The Nation in Brief


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Firings weighed in Breonna Taylor case

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky police detective facing termination in connection with his role in the raid that left Breonna Taylor dead has met with his police chief, an attorney said Monday.

Detectives Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes received notice last week from Louisville Police Interim Chief Yvette Gentry that she intends to fire them. Both were scheduled to appear for termination hearings Monday.

Jaynes met with Gentry on Monday “to explain his perspective surrounding the investigation and proposed discipline,” according to a statement from Jaynes’ attorneys provided to media outlets. Jaynes is awaiting Gentry’s decision, the statement said.

Cosgrove’s attorney did not reply to a message seeking information about his status Monday.

The proceedings are not open to the public but are designed to give the officers an opportunity to argue against their firings.

Taylor, a Black woman, was killed March 13 by police executing a narcotics search warrant. None of the three white officers who fired into Taylor’s home were charged by a grand jury in her death. Federal ballistics experts said they believe the shot that killed Taylor came from Cosgrove.

Jaynes was not at the scene the night of the shooting but sought the warrant that sent police to Taylor’s home. Gentry said Jaynes lied about how he obtained some information about Taylor in the warrant. Jaynes and Cosgrove have been on administrative leave, along with another officer who was at the raid, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly.

Man charged in killing of Texas pastor

WINONA, Texas — A 21-year-old man who hid from police in an East Texas church was charged with first-degree murder and felony assault in a shooting that left the pastor dead and two other people injured Sunday, a sheriff said.

Authorities had been using dogs and drones to search for 21-year-old Mytrez Deunte Woolen of Marshall, Texas, late Saturday in woods near Winona following a car chase.

The pastor of the nearby Starrville Methodist Church discovered him hiding in a church bathroom Sunday morning, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said. Authorities believe Woolen broke into the church after police had left the area around 2 a.m. Sunday.

Shortly after 9 a.m., Pastor Mark Allen McWilliams, 62, drew a gun and ordered Woolen to stop, Smith said, but Woolen grabbed the weapon and began shooting. McWilliams was killed, a second person was injured by gunfire and another was hurt in a fall.

Woolen then stole the pastor’s vehicle and fled east before being arrested by deputies in nearby Harrison County, Smith said. He said Woolen was hospitalized Sunday afternoon with gunshot wounds to his hand, but that it’s unclear when he was shot.

Study: 41% of teens have tried vaping

New research tracking 10th- and 12th-graders across the United States found that about 22 percent said they had used e-cigarettes, known as vaping, in the preceding 30 days, according to a study that tracked high school students.

Only 7 percent of the teens said vaping was a daily habit, according to the research, which was published in the journal JAMA, but 41 percent said they have vaped at some point. Researchers said the latest figures indicate that the rapid increase in teen vaping from 2017 to 2019 slowed somewhat in 2020, which it attributed to a rise in the legal age to buy e-cigarettes and to bans on e-cigarette cartridge flavors that teens favor.

Still, the prevalence of vaping among teens and young adults sparks concern because of the health risks as it exposes the lungs to addictive nicotine and a variety of chemicals.

In addition, people who vape, compared with those who do not, are 43 percent more likely to develop a respiratory disease, such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to research published in JAMA Network Open that included 21,618 adults.

Ohio law eliminates the duty to retreat

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An individual’s duty to retreat before using force has been eliminated in Ohio under a gun rights bill signed by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday despite the governor’s vocal concerns that GOP lawmakers were ignoring his own legislation proposed following the 2019 mass shooting in Dayton.

The measure expands the so-called “stand your ground” right from an individual’s house and car to any place, “if that person is in a place in which the person lawfully has a right to be.”

He said he signed the bill in “the spirit of cooperation” with the General Assembly.

DeWine said he was disappointed lawmakers didn’t add the measures he sought for more than a year that would toughen background checks and boost penalties for felons committing new crimes with guns. The governor has pushed these proposals since the Aug. 4, 2019, Dayton massacre that killed nine people and wounded more than two dozen.

Ohio is now the 36th state with such a measure, according to its sponsors.

— Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports


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