American Scene: Drew Peterson judge notes potential holes in case

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FLAGSTAFF — An arbitrator has awarded a Las Vegas developer about $28 million in a contract dispute over the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

But the tribe that owns the glass bridge that gives visitors a view of the Colorado River through the canyon contends the judgment is not enforceable.

A federal court ultimately will decide whether David Jin is entitled to the money.

A business arm of the Hualapai Tribe says the American Arbitration Association lacks jurisdiction, and the tribe declined to participate in a July hearing. It also says the proceeding was unnecessary because the tribe already had severed Mr. Jin’s interest in the Skywalk.

Mr. Jin is fighting that action in court. His attorney, Mark Tratos, says it’s clear through a management agreement that disputes go to arbitration.

TEXAS

Man freed after DNA clears him of 1988 rape

FORT WORTH — A man who spent more than two decades behind bars was freed Friday after DNA evidence cleared him in the rape of a 14-year-old Fort Worth girl.

David Lee Wiggins was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1989, although neither of the two fingerprints found at the scene matched his. The girl, whose face was covered during most of the attack, picked Mr. Wiggins out of a photo lineup and then a live lineup, saying he looked familiar.

But DNA testing earlier this month excluded Mr. Wiggins as the person who committed the crime. Tarrant County prosecutors said DNA evidence demonstrated his innocence.

State District Judge Louis Sturns in Fort Worth freed Mr. Wiggins on a personal bond after approving a motion to overturn his conviction. Before the crime is officially cleared from his record, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals must accept the judge’s recommendation or the governor must grant a pardon. Either step is considered a formality after the judge’s ruling.

NEVADA

$77 million fund created for air race victims

RENO — Organizers of the Reno National Championship Air Races have established a $77 million fund to be distributed to those who suffered injuries or lost family members in last year’s mass-casualty crash in Nevada.

Kenneth Feinberg, who oversaw a federal compensation fund for victims of the 9/11 terror attacks, will be the new fund’s administrator.

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