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A jury has acquitted a commercial truck driver of causing the 2019 deaths of seven motorcyclists in a collision in northern New Hampshire. Twenty-six-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, had pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of negligent homicide, manslaughter, and other charges. The jury deliberated for less than three hours before returning the verdict. Zhukovskyy has been in jail since the crash on June 21, 2019, in Randolph. The seven who died were part of a Marines motorcycle club and were from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The trial began July 26.
A Texas jury has ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the parents of a child who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, adding to the $4.1 million he has to pay for the suffering he put them through by claiming for years that the nation’s deadliest school shooting was a hoax. The parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis say they were tormented by the Infowars host’s false claims that the worst classroom shooting in U.S. history was orchestrated by the government to tighten gun laws. The total of nearly $50 million marks the first time Jones has been held financially liable for peddling lies about the 2012 attack in Newtown, Connecticut.
Jurors in the trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz have toured the still-bloodstained building where he murdered 17 people four years ago. The 12 jurors and their 10 alternates were bused to Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Thursday along with the judge, prosecutors and Cruz's attorneys. Cruz wasn't present. The area was closed off to keep protesters away and protect jurors’ safety. The three-story classroom building was sealed after the Valentine's Day 2018 shooting. The floors remain bloodstained and the walls bullet-pocked. Rotted holiday flowers and deflated balloons are in the rooms. The jury will decide if Cruz is sentenced to death or life without parole.
A judge in Russia convicted American basketball star Brittney Griner of drug possession and smuggling. She was sentenced to nine years in prison in a politically charged case that could lead to a high-stakes prisoner exchange between Washington and Moscow. Griner showed little emotion to the sentence but her lawyers said later she was “very upset, very stressed.” U.S. President Joe Biden denounced as “unacceptable” the verdict and sentence, which came amid soaring tensions between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine. Griner had told the court she had no intention to break the law by bringing vape cartridges with cannabis oil when she flew to Moscow to play basketball in the city of Yekaterinburg.
A judge in Russia says drug possession and smuggling charges against WNBA star Brittney Griner were proven at trial.
Jurors in the trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz heard a third day of statements from families of his 17 victims. Three families testified Wednesday about their child who died at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. Gina Montalto's parents talked of her love of reading and how she saved a toddler from drowning. The father of Alex Schachter spoke of his son's trombone playing and love for basketball. Cara Loughran's family friend told about her Irish dance performances and how her excitement over an upcoming trip to the island that never happened. Cruz pleaded guilty to murder. The trial is only to decide whether he is sentenced to death or life.
The prosecution has rested in the case of a truck driver accused of killing seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire. Twenty-six-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy faces negligent homicide and other charges in connection with the June 2019 crash in Randolph, New Hampshire. Prosecutors say the truck driver took multiple illegal drugs that day and repeatedly swerved back and forth before the head-on crash. His attorney blames the lead biker, whose blood alcohol level was well above the legal limit. The final witness for the prosecution Wednesday was a crash survivor who acknowledged the unsafe blood alcohol level but said the group leader did not swerve into the truck.
The parents of a 6-year-old boy killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre say conspiracy theorist Alex Jones made their lives a “living hell” by pushing claims that the murders were a hoax. Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse was killed at Sandy Hook, testified Tuesday on the final day of testimony in the two-week trial. They’re seeking at least $150 million from Jones. Jones was not in court when Heslin began testifying, but he was there when Lewis took the stand. Both parents said they had received death threats and harassment and experienced ongoing trauma because of Jones. Jones later testified and apologized to the parents, saying he never intended to hurt them. The 2012 attack killed 20 first-graders and six staffers at the Connecticut school.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones arrived at the start of his Texas defamation trial for calling the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School attack a hoax with the words “Save the 1st” scrawled on tape covering his mouth. Jones says the case is an assault on the First Amendment. Lawyers for the parents suing him say his repeated false claims about the shooting fall well outside the bounds of protected speech. Jones appeared to sabotage his chance to fully argue that his statements were protected by refusing to turn over evidence to the plaintiffs. That led the judge to essentially declare the plaintiffs the winner before the trial began. Instead, the trial is about how much Jones must pay.
A psychiatrist says that the parents of a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim live with a complex form of post-traumatic stress disorder and a constant fear that followers of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones will kill them. Roy Lubit, a forensic psychiatrist hired by plaintiffs Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis to review the trauma they've faced, testified Monday at Jones’ defamation trial in Austin that the “overwhelming cause” of their ongoing trauma is Jones' claims that the 2012 massacre in which six educators and 20 students, including their son Jesse, were killed was a hoax or faked. The trial is to determine how much Jones owes the parents for defaming them. They are seeking at least $150 million.