A federal jury in Roanoke has determined that a police officer is NOT liable for the death of an assault suspect 5 years ago.
Officer Jim Donaldson had been accused of violating a man's Constitutional rights by applying what the officer himself called a "choke hold."
Twenty-year old Eric Scott Lee was resisting arrest.
It took three police officers to get him handcuffed.
[IN Q=In this case]
((IN THIS CASE THERE WAS NEVER ANY DAMAGE TO THE NECK. AND THAT WAS THE FIRST THING THAT MADE EVERYBODY IN THIS CASE THINK: "HEY, THIS WASN'T A CHOKE HOLD." THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE GOING ON HERE.))
[SUPER=01-Jim Guynn/Officer Donaldson's Attorney]
[OUT Q=going on here.]
The jury was concerned about the fact that Officer Donaldson testified he had seen other officers use choke holds,
but the five women and two men of the jury concluded it was not excessive..
Guidelines say an officer has the right to use a level of force higher than the person who's resisting arrest.
[TAPE#=98-53 TC 4:37]
A woman suffered head trauma and severe lacerations as a result of a car accident in Bedford County last night.
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co./Last Night]
The accident involved a Ford pick-up truck and an Isuzu trooper.
JOhnny Lanier (luh-neer) was reportedly driving the truck on Hardy Road when his vehicle collided with the trooper.
Lanier sustained cuts in the accident.
The female driver of the trooper, whose name is not available, was flown to Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
She is listed in stable but critical condition.
[GRAPHIC=Tobacco Under Fire]
Hundreds of tobacco workers and union leaders from the Southeast are converging on Richmond today.
The workers say they are being shut out of national debate on tobacco legislation, and they want their voices to be heard.
Governor Gilmore opened today's national summit at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Congressional lawmakers are considering raising cigarette taxes and regulating nicotine on a national level.
Meantime, the money raised by a tobacco bill could come in handy for married couples.
The senate has voted to use the funds to pay for a proposed tax cut for families earning less than 50-thousand dollars a year.
It would also allow all self-employed people to deduct the full
cost of their health insurance from their income taxes.
In Florida, a jury has sent a a blaring message to the tobacco INDUSTRY.
The panel awarded nearly one-million dollars to the family of a man who died after years of smoking Lucky Strikes.
It's the largest judgment ever against a tobacco company.
Cigarette maker, Brown and Williamson, plans to appeal.
One of the three white supremacists accused of chaining a black man
to a truck, and dragging him to his death may help Texas officials
build a death penalty case.
Prosecutors say they might offer the suspect a plea bargain if he
helps convict his two friends.
Dave Fehling has more on what some are calling one of the worst hate crimes in years.
[SUPER=03-Jasper, TX; :00]
[SUPER=01-Jesse Jackson/Rainbow Coalition; :11]
[SUPER=01-Billy Rowles/Jasper County Sheriff; :47 -- VERY QUICK]
[SUPER=01-Guy James Gray/Jasper Co. District Attorney; 1:14]
[SUPER=01-Dave Fehling/Reporting; 1:25]
[OUT Q=CBS News, Jasper, TEXAS.]
JESSE JACKSON SAID HE CAME HERE TO JASPER TEXAS BECAUSE THE MURDER THAT HAS SHOCKED THE NATION WAS THE WORST OF ITS SORT SINCE THE LYNCHINGS IN THE DEEP SOUTH 50 YEARS.
Jesse Jackson/Rainbow Coalition:Both black and white people of conscience have come together...
POLICE HAVE ARRESTED THREE LOCAL MEN, ALL WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS AND WITH ALLEGED TIES TO A WHITE SUPREMACY GROUP, FOR THE MURDER OF JAMES BYRD. BYRD WAS A DISABLED MAN WITH NO CAR WHO VERY EARLY SUNDAY MORNING
APPARENTLY ACCEPTED A RIDE FROM THREE MEN. ALLEDGEDLY THEY BEAT BYRD, THEN CHAINED BY HIS ANKLES TO THEIR TRUCK, DRAGGING HIM SEVERAL MILES, DISMEMBERING AND DECAPITATING HIM IN THE PROCESS.
Billy Rowles, Jasper County Sheriff: Don't label us.
JASPER'S WHITE SHERIFF AND BLACK MAYOR TRIED TO DISPEL ANY NOTION THAT THEIR TOWN, DEEP IN AN AREA OF TEXAS KNOWN FOR KLAN AND OTHER HATE GROUP TERRORISM, WAS A PLACE WHERE RACIAL VIOLENCE WAS TOLERATED.
TO THE CONTRARY THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR SAID HIS OFFICE WOULD PUSH FOR EXECUTION. BUT HE INDICATED ONE OF THE THREE MEN WILL HAVE TO "RAT" ON THE OTHERS TO PROVIDE EVIDENCE CRUCIAL TO MAKING THIS A DEATH PENALTY
Guy James Gray, Jasper Co. District Attorney: We have three people, and we may have to back off on one of them...
JAMES BYRD HAD THREE CHILDREN. A FUND IS BEING SET UP TO HELP THEM. WHAT'S MORE, BASKETBALL STAR DENNIS RODMAN, WHO ONCE LIVED IN TEXAS HAS OFFERED TO PAY FOR THE FUNERAL. DF CBS NEWS JASPER TEXAS.))
In Mississippi, testimony has resumed at the trial of Luke Woodham.
[SUPER=03-Pearl, MS/October 1, 1997;]
The 17 year old is accused of killing two of his classmates and wounding seven others at his high school in Pearl.
Emotional testimony was heard yesterday as some of the young victims recalled the October shooting rampage.
Woodham's lawyers have admitted to jurors that he WAS the gunman
but argue he was legally insane.
"DO I THINK HE'S INSANE? NO I DON'T I DON'T THINK HE'S INSANE. HE WOULD
LIKE PEOPLE TO THINK HE WAS, BUT I DON'T THINK HE WAS, I MEAN, YOU DO
THE CRIME, YOU PAY THE TIME."
[OUT Q=you pay the time.]
Woodham was convicted last week in a separate trial of killing his mother before the school shootings.
He was sentenced to life in prison.
The recent string of school shootings has prompted schools to hold more than just fire drills, some are holding BULLET drills, where youngsters are taught to drop and take cover.
Here in Virginia, the recent violence has prompted school officials to impose strict rules on any threatening behavior.
Last week, the Virginia Department of Education sent a warning to all 135 school divisions: "take all threats seriously."
The memo points to warning signs of potentially violent behavior, and encourages administrators to crack down on what may have seemed innocent in the past.
[IN Q=Our ultimate]
((RICHARD LAYMAN/DEP. SUP'T. FOR PUBLIC INSTRUCTION: OUR ULTIMATE CONCERN IS THE SAFETY AND WELFARE AND WELL-BEING OF ALL CHILDREN. IN THESE TYPE OF SITUATIONS AND ONES WE'VE DISCUSSED, THERE IS NO MARGIN OF ERROR. YOU'RE EITHER COMPLETELY RIGHT OR YOU'RE COMPLETELY WRONG.))
[SUPER=01-Richard Layman/Dep. Sup't. for Public Instruction;]
[OUT Q=completely wrong.]
Virginia's had a safety resource center for two years.
It helps schools plan for crisis situations such as hostage-takings, shootings, and suicides at school.
[TAPE#598-25 TC 11:25]
The new guidelines apparently are not sitting well with some parents.
At least one local parent says the school system is overreacting.
Leslie (Pear-A-deeso'S) Paradiso's 12-year old son attends Blacksburg Middle school.
She says he was given one day in-school suspension after he yelled at another student who had repeatedly humiliated him in gym class.
[IN Q=What bothers]
((LESLIE PARADISO/PARENT:WHAT BOTHERS ME THE MOST IS THAT THIS IS A CHILD WHO IS AN "A" STUDENT, HAS NEVER BEEN IN TROUBLE IN HIS LIFE, AND HE WAS DEFENDING HIMSELF.))
[SUPER=01-Leslie Paradiso/Parent; ]
[OUT Q=defending himself.]
Paradiso says she spoke with school officials and was able to change the in-school suspension to two days of detention.
Superintendent Fred Morton says disciplining students is NOT cut and dry and that a lot of factors go into deciding how to discipline a child.
The next few days will bring a massive show of force from NATO.
NATO defense ministers in Belgium today approved military air exercises to send Yugoslavia a serious warning about ethnic violence in the Serbian province of Kosovo (KOH'-soh-voh).
Allen Pizzey has the latest.
[SUPER=03-Belgrade, Yugoslavia; :00]
[SUPER=01-Allen Pizzey/Reporting; 1:15]
[OUT Q=cbs news, Belgrade.]
Pakistan is offering today to join in new peace talks with India.
Pakistani officials also say they're going to put a moratorium on their own nuclear testing.
Relations between India and Pakistan have been tense since both conducted nuclear tests last month.
Governor Gilmore has found himself presiding over a booming economy in Virginia -- thanks in no small part to the national economic boom.
Yesterday, Gilmore appointed 150 business leaders to advise him in developing a new strategy for economic development.
[IN Q=I pledged]
((GOV. JIM GILMORE: I PLEDGED TO CREATE 250-THOUSAND NEW JOBS AND TO INCREASE ECONOMIC GROWTH FOR THE ENTIRE COMMONWEALTH.))
[OUT Q=entire Commonwealth.]
In the first five months of Gilmore's term, 17-thousand new jobs have been created.
[GRAPHIC=Lavinder, Ray 2221]
Roanoke County's Police Chief has hit the one year mark in his service to the county.
And while Ray Lavinder rates his performance so far as "above average", he says there are still improvements to be made.
David Johnson reports.
[IN Q=The 28-year law]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Ray Lavinder/Roanoke County Police Chief; :23]
[OUT Q=News 7]
((The 28-year law enforcement veteran's first goal was to bring policing closer to the neighborhoods.
The county's "Bike Patrol" is helping making that happen.
Last year's pilot program was so well received, it has tripled in size and residents like the idea of "Community Policing".
The chief says crime prevention is now the biggest problem.
He says prevention starts with being proactive.
[IN Q=IF WE CAN]
((CHIEF LAVINDER; IF WE CAN GET A GOOD START WITH OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. DEMONSTRATE HOW DRUGS AFFECT THEIR LIVES AND HOW SMALLER CRIMES LEAD TO BIGGER CRIMES AND BIGGER CRIMES. IF YOU CAN CONVINCE THEM THAT THAT'S NOT THE WAY TO GO, I THINK WE'LL MAKE SOME PROGRESS))
[OUT Q=SOME PROGRESS.]
That will be an ongoing battle.
The short term goal- to provide more service to the community.
[IN Q=WE HAVE SOME STAFFING]
((CHIEF LAVINDER; WE HAVE SOME STAFFING NEEDS THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS. AND WE MAY STILL HAVE TO SWITCH SOME ADMINISTRATIVE POSITIONS AROUND TO GET SOME MORE LAW ENFORCEMENT POSITIONS ON THE ROAD.))
[OUT Q=ON THE ROAD.]
((DAVID JOHNSON/REPORTING; OVER THE LAST 12 MONTHS, CRIMINAL ACTIVITY IN ROANOKE COUNTY HAS DECREASED, PARTICULARLY IN ROBBERIES, BURGLARIES AND HOMICIDES. CHIEF LAVINDER ATTRIBUTES THAT TO BRINGING THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE COMMUNITY CLOSER TOGETHER. DAVID JOHNSON, NEWS 7, ROANOKE COUNTY.))
It may only be June, but summer break is already over for some Danville students.
The seats at Schoolfield Elementary were only empty until yesterday. Children have already headed back to class today.
Schoolfield is on a year-round schedule-- giving students an extra 40-days of instruction.
Danville's school board is working to expand the year-round program to other schools-- but there's a money problem.
It needs city council's help to fund the alternative schedule at Gibson Middle School.
Council members will vote next week whether to increase the city's waste water tax to raise the money.
[IN Q=The principal and the teachers]
((ANDY OVERSTREET: THE PRINCIPAL AND THE TEACHERS AND THE PARENTS ARE ALL MOVING FORWARD AS IF IT WERE GOING TO HAPPEN...AS IF IT'S GOING TO GO.))
[SUPER=01-Andy Overstreet/Danville Superintendent;]
[OUT Q=it's going to go.]
Several Danville council members told News 7 they expect the proposed tax hike to pass.
The 1-point-3 percent increase would raise 137-thousand dollars for year-round schooling.
Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls are one win away from their sixth NBA title in eight years.
The Bulls beat the Utah Jazz 86-82 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
No N-B-A Team has come back from a three games to one deficit to win a final series.
Game 5 is on Friday in Chicago.
If the Bulls win, this will be their second three-peat of the decade.