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Former Wabash County Superior Court Judge Christopher Goff was sworn in Monday as Indiana's newest state Supreme Court justice, joining a high court that's been completely remade since 2010 following a series of retirements.

Chief Justice Loretta Rush administered the oath of office for Goff during the swearing-in at the court's Statehouse offices.

Goff, 45, is now the court's youngest member. He succeeds Justice Robert Rucker, who retired in May after 18 years on the court. Rucker retired five years before reaching the court's mandatory retirement age of 75. In 1999, he became only Indiana's second black justice when Democratic Gov. Frank O'Bannon named him to the high court.

All five justices are now white and all have been appointed since 2010 by Republican governors to replace justices who retired.

Goff joins Rush and justices Steven David, Mark Massa and Geoffrey Slaughter on the court.

Gov. Eric Holcomb will preside over a ceremonial oath and public robing ceremony on Sept. 1 for Goff, who is expected to hear his first oral arguments with the court on Sept. 7.

Holcomb chose Goff in June to fill the court's vacancy from among three finalists selected by Indiana's Judicial Nominating Commission.


A Vietnamese court on Tuesday sentenced an activist to nine years in prison on charges of producing videos that defamed the country’s leadership, in the latest crackdown on dissent.

Tran Thi Nga was convicted of spreading propaganda against the state in the one-day trial at the People’s Court in Ha Nam province in northern Vietnam, her lawyer said.

Nga, 40, campaigned against environmental pollution, police brutality and illegal land confiscation, and called for a tougher stance toward China’s assertive territorial claims in the South China Sea.

The court also imposed five years of house arrest following her prison term, lawyer Ha Huy Son said.

“I think this is an unjust verdict,” Son said. “She did not commit the crime for which she was convicted by the court.”



The driver of a tractor-trailer turned deadly transporter for undocumented migrants is due to face criminal charges in a Texas court Monday in what police are calling a human trafficking crime.

Authorities called to the San Antonio Walmart lot Sunday morning where the trailer was parked found eight bodies and 30 undocumented immigrants severely injured from overheating inside. A ninth person later died in hospital, ICE officials said. Thirty-nine people were recovered from the trailer, including one person who was found in a nearby wooded area.

"Checking the video from the store, we found there were a number of vehicles that came in and picked up a lot of the folks that were in that trailer that survived the trip," San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.

"The driver and whoever else we find is involved in this will be facing state and federal charges," he said.

The US Attorney's Office said the driver, James Matthew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, Florida, was being held in connection with the incident. Prosecutors plan to file a criminal complaint against Bradley in federal court on Monday morning.

"These people were helpless in the hands of their transporters," said Richard L. Durbin Jr., US attorney for the Western District of Texas.


A court hearing could determine the fate of a dog that was due to be euthanized before Maine's governor tried to grant the pooch clemency.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage's pardon made a celebrity out of the Alaskan husky named Dakota that was ordered to be put down after attacking two dogs, killing one. The hearing is set for Monday afternoon in Augusta.

It's debatable whether the governor has the authority to pardon the dog. But it could become moot depending on the outcome of the hearing that could permanently lift the order to euthanize the dog.

A previous effort to save Dakota by moving her to a New Hampshire shelter failed after a woman who wanted to adopt the dog objected.


An Ohio sheriff's deputy has pleaded not guilty to charges for allegedly raping a 26-year-old woman inside his county-issued cruiser.

Summit County deputy Antonio Williamson entered pleas Friday during an arraignment in the county court in Akron. He was indicted Thursday on rape, kidnapping, sexual battery and gross sexual imposition charges.

His attorney declined to comment after the hearing. A judge set a $100,000 bond.

The 46-year-old Williamson supervised the sheriff's office crime scene unit. He surrendered to authorities Thursday.

Prosecutors say the sexual assault occurred outside an Akron gentlemen's club in March. A county prosecutor's spokesman has said Williamson was in uniform and was leaving an off-duty security job prior to the assault. The spokesman says Williamson didn't know the woman previously.


A homeless man charged with beating an El Cajon police officer unconscious has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, robbery and drug charges. Daniel Moses Cook entered pleas Thursday.

Police say Cook was high on methamphetamine when he allegedly robbed a Dollar Tree store on Monday and then stole soda at a KFC restaurant. Police say when Officer Jose Sioson arrived to investigate, Cook knocked him down and kept punching him after he lost consciousness.

A bus driver used the officer's radio to call for help. Cook was later found, subdued with a Taser and arrested.
Sioson, a 28-year law enforcement veteran, is recovering at home. Cook, who has previous convictions for violent crimes, recently was released from prison. He could face 62 years to life in prison if convicted.



Pakistan’s supreme court on Friday concluded its hearing into a high-profile case involving allegations of corruption against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family, but it wasn’t immediately clear when a verdict would be announced, defense lawyers and attorneys for petitioners said.

According to attorneys involved in the case, the court heard arguments from both the government and opposition after a court-ordered investigation found “significant disparity” between declared wealth and known sources of income of Sharif and his family.

Under Pakistani law, the court has the power to disqualify Sharif if he is found guilty. Sharif denies allegations he misused his office to enrich himself.

“The Supreme Court today concluded the hearing of this case and it will set a date for announcing the judgment later,” said Salman Akram Raja, the lawyer for Sharif’s family.

Fawad Chaudhry, one of the lawyers for opposition leader Imran Khan who led the fight to have the prime minister investigated, said Sharif faced a serious challenge and “we hope Nawaz Sharif will be disqualified” for concealing his assets.

Opposition lawmakers have been fighting a legal battle to disqualify Sharif as prime minister since 2016 when leaked documents from a Panama-based law firm disclosed his family’s offshore accounts.

Sharif’s political fate has been hanging in the balance since April. The Supreme Court, acting on petitions from opposition lawmakers, decided to establish a six-member Joint Investigation Team to delve into the allegations corruption involving his family, including his daughter and two sons.

Two of the five supreme court judges opposed setting up an investigation team preferring to hand down a verdict based on the information they already had in its possession.

However the team was established and on July 10 it submitted its voluminous report to the court to support its conclusion that a “significant disparity” existed between the Sharif’s declared wealth and its known sources of income. The report suggested the Supreme Court take action against Sharif and his family in accordance with a 1999 accountability law intended to help stamp out corruption. Sharif has sought to discredit the investigators, accusing them of bias.

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