Holmes may plead guilty
James Holmes, the suspected gunman in the Aurora theater massacre, could plead guilty in exchange for escaping the death penalty, lawyers said ahead of a crucial hearing next week. “Mr Holmes is currently willing to resolve the case to bring the proceedings to a speedy and definite conclusion for all involved,” the lawyers wrote in a court filing on Wednesday, cited by The Denver Post. The defense attorneys are seeking a sentence of life in prison without parole, and say the case could be concluded next week if the plea deal is accepted. Prosecutors have not indicated whether they will accept the offer, according to the Post, which reported they have been asking victims’ relatives whether they want to press for the death penalty, or would agree to a lesser sentence.
‘Devil’s Advocate’ convicted
An Italian man known as the “Devil’s Advocate,” who said he provided legal representation to the likes of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, was not a genuine lawyer but a fraudster, a jury at a London court ruled on Wednesday. Giovanni di Stefano, 57, conned clients out of large sums of money by setting himself up as a lawyer when he had no legal qualifications and was not registered to work as a lawyer in Italy or Britain. The court heard Di Stefano had links to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden and late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic. Prosecuting lawyer David Aaronberg said di Stefano had gained a reputation which brought him “the fame, or the notoriety, that he enjoys.”
Cable thief burnt to death
A man was found hanging from a railway cable and charred to death above tracks in Paris after trying to steal the electric cable, police said on Wednesday. The discovery of the corpse, found dangling in the 18th District of Paris, had initially baffled detectives, but rail company SNCF later said the man had managed to sever a part of the railway cable, making it likely he was attempting to steal it.
Transgender bill dropped
A lawmaker who wanted to make it a crime for a transgendered person to use the bathroom for a sex that differs from their gender at birth changed the bill after a national outcry, but colleagues approved a version that protects business owners sympathetic to the idea. The new bill seeks to shield businesses from civil or criminal liability if they ban people from restrooms that do not match their birth sex. Republican Representative John Kavanagh’s bill was prompted by the recent passage of a Phoenix anti-discrimination ordinance that critics said prevented businesses from keeping transgendered people out of locker rooms, showers and bathrooms.
Battle rages over royal bones
King Richard III is at the center of a new fight over the location of his final resting place, just weeks after the remains of the last English king to die in battle were found underneath a council car park. The University of Leicester, which led the project to find and exhume Richard, was given permission to re-inter the king’s remains at the cathedral in Leicester, which is close to Bosworth in central England. However, descendants of the monarch, who was the last king of the Plantagenet Dynasty, are seeking a legal challenge to have his body laid to rest instead in York, the city with which he had close links during his life.