News briefs from Tennessee

News briefs from Tennessee

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012 8:00 pm

2 officers shot,
wounded in Memphis
MEMPHIS (AP) — A Memphis Police spokeswoman says two police officers have been taken to a hospital after being shot.
According to The Commercial Appeal, one of the officers was in critical condition. The condition of the other officer wasn’t immediately known.
The shooting occurred early today in the northeastern part of the city. The officers were taken to the Regional Medical Center.

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Plea change set
in teacher test fraud
MEMPHIS (AP) — A lawyer for a former Memphis public school assistant principal said today he’s seeking a plea change to federal charges that he helped current or aspiring teachers cheat on tests they must pass to prove they are qualified to lead their classrooms.
A lawyer for Clarence Mumford Sr., Coleman Garrett, asked District Court Judge John Fowlkes for a new hearing in which Mumford could change his plea to either guilty or “no contest.” Garrett said he did not anticipate a trial in the case and said that he and prosecutors are in the process of trying to work out a plea agreement.
Federal prosecutors say teachers from three states paid Mumford to send someone else to take the exams in their place at testing centers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
The judge set the hearing for Jan. 25.
Authorities have said for 15 years, teachers in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee paid Mumford to send someone else to take the tests in their place. Mumford would get a fee between $1,500 and $3,000 to send one of his test ringers with fake identification to the Praxis exam.
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Judge: decision
on retrials will be swift
KNOXVILLE (AP) — A senior judge recently appointed to oversee the murder cases involved in the torture killing of a young Knoxville couple has promised a quick ruling on whether three defendants should get new trials.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that, at a Thursday hearing in Knox County Criminal Court, Judge Walter Kurtz said the motions for new trials “don’t need to fester any longer” and that he would decide on them by mid-January. The victims were 21-year-old Channon Christian and 23-year-old Christopher Newsom.
Lemaricus Davidson, his brother Letalvis Cobbins, Cobbins’ pal George Thomas and Cobbins’ girlfriend Vanessa Coleman were earlier granted new trials because the trial judge admitted abusing pain pills. The defendants have ties to Lebanon, Ky.
Coleman was retried and reconvicted last month.
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Gunfire near games brings extra police
CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Hamilton County School Superintendent Rick Smith has ordered more security at some gymnasiums after gunfire erupted near two schools after basketball games the past two weekends.
Shots have been fired after games ended at Brainerd and Tyner high school campuses. Coaches told the Chattanooga Times Free Press the problems seem to arise not from students, but from other people who come to the games.
Smith said games with intense rivalries, such as tonight’s game between Tyner and Brainerd, usually have about 10 police officers on duty. There will be more for this game.

Published in The Messenger 12.14.12

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