News Roundup 03/13/19

1. Paul Manafort Faces Final Sentence in Mueller Case, Capping Fall of Ex-Trump Campaign Chairman

Paul Manafort’s time in prison was increased to 7.5 years on Wednesday, ending Robert Muller’s most publicized legal fight and putting a cap on the great fall from grace of the world travelling GOP consultant and ex-Trump campaign chairman. This sentence is the longest of anyone caught up in Mueller’s nearly two year investigation. Manafort’s prison sentence reached its final time when U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson added 43 more months in prison on Wednesday. This time came for charges of multiple lobbying and witness tampering crimes that pled guilty to last year. Manafort has to serve almost four years for the conviction in a jury trial for financial fraud case in Virginia as well. Manafort offered a full apology while seated in a wheelchair, just before Jackson gave his second and final sentence in the Mueller case.

Source: Politico

2. Gov. Gavin Newsom to Stop Death Penalty in California, Giving Reprieves to 737 Death Row Inmates

After signing an executive order on Wednesday to put a moratorium on California’s death penalty, Gov. Gavin Newsom said it was the end to a personal 40 year journey. He discussed coming into contact with a wrongfully convicted man (Pete Pianezzi), who was barely spared the death penalty and whose case was taken on by his father and grandfather. In a statement saying the death penalty is “ineffective, irreversible, and immoral,” Newsom provided reprieves for every one of the 737 inmates currently waiting to be executed in California. With this order, Newsom is saving the lives of ¼ of the country’s death row inmates for as long as her remains in office. He stated that the death penalty system discriminates against mentally ill defendants and people of color, has not increased safety in the state, and has cost the California taxpayers billions of dollars. He reference 164 inmates from around the country who have been taken off of death row after it was discovered they were wrongfully convicted.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

3. 70 Million in Path of Winter “Bomb Cyclone” Set to Strike Central US, bringing Snow, Hail, and Rain

Around 1,100 drivers were stuck in Colorado as a strong winter storm, called a “bomb cyclone,” released hurricane force winds and blizzard conditions in areas of central United States. The weather has been so bad in Colorado that police officers had to leave their cars behind and find shelter for themselves, instead of responding to the increased number of car accidents, according to officials. North of Denver, in Weld County, State Patrol Cpl. Daniel Groves(52), was hit by a car on Wednesday morning while he was helping a driver whose car skidded off Interstate 76, according the Colorado State Police. Groves, who was a 12 year veteran on the force, was later declared dead at the hospital.

Source: CNN

4. Teen Convicted in Metal Pipe Beating Death of 10-Year-Old Girl Gets Life Sentence

A Colorado teenager convicted of the metal pipe beating death of a 10 year old was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday. Aiden Zellmer, who is now 17, was tried as an adult in the case. In the end, Zellmer decided to plead guilty to one count of first degree murder as part of a plea deal. He pled guilty to the murder of Kiaya Campbell on June 7, 2017, and could be eligible for parole after 40 years, according to authorities. An afftidavit stated that Zellmer hit the girl in the head 5 times with the pipe and dragged her into a ditch, where he left her to die. Kiaya’s body was found naked from the waist down, and there was evidence of a sexual assault. Despite this evidence, sex crimes were dropped as part of the deal. Blood on Zellmer’s shoes connected him to the crime, according to the station. A motive for for the crime was not clear, because Zellmer did not give one to authorities.

Source: Fox News

5. China Offers Help to Venezuela to Restore Power

With the blackout in Venezuela entering into its sixth day, hospitals had a difficult time staying open, food spoiled, and exports from the oil terminal were shut down. China offered to provide aid to Venezuela in restoring their power grid, after President Nicolas Maduro launched accusations toward his counterpart U.S. President Trump of cyber “sabotage” which put the South American country into the worst blackout in history. Maduro, who is in control of military and other state institutions, and the backing of both Russia and China, blames the Washington for the economic troubles the country is having, and at the same time denounced the leader of the opposition Juan Guaido as a pawn of the United States government.

Source: NBC News