October 2011 Archives

A St. Paul teacher whose car struck and injured a 2-year-old while drunk driving was sentenced Thursday to 90 days in Ramsey County jail.

The Star Tribune reports Hamjatta Fofana, 53, has been fined $3,000 and put on probation for two years. Fofana may be eligible to serve the time on home electronic monitoring, under the sentence from Ramsey County District Judge Robyn Millenacker.

In April, Fofana had a blood alcohol concentration of .32 percent, four times the legal limit, an hour after hitting the girl in the parking lot of an East Side apartment building, reports the Star Tribune.

The Pioneer Press reports that according to the criminal complaint, the girl's mother pulled the girl from underneath the vehicle after Fofana struck her, and then he got out of the vehicle and walked off. Police found Fofana at his apartment nearby.

Fofana was charged with criminal vehicular operation and driving while intoxicated, and pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular operation.

Fofana, who has taught English as a second language in St. Paul since 1993, remains on paid administrative leave, said St. Paul schools spokeswoman Toya Stewart Downey to the Star Tribune. Decisions about Fofana's employment with the district have not been made, she said.

A 50-year-old U.S. man is to remain in custody following the orders of an Aruban judge Friday as investigators continue to gather evidence in the disappearance and presumed death of the man's travel companion.

The Associated Press reports Gary Giordano has been in jail on suspicion of involvement in the case since Aug. 5 when he told police that Robyn Gardener was swept out to sea while the two were snorkeling.

"Our client is innocent and there has been a lot of investigation already," said Chris Lejuez, Giordano's attorney, in an interview outside court. "There is no evidence, and his life is being destroyed."

Giordano denies being responsible for Gardener's disappearance, whose body has not been found, reports CNN.

CNN also reports that authorities are waiting on results from examinations of cell phones and a computer. In addition, the Associated Press reports that investigators need more time to process the results of a re-enactment of the couple's snorkeling trip off the southeastern tip of the island.

After the 30-day period, Solicitor General Taco Stein said prosecutors would be expected to bring charges against Giordano or release him, according to the Associated Press.

Synthetic drug case waiting for autopsy results

| No Comments

The murder trial for a Minnesota man accused of providing a synthetic drug that killed a man at a Blaine party in March has been postponed pending final autopsy results, reports the Star Tribune.

Tim LaMere, 21, is charged with unintentional third-degree murder and accused of supplying the illegal drug 2C-E to Trevor Robinson, 19, who allegedly took the drug at the party in March and died hours later, reports the Associated Press.

The Associated Press also reports that Anoka County prosecutor Paul Young said at the pretrial hearing Friday that testing for synthetic drugs is so new that there is only one lab in the U.S. that can test a victim's body for evidence of 2C-E.

"They're still not sure what's in the descendent's blood," said defense attorney Brad Zunker in the Associated Press account.

According to preliminary autopsy results, Robinson died of cardiac arrest due to drug toxicity, reports the Star Tribune.

Judge Alan Pendleton put LeMere's trial on hold indefinitely. He set the next pretrial hearing for Nov. 30.

The defense in the Michael Jackson manslaughter trial claimed Friday that the pop star fatally injected himself with the drug propofol.

ABC News reported that Dr. Paul White denounced the prosecution's belief that Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician, administered a fatal dose of propofol to Jackson on the day of his death.

"I read all these documents and was perplexed that the determination had been made that Dr. Murray was infusing propofol, because in my examination of the documents and evidence, it wasn't obvious to me," White said during the testimony.

The defense says Jackson, who suffered from insomnia, feared that his comeback tours could be canceled unless he found sleep. Jackson self-administered the propofol that Murray was trying to wean him off of and also swallowed eight lorazepam tablets while Murray was not watching, CNN reported about the defense's theory.

Prosecutors contend that Murray is responsible for Jackson's death even if he did not administer the final dose because he was criminally reckless in using the propofol to help Jackson sleep without proper precautions, CNN also reported.

White is expected to be called back to testify when the trail resumes Monday morning, according to the report from ABC News. On Wednesday the jury is expected to begin deliberating.

ABC News reported that Cherilyn Lee, a nurse practitioner who consulted Jackson, said other doctors or nurses say they never would have done what Murray did and refused to administer propofol to Jackson. "I don't think there's a chance that [the jury] won't agree that he [Murray] was grossly negligent," Lee told ABC News.

Vikings' Cook in Court on Felony Charge

| No Comments

Viking cornerback Chris Cook was charged with felony domestic assault on Wednesday.

The Star Tribune reported that Cook, 24, tried to choke his girlfriend during a dispute in his Eden Prairie home on Saturday, according to charges filed in Hennepin County District Court.

KSTP reported that the woman told police that Cook threw her on the bed. When he began to strangle her, she tried to free herself, but Cook hit her and grabbed her neck. Police arrived to find the woman crying and bloodied, with hemorrhaging in her eye, a symptom consistent with strangulation.

Cook posted $40,000 bail and was released Tuesday from Hennepin County jail, the Star Tribune reported.

He is currently suspended without pay from the team and will not travel to Sunday's game at Carolina. "The fact that he will be suspended from our team really lets you know how concerned we are about what happened," head coach Leslie Frazier told KSTP.

Cook's next court hearing is Nov. 22.

The Star Tribune reported that after being released from jail, Cook used Twitter to tell his followers, "There's always two sides to a story!!"

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2011 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.