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Baltimore’s top prosecutor pleads not guilty in federal case

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s top prosecutor has pleaded not guilty to charges that she made false statements on financial documents to withdraw money from her retirement savings and to purchase two Florida vacation homes. State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby entered the plea on Friday during a remote hearing for her initial appearance and arraignment in federal court. Defense attorney A. Scott Bolden said Mosby wants a jury trial to start within 60 days. Mosby received national acclaim in 2015 for bringing criminal charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, a Black man whose neck was broken in police custody. 


Maryland lawmakers disagree over persisting crime problems

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers disagree over how to address intractable crime problems. Senate Democrats outlined a package of legislation Thursday, but Republicans say the party that controls the General Assembly has failed to take swift and decisive action for years. Democrats are proposing a broad range of efforts that include the banning ghost guns. The weapons purchased over the internet don’t have serial numbers and are rising at an alarming rate in Maryland, even in schools. Republicans are supporting Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposals, which include increasing penalties for people who use guns to commit violent crimes.  


Marijuana legislation announced by Maryland House leadership

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers have announced legislation that they say will put the state on an equitable path to legalized adult recreational marijuana, if voters approve it in November. House Speaker Adrienne Jones says the bill introduced Thursday would create an implementation plan. The measure sets out to address criminal justice and public health issues, while also building a foundation for social equity in the industry. The bill would allow Marylanders to possess up to 1.5 ounces of recreational cannabis without penalty. Possession over 1.5 ounces of cannabis and up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis would be reduced to a civil offense rather than a misdemeanor.  


Judge tosses lawsuit over Uber driver’s killing by passenger

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — A federal judge in Baltimore has dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. filed by the family of a rideshare driver who was killed by a passenger in 2019. U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake ruled Thursday that Uber didn’t have a duty to conduct background screenings of passengers. The judge also concluded that the harm to Uber driver Beaudouin Tchakounte was not “sufficiently foreseeable” to Uber even if it had known that the passenger who killed him had been convicted of robbery 21 years earlier. The passenger who shot and killed Tchakounte and a second passenger in Prince George’s County, Maryland, later told authorities that he was high on PCP.


Maryland’s Tom Perez picks Shannon Sneed for running mate

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Tom Perez, a former U.S. labor secretary who is running for governor of Maryland, has announced he has chosen former Baltimore City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed to be his running mate. Perez said Thursday that Sneed has worked directly in her community to lift up those in need and expand access to opportunity. Sneed served on the council from 2016 to 2020. Most recently, she served as a regional director for U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen covering the Baltimore region until January. Perez is running in a crowded Democratic primary with 10 candidates. Maryland’s primary is June 28.


Police: Arrest made in Eastern Shore double slaying

CAMBRIDGE, Md. (AP) — Maryland State Police say they’ve made an arrest in a double slaying on the Eastern Shore last week. Police announced Thursday that Charles Jones III of Vienna was charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree murder. Cleon Mullings of Oxford and Kelvin Wiggins of Cambridge were found with multiple blunt force injuries in Cambridge on Jan. 25. The investigators identified Jones as a suspect and he was arrested Wednesday at his home, where police say he was seen burning items in the backyard. A motive remains under investigation. Jones is being held without bond. It’s not known whether he has an attorney who can comment on his behalf. 


Fire investigators: 9 displaced after blaze damages 2 homes

MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) — Fire investigators say nine people were displaced after a fire that heavily damaged two homes in Middletown. The Office of the State Fire Marshal says when firefighters responded to reports of a house on fire on Springfield Circle on Wednesday night, they found flames shooting from one house. No injuries were reported, but officials say two homes sustained heavy damage in the blaze and four adults and five children were displaced. The American Red Cross has been asked to provide emergency assistance to those displaced residents. Total damage was estimated at $500,000. State fire investigators are searching for the fire’s origin and cause.  


HBCU bomb threat caller described elaborate plot: police

WOODSTOCK, Ga. (AP) — A police chief says a caller who threatened to blow up a historically Black university in Florida described an elaborate plot involving seven bombs hidden in duffel bags and backpacks around the campus perimeter. The call to Bethune-Cookman University was among numerous threats made Monday and Tuesday against historically Black colleges and universities across the nation. Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said that during the 20-minute call, the caller also said a gunman would open fire on Bethune-Cookman at lunchtime Monday. Many of the schools that were threatened locked down their campuses for a time. Authorities found no bombs after extensive searches.

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