News briefs – July 23

Staff report

News briefs

DEWINE TO APPEAL U.S. DISTRICT COURT RULING ORDERING NEW TRIAL IN DEATH PENALTY CASE – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that he has filed a notice of appeal and request for a stay in regards to last week’s federal court ruling granting a new trial to a man sentenced to death for the murder of a Cleveland police officer in 2000.

A Cuyahoga County jury found Quisi Bryan, 44, guilty of shooting and killing Wayne Leon on June 25, 2000, while the officer investigated Bryan for a traffic violation. Bryan was sentenced to death.

Last week’s ruling in the United States District Court Northern District of Ohio ordered that Bryan receive a new trial, claiming that trial prosecutors violated Batson v. Kentucky by using a peremptory strike against a potential African American juror. The Ohio Supreme Court, which initially denied Bryan’s claim in 2004, ruled that the trial prosecutor provided several racially neutral reasons for dismissing the potential juror and that Bryan failed to present evidence that the State had a discriminatory intent.

“I strongly disagree with the federal court’s order for a new trial,” said Attorney General DeWine. “This defendant viciously took the life of an innocent law enforcement officer, leaving the officer’s children without a father and his wife without a husband. My office will fight to keep this murderer on death row for this senseless crime.”

COMPANY, OWNER SENTENCED IN ASBESTOS DUMPING CASE – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler announced that a Toledo man was sentenced for charges related to asbestos removal and disposal during demolition of the former Champion Spark Plug facility on Upton Avenue in Toledo.

Donzell Moore, 41, pleaded guilty on June 4 to charges of complicity to remove asbestos without a certification or license and illegal disposal of construction and demolition debris.

He was sentenced today in the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas to 30 days in jail (with work release eligibility), three years community control, and 240 hours of community service. He also was ordered to pay $25,274.37, jointly with his company, to Ohio EPA for clean-up and investigative costs. The court also reserved a 12-month prison sentence if Moore violates the terms of his community control.

37 INDICTED IN CONNECTION WITH MAHONING COUNTY DRUG TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, members of the Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force, and Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains \ announced that a 261-count indictment has been filed against 37 individuals accused in connection with a drug trafficking organization operating in Mahoning County.

The indictments follow a heroin trafficking investigation led by the Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force’s Drug Unit with assistance from Attorney General DeWine’s Heroin Unit.

Prosecutors with Attorney General DeWine’s Special Prosecutions Section, acting as special assistants to the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office, presented the case to a Mahoning County grand jury last Thursday, and members of the Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force’s Drug Unit served arrest warrants in connection with the case today.

ATTORNEY GENERALS URGE PHONE CARRIERS TO BLOCK UNWANTED CALLS FOR CUSTOMERS – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine joined 44 other attorney generals in calling on five major phone companies to offer call-blocking technology to their customers.

In a joint letter to the chief executives of AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and CenturyLink, the attorneys general said new clarification to a Federal Communications Commission rule allows telecommunication service providers to offer customers the ability to block unwanted calls and verifies that federal law does not prohibit offering such services.

DISH REACHES DEAL ON WBNS – DISH Network L.L.C., a wholly owned subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), has reached a multi-year agreement with Dispatch Broadcast Group for carriage of WTHR-TV (NBC) in Indianapolis, Ind. and WBNS-TV (CBS) in Columbus. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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