WOMAN GETS 24 YEARS FOR FATAL CRASH AFTER DRUNK TWEET: FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman who tweeted about being drunk minutes before a fatal wrong-way crash has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.
A Broward County judge also ordered 22-year-old Kayla Mendoza to remain on probation for six years after her release. Mendoza pleaded guilty in February to two DUI manslaughter charges in the November 2013 crash that killed Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio, both 21.
Evidence showed that Mendoza tweeted “2 drunk 2 care” before the Sawgrass Expressway crash. Authorities later said her blood-alcohol level was almost twice Florida’s legal limit. Police say she had been out drinking with co-workers prior to the crash.
Mendoza had faced a maximum of 30 years behind bars.
SEATTLE POLICE: NO CHARGES FOR MAN STUCK IN BASKETBALL HOOP: SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle police say they aren’t pursuing charges against a shirtless man with a hammer who managed to get himself stuck in a basketball hoop.
Officer Drew Fowler said Monday the man was not booked into jail but sent to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.
The man climbed onto the hoop at Cal Anderson Park during May Day demonstrations Friday, though Fowler says it’s not clear if his actions were related to the protests.
News helicopter video showed him hanging upside down from the rim, sometimes by just one foot, as he waved the hammer around. It took several officers to get him down, helped by a firefighter who climbed a ladder to cut the net.
The police department wrote on its Twitter feed it was considering citing the man for destruction of property — “or at least goal-tending.”
COLORADO LAWMAKERS OK BILL MAKING SCHOOLS LIABLE FOR SAFETY: DENVER (AP) — Legislation to make Colorado public schools legally liable for student safety awaits the governor’s signature.
The state House and Senate agreed Monday on final language in the bill to allow public schools to be sued for negligence in cases of school shootings or other violence.
Gov. John Hickenlooper has said he supports the bill, meaning it is likely to become law.
The bill is named for Claire Davis, who was killed at Arapahoe High School in 2013. She was shot by a fellow student who then turned the gun on himself.
Lawsuits would be limited to $350,000 per victim or $900,000 per incident.
Colorado is one of at least 33 states that limit monetary damages that may be recovered from judgments against the state, though lawmakers have waived or raised the caps in particular situations.
RHODE ISLAND MAN ADVERTISING TO FIND WIFE A KIDNEY: WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man is getting creative in his search to secure a kidney donor for his wife.
Jim Small, of Warwick, is exhausting all avenues to find a donor to match his wife’s rare type O-negative blood.
WJAR-TV reports Small first started with a sign on the back of his pickup truck that read, “Type O Blood. Wife Needs Kidney. Please Donate,” along with his phone number. He now operates an online campaign spreading the same message.
Small’s wife was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease over 20 years ago.
April Small is on a list to receive a transplant, but would be able to have the surgery immediately if she can provide her own donor.
NYPD OFFICER DIES FROM GUNSHOT WOUND TO HEAD: NEW YORK (AP) — A 25-year-old police officer shot in the head while attempting to stop a man suspected of carrying a handgun died Monday from his injuries, the third New York City officer slain on duty in five months.
Brian Moore, who was in a coma after undergoing brain surgery following the Saturday evening shooting, was pronounced dead at a Queens hospital with his family, including his police officer father, uncle and cousin, at his bedside.
Hundreds of uniformed officers stood at attention outside the hospital and lined up down the block to salute the ambulance carrying his body. Afterward, many could be seen crying and consoling one another.
“He proved himself to be an exceptional young officer,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said, noting Moore had made more than 150 arrests in less than five years on the job and earned meritorious service medals.
Moore and his partner were in plainclothes and in an unmarked police car when they approached Demetrius Blackwell in a quiet Queens neighborhood after they saw him adjusting his waistband, a move that made them suspicious he had a handgun, authorities said.
The officers pulled up next to Blackwell, 35, and exchanged words before the man suddenly turned, pulled out a weapon and fired at least twice at them, striking Moore in the head and face, according to court documents.
SUPREME COURT REJECTS INMATE’S APPEAL FOR SEX-CHANGE SURGERY: BOSTON (AP) — A nearly two-decade legal fight by a convicted murderer in Massachusetts to get taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery ended in failure Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected her final appeal.
The justices did not comment in letting stand a lower-court ruling denying the surgery to Michelle Kosilek.
“This is a terrible and inhumane result for Michelle,” said Jennifer Levi, director of the Transgender Rights Project for Boston-based Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.
The state Department of Correction, which has fought the surgery, did not immediately respond to a request to comment.
State prison officials, who say the surgery could cost as much as $50,000, have said in the past they opposed the surgery because it would create security problems.
Kosilek was known as Robert Kosilek when she was convicted of murdering her spouse, Cheryl, in 1990.
Kosilek, now 65, said in her legal fight against the state prisons department that her Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment was being violated and the surgery is necessary to relieve the mental anguish caused by gender-identity disorder.