Ex-UCLA lecturer accused of threats ruled mentally unfit

LOS ANGELES — A former lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles accused of threatening students and staff was found mentally unfit to stand trial last week by a federal judge in Denver.

U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore wrote in a Jan. 27 court filing that lawyers for Matthew Harris filed a motion last October “for determination of defendant’s competency to stand trial,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

An exam by a forensic psychiatrist found Harris is “presently suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him incompetent to proceed” with his defense, the judge wrote.

Harris had pleaded not guilty last February to allegations that he sent emails and posted videos threatening violence against UCLA. He is accused of sending emails with an 800-page document and links to videos to people at the university.

UCLA canceled classroom instruction on Feb. 1, 2022 as a precaution and Harris was arrested in Boulder, Colorado, where he had been living.

Harris’ mother told authorities he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and she had him involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution after he allegedly threatened her, according to court documents.

Harris had lectured in UCLA’s philosophy department until being put on “investigatory leave” in March 2021 after allegedly sending pornographic and violent content to his students.

Harris previously studied at Duke and Cornell universities. A trail of red flags about his behavior toward women followed him throughout his academic journey to UCLA. In online class reviews, interviews and emails obtained last year by The Associated Press, current and former students at all three universities alleged negligence by the schools for letting Harris slide, despite his concerning conduct.

Harris will be hospitalized and treated for mental illness to allow experts to determine whether his mental condition might improve enough for him to stand trial in the future, the Times reported.

The judge ordered a written report on Harris’ mental condition by May 27.

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Source:: The Denver Post – News


Judge orders review that could overturn controversial Oakland school board race

Nick Resnick, right, delivers his speech after taking the Oath of Office as Oakland Boardmember of Education for District 4 during the inauguration ceremony at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND — The election of an Oakland school board candidate who officials say was incorrectly certified the winner could be overturned after an Alameda County judge ordered a partial re-examination of the results.

Judge Brad Seligman has the sole power to rescind the results of the Oakland Unified District 4 school board election in November that was called for winning candidate Nick Resnick, but which county officials later determined should have been won by third-place finisher Mike Hutchinson.

Resnick was certified as the winner of the three-candidate race in December after county officials mistakenly suspended 235 ballots where voters left the first column blank, leading to a messy and drawn-out fight over the results. Had the county followed the Oakland city charter, the majority of those ballots would immediately have been transferred to Hutchinson through the city’s ranked choice format, which allows voters to rank preferences.

Seligman has ordered the county registrar’s office, led by Tim Dupuis, to pull the already-counted ballots and allow both candidates’ attorneys to look them over and verify that Dupuis’ latest tabulation of the votes was accurate.

But the parties involved are resisting calling the process a “recount,” given that the ballots are not being tabulated again but merely checked to ensure that columns weren’t incorrectly determined to have been left blank.

“It’s a very loose process,” Hutchinson said of the limited review. “It’s just all the parties involved coming together.”


Nick Resnick, right, delivers his speech after taking the Oath of Office as Oakland Boardmember of Education for District 4 during the inauguration ceremony at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 


Dupuis’ office has taken public heat for the election snafu. Earlier this month, the county Board of Supervisors requested that an outside registrar be brought in for a hand recount of not just the botched school board race, but also the closely contested Oakland mayoral election and a pair of close races in San Leandro.

None of what the supervisors requested is likely to happen, given that their only apparent legal recourse was Hutchinson and Resnick’s very specific efforts in court to contest the outcome of their school board race. The deadline for any recount not ordered by a judge has long since passed.

“The judge was not prepared to open that vague a can of worms,” Hutchinson’s attorney, Beverly Palmer, said in an interview. “He just wants to see, for now, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Biden announces end to COVID-19 emergency declarations in May

Associated Press

President Joe Biden told Congress on Monday that the national emergency declarations for COVID-19 will end on May 11, more than three years after they were first announced by the Trump Administration.

In response to measures proposed by Republicans in Congress seeking to end the two emergency declarations immediately, the Biden administration said they plan to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency and national emergency until May, before winding them down. The date was announced in a policy statement issued by the Office of Management and Budget that expressed the administration’s opposition to the measures.

The administration said it wants to give hospitals and other health care providers at least 60 days notice before ending the public health emergency because of funding attached to the declaration. Ending the emergency could mean higher costs for COVID-19 vaccines and other health care related to the virus.

The administration also said ending the public health emergency would end the use of Title 42, which allows the administration to expel some migrants who cross the Southern border. Biden had previously tried to end the policy, but was stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


Marilyn Manson sued for sexual assault of a minor: Timeline of his troubled legal history

Less than a week after Marilyn Manson settled one sexual assault lawsuit, he’s facing another. 

A plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe, filed a lawsuit Monday in the Nassau Country Supreme Court in Long Island, New York, against Manson, whose legal name is Brian Warner.

Doe alleges sexual assault and rape, which she claims began when she was 16 and continued for years. Interscope Music Publishing and Nothing Records, which previously represented Manson, are also named as defendants. Doe alleges they knew about Manson’s abusive nature and “celebrated and promoted (it) for their collective financial gain.” 

In a statement provided to USA TODAY, Manson’s attorney Howard King claims the accuser’s allegations have been inconsistent. 

“Brian Warner does not know this individual and has no recollection of ever having met her 28 years ago,” King said. “He certainly was never intimate with her. She has been shopping her fabricated tale to tabloids and on podcasts for more than two years. But even the most minimal amount of scrutiny reveals the obvious discrepancies in her ever-shifting stories as well as her extensive collusion with other false accusers.”

King continued: “If anyone actually compares the vicious lies in the new complaint with the contents of prior interviews this woman has given to the press and on podcasts, the remarkable inconsistencies will demonstrate why this misguided action will not survive legal examination. Brian will not submit to this shakedown – and the courts won’t fall for it either.” 

USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for Interscope for comment.

“This lawsuit goes beyond the named predator and targets the record labels that packaged and profited from their artist’s criminal behavior, and it is an indictment of the music industry for maintaining a culture that celebrates, protects, and enables sexual predators,” Doe’s attorney Karen Barth Menzies said in a statement provided to USA TODAY. 

Manson emerged as a musical star in the mid-1990s, known as much for courting public controversy as for hit songs like “The Beautiful People” and hit album’s like 1996’s “Antichrist Superstar” and 1998’s “Mechanical Animals.”

He has faced accusations and lawsuits of sexual abuse, assault and misconduct from several women over the past few years. Below is a history of Manson’s recent legal issues. 

Jan. 2023: Marilyn Manson and Esmé Bianco settle sexual assault lawsuit

Nearly two years after Esmé Bianco filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Manson and his company, the two reached a settlement in January. 

“Ms. Bianco has agreed to resolve her …read more

Source:: AOL.com