By Susan Cooper Eastman JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Reuters) - The parents of Jordan Davis, a Florida teenager who was killed by a middle-aged man in a gas station dispute over loud rap music, plan to campaign to reform the state's self-defense law that they blame for their son's death. To be a champion, not just for him, but for everyone," the teen's mother, Lucia McBath, told Reuters on Monday. Michael Dunn, a white, 47-year-old software engineer, was convicted on February 15 on three counts of attempted murder for opening fire on a car of black teenagers during an argument in November 2012 in the parking lot of a Jacksonville gas station. Dunn testified that he feared for his life, drawing comparisons to the trial of George Zimmerman, the former central Florida neighborhood watchman who was acquitted last year of murder after saying he shot a 17-year-old unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in self-defense.
Former teen star Amanda Bynes on Monday pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor driving offense in Los Angeles stemming from a 2012 accident in which she struck a sheriff's patrol car. The lawyer for Bynes, 27, entered the plea to the charge of reckless driving with an alcohol component, Los Angeles County District Attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison said. Bynes, who starred in her own Nickelodeon sketch comedy TV series "The Amanda Show" at age 13, was sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Edward Moreton to three years' probation and three months of alcohol education programs. Last year she was placed in psychiatric care for starting a small fire in front of a home in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks.
PHOENIX (AP) — Republican Gov. Jan Brewer faced intensifying pressure Monday from CEOs, politicians in Washington and state lawmakers in her own party to veto a bill that would allow business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to deny service to gays and lesbians.
ATLANTA (AP) — Less than two weeks after a federal judge declared Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, a new effort has been launched in the South seeking to build wider acceptance of gay and lesbian couples in the hope of overturning similar bans across the region.
DETROIT (AP) — Michigan's nearly decade-old ban on gay marriage is going to trial Tuesday, with two weeks set aside for testimony from experts about whether there's a legitimate state interest in restricting marriage to a man and a woman.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Kerry Kennedy swerved her Lexus into a truck, damaging the car and blowing a tire, but kept driving and later was slumped at her steering wheel and disoriented, motorists testified Monday at her drugged-driving trial.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Coast Guard reopened a normally bustling stretch of the lower Mississippi River to ships and boaters Monday, two days after an oil spill closed the major inland waterway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.