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KS High Court Upholds Death Sentence:  The Kansas Supreme Court upheld on Friday the capital murder conviction and death sentence of a man who gunned down a sheriff during a drug raid over a decade ago.  Amy Renee Leiker of the Wichita Eagle reports that the state's high court rejected Scott Cheever's claims that two errors occurred during the guilt-phase of his trial.  In January 2005, Cheever fatally shot Greenwood County sheriff Matt Samuels as he attempted to serve an arrest warrant on drug charges.  Cheever, 34, was convicted in 2007 of capital murder for Samuels' death, four counts of attempted capital murder for firing at other officers, criminal possession of a firearm and manufacturing methamphetamine, and was sentenced to death.  The case prompted law changes, known as the Matt Samuels Act, that made it harder to purchase ingredients used in making meth, including some allergy medications.  Cheever's death sentence is the second to be affirmed by the Kansas Supreme Court.  No one has been executed in the state since 1965.

Overall Crime up in L.A. for 2nd Straight Year:  The Los Angeles Police Department is reporting an increase in overall crime at the year's midpoint, for the second consecutive year.  Ben Poston and Kate Mather of the LA Times reports that through July 16, overall crime rose 6.3% when compared to the same point last year, with violent crime spiking 15.9% and property crime increasing by 3.8%.  Of the violent crimes, the largest increases were aggravated assaults, jumping 19.2%, and robberies, jumping 16.8%.  LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says that although some improvements have been observed since implementing new strategies in March, such as shifting more officers to the four South L.A. divisions with the highest crime rates and moving in Metro officers, he contends that his department is struggling to rein in property offenses, strong-arm robberies and aggravated assaults.  He also notes that violent and property crime totals have steadily climbed citywide since March even though the changes have resulted in decreases in some crimes.  The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department also reported an 8.4% rise in violent crime and a 6.8% jump in property crime through the end of June.  Officials have cited a variety of factors believed to be attributing the the problem, including gang violence, a rising homeless population and Proposition 47.

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7 Charged for Aiding FL Murder Suspect's Escape:  Several people have been charged as accomplices for assisting a Florida murder suspect and death row inmate escape from a crowded courtroom last Friday.  The AP reports that Francine Mesadieu, 31, provided prisoner Dayonte Resiles, 21, with a wig, clothes and colored contact lenses to disguise himself, while Paige Jackson, 18, helped to plan the escape through three-way jail phone calls.  Resiles was sitting in the jury box when he slipped out of his shackles, jumped a courtroom barrier and ran past two unarmed bailiffs towards downtown where a car was waiting for him.  Fellow inmate, Walter M. Hart II, 22, has also been charged for holding Resiles' shackles while he manipulated them along with Resiles' girlfriend, LaQuay Stern, 18, who was driving the getaway car.  Resiles has been rearrested.  Sheriff Scott Israel stated that armed deputies will now accompany maximum-security inmates in the courtroom.  Resiles is accused of binding Jill Halliburton Su, 59, at both the hands and feet and stabbing her to death during an attempted burglary in 2014. 

Death Penalty a Possibility for CA Man who Killed Toddler:  San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe is considering seeking the death penalty against a California man accused of sexually abusing and murdering his girlfriend's toddler last year.  The SF Examiner reports that David Contreras, 28, faces charges of murder and felony child abuse, among other charges, for the August 2015 sexual molestation and beating death of his girlfriend's 17-month-old daughter, who he claims died after falling from a changing table.  He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Tuesday, and a pretrial conference is scheduled for early December.  .

White House to Review Ban on Military Gear for Police:  Two police organization directors said Thursday that the White House has agreed to review last year's ban on the transferring of riot gear, armored vehicles and other military-grade equipment from the U.S. armed forces to police departments.  Julia Edwards of Reuters reports that Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, and Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, along with eight other police organization chiefs, met with President Obama and Vice President Biden on July 11, just days after a shooter gunned down five police officers in Dallas and days before three Baton Rouge officers were ambushed and killed, to urge reinstatement of military equipment to the police.  Under a May 2015 executive order, military equipment like helmets, grenades and tracked armor vehicles were banned amid public outcry of their use during protests in cities such as Ferguson, Missouri.  "The White House thought this kind of gear was intimidating to people, but they didn't know the purpose it serves," said Pasco.  White House chief legal counsel Neil Eggleston will review the ban.

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KS Officer Shot and Killed:  A Kansas City, Kan., police officer was fatally shot Tuesday afternoon while responding to a report of a drive-by shooting.  Fox News reports that Capt. Robert David Melton, 46, a 17-year veteran of the Kansas City Police Department, responded to a reported drive-by shooting and was shot and killed about a half-hour after the initial call when he pulled his vehicle up to a person matching the description of one of the suspects that had fled the scene earlier.  The suspect shot Melton multiple times before he could exit the car.  That suspect along with another are currently in custody and being questioned.  Melton's death marks the second time this year that a Kansas City police officer has been shot in the line of duty.  A police spokesman said it is too early to determine whether Melton's death is connected to the recent ambush attacks on police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

Suspect in CA Homeless Attacks Could Face Death Penalty:  San Diego police made an arrest Friday of a man accused of attacking five homeless men, killing three of them, and prosecutors announced Tuesday that he could face the death penalty if convicted.  KPBS reports that Jon David Guerrero, 39, began his spree of assaults on July 3, brutalizing his victims as they slept on roadsides, in open areas and under freeway bridges.  In two cases, he set the victims on fire.  After Guerrero's arrest, which occurred shortly after the latest attack, detectives discovered physical evidence at the scene of the crime and at his residence linking him to the attacks and murders.  He is charged with three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, along with a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders.  Because of the special circumstance, he could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole if found guilty. 

Growing Number of Children caught in Gang Gunfire:  The list of young children across Chicago who have been shot continues to grow amid a year of surging homicides and shootings, with many of the incidents connected to gangs.  Don Babwin of the AP reports that through the end of June, 15 children younger than the age of 10 had been shot, seven more victims than at the same point last year, and four more have been shot since the start of July.  They are being shot doing "normal kid things" such as drawing on the sidewalk, playing with sparklers, walking hand-in-hand with their mother or sitting on the porch with their family.  Miraculously, no child has died as a result of the shootings across a city that has seen over 330 people killed in homicides this year.

CA's Elderly Parole Program Could Shorten Kidnapper's Sentence by 400 Years:  The convicted sex offender who kidnapped Jaycee Dugard could have his sentence shortened by some 400 years under California's elderly parole program.  Shirin Rajaee of CBS Sacramento reports that Phillip Garrido, 65, was sentenced to 431 years behind bars for the kidnapping and sexual assault of Dugard, who he abducted in South Lake Tahoe in 1991 and held captive at his Antioch home for 18 years.  But in February 2014, a federal court ordered the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to implement a new parole program that made state prisoners who are 60 or older and have served at least 25 years of their sentence eligible for parole hearings.  Although Garrido will have to wait until 2034 for his first parole hearing, Dugard may then be forced fight it, as if she hasn't been through enough because of this man.

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In One Day, Two Dead and 12 Injured in Chicago Shootings:  From afternoon until evening on Monday, two people were killed and 12 others wounded on Chicago's South and West sides.  The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the first shooting occurred at about 1 p.m. and the last at 11:48 p.m.  Among the victims were an injured 14-year-old boy, who was shot while standing on a sidewalk, and a 17-year-old boy, fatally shot in the street.  All of the other victims were young men in their 20s.

CO and Inmate Dead in PA Prison:  An altercation at a Pennsylvania prison Monday night left a correctional officer and an inmate dead.  The AP reports that the inmate has been identified as Tracy Gilliam, 27, who was serving time at Luzerne County Correctional Facility in Wilkes-Barre for failing to register as a sex offender.  The name of the officer has yet to be released, as requested by the family. The prison has been on lockdown since the incident occurred and both the district attorney's office and the police department are investigating the incident.

CA AG Offers two Definitions of Rape as Violent Crime: 
California Attorney General Kamala Harris' recently released annual crime report revealed that violent crime jumped 10% in 2015 from the previous year, with a 36.1% increase in rape; however, another Harris document regards rape as a nonviolent crime.  Dan Walters has this piece in the Sac Bee saying that the other Harris document -- her official summary of Gov. Jerry Brown's criminal sentencing measure on the November ballot -- "merely parroted Brown's wording" and shows that she "didn't do her homework on how it starkly conflicts with her own agency's definition of violent crime."  Brown's measure would offer an easier path to parole for anyone convicted of a crime that is not classified as a "violent felony," including some forms of rape.  The measure limits its definition of  a "violent felony" rape to "sexual intercourse" by force, violence, extortion or threat but excludes several other forms of rape that Harris' crime report considers violent crimes, such as rape with a foreign object.  Walters criticizes Harris for playing "political games with slippery definitions of violent crime."

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CA Gang Member on PRCS Arrested for Triple Homicide:  A documented gang member freed under California's AB 109 law was arrested last week for fatally shooting three people, including a nine-year-old, on July 8.  Doug Saunders of the San Bernardino County Sun reports that Trayvon Eshawn Brown, 26, was arrested last Thursday at the office of his probation officer for gunning down a nine-year-old boy, his father and another man outside a liquor store, allegedly motivated by an ongoing violent history between brown and one of the men.  Brown was on Post Release Community Supervision at the time of the shooting, stemming from a June 2013 conviction for an attempt to evade a peace officer with reckless driving.  Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said, "We're finding it's a reoccurring thing that we're making contact with these people who are freed on probation."  Brown was booked on suspicion of murder.

Judge Rails on Prop. 47 During Sentencing:  During a sentencing hearing for a man with a 20-year criminal history that escalated to a 2013 shooting that nearly killed a police officer, a San Diego judge voiced his strong opposition of Proposition 47, the California measure passed in 2014 reducing several felonies to misdemeanors.  Dana Littlefield of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Superior Court Judge Frederic Link said during Ignacio Canela's sentencing hearing that reduced penalties for drug crimes is "like taking the teeth out of the tiger."  Canela, 33, has a lengthy criminal history including convictions for auto theft, assault, burglary, drug possession for sale and, now, attempted murder.  However, because of Prop. 47, Canela was deemed to be entitled to some of the relief the measure provides and was allowed to have some of his lower felony convictions reclassified, resulting in a 54-year sentence instead of life in prison.  "This defendant is the perfect reason why Prop. 47 does apply and shouldn't be the law," said Link.

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Murderer Suspect Escapes FL Courthouse:  A Florida murder suspect facing the death penalty escaped the Broward County Courthouse Friday morning, and an intensive manhunt is underway.  David J. Neal and Amy Sherman of the Miami Herald report that Dayonte Resiles, 21, escaped the courthouse after being brought there from jail for a hearing on a defense motion to remove the death penalty as a sentencing option.  Resiles is charged with first-degree murder in the home invasion killing of Jill Su, who was found with her hands and feet bound and fatally stabbed in her home in September 2014.  Resiles is also being prosecuted on five different felony cases in the county, involving burglary, grand theft and weapons possession.

Countries Refusing to Take Back Illegals May Face Aid Cuts:  Republicans and Democrats were unified in anger on Thursday at the Obama administration's lax immigration policies, demanding that the State Department punish countries that refuse to repatriate their citizens living in the U.S. illegally.  Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times reports that Republicans demanded that the State Department strip visas from the 23 most recalcitrant countries, and Democrats suggested that Congress cancel foreign aid to any county that refuses to cooperate with U.S. deportations.  A section of U.S. immigration law would allow officials to withhold visas from countries deemed uncooperative, a penalty which has been used only once against Guyana in 2001.  The State Department said that DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson is responsible for making an official request to withhold visas, but he has yet to make any.  A Connecticut case last year brought the issue to the forefront, when Haiti refused to take back attempted murderer Jean Jacques, who was subsequently released from custody and went on to murder a young woman months later.  Since 2013, 86,288 criminal aliens have been released into U.S. communities.


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Synthetic Marijuana Overdose Sends 33 to Hospital:  NYPD and NYFD had their hands full on Tuesday as the city's first responders picked up 33 people in the Brooklyn area who had collapsed on the sidewalks over an 11-hour period. Susan Scuttl of CNN News reports that the victims are suspected to have overdosed on K2, a type of synthetic marijuana, and suffered from lethargy, respiratory problems and altered mental states.  K2, or "spice," is a mixture of herbs, spices or plant material that is laced with THC, the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. Despite assurance from medical staff that it is unlikely for individuals to die from synthetic marijuana at this time, the drug is highly dangerous due to the inconsistencies that exist in the products used to create it. Likewise, the medical consequences for users of this drug are often unpredictable as well. Police believe that these incidents are related due to the close proximity of the victims to one another. No arrests have been made at this time.  In related news, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill Wednesday intended to change the way police and health care workers address opioid addiction.  The bill previously passed the house and will now be sent to President Obama.

GA to Execute 6th Murderer This Year:  Georgia will execute a death row inmate Thursday night after 34 years of imprisonment. Brett Rosner of WSB TV reports that John Wayne Connor killed his friend J. T. White in 1982 after a night of drinking and smoking marijuana led to a fight. Connor and his girlfriend tried to flee after realizing what had happened but were found hiding in a hay barn. White's badly beaten body was recovered in a drainage ditch. Connor will die by lethal injection of barbiturate pentobarbital and is the sixth person to be put to death in the state this year.

DHS, FBI Concerned about Violence at National Conventions: 
The heads of the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation voiced their concerns Thursday about the upcoming Republican and Democratic national conventions becoming violent.  Andrea Noble of the Washington Times reports that DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and FBI Director James Comey expressed worry during testimony before the Homeland Security Committee about "the prospect of demonstrations getting out of hand" and erupting into violence, as several groups have encouraged members to arm themselves at the upcoming Republican national convention in Cleveland.  FBI agents are closely monitoring for any potential threats of terrorism and Johnson plans to travel on Friday to Cleveland and Philadelphia to inspect the security at the event locations.  Both conventions will have a large security presence, including thousands of police officers and over 3,000 DHS personnel.  The security concerns come just one week after a lone sniper killed five police officers at the Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas.

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Death Sought in NC Homicide Case:  A North Carolina man accused of killing an elderly woman and stabbing a man will face the death penalty at trial, set to begin in early September.  WXII 12 reports that Jordon Lowdermilk is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Claudia Smith, 80, who was beaten to death in her home.  After killing Smith, Lowdermilk stole her car and crashed it on the interstate, and when a man, Bryan Mace, pulled over near the area of the crash site, Lowdermilk stabbed him.  Lowdermilk faces additional charges of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill, first-degree burglary and larceny of a motor vehicle.

Five Shot at Vigil for Baltimore Shooting Victim:  Four women and one man were shot in Baltimore Monday night while attending a candlelight vigil for another shooting victim.  Jessica Chasmar of the Washington Times reports that the victims, ranging in age from 20 to 48, sustained non-life-threatening wounds when a gunman opened fire into a crowd of 25 people who had gathered to honor Jermaine Scofield, 24, who was killed early Sunday in the same location.  No arrests have been made.

TN High Court Upholds Murderer's Conviction and Death Sentence:  The Tennessee Supreme Court last week upheld the 2010 conviction and death sentence of a man who murdered a married teenage couple over a decade ago.  WTVC reports that Howard "Hawk" Willis killed Samantha Leming Chrismer, 16, and her husband Adam Chrismer, 17, in 2002 and was later found guilty of two counts of premeditated murder and one count of felony murder in the perpetration of a kidnapping.  Willis was sentenced to death on each conviction, and the Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the convictions and death sentences last year.  The latest ruling stems from an appeal Willis filed in October, arguing that his Sixth Amendment right to counsel was violated when the trial court admitted into evidence incriminating statements he made to his ex-wife, who he said was acting as an agent of the state at the time the statements were made.  The Tennessee high court held that Willis's right to counsel was not violated, as some of the incriminating statements made to his ex-wife were before his indictment when he had no right to counsel.  Further, other statements he made were from a jailhouse telephone, preceded by a recording informing him all calls are subject to monitoring and recording, so he implicitly consented to be monitored and recorded.

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New Technology Leads NYPD to Shooter:  NYPD officers were able to pinpoint shots being fired in Crown Heights on the day after they were alerted by ShotSpotter, a new technology contributing to advances in investigative techniques.  Chanel Ali of the Brooklyn Reader reports that ShotSpotter is a gunfire detection system that will report incidents involving gunfire that may not have otherwise been reported.  This is accomplished by the strategic placing of microphone-type devices on metropolitan streets to triangulate loud noises and determine their origin within a matter of moments.  Members of ShotSpotter's headquarters, located in California, then analyze these noises and proceed to notify police if there is a real threat.  It cost New York City $1.5 million to install roughly 300 microphone sensors in 10 Brooklyn precincts and seven Bronx precincts with high gun violence as part of a pilot program.  The investment paid off on Sunday when officers were notified of shots fired and encountered Paul Mathurin, 31, who engaged in a standoff with police that eventually ended after he was shot in the hip and detained.

Study finds no Racial Bias in Police Shootings:  A study released this month by a Harvard professor found no evidence of racial bias in police shootings, despite finding that officers were more likely to have physical interactions with non-whites over whites.  Valerie Richardson of the Washington Times reports that Harvard economics professor Roland G. Fryer Jr.'s study for the national Bureau of Economic Research, "An Empirical Research Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force," collected data from 10 large police departments in six Texas cities, three Florida counties and Los Angeles County, as well as New York City's Stop, Question and Frisk program.  After examination of thousands of incidents, the study concluded that, while blacks and Hispanics were 50% more likely to experience physical interactions with police, such as touching, pushing and drawing weapons, there was no greater likelihood of officers shooting non-whites than whites after factoring in extenuating circumstances.  The paper supports an earlier study conducted by Washington State University that found officers in simulation tests were actually less likely to shoot at blacks than whites, and also challenges the Black Lives Matter narrative that police are racists targeting blacks for shootings.

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Man Who Killed Retired Cop Serves One Year:  A man who drunkenly ran down and killed a retired Stockton police officer nearly two years ago will be released next month after serving barely one year of his four-year sentence, the officer's family learned last week.  Rowena Shaddox of Fox 40 reports that Officer Jimmy Pendergrass, a 46-year veteran of the force, was fatally struck by Sergio Chavira in December 2014, two days before Christmas.  Chavira, who has a history of drunken driving convictions, drove off, leaving Pendergrass to die.  He was convicted of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter after he claimed the killing was an accident and that he panicked when he drove off.  Rather than serving his four-year sentence in prison, Chavira's classification placed him at a fire camp, where he served just 190 days, receiving credit for double that time.  Next month, he will be a free man.

After Dallas, U.S. Police Forces Rethink Tactics:  Following the deadly rampage in Dallas last week that claimed the lives of five police officers, 13 of the country's 30 largest cities have ordered their police officers to work in pairs in an effort to boost safety, which is just one of several tactics to be implemented by U.S. police departments.  Nick Carey of Reuters reports that although most police departments are not publicly divulging specific tactics, citing safety reasons, a few have shared some strategies that are being considered; Indianapolis' police department said it would consider using robots to deliver lethal force, a tactic unheard of until it was used last week on the Dallas shooter, and Denver's police union wants officers to wear riot gear for local protests and be armed with AR-15 assault rifles while on patrol at the Denver International Airport. Last Thursday's attack in Dallas came during protests over the police shootings of two black men, Alton Sterling, 37, of Baton Rouge and Philando Castile, 32, of St. Paul, Minn, who were killed in the days before the Dallas massacre.  In addition to the five fallen officers, seven others were injured, making it the deadliest assault on U.S. law enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Two Gitmo Detainees with al Qaeda Links Released:  The Obama administration released two more Guantanamo Bay detainees affiliated with Islamic terrorist groups over the weekend, announcing Monday that they will now be detained in the Republic of Serbia instead of the facility in Cuba.  Diana Stancy of the Washington Examiner reports that Muhammadi Davlatov of Tajikistan and Mansur Ahmad Saad al-Dayfi of Yemen were transferred Sunday after unanimous approval by the Guantanamo Review Task Force, made up of six federal departments and agencies.  Davlatov, an admitted member of the Islamic Movement of Tajikistan, has ties to senior al Qaeda members, received training from al Qaeda training camps and was in possession of documents on how to make explosives, chemical agents and poison when he was captured.  Al-Dayfi, an admitted member of al Qaeda, had prior knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, was aware of other attacks against U.S. interests and received training at an al Qaeda camp.  Several officials, including members of Congress, are concerned with the process of transferring detainees, noting that once transferred, they can no longer be tracked; just last month, a prisoner was released to Uruguay and disappeared.  Since 2009, the Obama administration has resettled over 100 Guantanamo detainees in 30 countries with the objective of closing the facility, which now holds only 76 prisoners.  

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Cops in Major U.S. Cities to Patrol in Pairs:  Following the Thursday night rampage in Dallas, in which a gunman opened fire on 12 police officers, killing five of them, officers in other major U.S. cities around the country will begin patrolling in pairs.  Kelly Cohen of the Washington Examiner reports that departments in Washington D.C., Las Vegas, St. Louis, New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and Burlington, Vt., have ordered their patrols be conducted in pairs.  D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said that the order will help officers, most of whom patrol alone, feel much safer.

SD Inmate's Death Sentence Upheld:  A federal court upheld the death penalty Thursday for a South Dakota murderer who was sentenced to death over two decades ago.  Tiffany Tan of the Rapid City Journal reports that Charles Russell Rhines, 59, was sent to death row in 1993 for the slaying of Donnivan Schaeffer, 22, in March 1992.  Rhines bound and stabbed Scaeffer after he walked in on Rhines burglarizing the donut shop where Schaeffer worked part-time.  Rhines has had previous appeals rejected, and the latest ruling by the South Dakota U.S. District Federal Court denied Rhines' request to overturn his conviction.  He can now file a notice of appeal within 30 days to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court, though he must get permission from the federal court to do so.

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Chicago on the Brink: Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald makes a compelling case against the "Black Lives Matter" narrative and the tragic consequences of tarring proactive policing as racist in this City Journal article. In Chicago, the ACLU and civil rights leaders have demanded a reduction in traffic stops and public interactions by police officers because the subjects are mostly black. As a result, urban violence and shootings have reached record levels and the vast majority of the perpetrators and victims are mostly black. MacDonald quotes a black, middle aged, former drug addict whose son was shot and killed last year, "I've been in Chicago all my life. It's never been this bad. Mothers and grandchildren are scared to come out on their porch; if you see more than five or six niggas walking together, you gotta run."

SC Man Dies After Standoff with Police: A North Charleston man died after being shot in a standoff with officers on Tuesday, ABC News reports. Police engaged in a gun battle with William Tracy Patterson, 34, when they responded to a call about a driver who was trying to run a pedestrian over. Officers located the vehicle and were fired upon by Patterson from his second-floor window, which struck and injured Officer Wayne Pavlischek. Officer Pavlischek was wearing a bulletproof vest and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Patterson was shot as he emerged from his home firing at officers and was transported to Trident Medical Center.

Future of Death Penalty in the Hands of CA Voters: This November California's voters will get to weigh in on the controversial death penalty debate. Karma Dickerson of Fox 40 News reports that the state will be offering two very different options for its voters that include: the Death Penalty Reform and Savings Act and the Justice that Works Initiative. The "Death Penalty Reform and Savings Act" calls for a faster execution process that will impose new requirements and deadlines onto the courts and will house inmates in less expensive, non-death row housing until their execution date. It will also require inmates to work and pay restitution. The "Justice that Works" initiative would repeal the death penalty and commute the sentences of condemned murderers to life without the possibility of parole. Proponents claim this will save roughly $150 million annually. Executions have been on hold for a decade as California has been developing a new lethal injection protocol, leaving 747 murderers on death row.

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OH City sees 15 Overdoses in 10 Hours:  By 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Akron, Ohio, 15 suspected heroin overdoses had been reported throughout the city in just 10 hours, among them a woman and her two daughters.  Steph Solis of USA Today reports that so far this year, 55 people have died in Akron as a result of a heroin overdose.  The number of heroin-related overdose deaths have steadily increased since 2012, when 44 people died of heroin-related overdoses; and between 2002 and 2008, only 40 people suffered a fatal heroin overdose in that lengthy time frame, illustrating the crisis-level epidemic sweeping the nation.  The epidemic gained national attention last year, when it was reported that heroin deaths quadrupled across the country.  Federal regulators are to announce Wednesday of a plan to urge Congress to approve $1 billion in funding for increasing treatment programs across the U.S. 

Murderer on the Loose in CA:  The San Diego Police Department is looking for a person of interest suspected of attacking at least four homeless men, two of whom died, leaving San Diego's transient community is on edge.  Fox News reports that police describe the suspect responsible for he "senseless, random" attacks as "extremely dangerous."  All four victims suffered extensive damage to the upper torso of their bodies, with the latest victim's body set on fire early Wednesday.  He is not expected to survive.  A surveillance video of the unidentified man has been released and he is believed to be somewhere between 30 and 50 years old.  The suspect's motive is unclear.

CA Parolee Charged with Assault, Attempted Murder:  A parolee arrested last month for forcing his way into a Hollywood retirement complex and attacking an 80-year-old woman was arraigned Tuesday on several charges, including attempted murder.  Kate Mather of the LA Times reports that Marcus Datwione Peete, 33, forced his way into the elderly woman's apartment in the early morning hours on June 18 and proceeded to beat and sexually assault her before running off.  Armed with surveillance footage from the complex, the LAPD went public with its search on June 22, but Peete was already in custody, having been picked up the day after the assault on suspicion of violating his parole.  Peete's lengthy criminal record includes convictions for battery and exposing himself in public.  He is currently charged with attempted murder, assault, burglary and sexual penetration by a foreign object.  He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

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Hillary Clinton Skirts Charges:  Despite evidence pointing to Hillary Clinton being "extremely careless" in her handling of classified emails on her private server, the Department of Justice will not bring charges against her, FBI Director James Comey announced Tuesday.  Fox News reports that the FBI reached the judgement that "no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case" after an hours-long interview of Clinton three days ago that served as its final step in its yearlong investigation into her mishandling of classified information.  The controversy first came to light over a year ago when it became public knowledge that Clinton used a personal email and server to send and receive classified information.  While Clinton claimed she used her personal server as a matter of "convenience," others said she did so to circumvent government systems in an effort to shield her communications from public record requests, putting sensitive and highly classified government secrets at risk.

Chicago has another Bloody Holiday Weekend:  Another violent holiday weekend swept Chicago, with a total of four people shot to death and 60 others wounded as the Fourth of July weekend came to close.  Peter Nickeas of the Chicago Tribune reports that the victims, half of whom were shot in the final 15 hours of the weekend, included three injured children ages five, eight and 11.  Most of the shootings occurred in the West and South side neighborhoods that endured the majority of the violence during the Memorial Day weekend.  This weekend's toll was slightly lower than last Fourth of July, when 10 people were killed and 55 others were wounded.  The year before that, 16 were killed and 66 injured over the Fourth of July weekend.

Drunk Driver Injures 2 La. Cops, Kills 1:  A drunk driver swerved into three Sterlington, La., police officers on Sunday morning, leaving one dead and two wounded.  Tim Stelloh of NBC News reports that Officer David Elahi was pronounced dead at the scene after being struck when Tracy Darnell Govan's pickup truck crossed into the shoulder of a highway where the officer was conducting a traffic stop.  The collision ripped the doors off of the patrol vehicle and wounded two other police officers who are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Officer Elahi had only one last full-time shift scheduled before he was to retire from his duties as a police officer.  Govan has been charged with vehicular homicide and vehicular negligent injury, along with other counts.  He was released from custody Sunday on undisclosed bond.

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Additional Charges Filed Against IN Cop Killer:  A Gary, Ind., man faces new charges in addition to murder in the fatal shooting a police officer two years ago.  ABC 7 News reports that Carl Blount, 27, will face charges that include intimidation, battery and the unlicensed carrying of a handgun, stemming from a domestic violence incident that occurred before the July 2014 murder of Officer Jeffrey Westerfield.  Lake County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Blount at his trial, which is scheduled to begin on Feb. 6.

Sex Offender Sentenced to Life:  A convicted sex offender from New York spat blood toward his teenage victim during his sentencing hearing on Monday after the victim made a statement urging the judge to send him to prison for life.  Tim Darragh of NJ reports that Clifford Wares, 43, was given a life sentence after the judge determined he should not be allowed back into society due to his criminal history and abhorrent behavior.  Wares was convicted last month of six counts including interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct, production of child pornography, online enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and making interstate extortionate threats.  In 2011, when the victim was 13, she met Wares online and was persuaded to send nude photos of herself to him.  He later became angry when she refused to engage in bestiality, contacted her network of online friends and humiliated her.  Another teenage victim testified that she was picked up by Wares and forced to perform oral sex on him in a state park and was later threatened via fake online profiles he made.  Before his trial and after his conviction, Wares sent computer and handwritten letters to both victims and their families that contained deadly threats.  Wares claims that he is innocent, asserting that someone hijacked his identity.  The judge ruled, however, that "society didn't need to wait for him to kill someone before he was imprisoned for life."

Cops Charged in Freddie Gray Case Want Cases Dismissed:  The remaining Baltimore police officers facing charges in the death of Freddie Gray filed motions to dismiss their cases on Monday.  Kelly Cohen of the Washington Examiner reports that in their motions, Lt. Brian Rice, Officer William Porter, Officer Garrett Miller and Sgt. Alicia White all cited "defects" in the prosecution.  The motions for dismissal followed last week's acquittal of Caesar Goodson, who faced the most serious charge of second-degree murder.  Last December, Porter's trial ended in a mistrial while Officer Edward Nero was acquitted last month.  Rice is scheduled to begin trial Tuesday, followed by Miller's on July 27, Porter's retrial on Sept. 6 and White's on Oct. 13.  They all face charges of manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office stemming from the death of Gray, 25, who died in April 2015 after sustaining a fatal spinal injury while shackled in a police van.  All six officers charged pleaded not guilty.

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