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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis judge says she expects to soon rule on a 69-year-old inmate's request to overturn his convictions for the 1982 killing of a young mother and brutal assaults on her two daughters.
Rodney Lee Lincoln returned to court Thursday, three decades after he was convicted of manslaughter and first-degree assault in the death of JoAnn Tate and attacks on her daughters, who were then 7 and 4 years old.
Lincoln's case was one of six chosen by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce in 2003 for further scrutiny and DNA testing. His lawyers say the subsequent tests show that a crime scene hair doesn't belong to Lincoln and proves his innocence. Prosecutors say the DNA results don't change the guilt of Lincoln, who is serving a life sentence.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the state has lost an arbitration case and will refund money it receives through a multi-state settlement with tobacco companies.
The attorney general's office says it is reviewing the order to determine how much Missouri will need to refund. The funds will be deducted from a payment the cigarette manufacturers make this upcoming April.
A three-judge arbitration panel sided with more than 30 cigarette manufacturers' claims that Missouri and several other states had failed to diligently enforce state tobacco laws in 2003 as was required in a 1998 legal settlement with 46 states. The tobacco settlement agreement was reached in 1998.
Missouri's share of the tobacco settlement was about $150 million in 2003.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A former Velda City police officer faces federal charges of excessive force and lying to FBI agents.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 47-year-old Stan Lee Stanback is accused in a federal indictment of using unreasonable force by hitting and injuring two juveniles and an adult with a police baton on Sept. 17, 2008.
He's also accused of telling federal agents he was surrounded by 15 men in the parking lot of the small St. Louis County town's police station. The FBI says he was actually approached by three juveniles and an adult.
Stanback faces up to 10 years in prison on each of the excessive force charges and five years on the false statements charge.
The newspaper was unable to reach Stanback for comment Thursday.
The suspected killer of a 9-year-old boy who was shot while riding with family members in July has been charged with ten counts relating to the case.
St. Louis city prosecutors charged 22-year-old Marquan D. Bland yesterday with first-degree murder, three counts of first-degree assault and six other counts. Bland is accused of killing Tyrese Short after firing several shots into a sports utility vehicle.
Police have said they believe Tyrese's father and another man were the shooters' intended targets.
The dean of the School of Law at Washington University is moving east.
Kent D. Syverud has been selected as Syracuse's 12th chancellor and president. He'll succeed Nancy Cantor, who will become chancellor of Rutgers University's Newark, N.J., campus in January. Syverud will also start his new position in January.
The 56-year-old was formally the dean of Vanderbilt University Law School and was clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Justin Deryke says he was just trying to put his 7-year-old niece "out of her misery" when he killed her over the weekend.
Officials say autopsy results contradict his story. Deryke claims he was watching a movie with Willow Long over the weekend when she allegedly scratched his arm. He became angry and chased Willow out of the house. He says she fell into a brush pile and a branch stabbed her in the neck. That is when Deryke says he got a knife and stabbed the girl to death.
The autopsy shows Willow had defensive wounds on her hands and that casts doubt on Deryke's story.
Willow's 3-year-old brother has been taken into protective custody.
In an effort to voice their anger and concern, minority officers in the St. Louis city police department met with the department's highest-ranking black commanders about issues they believe illustrate racism within the ranks and the need for reform.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports about 30 members of the Ethical Society of Police packed the special meeting convened to call black commanders to action in the wake of a racist letter sent to a black police officer allegedly by another officer in South Patrol.
The group’s president, Sgt. Darren Wilson, said last week that the racist note was symptomatic of a larger, citywide problem. Wilson asked “If you’re treating a police department employee like this, how are we treating our citizens?” Wilson opened Wednesday’s meeting by saying black leaders must do more to increase the number of black commanders on the force by reforming the promotion process.
Meanwhile, Deputy Police chief, Lt. Col. Alfred Adkins, believes black officers share responsibility in striving for equality saying, "You cannot just sit on the sidelines and complain. You can’t say the process is unfair if you’re not involved in it.”
Highway 94 was closed in both directions between H and Church Rd. for several hours while the Missouri Highway Patrol investigated a fatal accident.
A man attending to some yard work in St. Charles County was killed this morning after being hit by a car that spun off the roadway. The accident happened shortly after 7:30 on Highway 94 at Church Road. The Highway Patrol says the car spun off the roadway, hit an embankment and flipped over several times, striking the victim. He died at the scene. The driver was injured and transported to the hospital. Authorities did not say what caused the driver to lose control.
No charges have been filed and the names of the victim and driver have not been released.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House Republicans have chosen Majority Leader John Diehl to be their speaker nominee for 2015.
Republicans met privately during Wednesday's veto override session. Diehl and House member Caleb Jones, of California, Mo., had been seeking the nod to be speaker.
The House speaker is the top position in the 163 member House and officially is elected by the chamber on the first day of each biennial session. Republicans currently hold 109 seats. Under a tradition begun several terms ago, Republicans have picked their next speaker nominee more than a year before the election to give the person time to prepare for the job.
Current Speaker Tim Jones is barred by term limits from seeking re-election to the House in 2014.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A federal judge from Peoria will preside over the trial of a former St. Clair County judge accused of drugs and weapons violations.
U.S. District Court Judge Joe Billy McDade was named to preside over the case of Michael Cook, who has pleaded not guilty to possessing heroin and having a gun while illegally using controlled substances.
Chief Judge David Herndon of the Southern District of Illinois was initially assigned the case. However, he and other federal judges in the district recused themselves.
Cook resigned his judgeship and agreed to attend a drug rehabilitation center in Minnesota and to the suspension of his law license. He was released without being required to post cash.
Investigators say Cook was with Judge Joe Christ when Christ died from a cocaine overdose.