Victim attorney and witness tied to man accused in Livingston girl’s murder come forward

LIVINGSTON, Texas – Six months before Steven McDougal was charged with capital murder in 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham’s death, court documents show he was accused of stabbing a man in Livingston. Attorney David Feldman represents the victim. He said it all started in August when a woman knocked on his client’s door.

“She said that her car was broken down and she needed some help. As he approaches the vehicle, he’s ambushed and stabbed. He was stabbed in the back three times,” said Feldman.

Court records show the accused attacker was identified as Steven McDougal.

McDougal was not arrested. According to Feldman, his client informed the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on more than one occasion, beginning in September of 2023, that Mr. McDougal was the person who stabbed him on August 19, 2023.

Feldman said his client notified authorities last week when he saw McDougal was named a person of interest in Audrii’s disappearance.

According to Feldman, McDougal was charged a few hours later for the August stabbing. Investigators tell KPRC 2 McDougal confessed to the August stabbing while he was being questioned about Audrii’s disappearance.

Since then, more victims and witnesses in McDougal’s accused crimes have come forward.

Katelyn Bolin told KPRC 2 Reporter Corley Peel her friendship with Steven McDougal ended in 2019. Court records show McDougal beat her ex-boyfriend on the head with a metal pipe.

“He asked us for a ride. He said that he was going to give us gas money and that he needed us to take him to a friend’s house because he had to go to work or something the next day,” said Bolin.

Bolin was in the car when McDougal asked her ex-boyfriend to pull over at a remote location near County Road 460 and 1409 near Dayton.

“When we got out

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Race, money, mystery: Democratic primary for North Carolina attorney general heats up

Two prominent Democrats will face off in next week’s primary for attorney general. But the biggest spender in the race isn’t the two campaigns — it’s a shadowy group based in Washington, D.C.

Attorney General Josh Stein’s run for governor leaves an open seat for the position that leads the N.C. Department of Justice. Charlotte Congressman Jeff Jackson and Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry are both running in the Democratic primary.

The winner will face Republican Congressman and former state Sen. Dan Bishop of Union County.

Deberry argues that she’s the best fit for the job based on her experience as Durham’s top prosecutor.

“We need a qualified attorney general, somebody who has a history and experience as a lawyer,” she said. “I have literally done everything that the attorney general does, whether that was starting my career as an environmental lawyer, doing consumer protection issues, doing criminal issues.”

Her opponent served as a prosecutor before joining the state Senate and being elected to Congress in 2022. Jackson sees the job of attorney general more broadly.

“To me, it just boils down to this: the job of attorney general is to make sure that people aren’t getting kicked around. That’s it. That’s the job. And that’s the type of public service that I’ve always been drawn to,” Jackson said. “My response to 9/11 was to enlist and go fight. I became a prosecutor to stand up for victims. My time in the state legislature involved a lot of pushing back against bad bills.”

In terms of policy, there’s little difference between the two candidates. Both want to defend abortion rights, and they say they’ll continue Stein’s practice of refusing to defend state laws they consider unconstitutional.

But Democratic Party leaders disagree about who’s got a better shot at beating

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Venezuela’s government and opposition double down on positions about arrest of human rights attorney

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s government and opposition on Wednesday doubled down on their respective defense and condemnation of the detention of a prominent human rights attorney, evidencing once more their vastly different interpretations of an agreement to work on conditions for a free and fair presidential election this year.

The deal, signed in October with the blessing of the United States government, binds both sides to promote a political and social climate favorable to a peaceful election. But while Attorney General Tarek William Saab showed the nation maps, laptops, cellphones and other items he said link attorney Rocio San Miguel to an alleged plot to destabilize the country, the representatives of a faction of the opposition pointed to the arrest as the latest example of escalating repression.

Their assertions came as the Norwegian diplomats guiding the negotiations between the government of President Nicolás Maduro and a U.S.-backed opposition group met with both sides in the capital, Caracas, an unusual step in a years-long process where official meetings have always taken place in neutral territory.

Signed in Barbados, the October deal called on the opposing factions to work toward several conditions ahead of the election, but subsequent government decisions stalled any meaningful progress.

Gerardo Blyde, chief negotiator for the opposition group known as the Unitary Platform, told reporters his faction presented his negotiating counterpart, National Assembly leader Jorge Rodriguez, and Norwegian diplomats two document listing multiple violations of the agreement and acts of repression.

“They must de-escalate, we repeat, they must de-escalate persecution,” Blyde said. “The procedures that each party followed to choose their candidate must be respected. Conditions that allow a transparent electoral process must be established.”

Blyde said he and his faction cannot make determinations about evidence in the cases against San Miguel and her family because they “are

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St. Louis man fights for innocence as his lawyer battles over a document

Kurtis Watkins is losing faith in the criminal justice system.

“My life does not seem real to me,” Watkins wrote me in an email recently. “It’s like I’m in a bad dream that keeps playing. Every day I wake up in this cell.”

That cell is in the Jefferson City Correctional Center. Watkins has been there since January 2016, when he was convicted of assault in a St. Louis shooting in which nobody died. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, in part because he had previously been convicted of a gun crime and marijuana possession.

The shooting was in the Dutchtown neighborhood, after a party in which a couple of people got in a dispute. Watkins, who is Black, was convicted based on the testimony of a white police officer, Steven Pinkerton, who was the only witness to put Watkins near the crime scene. The first trial ended in a hung jury, in part because Pinkerton testified he was “unsure” he could identify Watkins as the shooter.

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By the second trial, Pinkerton was “100 percent sure,” according to court records. An all-white jury convicted Watkins of nine felony counts.

Watkins says he has an alibi — he was at a friend’s house — but his public defender never investigated or asked the friend to testify. Nobody at the party could identify Watkins, or even knew him. The co-defendant, one of the actual shooters, says he doesn’t know Watkins.

Watkins happened to be walking to the liquor store that night, he says, when police picked him up. Pinkerton later identified him, even though Watkins didn’t really match the description of the shooter — other than the color of his skin.

Since his conviction, Watkins has gone through various appeals in Missouri courts. His latest lawyer,

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Lawyers offer free assistance Central Floridians dealing with Social Security overpayment issues

For months WFTV has been telling you about problems with Social Security, as seniors across the area deal with overpayments that were not their fault.

Now, as the agency tries to claw the money back, local lawyers are stepping in to help for free.

WATCH CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS

People like Addie Arnold were just one of many people across the country who fought the Social Security Administration for what she said was a mistake. Arnold is the sole caretaker for her mentally and physically disabled niece.

The family’s Social Security checks are the only funds coming in and in 2019 they were told they needed to pay back a $60,000 because they were overpaid.

“When they sent me a bill saying that we owe $60,000, it’s like, well, pfft, I don’t know how you get it,” Arnold said.

Read: 2 people killed after a plane crashed into a vehicle while landing on I-75 near Naples

So, the SSA started to withhold some of their monthly checks. After our first story aired, Arnold got some of the money back, but no reason as to why.

Arnold is one of the few who have solved their overpayment issue. Millions are still working through the system, a system where their calls go unanswered, appeals have not been heard and hope is dwindling.

Most lawyers won’t take these cases without payment up front, leaving legal aid as the only option.

Read: Daytona Beach woman arrested in New Year’s Day death of ‘obviously neglected’ boy

Which is why the Orange County Bar Association, along with legal services is opening time to deal with Social Security issues here in Central Florida, telling Channel 9 News, “We have received such an outpouring of people who need help with overpayment issues with social security that we

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‘Ask me anything’ about cannabis legalization with Jeffrey Hoffman

Jeffrey Hoffman is a New York City-based attorney who hosts “Ask Me Anything about Cannabis Legalization in New York” each week on LinkedIn. Hoffman and NY Cannabis Insider have partnered to bring those sessions into print in a Q&A format.

Hoffman’s practice focuses on cannabis industry clients, including licensees in the adult-use market, practitioners in the medical cannabis space, and cannabis adjacent product and service providers. He has a particular interest in social and economic equity cannabis license applicants, and he also informs and assists those convicted of cannabis offenses in getting such convictions expunged from their record. He can be reached at [email protected].

The following AMAs from Jan. 31 have been edited for length and clarity.

What’s going on with the cannabis zoning rules for dispensaries on Long Island?

The Cannabis Law preempts a lot of what localities can do related to zoning for cannabis. That said, the localities out on Long Island seem to have a reading comprehension problem. They’ve implemented all kinds of zoning rules which are probably illegal, and they are also just doing whatever they want in making up reasons to deny cannabis dispensaries the ability to open. “500 feet from a residential zone.” “It doesn’t matter if the school or church isn’t on the same street, we’re not doing it that way.” “We just don’t want you near a private business that will have kids there.” Nope. Doesn’t pass muster folks. My advice to the communities out on Long Island: get right by the law before you have to increase your property taxes due to all of your lawsuit losses.

Is there any positive news now that the Governor seems to be melting down?

She’s finally really paying attention. I was in the software dev industry, and one of our great maxims is: How

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Attorney General, ODOC Director want 90 days between executions

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Attorney General Gentner Drummond and Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) Executive Director Steven Harpe filed a joint motion Tuesday asking the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to schedule the next phase of executions at 90-day intervals.

This injunction would affect the executions of: Richard Norman Rojem, Emmanuel Littlejohn, Kevin Ray Underwood, Wendell Arden Grissom, Tremane Wood and Kendrick Antonio Simpson.

Republican-led Oklahoma committee considers pause on executions amid death case scrutiny

Harpe says that the scheduling of an execution date triggers a series of tasks that must be completed by ODOC staff, many of which must occur weeks before the slated execution.

“The day of an execution affects not only those directly involved in the execution, but the entirety of Oklahoma State Penitentiary, which goes into a near complete lockdown until the execution is completed,” states the affidavit.

According to Drummond’s officer, the Attorney General personally visited with family members of the victims of the affected inmates to explain the reason for the request before filing the motion,.

“These families have waited far too long for justice to be done,” Drummond said. “Each family has a heartbreaking story of tragic loss, and it grieves me that the death penalty system takes so many years to deliver closure. Their day for justice draws closer. When that day comes, I will be there to bear witness.”

Death row inmate Richard Glossip case to go before SCOTUS

Harpe says adjusting the pace of executions can protect the integrity of the process.

“The previous model put a massive strain on ODOC to carry out daily operations due to the time the employees spent away from their primary posts to perform the required number of drills,” said Harpe. “We appreciate Attorney General Drummond’s help in navigating this petition to

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Former Utah Attorney General Jan Graham dies, leaving ‘a legacy of justice and compassion’

Former Utah Attorney General Jan Graham has died.

Graham, 74, died in her home after a near decade-long battle with cancer.

“In her final years, she undertook a massive labor of love: writing a detailed account of her mother’s family history with the help of her beloved brothers and some relatives discovered on Ancestry.com,” her obituary stated. “Even through various cancer treatments, she had boundless energy, a quick wit, and a zest for discovering the new and exciting.”

“She is survived by her husband Verl “Buzz” Hunt, son William Graham Hunt, stepdaughter Elisabeth Kay Hunt, brothers Steven Kesler Crump (Kay) and Kevin Ray Crump (Nancy), eight nieces and nephews and many grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by both of her parents,” the obituary said.

The only woman elected as attorney general in the Beehive State’s history, Graham was a founding member of Women Lawyers of Utah. She served as the state’s 18th attorney general for eight years.

Growing up in Sugarhouse, Graham graduated from law school at the University of Utah, according to Maren Peterson, writing for the Utah Division of Archives and Records Service. She married Buzz Hunt. Before she became attorney general, she worked as a partner at a law firm.

In 1993, Graham was elected Utah Attorney General, running as a Democrat. Reaching across the aisle was something that was important to Graham.

“I spent a good deal of time when I was first elected — this may surprise some — considerable energy and thought trying to get along with some Republican members of the Legislature. So I really put some effort into individually speaking to each of them (leaders), befriending them, getting to know them, getting them to know me,” Graham said. “Perhaps I could disarm them a little, showing

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Boston doctor Sudipta Mohanty found not guilty of lewd acts charge

“My fiancé was sitting next to me on that flight, and neither of us can understand why this happened to us,” he said in a written statement. “I have dedicated my life to caring for others as a physician, and it has been heartbreaking to step away while I dealt with these false accusations.”

Mohanty opted for a bench trial, meaning his acquittal was handed down by a judge, not a jury. He had been indicted on one count of lewd, indecent and obscene acts on an aircraft.

Investigators had said Mohanty was a passenger aboard a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Honolulu to Boston in May 2022 with a female companion and was seated next to a 14-year-old girl traveling with her grandparents, who were sitting nearby.

About halfway through the flight, investigators said, the 14-year-old said she noticed that Mohanty had covered himself with a blanket up to his neck and that his leg was bouncing.

A short time later, the minor said the blanket was on the floor, no longer covering Mohanty, and that Mohanty was masturbating, according to prosecutors. The minor moved herself to an empty seat in a different row. After arriving in Boston, she told family members, and police were notified.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy said he was disappointed in the outcome, but he respects the verdict.

“Our office has no reservations about having proceeded with this case. Our office will remain steadfast in supporting victims, particularly minor children. It is critical that victims know they can come forward, and they will be heard and be fully supported by our office,” Levy said in a written statement.

Mohanty’s lawyer, Claudia Lagos, said the accusations have been devastating.

“Dr. Mohanty is a talented and dedicated medical doctor. He has absolutely no history of wrongdoing whatsoever,”

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Civil rights attorney convicted of misdemeanor charges in Lexington, plans to appealCivil rights activist convicted of misdemeanors in Lexington

Months after her arrest by Lexington police, civil rights attorney Jill Collen Jefferson has been found guilty of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, failure to comply and blocking a public roadway for filming a traffic stop. 

Jefferson has filed two lawsuits on behalf of Black residents who accuse the Lexington police of mistreating them, and she complained about the force to the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Her Wednesday bench trial in Holmes County Justice Court lasted one day. On Thursday Jefferson said the outcome was unjust because Judge Marcus Fisher did not consider evidence presented during the trial, including an affidavit from a former Lexington police officer who had knowledge that Jefferson’s arrest was planned and targeted in response to her legal work. 

Civil rights attorney Jill Collen Jefferson Credit: Courtesy of Jill Collen Jefferson

“Despite an investigation by the Department of Justice along with multiple lawsuits filed against the Lexington Police Department, we continue to see a troubling and persistent level of harassment and abuse by the City of Lexington,” she said in a Thursday statement. 

About a week before Jefferson’s arrest, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke came to Lexington to hear concerns from residents and Jefferson about the local police department. In November 2023, the DOJ launched an investigation into the city and Lexington police.

Jefferson, who plans to appeal in the Holmes County Circuit Court, was ordered to pay $600 in fines for the four misdemeanor charges. She could have faced a maximum $500 fine and six months in the county jail for each charge.

Jefferson said Thursday that minutes before her trial, she and her attorney realized that she had two additional misdemeanor charges listed on her charging document that weren’t initially there: operating a cellphone while driving and blocking a public road. 

The charge of operating

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