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Defense attorneys have grilled an FBI informant in the trial of two men accused of conspiring to kidnap Michigan’s governor. They questioned Dan Chappel's motivation to get inside a band of anti-government extremists and the key steps he took to gather evidence. Chappel was cross-examined for hours as lawyers pressed their theme that any 2020 scheme against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was driven by agents and operatives. Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. are on trial for the second time on conspiracy charges. A federal jury in Grand Rapids, Michigan, couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict in April but acquitted two other men. Croft is from Bear, Delaware, and Fox is from western Michigan.

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Jury selection is underway at R. Kelly’s federal trial in his hometown of Chicago. The judge questioning would-be jurors is paying special attention to whether they watched a 2019 documentary about sex abuse allegations against the R&B singer. Kelly faces charges that he rigged his 2008 state child pornography trial by threatening and paying off a girl whom he allegedly filmed himself having sex with when he was around 30 and she was no older than 14. Jurors acquitted Kelly on all charges in that 2008 trial. Jury selection is expected to continue into Tuesday.

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R. Kelly’s musical accomplishments have been accompanied by a long history of allegations that he sexually abused women and children. Now the R&B singer faces a trial in Chicago on charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice. The trial comes after he was sentenced in June in federal court in New York to three decades behind bars on sex trafficking charges. While Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, has vehemently denied the allegations, his accusers testified that he subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage.

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A trial is underway in Billings in a challenge to three new laws that the Montana Democratic Party and others argue were aimed at making voting more difficult for Native Americans, young voters, the elderly and people with disabilities. The plaintiffs argue bills that eliminated Election Day voter registration, changed voter ID requirements for college students and banned paid collection of voted ballots are unconstitutional. Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen requested the bills as Republicans changed voting laws nationwide following the November 2020 election and false claims by former President Donald Trump and his supporters that the election was stolen.

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Five European citizens captured in eastern Ukraine have gone on trial in a court administered by Kremlin-backed separatists in the city of Donetsk. Russian media say the five included Swede Matthias Gustafsson, Croat Vjekoslav Prebeg, and Britons John Harding, Andrew Hill and Dylan Healy. They say all pleaded not guilty to charges of mercenarism and “undergoing training to seize power by force.” They could face the death penalty under the laws of the self-proclaimed, unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic. Their next court hearing is scheduled for October. In June, a court in the self-proclaimed republic sentenced two Britons and a Moroccan to death for being mercenaries. All three have appealed.

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Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy has been described by prosecutors as a “predator” who could not take no for an answer as the trial began of the French soccer player accused of eight counts of rape. Mendy also has been accused of one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault. He is alleged to have committed the offenses against seven young women between October 2018 and August last year. He denies the charges. The lawyer for the prosecution is Timothy Cray and he opened the trial at Chester Crown Court in northwest England.

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A crucial informant is on the witness stand in the trial of two men charged with scheming to kidnap the Michigan governor in 2020. Jurors heard Adam Fox declare, “That's it!” when he drove past Gretchen Whitmer's vacation home in 2020. Dan Chappel was driving the pickup truck and secretly recording conversations. Fox and Barry Croft Jr. are on trial for the second time on conspiracy charges. A jury in federal court in western Michigan couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict last April but acquitted two other men. Fox, Croft and four other men were arrested in October 2020, just weeks before the presidential election. The government said they were making plans to get money for an explosive.

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Two former Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd’s killing told a judge that they have rejected plea deals that would have resulted in three-year sentences. The statements from Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng on Monday at a brief hearing in Minneapolis set the stage for trial in October. The pair are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. They and Thomas Lane were working with Derek Chauvin when he pinned Floyd’s neck with his knee for more than nine minutes as the 46-year-old Black man said he couldn’t breathe and eventually grew still. Thao said “it would be lying” for him to accept a plea deal.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the trial is underway for a man accused of fatally shooting a 7-year-old girl who was riding in a car with her family after a day of Christmas shopping in Atlanta. Fulton County prosecutor Pat Dutcher said in his opening statement on Friday that Kennedy Maxie was struck by gunfire after the defendant, Daquan Reed, was robbed of his cellphone and money outside the Phipps Plaza mall in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood. Dutcher said an enraged Reed picked up a pistol and fired it from the rear passenger seat of a car. Reed’s attorney, Nicole Fegan, said though Kennedy’s death was “terrible,” her client was innocent.

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The judge in penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz will soon decide whether the jury will be told about some brain exams his lawyers had conducted on him. His attorneys this week will tell Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer that she should permit the tests be shown in their upcoming presentation. They say the tests bolster their claim that Cruz suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome. The prosecution says the tests are junk science and should not be shown to the jury. Cruz has pleaded guilty to murdering 17 at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. His ongoing trial is to determine whether he is sentenced to death or life without parole.

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R. Kelly’s federal trial that starts Monday in Chicago is in many ways a do-over of his child pornography trial in 2008 in state court. At that trial 14 years ago, jurors acquitted the singer on charges that he produced a video of himself having sex with a girl no older than 14. But a big difference between that trial and the one starting in a federal courthouse in Chicago is that prosecutors say the female in the video will testify this time. Among the charges Kelly faces is that he rigged the 2008 trial by paying off and threatening the girl to ensure she didn't testify. The woman is now in her 30s. Four other accusers are also slated to testify.

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A law enforcement official says a gunman who died in a shootout after trying to get inside the FBI’s Cincinnati office appeared to have posted calls on social media for FBI agents to be killed and for people to take up arms in the wake of the search at Donald Trump’s home. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The gunman has been identified as 42-year-old Ricky Shiffer. He was killed on Thursday. The official said investigators are examining whether he had ties to far-right extremist groups such as the Proud Boys.

A judge has held Baltimore’s top prosecutor in contempt of court, finding she violated a gag order with a social media comment about a high-profile murder case. The Daily Record reports the judge fined State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby $1,500, but ruled she can avoid paying the fine by following a more restrictive gag order in coming months. Prosecutors have unsuccessfully tried Keith Davis Jr. for murder four times in the 2015 shooting death of a race track security guard. Mosby lost the Democratic primary to defense attorney Ivan Bates, who has said he believes the charges should be dismissed. Baltimore is heavily Democratic, and no Republican has filed to run in November.

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An FBI agent who works undercover has told jurors about a ride to see Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's vacation home in 2020. Mark Schweers is the first trial witness to directly connect two men to that key step in an alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer. Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. are on trial for a second time for a kidnapping conspiracy. A jury in April couldn't reach a unanimous verdict. Schweers also explained to jurors how he secretly recorded Fox expressing contempt for Whitmer during their first meeting. Fox is heard saying he wants Whitmer “flex-cuffed on a table.” Defense lawyers say it was all a bunch of wild talk, not a kidnapping scheme.

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Capping an extraordinary week in Donald Trump’s post-presidency, a New York judge ordered Friday that his company and its longtime finance chief stand trial in the fall on tax fraud charges stemming from a long-running criminal investigation into Trump’s business practices. Manhattan Judge Juan Manuel Merchan scheduled jury selection for Oct. 24 in the case, which involves allegations the Trump Organization gave CFO Allen Weisselberg more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation, including rent, car payments and school tuition. Weisselberg and the Trump Organization have pleaded not guilty. Weisselberg is the only Trump executive charged in the yearslong criminal investigation started by former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

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A judge has revoked house arrest for the man who authorities say agreed to kill disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh so he could get a life insurance settlement for Murdaugh’s son but only grazed his head. Thursday's decision by a circuit judge requires Curtis “Eddie” Smith to await trial in jail on a second set of charges linked to Murdaugh. Both men are charged with running a drug and $2.4 million money laundering ring. Smith was taken to the Richland County jail — the same place where Murdaugh is awaiting trail without bail on two murder charges in the 2021 shooting deaths of his wife and son.

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A prosecutor says a California juror who convicted Scott Peterson in the murder of his pregnant wife may have provided incorrect answers on a jury questionnaire, but she did not commit misconduct. Lawyers presented closing arguments Thursday in a hearing about whether Peterson deserves a new trial. Defense lawyers say juror Richelle Nice was biased and lied to get on the jury that convicted Peterson in 2004 of murdering 27-year-old Laci and the unborn child they planned to name Conner. The San Mateo County Superior Court judge has 90 days to rule. Nice had testified that she had been truthful on a jury questionnaire.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says his office has reached a settlement with Rite Aid that may total up to $30 million in a lawsuit alleging oversupply of opioids at pharmacies in the state. The lawsuit alleged the pharmacy chain failed to monitor and report suspicious orders of prescription painkillers. A statement from Morrisey's office says the lawsuit against the remaining pharmacy defendants continues, with a trial date in September. Morrisey's office says funds from all opioid settlements will be distributed under an agreement with cities and counties on the use of future settlement proceeds to address the opioid crisis in the state.

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About 200 potential jurors for the trial of a man charged with killing eight people on a New York City bike path in a terror attack have filled out questionnaires posing questions about the death penalty. The questionnaires handed to people sworn in Thursday in Manhattan federal court will be used to help choose a jury for the Oct. 11 trial of Sayfullo Saipov. Before August has passed, about 800 prospective jurors will have answered 140 written questions. Death penalty questions are necessary because prosecutors still have not said whether the penalty will be sought if Saipov is convicted. He has pleaded not guilty.

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A judge has scheduled a hearing for Monday on the “status of plea negotiations” for the two remaining officers awaiting trial on state charges in the killing of George Floyd. The hearing comes after the judge’s window for accepting any deal appears to have closed. Judge Peter Cahill previously that he would not accept plea deals past a 15-day window after the former officers’ sentencing in federal court on separate charges. Those sentences for Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng came down July 27. The Minnesota attorney general’s office had no comment on the nature of Monday's hearing. Attorneys for the former officers did not immediately return phone messages.

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A judge has declared a mistrial in a dispute over partial liability for Flint, Michigan's lead-contaminated water. The jury couldn't reach a unanimous verdict after hearing months of evidence against two engineering firms. Veolia North America and Lockwood, Andrews & Newman were accused of not doing enough to get Flint to treat the highly corrosive water or to urge a return to a regional water supplier. The jury deliberated for roughly seven days after hearing evidence for months. The trial involved four Flint children who consumed the water. It became contaminated in 2014-15 because water pulled from the Flint River wasn’t treated to reduce the corrosive effect on lead pipes. Separately, the state is paying $600 million of a $626 million settlement with residents.

A prominent prison reform advocate has added a guilty plea on a federal firearms charge after a state court jury convicted him last month of felony vandalism for disguising himself as a construction worker to hide guns, handcuff keys and hacksaw blades inside the walls of a Nashville jail under construction. U.S. Attorney Attorney Mark Wildasin’s office announced Alex Friedmann’s guilty plea Thursday for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Much of what happened at the new $150 million Downtown Detention Center was caught on surveillance video and went undisputed during the jury trial. It remains unclear exactly what Friedmann planned to do.

A German army reservist has gone on trial in Duesseldorf accused of providing sensitive military information tor Russia. Prosecutors alleged that the 65-year-old lieutenant colonel of the reserve was active for Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency since 2014. The German news agency dpa reported that the man supplied the GRU with information from public and non-public sources. Federal prosecutors alleged the defendant knew that he was dealing with Russian spies and was motivated to help them by his sympathy for Russia. Germany’s military counterintelligence agency became suspicious of the man’s activities in 2018 but his home was only searched two years later.

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An Australian academic who is being tried with ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on charges of violating the country’s official secrets law has testified in court for the first time. Sean Turnell, an economist at Sydney’s Macquarie University, had served as an adviser to Suu Kyi, who was arrested when her elected government was ousted by the army on Feb. 1 last year.  He was arrested five days later and is now being held in the main prison in the capital, where they are being tried in a special court. A legal official familiar with Thursday’s proceedings says Turnell denied the allegations against him and pleaded not guilty.