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Amber Heard’s lawyers have asked a judge to throw out the $10.35 million verdict against her in the defamation case filed by ex-husband Johnny Depp. In post-trial motions filed last week, Heard's lawyers argued that the jury’s verdict was not supported by the evidence. They also claim that one of the jurors may not have been properly vetted by the court. Heard’s attorneys call the jury’s June 1 award of $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages to Depp “excessive” and “indefensible.” They ask the judge to set aside the verdict and dismiss Depp’s lawsuit or order a new trial. The judge reduced the punitive damages to $350,000 immediately after the verdict to comply with a state cap.

Amber Heard’s lawyers have asked a judge to throw out the $10.35 million verdict against her in the defamation case filed by ex-husband Johnny Depp. In post-trial motions filed last week, Heard's lawyers argued that the jury’s verdict was not supported by the evidence. They also claim that one of the jurors may not have been properly vetted by the court. Heard’s attorneys call the jury’s June 1 award of $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages to Depp “excessive” and “indefensible.” They ask the judge to set aside the verdict and dismiss Depp’s lawsuit or order a new trial. The judge reduced the punitive damages to $350,000 immediately after the verdict to comply with a state cap.

A federal judge has granted bail to a prominent Buffalo developer and other businessmen serving prison time for a bid-rigging scheme related to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” economic redevelopment program. U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni signed an order Friday allowing developer Louis Ciminelli and three others to be released on bail after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of their wire fraud convictions. At issue is whether private citizens with official connections may be convicted of honest-services fraud. The high court also agreed to hear the related case of former Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco.

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The 12 jurors chosen this past week to decide whether Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz is executed will be exposed to horrific images and emotional testimony, but must deal with any mental anguish alone. The jurors and their alternates will tour the bloodstained building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland where Cruz murdered 17 in 2018. They will see graphic security videos of teens being shot point-blank. They will hear tearful testimony from survivors and parents. And they will be told not to talk about any of it with anyone. If jurors need help, they are on their own. Florida and most states do not provide post-trial mental health counseling.

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The jury in the corruption trial of Delaware State Auditor Kathy McGuiness has acquitted her on felony charges of theft and witness intimidation but convicted her on three misdemeanor counts. Jurors on Friday found the Democrat guilty of conflict of interest, official misconduct and structuring a contract with a consulting firm to avoid compliance with state procurement rules. It's the first time in Delaware history that a sitting statewide elected official has been convicted on criminal charges. Prosecutors argued that McGuiness abused her position in hiring her daughter, structuring payments under a consulting contract to avoid accounting scrutiny, and intimidating employees. Jennings said the case was “political," and still plans to seek reelection.

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A Florida judge has refused to delay the sentencing trial of Nikolas Cruz in the 2018 shooting at a high school in which 17 people were killed. Cruz’s lawyers had argued that recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, unleashed “a wave of emotion” nationally that could bias the just-seated jury against him and that the July 18 scheduled start is too soon. But Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said in a ruling dated Thursday that the lengthy process of seating a jury did not reveal any problems related to recent massacres. Cruz pleaded guilty to the murders in October. The jury will only consider whether or not to impose the death penalty.

Last July, a federal judge in West Virginia heard closing arguments in the first lawsuit to go to trial over the U.S. opioid addiction epidemic. With an avalanche of documents that included transcripts of testimony and exhibits, Judge David Faber didn’t indicate when he would make a ruling, and his decision wasn’t expected right away. Nearly a year later, a community is still waiting. The lawsuit by Cabell County and the city of Huntington accused distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson of creating a public nuisance. Some 81 million pills were sent to the community of about 93,000 along the Ohio River from 2006 to 2014.

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R. Kelly could be in his 80s before the singer is free again, based on a 30-year prison term imposed this week by a New York federal judge for sexually abusing young fans. And if the 55-year-old loses at three related trials in coming months, he could be staring at yet more time. The next trial he faces is set for Aug. 15 in federal court in Chicago, Kelly's hometown. Steve Greenberg is a longtime Kelly lawyer and represents Kelly in a separate state case in Illinois. Greenberg says he suspects there have been discussions about a plea deal between Kelly’s federal trial-team lawyers and federal prosecutors in Chicago.

American basketball star Brittney Griner has arrived at a Moscow-area court where she is scheduled to go on trial. Griner was arrested in February on cannabis possession charges at an airport while traveling to play for a Russian team. Police said she was carrying vape canisters with cannabis oil. Her trial is set to get underway on Friday. The Phoenix Mercury center and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of large-scale transportation of drugs. Fewer than 1% of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted, and unlike in the U.S., acquittals can be overturned.

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A prosecutor says Nipsey Hussle was a hip-hop star who sought to raise up his neighborhood with him until a friend from the same streets gunned him down. Deputy District Attorney John McKinney sought to humanize Hussle for jurors in his closing arguments at the trial of Eric Holder on Thursday. Holder's attorney Aaron Jansen told jurors that Holder was acting in the heat of passion after being publicly called a snitch by Hussle, a famous person whose words carried great weight in the world the two lived in. He said jurors should instead find Holder guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

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Georgia’s highest court has thrown out a murder conviction for a once-prominent Atlanta attorney who fatally shot his wife as they rode in an SUV. The unanimous opinion says the jury should have had the option of a misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter charge. Seventy-nine-year-old Claud “Tex” McIver was convicted in 2018 of felony murder, aggravated assault, influencing a witness and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in the September 2016 killing of his wife, 64-year-old Diane McIver. The Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday reversed his convictions for felony murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony but affirmed his conviction for influencing a witness. He had been serving a life sentence.

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Jurors have begun deliberations in the criminal corruption trial of Delaware State Auditor Kathy McGuiness. McGuiness is responsible as state auditor for rooting out government fraud, waste and abuse. She is being tried on felony counts of theft and witness intimidation, and some misdemeanor charges. Prosecutor Mark Denney said in closing arguments Thursday that McGuiness abused her position in hiring her daughter, structuring payments under a consulting contract to avoid accounting scrutiny, and intimidating employees who were cooperating with investigators.  Defense attorney Steve Wood told jurors that prosecutors could not be trusted because their investigation was “incomplete, incompetent and biased from the very beginning.”

Washington's Supreme Court has unanimously overturned a man's conviction for assaulting police officers, blasting a series of racist remarks by the prosecutor who handled the case. During jury selection in the trial against Joseph Zamora, Garth Dano, then the elected prosecutor in central Washington's Grant County, repeatedly asked prospective jurors how they felt about illegal immigration, border security and crimes committed by illegal immigrants — even though Zamora was a U.S. citizen and the case had nothing to do with those topics. The justices said Thursday the questions invoked racist stereotypes that violated Zamora's right to a fair trial. They also expressed concern with the vicious beating officers gave Zamora, which left him comatose.

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A judge has set Aug. 9 for a second trial for two men charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A jury in April acquitted two other men but were deadlocked on Adam Fox and Barry Croft. They were described as leaders of a scheme to kidnap Whitmer at her vacation home in 2020, trigger a civil war and prevent Joe Biden from winning the presidency. Prosecutors said the group was steeped in anti-government extremism and furious over Whitmer’s pandemic restrictions. There was evidence of a crudely built “shoot house” to practice going in and out of her vacation home, and a night ride to check the property. Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were acquitted.

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Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has invoked his right against self-incrimination during a civil trial related to the Flint water scandal. Snyder was called as a witness Thursday in federal court, two days after the Michigan Supreme Court in a separate case said criminal indictments against him and others were invalid. Snyder’s appearance was already planned. The judge knew he would formally decline to answer questions while a criminal case was pending. A handful of Flint families are suing two engineering firms, claiming they bear some responsibility for lead-contaminated water. Flint managers appointed by Snyder, a Republican, switched the city’s water to the Flint River in 2014 without properly treating it. Lead leached from old pipes for more than a year.

Four of five former U.S. naval officers have been convicted of conspiracy, bribery and fraud as part of the “Fat Leonard” corruption scandal. The five were the last of 34 defendants to stand trial on charges they were bought off by the Malaysian defense contractor Leonard Francis, who who prosecutors said plied them with prostitutes, Cuban cigars and free hotel stays. The jury on Wednesday deadlocked on charges against a fifth defendant. Francis has admitted to offering $500,000 in bribes to Navy officers. Prosecutors say Francis and his company overcharged the military by more than $35 million for its services.

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Both sides have rested their cases in the trial of a man charged with the killing of rapper Nipsey Hussle. The defense rested Wednesday after calling two witnesses in the trial of Eric Holder, who is charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of the 33-year-old hip-hop star. Holder's attorney says the proceedings had to be delayed for a day after two fellow jail inmates punched and assaulted him with a razor blade. The motive for the attack is unclear. Closing arguments in the case are set for Thursday.

A federal appeals court has thrown out the 2020 conspiracy and bribery convictions of a former major political donor in North Carolina and his associate. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the convictions and ordered new trials for Greg E. Lindberg and John D. Gray. The appeals court declared Wednesday that the trial judge erred in his jury instructions to the point that it called the verdicts into question. Lindberg is a wealthy insurance and investment firm founder accused by federal investigators of attempting to bribe North Carolina’s insurance commissioner to secure preferential regulatory treatment for his business.

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A federal appeals court has thrown out the 2020 conspiracy and bribery convictions of a former major political donor in North Carolina and his associate. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the convictions and ordered new trials for Greg E. Lindberg and John D. Gray. The appeals court declared Wednesday that the trial judge erred in his jury instructions to the point that it called the verdicts into question. Lindberg is a wealthy insurance and investment firm founder accused by federal investigators of attempting to bribe North Carolina’s insurance commissioner to secure preferential regulatory treatment for his business.

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R. Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his R&B superstardom to subject young fans to systematic sexual abuse. The singer and songwriter was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking last year at a trial that gave voice to accusers who had once wondered if their stories were ignored because they were Black women. U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly imposed the sentence at a courthouse in Brooklyn. The sentence caps a slow-motion fall for Kelly, who is 55. He remained adored by legions of fans even after allegations about his abuse of young girls began circulating publicly in the 1990s.

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Delaware State Auditor Kathy McGuiness has declined to testify in her criminal corruption trial. McGuiness told the judge Wednesday that she was confident that her lawyers had conveyed reasonable doubt to the jury. McGuiness is responsible as state auditor for rooting out government fraud, waste and abuse. She is being tried on felony counts of theft and witness intimidation, and misdemeanor charges of official misconduct, conflict of interest and noncompliance with procurement laws. McGuiness is the first statewide elected official in Delaware to face criminal prosecution while in office. Jurors will hear closing arguments on Thursday.

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R. Kelly’s musical accomplishments have been accompanied by a long history of allegations that he sexually abused women and children. Now the R&B singer has been sentenced to spend the next three decades behind bars. A jury found Kelly guilty in September of sex trafficking and racketeering charges. Kelly has vehemently denied the allegations, but his accusers testified in detail that he subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage. Kelly still faces a trial in Chicago on charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice.

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