Judge rules against Wisconsin Republicans in redistricting case

MADISON, Wis. — A judge ruled Thursday that Republican leaders of the Wisconsin Legislature illegally hired private taxpayer-funded attorneys to represent them in anticipation of legal challenges over redistricting because there are no pending lawsuits over maps that have yet to be drawn.

Four Madison teachers, including the current and incoming teachers union president, argued that state law does not allow for legislative leaders to hire attorneys outside the state Department of Justice before a lawsuit has been filed. The Legislature has yet to begin the redistricting process.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu entered into contracts in December and January with two outside law firms to handle the redistricting process, including any future lawsuits. The contracts allowed for spending of more than $1 million in taxpayer money to the two law firms.

Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke ruled Thursday that the contracts are void because Vos and LeMahieu were not authorized to hire the law firms. Vos promised to appeal.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A Chicago man who sold heroin to an Iowa woman who later died from the drug was convicted Thursday of drug-related charges, federal prosecutors said.

Eric DeAngelo Griggs, 40, was convicted of distribution of heroin that resulted in the death of a young Cedar Falls woman on Aug. 31, 2018.

Prosecutors said in a news release that Griggs distributed heroin in the Waterloo area in 2018. The woman bought heroin from Griggs, went to her home and later died of acute heroin intoxication.

The verdict came after a three-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A central Illinois jail inmate has died after correctional officers shocked him with Tasers when he resisted health checks and attempts to handcuff him, authorities said.

Jaimeson Daniel Cody, 39, of Divernon, Ill., died after the incident early Wednesday at the Sangamon County Jail in Springfield, County Coroner Jim Allmon said.

Cody was taken to a hospital where he died shortly after 12:30 a.m., Allmon said.

The cause of death is pending following an autopsy, Allmon said.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — A Davenport man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday in a stabbing death at a hotel room.

Trai Terrell Anderson, 25, was originally charged with first-degree murder in the death of Danial Bradley on Jan. 29, 2020, at a Relax Inn in Davenport. But he pleaded guilty in March to attempted murder and going armed with intent, The Quad-City Times reported.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Police have arrested a Davenport man in connection with the death of his girlfriend in March.

Davenport police said in a news release Wednesday that Sylvis Brandon Nelson, 35, had been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder, the Quad-City Times reported. Police believe he beat and strangled 34-year-old Cobrianda Anderson, who was found dead in her home by emergency responders on March 24.

Nelson is being held without bond in the Scott County Jail.

The Associated Press

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