November 13th, 2013
10:02 AM ET

Marissa Alexander, Florida Woman in Warning-Shot Case, May Be Freed

She's won a new trial. And now, Marissa Alexander may learn Wednesday whether she can get out of prison while she waits for that trial.

In a Jacksonville, Florida, court, a judge is expected to decide if Alexander will be released on bond in a case that has drawn national attention.

Last month, an appellate court ordered a new trial for Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a gun to scare off her allegedly abusive husband. The case will be retried because the jury had incorrect directions, the court ruled.

Alexander's case gained the attention of civil rights leaders, who say nobody was hurt and the sentence for the mother of three was too harsh.

The case shined the spotlight on Florida's Stand Your Ground law after she unsuccessfully argued before her 2012 trial that she was immune to prosecution because of the law.

But now, Alexander says she's just hoping she can see her children as she waits for her complicated case to be resolved.

Alexander "has not had regular access to her 3-and-a-half year old daughter" since she was 6 months old, her lawyer said in court documents urging a judge for a pre-trial release.

But a lawyer for Alexander's estranged husband, Rico Gray, says he has concerns.

"She had bond once on this case and she went over to my client's house and she gave him a black eye, and got arrested, though she was told to stay away from my client, so I don't think he necessarily wants her to have a bond again," said Richard Kuritz, Gray's attorney.

A police report from that time shows that Alexander was arrested for a domestic violence offense connected to an altercation with Gray.

According to police reports, Alexander had no injuries, but Gray had a bloody swollen eye and told police Alexander had punched him.

Alexander's attorney says things are different now. Her client is finalizing a divorce with Gray and they will have no contact with each other.

The hearing is set for 4 p.m. ET Wednesday.

HLN's "After Dark" Host Vinnie Politan and Legal Analyst Sunny Hostin had a heated discussion on the "stand your ground" case on Wednesday's "New Day."


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November 11th, 2013
10:59 AM ET

Utah Doctor Martin MacNeill Found Guilty of Wife's Murder

Utah doctor Martin MacNeill was found guilty of his wife's murder in a verdict read early Saturday morning.

MacNeill showed no emotion as he learned his fate, but a yell came from the section where his relatives sat.

He will be sentenced later on the charges of first-degree murder and obstruction of justice, CNN's Ted Rowlands reports.

MacNeill had said his wife's death was an accident.

In the end, jurors believed prosecutors' allegations that MacNeill drugged and then drowned his wife, Michele MacNeill, in the bathtub of their home on April 11, 2007, to be with his mistress.

Michele MacNeill's sister, Linda Cluff, spoke about Michele on "New Day" Monday.

"She was a wonderful sister as well. Growing up with her, she was such an achiever. She was great in school, she was fun loving, had many friends...just had so much potential. We all looked up to her."

CNN's Jean Casarez spoke exclusively with MacNeill's daughter Alexis Somers. She fought  to have him convicted for almost 6 years after her mother's death. The defense attacked her credibility saying she hated her father so much because of his cheating.  Somers said when she looks at her father she sees "a shell of a man. I just see evil."

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October 10th, 2013
10:28 AM ET

People Engrossed in Phones Miss Murder on Train

If somebody pulled out a gun on a crowded train you were riding on, would you notice? These people didn't.

Why? They were too into their smartphones, a San Francisco prosecutor says.

The September killing of 20-year-old Justin Valdez on that busy train was shocking enough. The shooter, apparently picking the victim at random, shot the San Francisco State University student in the back.

Also shocking, the prosecutor says, was the initial actions of bystanders. Or inaction.

"Some are no more than two to three feet to him," said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon "We're seeing people that are so disconnected to their surroundings. This is not unique. People are being robbed, people are being hurt, people are being run over by cars because they're so disconnected because of these phones."

A suspect has been arrested for the killing and pleaded not guilty, authorities said. But the phenomenon of witnesses being distracted by technology may continue, Gascon said. CNN's Kyung Lah reports the latest.


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October 10th, 2013
09:46 AM ET

Woman Found Dead In Hospital Stairwell Believed To Be Missing Patient

She checked herself into a hospital weeks ago for a bladder infection. But nobody could've predicted it would end like this.

When Lynne Spalding went missing from San Francisco General Hospital, her friends frantically searched and left messages on a Facebook page to keep each other hopeful. On Tuesday, the messages on the "Find Lynne" Facebook pageturned from hope to anger.

A body was found in an exterior stairwell of the hospital, and the San Francisco Sheriff's Department says it is believed to be Spaldingalso known as Lynne Ford.

"While the medical examiner will make the final determination of identity, we have enough information at this time to conclude it is Ms. Spalding Ford," according to a joint statement released by the sheriff's department and the hospital.

"... Her disappearance has ended tragically and at this time we do not know what happened."


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