PROSECUTORS ATTACK ZIMMERMAN STORY SEVERAL WAYS: SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A judge tossed out a detective's statement that he found George Zimmerman credible in his description of fighting with Trayvon Martin, a decision that benefits prosecutors who are trying to discredit the defendant's self-defense claims.
Other efforts by prosecutors to attack Zimmerman's story on Tuesday included the cross examination of a friend he called after shooting Martin and the testimony of a doctor who found the defendant's injuries to be insignificant. They also sought to introduce school records that indicate Zimmerman had studied the state's self-defense law, in another swipe at his truthfulness.
Prosecutors took the unusual step of trying to pick apart the statements of an investigator they'd called as a prosecution witness because some of what he said appeared to help the defense. Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked the judge to strike Detective Chris Serino's statement that he thought Zimmerman was credible when he described how he got into a fight with Martin. Serino was the lead investigator on the case for the Sanford Police Department.
De la Rionda argued the statement was improper because one witness isn't allowed to evaluate another witness's credibility. Defense attorney Mark O'Mara argued that it's Serino's job to decide whether Zimmerman was telling the truth.
Judge Debra Nelson told jurors to disregard the statement
COLO. AG ACCUSES BOOBIES ROCK OF MISLEADING DONORS: DENVER (AP) — The Colorado attorney general says the man behind Boobies Rock and Say No 2 Cancer misled donors and customers around the country into thinking more of their money was going to breast cancer charities.
Instead, Adam Cole Shryock only sent a little bit of money to legitimate cancer groups while using company bank accounts to buy himself a BMW, subscribe to an online dating service, and to pay bar tabs and a maid service, Attorney General John Suthers alleges in a complaint filed in Denver District Court.
A phone number listed for Shryock wasn't accepting messages Tuesday. A phone message left with Say No 2 Cancer wasn't returned. Both companies sell merchandise such as shirts, bracelets and beer koozies with pro-breast or anti-cancer slogans.
Colorado started investigating after attorneys general in Indiana and Illinois did the same. The Chicago Sun-Times had reported last year that some charities that Boobies Rock claimed to be helping received little money from the company.
Boobies Rock Inc. and Say No 2 Cancer have disabled their websites since a Denver judge issued a temporary restraining order last week restricting operations, and assets have been frozen. A hearing for a preliminary injunction is scheduled Monday.
VISITORS FLOCK TO REMEMBER GETTYSBURG BATTLE: GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — From camera-toting tourists to visitors eager to retrace the footsteps of ancestors who fought in the Civil War, thousands of people have flocked to the Gettysburg battlefield to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the defining battle of the war.
Sightseers snapped photos Tuesday in front of the stately statues and monuments that mark positions of Union and Confederate forces, while military buffs quizzed park rangers on popular battlefield education programs. One on Little Round Top drew more than 500 people — 10 times the typical turnout — and attendees carefully walked the hilltop path and craned their necks to listen to the Civil War history lesson.
"Oh my gosh, there are so many people," Park Ranger Allyson Perry said between stops on the Tuesday morning tour. "I'm so impressed."
Farther down the trail, Valerie Josephson waited near the memorial for the 20th Maine Regiment, the unit that helped defend the hill from Confederates exactly 150 years ago Tuesday. Josephson, 72, of Stockholm, N.J., said she has visited Gettysburg 10 times, but never on July 2, the day that her great-grandfather Mansfield Ham got shot in the thumb while fighting on Little Round Top in 1863.
"I still get the chills when I start riding into Gettysburg. There's such a feeling here," said Josephson, who self-published a book about her great-grandfather's unit. "I have been thinking about this for years. I'm going out here to do my part (to honor him) today."
Up to 10,000 Union and Confederate troops died at Gettysburg July 1-3, 1863, with another 30,000 wounded. It's the bloodiest battle fought on American soil.
QUINN DEMANDS GUN LIMITS IN CONCEALED CARRY LAW: CHICAGO (AP) — One week before a federal court deadline, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday demanded that lawmakers approve tougher restrictions as part of a gun possession bill that would make his state the last in the country to allow the concealed carry of firearms.
Quinn cited Chicago's gun violence in declaring that a compromise gun bill that cleared the House and Senate by wide margins was too hurried and influenced by the National Rifle Association. But fellow Democrats who lead the Legislature signaled they would try to override his changes next week.
Using an amendatory veto, Quinn sent the measure back to legislators with significant changes — including a one-gun limit on the number of firearms a person can carry and a ban on weapons in establishments that serve alcohol. Towns also would have the right to enact their own assault weapons bans, beyond just a 10-day window that was part of the bill approved by the Legislature in May.
ALZHEIMER'S CENTER RAIDED; 21 WORKERS CHARGED: COMMERCE, Ga. (AP) — More than 20 employees of a Georgia assisted living center for people with Alzheimer's disease face dozens of criminal charges after state investigators raided the center on Tuesday and uncovered allegations that employees had mistreated patients, authorities said.
The charges stem from a three-month investigation of Alzheimer's Care of Commerce, a facility about 65 miles northeast of Atlanta, Georgia Bureau of Investigation officials said.
Agents executed a search warrant Tuesday morning to gather evidence at the center. Officials say the probe revealed allegations of physical abuse — such as staff members hitting patients and throwing water on them. Charges filed against the 21 employees include cruelty to people 65 or older, and involve accusations of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation