A lawyer for Mike Nifong said in court documents Friday that three exonerated lacrosse players cannot expect any money from the fallen prosecutor.
Nifong's lawyer, Jim Craven, filed a 19-page document in federal court in response to a suit filed by the former Duke players, who are seeking damages for malicious prosecution and conspiracy.
“These creditors, certainly their counsel, have to know that they will never collect so much as $35 from Mike Nifong,” the response says. “They must know that, yet still they come.”
Former players Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann filed suit in October, alleging that Nifong, the city of Durham and its police department played a key role in pushing forward with a gang-rape case that was flawed from the start.
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The players spent nearly 13 months fighting charges that were dropped in April 2007 by State Attorney General Roy Cooper. The attorney general declared them innocent of the allegations brought by the escort service dancer hired to perform at a lacrosse team party in March 2006.
Nifong's lawyer questions the claims of personal injury by the players, who did not spend a night in jail and received an undisclosed settlement last year from Duke University. (Raleigh) News & Observer
Jurors deliberated Friday about five hours without reaching a verdict in the trial of Antwan Sanders, one of three men accused of kidnapping, robbing, sexually assaulting, and killing teenagers Tasha Lopes and Raylynn Chelten in June 1993.
Jurors will resume their deliberations Monday.
Sanders, 33, is charged with the murders along with Myron Terrell Burris and Robert Chevelle Friday. Burris has already pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree murder in the case, but will not be sentenced until after he has finished testifying in the trials of Sanders and Friday.
Tasha, 17, and Raylynn, 15, were kidnapped on the night of June 3, 1993, sexually assaulted and shot. The teens' bodies were found five days later near the Chemway Industrial Park in northwest Charlotte.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Sanders would be sentenced to life in prison. Mark Price
A 14-year-old male giraffe died at the N.C. Zoo Thursday afternoon while undergoing surgery to remove a stone blocking his urinary tract.
Azog was born at the N.C. Zoo in July 1994, and was one of two adult giraffes in the zoo's collection.
Keepers noticed he was having urinary problems Thursday morning and called in zoo veterinarians who diagnosed the problem.
The zoo's chief veterinarian, Mike Loomis, said the blockage would have eventually caused the giraffe's death.
As a result, the decision was made to immediately remove the stone surgically. But after more than two hours of surgery veterinarians were unable to reach the blockage.
Azog died under anesthesia around 2:30 p.m. in the giraffe holding barn where the procedure was conducted.
Zoo officials said the giraffe died of metabolic complications caused by an obstructed urethra.
“We knew there were risks because this is a species that is extremely susceptible to problems under anesthesia,” Loomis said.
“It was a calculated risk that we had to take.”
Meanwhile, the zoo's other adult giraffe, 32-year-old Julie, remains in good health and on exhibit.
Julie is still one of the five oldest giraffes exhibited in American zoos.
Two other giraffes, both 10 months old, will be arriving at the zoo from the Denver and Cheyenne Mountain zoos next month through an agreement set up earlier this year. (Greensboro) News & Record
More than 300 people have lost their jobs at Hatteras Yachts' boat-building plants in New Bern and Edenton.
Employees learned Thursday of the terminations, which were effective immediately. It was unclear how the 325 lost jobs were divided among the plants.
Market research data shows that sales of new boats have been slipping nationwide virtually every month since mid-2004.
The layoffs were announced by Hatteras Yachts' parent company, Lake Forest, Ill.-based Brunswick Corp. Brunswick spokesman Dan Kubera said the company began reacting to the domestic market in June by finding ways to cut costs of $300 million. Associated Press
Tougher penalties for people who commit gang-related crimes soon will be enforced in North Carolina.
Gov. Mike Easley said Friday he signed into law legislation that makes punishments longer for drive-by shootings and those who try to get youth to join gangs.
The new penalties take effect Dec. 1.
Easley also said he signed two other bills, both of which make largely minor changes to the state ethics and lobbying rules as well as the state auditor's role in ethics investigations.
The governor has roughly a dozen bills still on his desk that the General Assembly approved before legislators went home last month. Easley has until midnight Sunday to act on the remaining bills or they automatically become law. Associated Press
An intern at an N.C. district attorney's office was arrested Friday after investigators said he offered to sell confidential documents in a high-profile case of a slain pregnant Marine for an “astronomical” fee to an undercover agent.
Robert Paul Sharpe, 33, of Jacksonville was charged with embezzlement and misdemeanor larceny for taking files in the murder case against Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, who is accused of killing Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach and burying her burned body in his backyard.
Sharpe is accused of taking 6,000 pages and 30 computer disks of investigative files, law enforcement reports and other documents while working in the office of Onslow County District Attorney Dewey Hudson. Sharpe had access to the file to make copies for Dick McNeil, Laurean's defense attorney.
“I am confident that none of the documents have been released,” Hudson said, noting that only senior prosecutors now have access to the file. “I was shocked that something like this would occur. I never dreamed it would. I deeply regret that this happened.” Associated Press
An S.C. furniture salesman has been convicted in North Carolina of scamming hundreds of online customers out of millions of dollars.
Henry Rayford Privette Jr., 49, of Johns Island, was convicted in federal court of 10 counts of wire fraud. The verdict was returned Wednesday in Elizabeth City.
Prosecutors said Privette ran an Internet business in Calabash between 2000 and 2003. They said he took deposits but never delivered furniture.
Privette faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $2.5 million. Associated Press