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California Cops, College Admission Scandals Top October Verdicts

From California cops to college admission scandals, here are some notable verdicts from October.

gavel 3577254 1920Most Divided Verdict: California Cop Facing 17 Years in Prison After Split Verdict in Shooting Trial

Officer Andrew Hall was found guilty of assault after he fatally shot Laudemer Arboleda, who was mentally ill, in 2018, according to an article from KTVU. However, the judge ruled a mistrial on the manslaughter count Hall was also facing, and it is unclear if that charge will be retried. As a result of the verdict, Hall could be imprisoned up to 17 years, although his attorney has indicated he will seek a new trial as the guilty verdict is “legally inconsistent” with a manslaughter mistrial.

Most Racial Verdict: Former Health Exec Wins Reverse Discrimination Lawsuit Against Ex-employer

David Duvall, a former executive at Novant Health, won a $10 million decision after arguing he lost his job due to being a white male, according to an article from the Winston-Salem Journal. Duvall held the position of senior vice president of marketing and communications prior to being terminated, which he said was a direct result of his “company’s efforts to diversify many of its top leadership positions,” according to the article. As such, he accused the company of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits workplace discrimination based on gender and race. 

Most Collegiate Verdict: 'Operation Varsity Blues' Gets Two More Parents

Gamal Abdelaziz and John Wilson were found guilty of bribing universities in order to secure admission for their children to prestigious colleges, according to an article from ABC News. The two dads are among close to 60 other parents expected to stand trial related to alleged admissions bribes. Other defendants like actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin already pleaded guilty in related incidences.

Most Military Verdict: Army Vet Wins $8.2M After Jury Finds Defective Earplugs Caused Hearing Loss

U.S. Army soldier Brandon Adkins was awarded $8.2 million after a federal jury in Florida found 3M earplugs caused him to develop tinnitus and hearing loss, according to an article from Reuters. The award is the biggest yet in a series of lawsuits filed against the company for allegedly failing to provide proper warnings and instructions related to the plugs. This case was the fourth of more than 259,000, and it represents the biggest “multidistrict litigation” on record.

Most Delayed Verdict: Seattle Man Not Guilty of Murder and Rape as Courts Struggle with Cause of Death

Superior Court Judge Johanna Bender said there was enough “reasonable doubt” to render at least two not guilty verdicts against Eric Sims, who was charged with the rape and murder of Devan Schmidt in 2015, according to an article from the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog. While Sims was found guilty of assault, the judge said it was too difficult to determine if the massive amount of cocaine and other drugs ingested by Schmidt was related to actions taken by Sims. The proceedings were initially delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions as well as Sims’ decision to waive his right to a jury trial.

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