself that he would be killed,” Joe Jackson said. “He even told his kids that he would be murdered.”

Earlier, several people shouted “murderer” as Murray walked past a crowd of hundreds of reporters and Jackson fans on his way to a courthouse adjacent to Los Angeles International Airport. Others held signs urging “Justice For Michael.”

Murray, 56, a Houston cardiologist who was with Jackson when he died June 25, entered his plea just hours after he was charged.



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