COLORADO
Prosecutors request
evaluation for Holmes

Prosecutors in the Colorado theater shootings want defendant James Holmes to undergo further sanity evaluation, suggesting the first evaluation might have found he was insane.

Court records made public Monday show that prosecutors made the request Friday.

The findings of the first evaluation haven’t been publicly disclosed, but longtime Denver defense attorney Dan Recht says it’s highly unlikely prosecutors would ask for another one if the first one found Holmes was sane.

Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in 2012. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The first evaluation was conducted by the state hospital.

A finding of insanity would make it much harder for prosecutors to persuade a jury to convict Holmes of murder and sentence him to death.

— Associated Press

TEXAS
Women in jail since 1998 to be released

Texas prosecutors reached a deal on Monday to release three women imprisoned since 1998 on sexual assault convictions that critics say were based more on mistaken ideas of lesbian behavior than evidence presented in court.

The lawyer for the women told a packed San Antonio courtroom that a deal was reached to allow the release of Kristie Mayhugh, Elizabeth Ramirez and Cassandra Rivera.

A fourth woman convicted in the case is already out on parole. Under the deal, the women will be released on bail pending an appeal.

The group known as the “San Antonio Four” was convicted of sexually assaulting Ramirez’s 7- and 9-year-old nieces and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 15 to 37 years. They have denied guilt and their supporters have slammed testimony presented by the state medical witness at trial, pediatrician Nancy Kellogg, who said physical injuries inflicted upon the girls were part of Satanic rituals that she said were prevalent among some lesbians.

— Reuters

New York extends Sandy homes buyout: New York state officials have offered to buy all 129 homes in a flood-prone neighborhood devastated by Superstorm Sandy. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Monday the state was extending its Sandy buyout program to homeowners in Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze neighborhood, which is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a tidal marsh on three others.

Marcos’s former secretary convicted: Imelda Marcos’ former secretary was convicted on Monday of conspiring to sell art that the former Philippine first lady acquired during her husband’s presidency, including a famous Claude Monet water-lily painting.

— From news services