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Prosecutors in the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz are about to begin their rebuttal case. They are expected to present expert witnesses who will testify starting Tuesday that Cruz is a sociopath and fully responsible for his murder of 17 people at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. They are trying to counter defense testimony that said Cruz's birth mother drank heavily during pregnancy, damaging his brain. Cruz pleaded guilty last year to murder. The trial is only to determine if the 24-year-old is sentenced to death or life without the possibility of parole. The rebuttal case could take up to two weeks.

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A former suburban Chicago police officer who was fired after he shot into a car two years ago, killing a Black man and seriously wounding the man’s girlfriend, has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. On Thursday, the Lake County State's Attorney's Office announced it had unsealed grand jury indictments against former Waukegan police Officer Dante Salinas in the Oct. 20, 2020, shooting that killed a 19-year-old local man, Marcellis Stinnette, and wounded his girlfriend, Tafara Williams. He was also indicted on charges of aggravated battery and official misconduct stemming from a separate incident in 2019. The shooting sparked protests and led the police department to fire Salinas for what it described as “multiple policy and procedure violations.”

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This undated photo provided by Lake County State's Attorney's Office shows former Waukegan Police officer Dante Salinas. A grand jury returned indictments on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, against the former suburban Chicago police officer in the Oct. 20, 2020, shooting that killed a 19-year-old local man, Marcellis Stinnette, and wounded his girlfriend, Tafara Williams, the Lake County News-Sun reported. (Lake County State's Attorney's Office via AP)

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FILE - In this image taken from a video screen, Tafara Williams speaks to reporters from her hospital bed during a Zoom meeting Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Libertyville, Ill. A suburban Chicago police officer who shot a Black couple inside a vehicle — killing a 19-year-old man and wounding his girlfriend, Williams — has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Court records state Dante Salinas was charged in connection with the Oct. 20, 2020, shooting death of Marcellis Stinnette, 19, of Waukegan. His girlfriend, Williams, was injured. (Zoom via AP Photo, File)

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FILE - Clifftina Johnson, back left, Tafara Williams' mother, cries as her daughter, Sasha Williams, sings during a press conference outside City Hall in Waukegan, Ill., Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A suburban Chicago police officer who shot a Black couple inside a vehicle — killing a 19-year-old man and wounding his girlfriend, Williams — has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Court records state Dante Salinas was charged in connection with the Oct. 20, 2020, shooting death of Marcellis Stinnette, 19, of Waukegan. His girlfriend, Williams, was injured. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, File)

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After bashing the proceedings on his web show, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has made his first appearance outside a courthouse in Connecticut where a jury will determine how much damages he should pay for telling his audience the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. Jones showed up and made comments outside, but left a short time later, indicating he wouldn't be testifying Tuesday. Jones has criticized the proceedings from his Infowars studio in Austin, Texas, calling it a “show trial.” He has already been found liable for damages and the trial is to decide how much he must pay eight families and an FBI agent who responded to the massacre.

AP
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A school administrator says government helicopters have attacked a school and village in Myanmar, killing at least 13 people including seven children. The number of children killed in the government attack last Friday in Sagaing region appears to be the highest since the army seized power in February 2021. The army’s takeover triggered mass nonviolent protests nationwide. The military and police responded with deadly force, resulting in the spread of armed resistance in the cities and countryside. The fighting has been especially fierce in Sagaing, where several military offensives have displaced more than half a million people, according to UNICEF.

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A federal judge says a mentally ill man charged with killing three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic in 2015 because it offered abortion services can be forcibly medicated to try to make him competent to stand trial. Monday's ruling followed a hearing this summer on Robert Dear's treatment. His prosecution in the attack has stalled because he has been repeatedly found mentally incompetent since his arrest and he has refused to take anti-psychotic medication for delusional disorder. Dear’s lawyers and experts said the government’s plan did not take into account Dear’s age and his health problems.

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FILE - Robert Dear talks to Judge Gilbert Martinez during a court appearance in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Dec. 9, 2015. A federal judge ruled Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, that Dear, a mentally ill man charged with killing three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic in 2015 because it offered abortion services, can be forcibly medicated to try to make him competent to stand trial. The prosecution of Dear has stalled because he has been repeatedly found mentally incompetent since his arrest and has refused to take anti-psychotic medication for delusional disorder. (Andy Cross/The Denver Post via AP, File)