Driver accused in deaths of 3 teens walking to bus stop gets bond

MIAMI — The suspected driver in a predawn crash that killed three soccer players from Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood as they waited for a bus was granted $300,000 bond Thursday.

That’s $50,000 for each of the three counts of DUI manslaughter and three counts of vehicular homicide-driving in a reckless manner facing Mariam Coulibaly, a 31-year-old stripper. Should she post bond, she’ll be on house arrest.

Normally, the bond hearing would have been within a day or two of arrest, but Coulibaly has been in the hospital since May 25. On that morning, North Miami police investigators say, she drove over Richecarde Dumay, 17; Lens Desir, 15; and Gedeon Desir, 13 as they walked to Northeast 125th Street and 13th Avenue to be picked up by a bus to join Little Haiti FC teammates at a soccer tournament in Weston.

Coulibaly has been driving on a suspended license since Jan. 19, 2018, after she ignored a $293 ticket for running a red light camera in Coral Gables. She also owes $490.05 on speeding and expired license tag tickets from a Sept. 9 incident in Broward County. She also got ticketed for knowingly driving on a suspended license in that incident, her second such ticket in just over two months.

Her driving record shows 42 traffic tickets since 2008, the vast majority of which have been dismissed or dropped. Two companies, Avis rental car and Progressive Insurance, gained default judgments against her after she ignored lawsuits.

— Miami Herald

Navy SEAL war crimes trial delayed again amid prosecution shake-up

SAN DIEGO — The trial of a San Diego-based Navy SEAL charged with committing multiple war crimes during a 2017 deployment to Iraq has been delayed until June 17, Navy spokesman Brian O’Rourke said Thursday.

The trial was scheduled to begin Monday. O’Rourke did not offer a reason for the delay.

Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward R. Gallagher, 40, was indicted in January on charges that he killed a wounded teenage Islamic State fighter brought to the SEAL’s Mosul, Iraq compound for medical treatment in 2017. A number of Gallagher’s fellow SEALs told the Naval Criminal Investigative Service after the platoon returned from Iraq, according to NCIS testimony.

Gallagher denies all charges and pleaded not guilty.

His trial already has been delayed twice: once in February and again last month, when defense attorneys discovered that emails sent to them by the prosecution had embedded links designed to track where and when they were opened and forwarded. Defense attorneys said the prosecution was spying on them and a Navy Times reporter via email.

On Monday, Cmdr. Chris Czaplak, the lead prosecutor in the case, was disqualified and removed from the case due to his role in the email tracking. The judge, Navy Capt. Aaron Rugh, said he removed Czaplak because his actions left him susceptible to an investigation and represented a conflict of interest in prosecuting Gallagher.

The Navy has not commented on whether Czaplak is under investigation.

Another Navy prosecutor, Cmdr. Jeffrey Pietrzyk, joined the prosecution team Thursday, O’Rourke said.

Rugh freed Gallagher from pretrial restriction last week because, he said, the delay caused by Czaplak’s actions had violated Gallagher’s Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial.

The defense made other motions, including a request that Rugh throw out the charges. Rugh has yet to announce a decision on those motions.

Defense attorney Timothy Parlatore said Thursday he anticipates a ruling on the remaining motions on Friday.

— S.D. Union-Tribune

GOP bigwigs, Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts to hold Trump donor retreat in Chicago

CHICAGO — White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney along with other Republican Party bigwigs are hosting a campaign retreat for donors in Chicago this weekend where guests are scheduled to attend a reception in the Cubs’ office building next to Wrigley Field followed by a Cubs-Cardinals rivalry game, according to a representative for the Ricketts family, which owns the team.

Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts is a host of the invitation-only event. Ricketts also is finance chair of the Trump Victory Committee, which is a joint fundraising venture of the President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee. The retreat was first reported by Axios.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, another of the siblings who own the Cubs, is among the special guest speakers at the various gatherings scheduled throughout the weekend, according to a copy of the invitation posted online by Axios.

Most of the retreat is scheduled at the downtown Four Seasons Hotel, where attendees can sit in on the “Winning in 2020 Panel” or the “Messaging and the Media Panel.”

An agenda for the event noted a Saturday afternoon Wrigley Field reception in a “Friends and Family” suite followed by a Cubs vs. Cardinals game. But Brian Baker, a representative of the Ricketts family, said Thursday afternoon that the reception will be at the American Airlines Convention Center in the Cubs’ office building just next to the ballpark. Afterward, attendees who purchased tickets will attend a game in a specially reserved section. Baker said he didn’t want to disclose where for security purposes.

In addition to Todd Ricketts, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel — who will be in Chicago on Thursday for a state GOP fundraiser — and co-Chair Tommy Hicks Jr. are serving as hosts of the Trump event, which kicks off Friday. There’s no mention of whether the president also will be in attendance.

— Chicago Tribune