Top 5 Live-WURD Thursday April 9
1. Dzokhar Tsarnaev guilty of Boston Marathon bombing
Dzokhkar Tsarnaev was found guilty Wednesday of charges in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that would make him subject to a possible death sentence.
Tsarnaev, flanked by his three lawyers, showed no emotion, mostly staring at the defense table and occasionally looking straight ahead. At one point he crossed his arms as Federal Judge George O’Toole read the lengthy verdict.
Sentencing for the 21-year-old Tsarnaev will be held at a later date and could last as long as two weeks. The seven-woman, five-man federal jury returned its verdict after two days of deliberations.
He had faced 30 counts in the case, including 17 counts punishable with the death penalty.
2. Officers in Vineland fatal arrest named by ‘Anonymous’
The hacking group ‘Anonymous’ revealed the names of two of the Vineland, N.J., officers involved in a fatal arrest last week, and officials confirmed the names Tuesday.
Chief Timothy Codispoti posted recordings of the 911 call and police dispatches from the arrest of Phillip White on the department’s Facebook page. A lawyer representing the three officers involved in the incident confirmed their names, as did the chief.
Police used a dog to restrain White, 32, after they said he tried to reach for one of the officers’ weapons on March 31.
White’s family and a rights activist, citing witnesses, allege that the officers punched and beat White before he was placed in an ambulance for respiratory distress. They say a bystander’s cellphone video shows a police dog biting White as he lies on the ground.
3. South Carolina cop charged with murder graduated from a South Jersey high school
The white South Carolina police officer who was charged in the slaying of an unarmed black man graduated from a South Jersey high school, according to multiple reports.
Michael Thomas Slager, 33, who is charged in the murder of 50-year-old Walter Lamer Scott, is a graduate of Lenape High School in Medford Township, multiple reports show.
City officials announced Wednesday that Slager, who claims he killed Scott in self-defense, has been fired. The decision came one day after the release of a video showing the officer firing eight shots at the fleeing man’s back.
Protests began within hours of the murder charge against Slager.
4. Kane fires aide who testified in leak probe
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has fired a top aide who testified in the leak investigation that led a grand jury to recommend criminal charges against her.
Kane fired James Barker, the chief deputy attorney general for appeals and legal services, her office confirmed. He was escorted out of the office by agents.
Kane’s spokeswoman, Carolyn Myers, said Barker’s ouster had “absolutely nothing” to do with his testimony in the leak case. She said it was part of a “restructuring” of the office’s criminal division but did not explain what that entailed.
Barker, a longtime prosecutor, had worked in the attorney general’s office for six years. He was a member of the team that successfully argued against an appeal by Jerry Sandusky and has been involved in the related and still looming prosecution of three former Penn State administrators.
5. Man who recorded Walter Scott being shot by cop speaks out
The bystander who recorded video that appears to show a white police officer shooting an unarmed black man in the back in South Carolina said there was a struggle between the two men before the deadly shooting, but the officer had control of the situation before he opened fire.
In an exclusive interview with “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt on Wednesday, Feidin Santana said he started recording after he heard a Taser being deployed.
“I remember the police had control of the situation,” Santana said.
“He had control of Scott. And Scott was trying just to get away from the Taser.”
Officer Michael Slager was arrested and charged with murder Tuesday for the fatal shooting of Walter Scott after a traffic stop on Saturday. The video appears to show Slager shooting Scott in the back as he was running away from the officer.
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon