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Beverly Hall won’t face trial next month in Atlanta cheating case
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Beverly Hall won’t face trial next month in Atlanta cheating case

Beverly Hall won’t face trial next month in Atlanta cheating case

Beverly Hall won’t face trial next month in Atlanta cheating case

The Atlanta schools cheating trial will go on without former Superintendent Beverly Hall, who is undergoing treatment for Stage IV breast cancer.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter said in court Friday that he couldn’t delay the trial any longer, and it will begin Aug. 11.

“This community is ready to have this decided one way or another,” Baxter said. “I don’t see how there’s any way that this trial can proceed with Dr. Hall with the condition she’s in.”

The charges against Hall are still pending, and she would face a separate trial if her health improves.

Hall and 12 other former Atlanta Public Schools employees are accused of participating in an effort to correct students’ standardized test score answers in 2009 to make their schools’ results appeal better than they were.

Twenty-one other defendants have already pleaded guilty.

Assistant District Attorney Fani Willis asked the judge to allow Hall to attend the trial through a video service such as Skype. Defense attorneys objected to that idea, saying it would infringe on Hall’s constitutional rights.

“We’re in 2014. It’s not 1986 where we don’t have the benefit of all this technology,” Willis said. “The state thinks it’s more prudent to try all the defendants at once.”

But Baxter said he didn’t believe Hall was faking her illness, and she wouldn’t be able to participate in the upcoming trial.

One of Hall’s defense attorneys, David Bailey, said he couldn’t predict how long Hall will live.

“If we start a trial here, it’s inconceivable to me that this trial would finish,” Bailey said. “To think that she could come in here and deal with a trial of six-to-eight hours in length on any day or successive days is difficult for me to comprehend.”

Hall and other defendants are facing racketeering charges that allege they either knew about or ignored widespread cheating on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test.

A state investigation completed in 2011 said that 185 educators, including the defendants, participated in cheating at 44 schools, often by erasing students’ wrong answers and bubbling in correct answers.

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  • Two people wanted in connection to a police shooting were found holed up in a Gainesville home Sunday morning, police said.  Marcos Tovar, 20, and Alondra Rodriguez, 20, were arrested on charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer, Gainesville police spokesman Sgt. Keving Holbrook said.  The couple allegedly opened fire on officers, who responded to a Friday 911 call concerning a domestic dispute at a Burger King restaurant on Athens Street, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. MORE: Manhunt on for 2 accused in shootout with police Officers responded to reports of a man dragging a woman, Holbrook said. When the officers arrived at the scene, Rodriguez allegedly pulled a gun. Those officers, who were not immediately identified, were treated at a hospital and released. Holbrook said they were hurt during the altercation but were not shot.  After the incident, police took out warrants and said the couple should be considered armed and dangerous. 'They actively went after police officers with gunfire, so we know that they are dangerous,' Holbrook told Channel 2 Action News. In other news:
  • ATHENS – It’s a picture that if anyone actually sells it will make a killing. The four seniors who stayed, with the postgame hoopla of a 42-13 blowout swirling around them, pulled over to have someone capture the moment. No one would have blamed Nick Chubb and Sony Michel for taking the NFL’s money. Running backs live short lives. College running back is a pretty tough way to earn a scholarship. Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy had to consider if another uncertain season was the best move. Because guys who hit NFL quarterbacks have nice houses too. This was one of the moments they thought was more valuable than turning pro. Those four players standing together for a photograph that will probably be on their walls forever. They don’t have senior days in the league. Tonight was the proper end for the Class of 2017 that very much deserve it. “What a great honor it is for these guys to go out on top,” said coach Kirby Smart. “To do something no Georgia team has done before. Win the SEC East and go undefeated in the East.” It hardly seems like it was four years ago when this class walked into Sanford Stadium for the first time. We were more focused on guys like Gurley, Mason, Wilson and Herrera. But it was that night we saw a few glimpses. There was Aaron Davis, playing as a walk-on because, well there wasn’t many options, getting an interception in his first game against Clemson. He had another interception in his last game. Michel was the best running back in his class. He was the speedster from Florida with the cool name. The backfield was loaded then. But Michel was actually the Dawgs second leading receiver that night. This night, he scored three times. And of course, Chubb. Remember this. And this. This kid had a point to make and we took notice. Now Nick Chubb is a soon-to-be Georgia legend (or maybe he already is, but there’s games to go. “He’s won the hearts over of a fan base that will never leave,” said coach Kirby Smart. “What he’s given to this place through injury and toughness, it’s just tremendous.” It cannot be overstated for Chubb has accomplished here. There is only one back that’s had more yards and more touchdowns than this kid from Cedartown. He’s the clear second best to Herschel Walker and that’s about all anybody can be. “Man you hope that you have many more as good as (Chubb),” said Smart. “But you know these guys don’t come around very often.” With the talent in this backfield, Chubb hasn’t been the workhorse that he had to be when Todd Gurley got busted four years ago. Remember his first starter? 38 carries. That’s still his career high. A week later it was 30 more against Arkansas. Whatever has been needed, Chubb has delivered. With no flash. No style. Just stud. Yeah, Nick probably could be a Heisman contender but that’s not what’s best for this team. And frankly Chubb running the ball for free 30 times a night is not what’s best for him either. So instead he and his buddy Sony split the load (with another freshman chipping in) and everybody is a star “They complement each other so well and they get along so well,” said Smart. “It will be a long time before you coach a pair like that again.” I don’t know any of these players personally. They are college kids and I’m a guy that sticks a microphone in their face. But I don’t think I’ve ever rooted harder for a player on any team that I have for Nick Chubb. I thought his career was over that afternoon in Knoxville three years ago. It was bad. Last year, I thought the old Chubb was never coming back. Knee injuries are no joke. But there’s never been any complaining. Any showboating. Anything that would take attention away from everyone in Red and Black. Tonight, Chubb got his reward. His best performance of the season (151 rushing yards) and two more TDs. Despite the reduced workload, Chubb is over 1,000 yards for the year. The only season he didn’t do, his knee nearly blew up. There’s only one other UGA back that can say that and he goes by one name. It’s a fitting send off for this entire senior class, but man am I going miss watching No. 27 in red. “What a great honor it is for these guys to go out on top,” said Smart. “It’s their leadership that’s led us to this point.” A lot has happened in this football program since that muggy September night against Clemson four years ago. A couple of head coaches, a bunch of coordinators, some bad losses and lots of doubt. Tonight, there is little doubt that this Georgia team is very, very good and can do some special things. So hopefully for these 21 and 22 year old, there will be more pictures to put on their walls with some nice trophies next to them. But at least tonight, they have the moment they have rightfully earned.  
  • The company accused of negligence after a 5-year-old died at the Sun Dial restaurant had no comment Friday about a lawsuit filed against it. >> Read more trending news “Due to the pending litigation, we are not commenting on the matter,” Marriott International, Inc. spokesman Jeff Flaherty told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an email.  The parents of Charlie Holt, who died from a head injury after he was caught in the rotating wall at the restaurant atop the Westin Peachtree Plaza, filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming negligence against the restaurant and hotel.  The lawsuit alleges the restaurant failed to prevent a “longstanding safety hazard” that led to the child’s death and disputes initial claims the boy wandered away from his family.  Marriott International, Inc., which owns the Westin Peachtree Hotel and the Sun Dial restaurant, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, LLC were named in the suit.  “The Sun Dial had no protections to stop children from getting close to the pinch point or to stop the rotation of the floor if a child became trapped in the pinch point,” the lawsuit states.  Charlie Holt was visiting Atlanta with his parents, Rebecca and Michael Holt from Charlotte, North Carolina, April 14 when he was caught between a wall and table as the dining area rotated. The family was seated near a window, but Atlanta police said the boy wandered away from the table.  Westin security staff and employees freed the child, police said, but he later died at Grady Memorial Hospital from a crushed skull.  The Holt family’s attorney, Joe Fried, said Charlie did not leave his family, contrary to police statements.  “The family was leaving the restaurant together after paying their bill,” Fried said in an email to The AJC late Thursday. “They were walking to the exit, following the same path that the hostess used to walk them to their table and that they used to walk to and from the restroom earlier. Charlie was only a few steps ahead.” Fried said the path was blocked when a booth rotated near a stationary interior wall, trapping Charlie between the booth and wall.  Rebecca and Michael Holt rushed to help Charlie, but he was stuck.  “By the time someone could manually stop the rotation, it was too late,” Fried said. “Charlie’s head had been pulled into the narrow pinch point and he suffered catastrophic head trauma, right in front of his parents.” The lawsuit alleges there was no guard to prevent people from getting trapped and no emergency stop button on the wall or automatic safety cutoff. The family is seeking unspecified punitive damages and a trial.
  • Charles Manson, the cult leader who led followers to kill actress Sharon Tate and six others, is dead at age 83, the California Department of Corrections said late Sunday. >> Charles Manson dead at 83 >> PHOTOS: Charles Manson through the years >> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017 >> Read more trending news Here’s what public figures, celebrities, and other notable people and organizations were saying about his death: >> Click here or scroll down for more
  • The Latest on the death of Charles Manson (all times local):11 p.m.Prison officials say it's 'undetermined' what will happen with the remains of cult leader Charles Manson.Manson died Sunday night after nearly a half-century behind bars. He was 83.Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman with the California Department of Corrections, says he died of natural causes.Prison officials previously said he had no known next of kin. State law says that if no relative or legal representative surfaces within 10 days, it's up to the department to determine what happens with the body.It's unclear if Manson requested funeral services of any sort.Manson's followers killed actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969. The killings occurred on successive August nights and terrorized the city of Los Angeles.___9:50 p.m.Cult leader Charles Manson, whose followers killed actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969, has died. He was 83.A spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections says Manson died of natural causes Sunday night.The gory slayings horrified the world and revealed a violent underbelly of a counterculture that preached peace and love.The killings occurred on successive August nights and terrorized the city of Los Angeles.Tate, who was nearly nine months pregnant, was found stabbed repeatedly in her Hollywood mansion, along with several of her friends. Other victims included coffee heiress Abigail Folger and celebrity hair stylist Jay Sebring.The next night a wealthy couple was killed in a similar fashion.Investigators learned Manson sent a group of disaffected young followers to commit murder as part of a twisted, quasi-religious belief that it would launch a race war.
  • Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after orchestrating the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969, died Sunday after nearly a half-century in prison. He was 83.Manson, whose name to this day is synonymous with unspeakable violence and madness, died at 8:13 p.m. of natural causes at a Kern County hospital, according to a California Department of Corrections statement.Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, reacted to the death by quoting the late Vincent Bugliosi, the Los Angeles prosecutor who put Manson behind bars. Bugliosi said: 'Manson was an evil, sophisticated con man with twisted and warped moral values.'Today, Manson's victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death,' Hanisee said.California Corrections spokeswoman Vicky Waters said an autopsy will be performed but what comes after that is unclear. Prison officials previously said Manson had no known next of kin and state law says that if no relative or legal representative surfaces within 10 days, then it's up to the department to determine whether the body is cremated or buried.It's not known if Manson requested funeral services of any sort. It's also unclear what happens to his property, which is said to include artwork and at least two guitars. State law says the department must maintain his property for up to a year in anticipation there might be legal battles over who can make a legitimate claim to it.A petty criminal who had been in and out of jail since childhood, the charismatic, guru-like Manson surrounded himself in the 1960s with runaways and other lost souls and then sent his disciples to butcher some of L.A.'s rich and famous in what prosecutors said was a bid to trigger a race war — an idea he got from a twisted reading of the Beatles song 'Helter Skelter.'The slayings horrified the world and, together with the deadly violence that erupted later in 1969 during a Rolling Stones concert at California's Altamont Speedway, exposed the dangerous, drugged-out underside of the counterculture movement and seemed to mark the death of the era of peace and love.Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Manson maintained during his tumultuous trial in 1970 that he was innocent and that society itself was guilty.'These children that come at you with knives, they are your children. You taught them; I didn't teach them. I just tried to help them stand up,' he said in a courtroom soliloquy.Linda Deutsch, the longtime courts reporter for The Associated Press who covered the Manson case, said he 'left a legacy of evil and hate and murder.'He was able to take young people who were impressionable and convince them he had the answer to everything and he turned them into killers,' she said. 'It was beyond anything we had ever seen before in this country.'The Manson Family, as his followers were called, slaughtered five of its victims on Aug. 9, 1969, at Tate's home: the actress, who was 8½ months pregnant, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, Polish movie director Voityck Frykowski and Steven Parent, a friend of the estate's caretaker. Tate's husband, 'Rosemary's Baby' director Roman Polanski, was out of the country at the time.The next night, a wealthy grocer and his wife, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, were stabbed to death in their home across town.The killers scrawled such phrases as 'Pigs' and 'Healter Skelter' (sic) in blood at the crime scenes.Three months later, a Manson follower was jailed on an unrelated charge and told a cellmate about the bloodbath, leading to the cult leader's arrest.In the annals of American crime, Manson became the embodiment of evil, a short, shaggy-haired, bearded figure with a demonic stare and an 'X'' — later turned into a swastika — carved into his forehead.'Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969,' author Joan Didion wrote in her 1979 book 'The White Album.'After a trial that lasted nearly a year, Manson and three followers — Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten — were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. Another defendant, Charles 'Tex' Watson, was convicted later. All were spared execution and given life sentences after the California Supreme Court struck down the death penalty in 1972.Atkins died behind bars in 2009. Krenwinkel, Van Houten and Watson remain in prison.Another Manson devotee, Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme, tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975, but her gun jammed. She served 34 years in prison.Manson was born in Cincinnati on Nov. 12, 1934, to a teenager, possibly a prostitute, and was in reform school by the time he was 8. After serving a 10-year sentence for check forgery in the 1960s, Manson was said to have pleaded with authorities not to release him because he considered prison home.'My father is the jailhouse. My father is your system,' he would later say in a monologue on the witness stand. 'I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.'He was set free in San Francisco during the heyday of the hippie movement in the city's Haight-Ashbury section, and though he was in his mid-30s by then, he began collecting followers — mostly women — who likened him to Jesus Christ. Most were teenagers; many came from good homes but were at odds with their parents.The 'family' eventually established a commune-like base at the Spahn Ranch, a ramshackle former movie location outside Los Angeles, where Manson manipulated his followers with drugs, supervised orgies and subjected them to bizarre lectures.He had musical ambitions and befriended rock stars, including Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. He also met Terry Melcher, a music producer who had lived in the same house that Polanski and Tate later rented.By the summer 1969, Manson had failed to sell his songs, and the rejection was later seen as a trigger for the violence. He complained that Wilson took a Manson song called 'Cease to Exist,' revised it into 'Never Learn Not to Love' and recorded it with the Beach Boys without giving Manson credit.Manson was obsessed with Beatles music, particularly 'Piggies' and 'Helter Skelter,' a hard-rocking song that he interpreted as forecasting the end of the world. He told his followers that 'Helter Skelter is coming down' and predicted a race war would destroy the planet.'Everybody attached themselves to us, whether it was our fault or not,' the Beatles' George Harrison, who wrote 'Piggies,' later said of the murders. 'It was upsetting to be associated with something so sleazy as Charles Manson.'According to testimony, Manson sent his devotees out on the night of Tate's murder with instructions to 'do something witchy.' The state's star witness, Linda Kasabian, who was granted immunity, testified that Manson tied up the LaBiancas, then ordered his followers to kill. But Manson insisted: 'I have killed no one, and I have ordered no one to be killed.'His trial was nearly scuttled when President Richard Nixon said Manson was 'guilty, directly or indirectly.' Manson grabbed a newspaper and held up the front-page headline for jurors to read: 'Manson Guilty, Nixon Declares.' Attorneys demanded a mistrial but were turned down.From then on, jurors, sequestered at a hotel for 10 months, traveled to and from the courtroom in buses with blacked-out windows so they could not read the headlines on newsstands.Manson was also later convicted of the slayings of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald 'Shorty' Shea.Over the decades, Manson and his followers appeared sporadically at parole hearings, where their bids for freedom were repeatedly rejected. The women suggested they had been rehabilitated, but Manson himself stopped attending, saying prison had become his home.The killings inspired movies and TV shows, and Bugliosi wrote a best-selling book about the murders, 'Helter Skelter.' The macabre shock rocker Marilyn Manson borrowed part of his stage name from the killer.'The Manson case, to this day, remains one of the most chilling in crime history,' prominent criminal justice reporter Theo Wilson wrote in her 1998 memoir, 'Headline Justice: Inside the Courtroom — The Country's Most Controversial Trials .'Even people who were not yet born when the murders took place,' Wilson wrote, 'know the name Charles Manson, and shudder.'___AP writer Michelle A. Monroe contributed to this report. This story contains biographical information compiled by former AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch. Deutsch covered the Tate-La Bianca killings and the Manson trial for The Associated Press and has written about the Manson family for four decades.