Michael Avenatti’s trial date set in Nike extortion case

NEW YORK — Attorney Michael Avenatti will face trial Nov. 12 after being charged with trying to shake down Nike, a judge ordered Tuesday.

Prosecutors expect the trial will last roughly a week. Avenatti is accused of demanding around $25 million from Nike and threatening to go public with allegations the shoe giant made secret payments to high school athletes.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Podolsky said the government would introduce evidence of Avenatti’s “financial situation” around the time of the extortion attempt in March.

The lawyer, who became famous for relentlessly attacking President Donald Trump, faces separate charges in Manhattan of stealing $300,000 from porn star Stormy Daniels to splurge on his lavish lifestyle, including travel and payments for a Ferrari.

Avenatti is also charged in California with stealing millions of dollars from five other legal clients, failing to pay taxes and lying during bankruptcy proceedings.

— N.Y. Daily News

‘Fatal Attraction’ killer Carolyn Warmus out of prison after nearly 30 years behind bars

Infamous “Fatal Attraction” killer Carolyn Warmus was released from prison Monday after serving 27 years for murdering her lover’s wife.

Inmate No. 92G0987, jailed at the Bedford Hill Correctional Facility, was granted parole last month by state officials.

She’s going to be living in New York, she told officials.

Warmus, 55, was denied parole in her first shot at freedom two years ago for the Jan. 15, 1989, murder of Betty Jean Solomon — shot nine times inside her Greenburgh home. The sensational trial that followed was rife with tales of torrid sex and obsessive behavior, prompting the connection with the Michael Douglas-Glenn Close movie “Fatal Attraction.”

Warmus was compared with Close’s crazed bunny-boiling character, who shared an illicit, steamy romance with the married man played by Douglas.

The defendant was a 23-year-old schoolteacher when she started an affair with married colleague Paul Solomon, who was 17 years older than his just-out-of-college lover. Prosecutors charged that after killing her romantic rival, Warmus met Solomon for cocktails at a hotel bar before they had sex inside his car.

Eight months after the murder, she allegedly stalked Solomon and his new paramour when they went to Puerto Rico on vacation. While investigators initially suspected the husband was the shooter, Warmus was indicted 13 months after the murder.

She resolutely declared her innocence in the headline-making case, and her first trial ended in a hung jury. A second trial in 1992 led to a conviction for second-degree murder, with since-disgraced private investigator Vincent Parco a key prosecution witness.

Parco testified that he sold Warmus a silencer-equipped .25-caliber Beretta Jetfire pistol for $2,500 only days before the killing.

As Warmus leaves prison, Parco is behind bars at the Brooklyn Detention Complex after he was whacked with a sentence of 1-to-3 year last week for trying to blackmail a witness in a child sex abuse case. Prosecutors charged that Parco plied the man with prostitutes and recorded their sexual encounters to try and ensure the witness’ silence.

— N.Y. Daily News

Woman found dead in Costco parking lot was mauled by dogs, police say

LOS ANGELES — A woman whose body was discovered over the weekend in a Costco parking lot in Bakersfield had been mauled by three dogs, according to police.

The woman was found dead in the parking lot of the Costco store on Rosedale Highway about 6 a.m. Sunday with traumatic injuries that investigators determined were wounds from a dog attack, said Bakersfield police Sgt. Nathan McCauley.

The woman has not been identified, but authorities said she was homeless and was in her late 30s or early 40s. Her exact cause of death has not been determined.

“We’re not sure if the dogs caused her death or if she had another medical issue,” McCauley said.

The altercation between the woman and the dogs likely began at an industrial yard near the warehouse store and ended in the parking lot based on paw prints and other evidence at the scene, McCauley said.

Two of the dogs involved in the attack — a pit bull terrier and a mixed breed — belonged to a nearby business owner. The third dog, a pit bull terrier, was a stray. One of the dogs has already been euthanized, and the rest are scheduled to be killed, McCauley said.

“It’s a very unusual occurrence, and without any witnesses or surveillance video, it’s hard to know exactly what caused this,” he said.

— Los Angeles Times

Boris Johnson extends lead in race to lead Britain’s Conservatives

LONDON — Outspoken former foreign secretary Boris Johnson has extended his lead in the race to become the next leader of Britain’s Conservative Party.

Johnson won 126 of 313 votes in the second round of voting Tuesday, in which six candidates were vying to become Prime Minister Theresa May’s successor as party leader.

His nearest rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, received just 46 votes. Hunt progresses to the next round of voting along with Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Interior Minister Sajid Javid and wild card Rory Stewart, a rising center-ground candidate.

Former Brexit minister Dominic Raab was eliminated.

Johnson was a prominent face of the Brexit campaign before the 2016 referendum, when Britain voted by a narrow margin to leave the EU.

Backed by leading Conservative euroskeptics, Johnson has promised a tougher line in negotiations with Brussels and insisted that the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without a deal must remain open.

In the first round of voting Thursday, Johnson won the support of 114 of the 313 Conservative lawmakers.

Three candidates were eliminated in the first vote, and one later withdrew.

The candidates had to secure the backing of at least 33 lawmakers in Tuesday’s second vote.

More votes will follow this week until just two candidates remain. The party’s 160,000 members will then vote by mail to decide the winner, with the result expected in the week beginning July 22.

May officially stepped down June 7 after failing to win parliamentary approval for the deal she negotiated for Britain to leave the European Union.

— dpa

Hong Kong’s leader offers her ‘sincerest apologies,’ but refuses to resign

HONG KONG — With her term likely reduced to lame duck status, Hong Kong’s leader offered her most forceful apology yet for championing a massively unpopular extradition bill, but still declined to accede to the demands of 2 million people who took to the streets last Sunday to call for her ouster.

Speaking solemnly at a news conference Tuesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam acknowledged the bill — which would have allowed Hong Kong to send people to stand trial in China, but was recently suspended — had triggered conflict and dissatisfaction with her government.

“I personally have to shoulder much of the responsibility,” she said. “For this, I offer my most sincere apologies to all people of Hong Kong.”

Lam, however, declined to submit to the main demands lodged by her critics, including retracting the bill and resigning.

The crisis consuming the city of 7 million highlights Hong Kong’s desire to maintain basic democratic rights enshrined in its constitution, even as China moves to integrate the territory further into its authoritarian system.

— Los Angeles Times