Hearing delayed for pair charged in MSA scandal

The pair charged with shutting down a rival party’s website during the 2006 MSA election had their preliminary hearings rescheduled yesterday. MSA Rep. Anton Vuljaj and Engineering senior Joel Alan Schweitzer are each charged with one count use of a computer to commit a crime – a felony with maximum penalties of up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine – and interfering with an electronic device, a high court misdemeanor with penalties of up to two years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

The separate hearings had been scheduled for yesterday. Vuljaj’s new hearing has been set for Nov. 21. Schweitzer’s has been set for Nov. 14.

Vuljaj refused to comment and Schweitzer has said he will not comment on the case until it is resolved.

DAVE MEKELBURG

BALTIMORE

Church ordered to pay $11 mil after picketing funeral

A grieving father won a nearly $11 million verdict yesterday against a fundamentalist Kansas church that pickets military funerals out of a belief that the war in Iraq is a punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

Albert Snyder of York, Pa., sued the Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified damages after members demonstrated at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.

The federal jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress.

Snyder’s attorney, Craig Trebilcock, had urged jurors to determine an amount “that says don’t do this in Maryland again. Do not bring your circus of hate to Maryland again.”

DETROIT

Prosecuter charged with overreaching on cases is acquitted

A former federal prosecutor was acquitted yesterday of withholding evidence from the defense during the nation’s first major terrorism trial after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The government said Richard Convertino wanted so badly to win convictions in the case that he broke the law. But Convertino’s lawyers insisted he did nothing wrong and had no reason to hide evidence against four North African men accused of operating a “sleeper” terrorist cell.

“It’s a just end to a politically motivated prosecution,” Convertino said after the verdict was read.

The jury reached its decision after less than a day of deliberations.

LANSING

Wayne State drops extra tuition contingency fee

Wayne State University is dropping a tuition contingency fee for students in the upcoming winter semester.

The decision at the Detroit school came after the state Legislature finished adopting a budget for the new fiscal year.

The budget deal includes reimbursing universities for state subsidies that were delayed earlier this year.

Wayne State’s $13 per credit hour contingency fee was adopted in the fall semester. It was designed to help protect the school in case it wasn’t reimbursed for the withheld money.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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