A second trial began on Monday for a former South Carolina police chief charged with murder in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, one of a series of cases that has raised questions about U.S. law enforcement's use of lethal force against minorities. The first trial of Richard Combs, a former police chief of tiny Eutawville, ended in January with the jury unable to reach a verdict after 12 hours of deliberations. Combs faces a sentence of 30 years to life in prison without possibility of parole if convicted on the murder charge.Combs, then new to the job, fatally shot Eutawville resident Bernard Bailey, 54, in the town hall parking lot in 2011 after they argued and scuffled over a traffic ticket issued to Bailey's daughter.Judge Edgar Dickson recently agreed to move the second trial to the state capital, Columbia, at the request of defense attorneys.
Pope Francis on Monday accepted the resignation of two U.S. bishops on Monday, 10 days after a Minnesota prosecutor filed criminal charges against their diocese for failing to protect children from a sexually abusive priest. Wehmeyer, who has been dismissed from the priesthood, is serving a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in 2012 to criminal sexual conduct with two minors and possessing child pornography. The pontiff accepted the resignations the week after approving an unprecedented Vatican tribunal intended to judge bishops for covering up or failing to report sexual abuse, which has caused worldwide scandal for more than a decade.
The judge in the capital murder trial of Colorado movie-theater gunman James Holmes dismissed a fourth juror on Monday, after the woman acknowledged that her brother-in-law was recently the victim of a shooting in a robbery. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and explosives charges stemming from 2012, when he opened fire in a suburban theater in Denver, killing 12 moviegoers and wounding dozens of others. Defense lawyers say Holmes, 27, from California, suffers from schizophrenia.