KENTUCKY

Court tosses lawsuit by Trump rally protesters

President Trump on Tuesday won dismissal of a lawsuit in which three protesters accused him of “inciting to riot” after they were roughed up at a March 2016 campaign rally in Louisville during Trump’s White House run.

By a 3-to-0 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati said the protesters did not state a valid claim under Kentucky law against Trump or his campaign, and Trump’s speech was protected by the First Amendment because he did not specifically advocate violence.

Henry Brousseau, Kashiya Nwanguma and Molly Shah said they had planned a peaceful protest at the March 1, 2016, rally, in which Trump gave a roughly 35-minute speech that was interrupted several times.

They claimed they were assaulted, pushed and shoved, with Brousseau punched in the stomach, and unceremoniously removed after Trump repeatedly exhorted supporters to “get ’em out of here.”

But in ordering the dismissal of the incitement-to-riot claim, a misdemeanor, Appeals Court Judge David McKeague noted that Trump said, “Don’t hurt ’em,” and that this amounted to an “express disavowal and discouragement of violence.”

Trump and his campaign had previously won the dismissal of negligence claims, and claims that they should be liable for three Trump supporters who allegedly participated in the assaults. Those supporters were also named as defendants.

— Reuters

NEVADA

MGM donation offer is part of shooting lawsuit

An unprecedented legal move by MGM Resorts International to sue surviving victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting took another unusual turn Tuesday when the casino operator offered to make $500 charitable donations in the name of each person who waives or has their lawyer accept legal notice of the lawsuits.

The move is part of MGM’s attempt to have a federal judge hear the cases and declare that the casino operator has no liability for the mass shooting at one of its properties under a law enacted after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The law limits damages against entities that implement security measures approved by federal officials.

MGM has insisted its lawsuits, which don’t demand money, are meant to avoid years of costly litigation.

The mass shooting occurred Oct. 1 at an outdoor music festival when a high-stakes gambler opened fire from the Mandalay Bay casino-resort, killing 58 people. More than 800 others attending the show were injured.

The company sued more than 1,900 people in July and has been working to notify the defendants.

Attorneys for the victims have until Friday to notify MGM of their response.

— Associated Press

UTAH

Elizabeth Smart kidnapper to be freed

A woman convicted of helping a former street preacher kidnap Elizabeth Smart in 2002 will be freed from prison more than five years earlier than expected, state authorities announced in a surprise move Tuesday.

Wanda Barzee, 72, will be released Sept. 19 after the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole determined it had miscalculated the time she was required to serve in prison, board spokesman Greg Johnson said.

Barzee pleaded guilty to kidnapping Smart and helping keep her captive for nine months before the teenager was found and rescued. Barzee’s accomplice, Brian David Mitchell, is serving a life sentence after being convicted of kidnapping and raping Smart. He and Barzee were married at one point.

The board said previously that Barzee would be released in January 2024. At a June hearing, Barzee’s attorney questioned the calculation of her release date.

Smart, now 30, said Tuesday she was “surprised and disappointed” to learn that Barzee will be freed next week.

— Associated Press