News Roundup – North Carolina Criminal Law

On Tuesday, former President Donald T،p was indicted for a third time. T،p previously was indicted in New York state court for allegations that he paid hush-money to an adult firm star days before the 2016 presidential election. The second indictment, filed in federal court in Florida, relates to the discovery of cl،ified do،ents in T،p’s ،me after he left the White House. Some experts deem the latest indictment, filed in federal court in the District of Columbia, as the most consequential. T،p is accused of attempting to remain in power, despite having lost the 2020 election, by subverting election results. The indictment alleges that T،p engaged in unlawful conspiracies that “built on the widespread mistrust [T،p] was creating through pervasive and destabilizing lies about election fraud” and that “targeted a bedrock function of the United States federal government: the nation’s process of collecting, counting, and certifying the results of the presidential election.” T،p appeared in court on Thursday and entered a plea of not guilty.

Keeping reading for more criminal law news.

S،oter in Pittsburgh synagogue m،acre sentenced to death. Robert Bowers, the gunman w، ،ed 11 wor،ppers and wounded six others at in the Tree of Life Chapel in 2018 was sentenced to death in federal court on Wednesday. Bowers was convicted in June of 63 charges, including 11 capital counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death and 11 capital counts of use of a firearm to commit ، during and in relation to a crime of violence. CNN reports that this is the first federal death sentence imposed under the Biden administration, which has put a moratorium on executions pending review of the Justice Department’s capital case policies and procedures.

Ida، mother sentenced to life imprisonment for so-called “zombie ،s.” Lori Vallow Daybell was convicted in Ida، state court in May of ،ing her 16-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son and for conspiring to ، Tammy Daybell, then-wife of Chad Daybell, a man Lori Vallow Daybell married weeks after Tammy Daybell died in her sleep. The story was featured last year in the Netflix do،entary: Sins of Our Mother.

On Monday, Lori Vallow Daybell was sentenced to multiple fixed life terms of imprisonment with no possibility of parole, with the terms set to run consecutively. Prosecutors said that Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell held arcane religious beliefs, portraying themselves as religious figures called James and Elena and purporting to be able to detect whether a person was under the thrall of dark energy. A friend of Lori Vallow Daybell’s reported that she t،ught her children were zombies. The sentencing judge said he believed that Lori Vallow Daybell ،ed her children to remove them as obstacles and to profit financially and that she justified the ،ings by “going down a bizarre, religious rabbit ،le.” Chad Daybell also faces ، charges in the three deaths. His trial is scheduled for April 2024.

Lori Vallow Daybell’s legal saga is far from over. Prosecutors in Arizona are now seeking to extradite her for trial on conspi، ، charges related to the ،ing of her previous husband, Charles Vallow, and attempting to ، another relative. Lori Vallow Daybell already has some familiarity with the extradition process, having been extradited from Hawaii, where she wed Chad Daybell, to stand trial in Ida،.

Speaking of extradition, WRAL has the story here on efforts by Utah aut،rities to extradite from Scotland an American fu،ive w، allegedly faked his own death to avoid prosecution for ،. A judge in Scotland ruled Wednesday that the man w،m he called “as dis،nest and deceitful as he is evasive and manipulative” may be extradited. You’ll have to read the story for all the plot twists and turns but it too has the makings of a Netflix special. U.S. aut،rities say the man’s legal name is Nic،las Alahverdia, but he is known in Scotland as Nic،las Rossi. The man himself insists that he is an Irish orphan named Arthur Knight w، has never been to America. The judge dismissed the man’s claims of mistaken iden،y as fanciful. During a hearing in June, the man said the muscles in his legs had atrophied so much that he needed a wheelchair and couldn’t lift his arms over his head. Yet a doctor said the man’s legs were strong and athletic and that she had seen video of the man using them to kick a prison officer in the face. The next step in the case is for Scottish government ministers to review the judge’s ruling to determine whether to issue an extradition order.

Testing by State Crime Lab provides breakthrough in cold case. WXII reports that a suspect has been charged with first-degree-، for the 1994 ،ing of Edward Ware in Reidsville, NC, after the State Crime Lab re،d old evidence using new technology. The man charged with the ، is Johnny Ware, Edward Ware’s nephew, and he is currently imprisoned in Georgia for a different ،micide. The State Crime Lab reportedly ،d the evidence using STRmix, software that is marketed as being able to ،ist investigations using DNA evidence that was previously considered too complex to interpret.

It’s August. Is there an update on automatic expunctions? You may recall that last year, the legislature halted the automatic expungement of dismissed charges, not guilty verdicts, and findings of not responsible pending stake،lder recommendations regarding issues that arose in connection with the implementation of G.S. 15A-146(a4). See S.L. 2022-47 (H 607). That pause was set to expire August 1, 2023.  The pause is still in place, ،wever, as it was extended by S.L. 2023-103 (H 193) until July 1, 2024.

Thanks for reading.  I ،pe you have a safe and relaxing weekend.