Hung jury: After two days of deliberation, a jury could not reach a verdict in the murder trial of Francois Cunningham, the former Fern Creek High School football standout accused of murdering a couple during a drug deal gone bad. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Irv Maze declared a mistrial, and the prosecutor says she plans to retry Cunningham. Check out LEO’s recent coverage to learn more about the case.
Execution uncertain: A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky death row inmate Robert Keith Woodall deserves a new sentencing hearing because the judge at his trial failed to properly instruct the jury. Woodall was convicted and sentenced to death in 1998 for the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in Muhlenberg County. Although Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell called the crime “revolting and despicable,” he wrote in his 92-page opinion that our justice system demands certain rights be afforded to defendants, regardless of how gruesome their crimes.
Airport shenanigans: The latest audit of the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington reveals that more than $500,000 in expenses over the past three years have been excessive and “shameful.” It appears airport big-wigs racked up massive credit card bills without saving receipts. Page One highlights some of the more ridiculously excessive purchases: More than $14,000 for holiday hams and $7,400 for a Nascar “Driving Experience” for staffers.
Road to somewhere: President Obama gave his first address to the joint sessions of Congress last night, promising that the nation “will recover.” During the sweeping televised speech, Obama talked about his stimulus plan, bank bailout, a desire to overhaul healthcare, create jobs, reduce the deficit, get out of Iraq, etc. When members of Congress weren’t texting, or grooming themselves or dosing off, they were applauding, which must be a good sign.
Republican response: After Obama finished his optimistic address, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal responded on behalf of the GOP, prompting MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews to mutter “oh god.” Republican pundits are calling the governor’s sing-songy address a failure.
Oh Andy!: When Conan O’Brien takes over “The Tonight Show” for Jay Leno on June 1, he will be joined by his old hilarious sidekick Andy Richter. In addition to serving as the show’s announcer (a la Ed McMahon), Richter will be involved in live and pre-recorded comedy sketches.