Archive for Saturday, December 7, 2002

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December 7, 2002

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Nebraska: Mother won't get more in 'Boys Don't Cry' case

The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday rejected an attempt to increase the damage award to the mother of a cross-dressing woman whose murder was dramatized in the 1999 movie "Boys Don't Cry."

Teena Brandon, 21, was posing as a man and using the alias Brandon Teena when two acquaintances, John Lotter and Marvin Nissen, learned her true gender. She told the local sheriff in Falls City they had raped her, but they were not arrested.

They murdered her and two other people about a week later.

JoAnn Brandon initially asked for $350,000 in damages, claiming Richardson County Sheriff Charles Laux's indifference led to her daughter's murder.

She was awarded $98,223.

Michigan: State workers charged in forged license scam

A couple and two employees of the secretary of state's office were accused Friday of selling forged driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and wanted criminals, officials said.

According to police reports, Rogelio Gonzales took payments and steered undercover officers posing as illegal immigrants to the secretary of state's office in Pontiac.

At the office, Gonzales' wife acted as an interpreter while two employees issued fraudulent driver's licenses, said Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca.

Gorcyca said thousands of licenses may have been sold.

Secretary of state employees Andrea Cortez, 23, and Melinda Garrison, 37, were charged with conspiracy to sell forged driver's licenses and selling forged driver's licenses, Gorcyca said. Gonzales and his wife, Maria Solis, face the same charges.

Boston: College president won't testify in mob case

University of Massachusetts President William Bulger on Friday refused to tell a congressional committee whether he's been in contact with his fugitive mobster brother or if he knows his whereabouts.

Bulger, a colorful and influential powerbroker, invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to answer questions, bringing an abrupt halt to two days of hearings by the committee investigating the FBI's ties to its mob informants.

Rep. Dan Burton, chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, asked Bulger if he had spoken to his brother - mobster James "Whitey" Bulger - since 1995, the year Whitey Bulger fled as he was about to be indicted on federal corruption charges. Burton also wanted to know if Bulger knew where his brother was.

Whitey Bulger disappeared in January 1995.

Illinois: Families of victims to fight clemency

About 50 families of murder victims met Friday with Gov. George Ryan to talk about granting clemency to people on death row, and most planned to argue against the idea.

Ryan halted executions nearly three years ago after the courts found that 13 men on death row had been wrongly convicted. He has pushed for an overhaul of the way capital cases are handled in Illinois.

About 140 people on death row have asked to have their death sentences commuted.

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