Trial Archives

In this Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, file photo, police wait to advance after tear gas was used to disperse a crowd during a protest for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer on Aug. 9, in Ferguson, Mo. The national legal standards that govern when police officers are justified using force against people trace their lineage to a 1984 case from Charlotte, N.C. Brown's shooting has prompted multiple investigations and triggered days of rioting reflecting long-simmering racial tensions in a town of mostly black residents and a majority white police force. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
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John Ducker, president and CEO of Lake Zurich, Illinois-based Fresenius Kabi, tells state lawmakers about his concerns that a lethal injection bill could have the unintended consequence of restricting the availability of propofol, a widely used anesthetic, on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio. Lawmakers later updated the bill to address the concerns of Ducker and doctors over the anesthetic. In a measure also before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday, companies providing Ohio with lethal injection drugs would have their names shielded for at least 20 years, under a bill scheduled for a possible vote that lawmakers say is needed to restart executions in the state. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)
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Live Stream
 
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In this Dec. 3, 2014 file photo, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at Georgetown University in Washington. The State Department is withholding documents covering Clinton's tenure as secretary of state ahead of her presumptive presidential campaign. The Associated Press asked for files under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, including one request it made four years ago. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Checks & Balances
 
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National Security
 
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An electrical engineer for a defense contractor was fined $5,000 and sentenced to 180 hours of community service for falsely accusing his boss of spying for another country.

Ryan Letcher, a 39-year-old U.S. Navy veteran from Endicott, also was sentenced to four years' probation and ordered to avoid contact with the ex-boss and to stay off the company's premises.

Letcher was convicted in August of making a knowingly false statement to federal authorities. Defense attorney H Dana VanHee said Wednesday his client disagreed with the jury's verdict and plans to appeal. Sentencing was last Thursday.

Letcher wrote an anonymous letter to the Defense Security Service in March 2012 accusing his boss at BAE Systems of being "foreign intelligence," which means spying, federal prosecutors said. The company's Endicott office works on electronics systems.

His supervisor has a security clearance. The FBI investigated his travel, home, work history, financial history and known associations before concluding he isn't a spy.

Authorities said Letcher admitted to FBI agents that he sent the letter because of conflict with the supervisor over taking credit for his work, and that he believed his boss was a fraud and stupid. BAE Systems fired Letcher last year around the time of his arrest.

"In another place of employment or in another time, perhaps that letter would have been immediately disregarded. It wasn't," Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamara Thomson wrote in a memo proposing Letcher be sentenced to 15 to 21 months in prison. "When the accusation centers around an engineer with a secret clearance working for a Department of Defense contractor, a letter like the defendant's becomes a matter of national security."

False accusations of treason can destroy the reputations of individuals and businesses, Thomson wrote.

Letcher soon got another job, where he's gotten good reviews, like he did in all his work before BAE Systems, VanHee said. Letcher acknowledged at trial that he wrote the letter, but he testified he had believed it was possible his boss was a foreign intelligence officer.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Duncan said Wednesday that federal authorities don't want this prosecution to keep people from reporting in good faith behaviors they consider suspicious.

Calls to BAE Systems were not immediately returned Wednesday.
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In this Nov. 21, 2014 photo, comedian Bill Cosby performs during a show at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne, Fla. Tamara Green filed a defamation lawsuit against Cosby Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in federal court in Springfield, Mass. In the lawsuit she claims Cosby drugged and raped her in the 1970's when she was an aspiring model. Green first spoke publicly about the alleged rape in 2005. Cosby, who has a home in Shelburne Falls in western Massachusetts, is the lawsuit's only defendant. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
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Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte is seen in this undated photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. Monroy-Bracamonte is accused in a shooting rampage that left two sheriff's deputies in Northern California dead and a motorist seriously wounded. He was living in the United States illegally, had been convicted in Arizona for selling drugs and twice deported to Mexico. (AP Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
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In this March 4, 2014 file image made from video, a lifeguard carries one of the three children rescued from a minivan that their mother, Ebony Wilkerson, drove into the Atlantic in Daytona Beach, Fla. Wilkerson as charged Friday with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse, though she has denied trying to harm anyone, authorities said. (AP Photo/Simon Besner, File)
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In this April 29, 2011 file photo, actor Paul Walker poses during the photo call of the movie "Fast and Furious 5," in Rome. A man who stole part of the Porsche that Walker died in has been sentenced to six months in jail. City News Service says 26-year-old Anthony Janow was sentenced Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in Southern California. Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
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San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, at podium, answers questions while standing with members of his staff and the Los Angeles District Attorney's office during a news conference about the ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in San Francisco. California prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against Uber over the ridesharing company's background checks and other allegations, adding to the popular startup's worldwide legal woes. Meanwhile, Gascon said Tuesday that Uber competitor Lyft has agreed to pay $500,000 and change some of its business practices to settle its own lawsuit. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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British businessman Shrien Dewani, left, prepares to leave the country at Cape Town, South Africa's airport Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. On Monday Dewani had charges, relating to the murder of his newly wedded wife, Anni Dewani, thrown out of court. (AP Photo)
International Justice Watch
 
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