(Clayton) (AP) – A drug case involving an arrest made by the Ferguson police officer who killed an unarmed 18-year-old in a separate incident is on hold while a grand jury reviews the shooting.
A judge approved a request by prosecutors Monday to send the drug case involving the arrest by officer Darren Wilson to a St. Louis County grand jury. But a spokesman for Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch later said that the case is “on hold” until Wilson’s status is resolved.
Spokesman Ed Magee called the move standard procedure in cases where police officers are not immediately available to testify in court.
A lawyer for Christopher Brooks alleges Wilson “roughed up” his client after Brooks refused to hand over the keys to a locked car parked in his grandmother’s driveway, where police say they found drug paraphernalia and several ounces of pot. Defense attorney Nick Zotos wants the drug distribution charge dismissed because he doesn’t expect Wilson, who didn’t attend the preliminary hearing, to show up in court.
“Wilson is compromised as a witness,” said Zotos, who opposed the initial request by McCulloch’s office to shift the drug case to a panel that meets behind closed doors. It wasn’t clear whether Brooks made the allegation against Wilson before or after Brown was killed.
A police union attorney who has spent decades representing members of law enforcement in court told The Associated Press on Monday that he represents Wilson, who is under investigation by another grand jury over whether he used excessive force in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown.
James P. Towey, general counsel for the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police and a former general counsel for the St. Louis Police Officers Association, said Wilson may be willing to publicly discuss the case in the future. He declined to provide details of the whereabouts of Wilson, who has gone into hiding since Brown’s death.
Wilson, 28, received a Ferguson City Council commendation in February for his role in Brooks’ arrest one year earlier. Zotos questioned whether the honor was merited.
“We give trophies every day for just showing up,” he said after the brief hearing in St. Louis Circuit Court. “If you play on the team, you get a trophy.”
The grand jury is reviewing evidence in Brown’s death to determine whether Wilson should face criminal charges in the shooting that led to violent protests, hundreds of arrests, the summoning of the Missouri National Guard for security and international attention. McCulloch has said he expects that grand jury to complete its work by mid-October or early November, though its term has been extended until January.
The assistant prosecutor, who did not identify himself in court, did not indicate during the hearing why the county wants to shift the case to the grand jury. Magee did not provide a reason but said it didn’t involve an effort to prevent information about Wilson from being publicly disclosed.
(Little Rock) (AP) – Former President Bill Clinton is returning to Arkansas next week to help Democrats in his home state as they try to fend off a Republican takeover of the state’s top offices in the November election.
State Democrats on Monday announced that Clinton would headline four rallies around the state next week. The 42nd president and former Arkansas governor planned headline rallies in Conway and Jonesboro on Oct. 6 and in Fayetteville and Rogers on Oct. 7.
The rallies are free and open to the public, but tickets will be required. Information on the rallies is available at www.arkdems.org/clintonrally/
Republicans have been relying on a stream of national surrogates who have visited the state lately to stump for their nominees.
(Alton) – A boil water order issued in the city of Alton has been lifted.
The boil water order, which was issued for residents on Market, Simpson, Vine, and Water Streets was lifted Monday morning.
For more information call Alton City Hall at 417-778-6321.
(Jefferson City) (AP) – State scientists say Missouri’s wild turkey population appears to be on the rebound.
The Department of Conservation says it has observed a higher ratio of young turkeys to hens than compared to the average over the past five or 10 years. Some of the strongest numbers have been reported in northern Missouri, which had been most affected by a downturn in turkey production that began in the early 2000s.
The department says Missouri has now had strong turkey reproduction in three of the past four years. That means hunters should start seeing more turkeys in the woods.
(Jefferson City) (AP) – A group of business and energy leaders will start work next week to help improve Missouri’s energy policies.
Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday announced the names of more than 50 business, labor, education and energy leaders who will start work to hash out a plan for state energy use Oct. 1 at Washington University in St. Louis.
The committee created by Nixon in June is responsible for recommending ways the state can be energy efficient, promote economic development in the energy sector and ensure an abundant energy supply.
Appointees include a Sierra Club member, energy company representatives, university employees and representatives from businesses such as Ford Motor Co.
Members of the public can attend any of the eight meetings in October and submit suggestions online at energy.mo.gov.
(Cave City) (AP) – Police in northeast Arkansas say a 75-year-old woman has been fatally mauled by her pet pit bull at her home.
KAIT-TV reports Cave City Police Sergeant Brian Barnett found Alice Payne dead in her living room Friday with bite marks on her face, neck and arms. Her daughter told police she witnessed the pet attack her mother.
The dog was put down by the officers and turned over to the Arkansas Department of Health for disease testing.
Payne’s body was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy.
The Sharp County Sheriff’s Office is assisting with the investigation.
(Kansas City) (AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is expressing concerns about the Islamic State group militants as he makes a surprise visit to Afghanistan.
Nixon is part of a delegation of four U.S. governors who traveled to Afghanistan over the weekend to receive counterterrorism briefings and greet troops. During a conference call Sunday with reporters, Nixon said the war on terror is becoming the “new normal.”
He says the situation in Afghanistan is improving, noting the country’s election of a new president and a soon-to-be-signed security agreement. But he says the expansion of terrorist groups into other areas is “sobering” and casting a shadow over the improvements. He said the situation pointed out continued responsibilities to “protect America and our way of life.”
The U.S. Department of Defense sponsored the trip.
(West Plains) – The 2nd annual Color Me for CASA Color Run benefiting the 37th Judicial CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) was held Saturday, September 27 in West Plains.
The team that had the most participants was Fairview School, with 44. Howell Valley was second, with 36, and West Plains Head Start was third with 22 participants.
The first place finisher was Logan Jeffery, second place went to Tim Bean, and third place went to Scott Ragsdale.
The total raised by the event is not known at this time.
(West Plains) – The South Central Solid Waste Management District has scheduled two scrap tire collection events.
The first one will be held October 6-10 in West Plains at the West Plains Transfer Station located at 1851 Goodhard Drive. The station will be open from 8 AM to 12 PM, and from 1-4 PM daily. There is a limit of 10 tires per vehicle, and tire up to 24″ in diameter will be accepted.
The second collection event will be held November 17-20 in Raymondville at the Raymondville Fairgrounds, located on State Highway B. They will be collecting tires from 8 AM to 4 PM daily, and have the same number and size restrictions.
If you have any questions, contact Steven Reed at 417-256-4226.
(Jefferson City) – The Missouri Department of Transportation and the Highway Patrol are promoting railroad safety this week. Brett Stevens has more: