The Morning Roundup: Bud Light Bribing Trial Begins This Month and Early Voting Plans Challenged | News
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Monday, October 3, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Bud Light Bribing Trial Begins This Month and Early Voting Plans Challenged

Posted by on Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Well, we hope you enjoyed your weekend, because today starts another week sure to be filled with news thanks to another debate—this time between the vice presidential candidate. But before we prepare our livers for a second round of debate drinking games, let's take a moment and breakdown some of the weekend headlines for you. 

1) Jury selection for what is sure to be one of the better trials to pay attention to this year is set to begin today. The headline gods blessed journalists with this one when it was announced that senior resident Superior Court Judge Arnold Ogden Jones II in Wayne County was accused of attempting to bribe an FBI agent with two cases of Bud Light to get texts from his wife's phone. 

Yeah, you read that right—Bud.Freaking.Light. Not saying that you should be bribing people with beer, but if you are there are better beer brands to go with. 

Anyway, opening arguments for the federal case is set to being on October 17 and jury selection begins today. 

The N&O has a rundown of some of the details of the indictment

Attorneys for Jones outlined in documents filed this summer why the judge wanted the texts.

“Arnold Jones, II was a worried man,” stated the document submitted by Raleigh lawyers Joseph B. Cheshire V, Elliot S. Abrams, and Goldsboro lawyers Glenn A. Barfield and Brian Geoffrey Hulse.

“Shortly after marrying his wife, he began having concerns about her fidelity,” the lawyers stated. “Jones asked a sheriff’s deputy who he wrongly believed to be a friend whether the deputy could access his wife’s text messages. The deputy said yes when he should have just said no.”

The defense strategy outlined in court documents has been the subject of several recent filings in the case. Prosecutors allege that the defense plans to argue entrapment even though such an argument had been precluded by earlier filings.

2. Hillary Clinton was in Charlotte Sunday to meet with the African-American community. Not only did Clinton meet and talk with leaders she also attended a church service and talked about recent deaths of black men during police encounters. 

From the Charlotte Observer: 

On Sunday, she again called for action, including more training of police on how to de-escalate tense situations that can lead to fatal shootings.

Clinton did not mention her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, by name. But she was clearly referring to him when she criticized people “who want to exploit people’s fears, even if it means tearing our nation even further apart. They say that all of our problems would be solved simply with more law and order, as if the systemic racism plaguing our country doesn’t exist.”

“Of course we need safe neighborhoods,” she added, “but we also need justice. And dignity. And equality. And we can have both. This is not an either-or question for America.”


3. Early voting plans in five counties are being challenged in federal court because they "skirted the intent of the Fourth Circuit's order in the voting rights case." 

The challenge focuses in on Nash, Forsyth, Guilford, New Hanover, and Mecklenburg counties. Here's the rundown from WRAL

Lawyers representing the League of Women Voters filed a motion and supporting material on Saturday that five plans either approved by the state board or unanimously approved by local boards skirted the intent of the 4th Circuit's order in the voting rights case. They have asked the court, as part of its ongoing oversight of NAACP v. McCrory, to expand early voting in Nash, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg and New Hanover counties.

"The challenged plans are blatant attempts to make an end run around McCrory and this Court’s injunction," lawyers for the league wrote in their brief. "They seek, at least in part, to accomplish on a county-by-county basis what the Fourth Circuit barred the General Assembly from doing through SL 2013- 381: suppressing African-American voting strength by limiting access to early voting and SDR without legitimate justification. To 'fully correct' and 'eliminate root and branch' the State’s racially discriminatory effort to suppress the vote of African Americans, the Court should order these plans be modified." 

The suit itself is nonpartisan, WRAL notes, "making changes to early voting locations could have big consequences for the election." And the NCGOP ain't too fond of that. 

The state's Republican Party sent a missive on Saturday saying that the filing represents Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton sticking "a finger in the eye of the people of North Carolina." Marc Elias, one of the lawyers who helped bring the suit, is a general counsel for the Clinton campaign. However, the campaign itself is not a party in the case.

"This shows that Hillary Clinton will do anything to get elected, including suing the people of the state she seeks to represent and sucker-punching Democrat election board members," North Carolina Republican Party director Dallas Woodhouse said in the statement. "It also shows that Clinton plans to continue Obama's massive federal government overreach."

4. Two North Carolina A&T students were shot and killed over the weekend at a house party. 

From WGHP in Greensboro: 
Police said Alisia Dieudonne, 19, and Amhad Campbell, 21, both students of North Carolina A&T State University, were wounded when an unknown subject shot them during an altercation.

They were transported to a local hospital where they were pronounced deceased, according to police.
“None of what happened had to happen,” said the N.C. A&T student who lives at the house where the party took place.

5. There was some pretty big Trump news dropped over the weekend by The New York Times. 

Read it here. We'll provide that without comment, but here's a Trump tweet adding his own spin on it.  Happy Monday! 

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