Two Baltimore Police detectives involved in a major corruption scandal were found guilty Monday of racketeering conspiracy, racketeering, and robbery.
The men, Daniel T. Hersl, 48, and Marcus R. Taylor, 31, were part of the Gun Trace Task Force. Prosecutors said the men used their authority as police officers to steal money from citizens. "Their business model was that the people that they were robbing had no recourse — who were they going to go to?" acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Schenning said after the verdict. "That's what [the officers] were counting on." Hersl and Taylor each face maximum sentences of 60 years in prison.
During the trial, four officers who had previously pleaded guilty in the case testified for the government, saying Hersl and Taylor were part of a group of officers who agreed to steal money and share it, and also covered up for each other when they received thousands of dollars in overtime pay they didn't earn, The Baltimore Sun reports. While on the stand, several witnesses spoke about wrongdoing by 12 other officers who have not been charged; federal prosecutors said the investigation is ongoing and would not comment on any further indictments. So far, prosecutors have dropped or vacated the convictions in at least 125 cases involving the officers. Catherine Garcia
The former president of Chad, Hissene Habre, was sentenced to life in prison Monday for war crimes, crimes against humanity, rape, forced sexual slavery, and kidnapping.
He served as president from 1982 to 1990, and during that time 40,000 people were killed and thousands more kidnapped, raped, and tortured. The 73-year-old's case was heard by a special tribunal organized by the African Union, under a deal with Senegal, and it was the first time one country prosecuted a former head of another country for rights abuses, Agence France-Presse reports. Over the course of the 10-month trial, Habre refused to address the court, and never recognized its authority. He has two weeks to appeal the sentence.
Judge Gberdao Gustave Kam said Habre presided over "a system where impunity and terror were the law," and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the verdict proved "nobody is above the law." In 1990, after he was ousted by current President Idriss Deby, Habre and his wife and children fled to Senegal. Human Rights Watch says his conviction for raping a woman is a first by an international court trying an ex-world leader, and lawyers for the victims are planning on filing civil suits to obtain compensation. Catherine Garcia
A Los Angeles jury found Lonnie David Franklin Jr., a former LAPD garage attendant and garbage truck driver, guilty on Thursday of murdering nine women and one girl over the course of 30 years.
Dubbed the Grim Sleeper, he is believed to be one of the most prolific serial killers in California history. In addition to being found guilty of murdering 10 women between the ages of 15 and 35, Franklin, 63, was also found guilty on one charge of attempted murder. The first murder took place in the 1980s, and the last in 2007, authorities said, and the women's bodies were found discarded in trash bins and alleys around South Los Angeles, within a few miles of Franklin's house, CNN reports.
Police arrested Franklin in 2010 after conducting DNA testing, and prosecutors built their case on DNA and ballistic evidence and the testimony of a woman who survived an attack. It took less than two days to convict Franklin, and the penalty phase of the trial will start May 11. Prosecutors said a woman Franklin was convicted of raping in the 1970s, while he was in the Army stationed in Germany, may testify. He is eligible for the death penalty. Catherine Garcia