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'Melrose Place' actress faces 2nd re-sentencing for crash

A former "Melrose Place" actress whose three-year prison term for a fatal 2010 auto crash sparked outrage from the victim's family and prompted legal appeals must return to court for a second re-sentencing.

A New Jersey appeals court ordered the new sentencing Friday for Amy Locane, writing that the trial judge's re-imposing of the same sentence last year didn't adhere to an earlier appellate ruling and didn't take into account the severity of the crime.

"The trial judge's legal analysis was not significantly different the second time he sentenced defendant than it was on the first," the three-judge panel wrote. They ordered the re-sentencing to take place before a different judge.

James Wronko, an attorney for Locane, said Friday he was preparing an appeal to file with the state Supreme Court. Wronko said Locane "clearly acknowledges her role in this case and is extremely remorseful for what occurred."

Locane, who acted in 13 episodes of the popular Fox series and also appeared in several movies, served about two-and-a-half years of a three-year sentence for the 2010 accident in Montgomery Township that killed 60-year-old Helene Seeman and seriously injured Seeman's husband, Fred. She was released in 2015.

Locane was convicted of vehicular manslaughter, assault by auto and other offenses and faced a sentencing range of five to 10 years on the most serious count.

Prosecutors had sought a seven-year sentence.

Locane's defense contended the crash was an accident and that a third motorist, whose car the actress had bumped into at a traffic light in the minutes before the accident, distracted her by honking at her and chasing her after being rear-ended.

Though the indictment charging Locane didn't mention intoxication, a state expert testified her blood-alcohol level was likely about three times the legal limit and that she was driving roughly 53 mph in a 35 mph zone at the time of the crash.

After the initial 2013 sentencing, the appeals court in 2016 ordered a re-sentencing and instructed state Superior Court Judge Robert Reed to offer additional justification for his decision to downgrade one of the charges and impose concurrent rather than consecutive sentences.

In Friday's opinion, the appeals court noted that while the jury convicted Locane of the lesser offense of second-degree vehicular manslaughter — prosecutors had sought aggravated manslaughter, a first-degree crime — Reed then downgraded that to a third-degree offense and imposed the lightest sentence available in that range.

"We fail to see on this record where the interest of justice demands a downgrade," the appeals court wrote. "Accordingly, we vacate the downgrade."

Wronko defended Reed's actions and said the judge was intimately familiar with the case and his imposed sentence accordingly.

"He's not known as a liberal defense judge," Wronko said. "He thought in his own evaluation that the appropriate sentence was three years in state prison."

Wronko said Locane could have to return to prison if a new judge upgrades the third-degree conviction to a second-degree conviction. A second-degree conviction carries a five-to-10-year prison sentence.

New witnesses detail sexual misconduct by Tavis Smiley

PBS says more witnesses have detailed sexual misconduct allegations against talk-show host Tavis Smiley, who was suspended in December and later fired.

In papers filed in Washington, D.C., Superior Court in response to a breach-of-contract lawsuit by Smiley, PBS said the witnesses spoke to an independent investigator and corroborated initial accounts that Smiley had established a pattern of sexual relationships with subordinates.

The filing Tuesday also said he subjected subordinates to unwanted sexual advances — including requests for specific sex acts — and made lewd jokes.

"Over a dozen individuals reported that they were either subjected to or witnessed unwelcome, inappropriate sexual comments or conduct or otherwise inappropriate behavior by Mr. Smiley or were informed of the misconduct contemporaneously," the court filing said.

Smiley and his representatives stuck by their denials.

"More lies, half- truths and smears from PBS from an 'investigation' that never should have happened, with a result that was decided well before the inquiry was even begun," they said Friday in an emailed statement to The Associated Press.

The network said it also found further evidence that Smiley created an abusive and threatening workplace, often belittling and cursing subordinates.

Many of the witnesses were women of color, the documents say, pushing back against comments from Smiley, who is black, that racial bias was involved in his firing.

At the time of his suspension, Smiley acknowledged having had a sexual relationship with a colleague but said he had done nothing to deserve the "public humiliation and personal destruction" he was undergoing.

Smiley's lawsuit, which seeks "multiple millions" in damages, also alleged that the PBS investigation was shoddy and poorly executed, and his dismissal was hasty.

PBS, in the answer and counterclaim, says those assertions in televised interviews after his suspension constituted a breach of contract by Smiley, who had agreed not to cast aspersions on his employer.

"PBS acted at all times justifiably, in good faith, and with reasonable care and diligence," the filing said.

The network is seeking $1.9 in returned salary from Smiley.

Smiley's dismissal came amid a wave of reports of sexual misconduct in the workplace by powerful figures in movies, media and politics that began with allegations against Harvey Weinstein in October and also led to the departure of Smiley's fellow PBS talk-show host Charlie Rose.

PBS aired the show "Tavis Smiley" from 2004 until 2017.

Within weeks after his departure, he announced the beginning of "The Upside with Tavis Smiley," a new show featuring inspirational stories that is streamed online and shown on The Word Network, a religious-oriented cable and satellite channel directed at black viewers.


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The Latest: 'Melrose Place' actress to appeal court ruling

The Latest on an appeals court ordering former "Melrose Place" actress Amy Locane re-sentenced for a fatal 2010 auto crash (all times local):

5 p.m.

A lawyer for former "Melrose Place" actress Amy Locane says he'll appeal a ruling ordering her to be re-sentenced for a fatal 2010 crash in New Jersey.

Locane was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to three years in prison. She served about two-and-a-half years and was released in 2015.

Prosecutors and the victim's family objected, saying the sentence was too lenient, and an appeals court ordered a new sentencing. Last year, the same judge re-imposed the same sentence.

On Friday a different appeals court said the judge was in error and ordered a new sentencing, in front of a different judge.

The crash killed 60-year-old Helene Seeman and seriously injured her husband, Fred.

A state witness testified Locane's blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit at the time of the crash.


1:50 p.m.

A former "Melrose Place" actress convicted in a fatal auto crash must return to court for a second re-sentencing.

A New Jersey appeals court in 2016 ordered the first re-sentencing after prosecutors contended Amy Locane's three-year sentence for the 2010 crash was too lenient.

In January 2017, the judge re-imposed the same sentence. On Friday, an appeals court ruled the judge didn't follow its earlier ruling and didn't take the crime's severity into account.

A different judge will conduct the re-sentencing.

Locane served about two-and-a-half years of a three-year sentence for the 2010 accident in Montgomery Township that killed 60-year-old Helene Seeman and seriously injured Seeman's husband, Fred.

Locane appeared in 13 episodes of "Melrose Place" and in several movies.

Her attorney didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.

Legendary rocker Bruce Springsteen extends successful Broadway run through December

Legendary rocker Bruce Springsteen is doing so well on Broadway, he’s staying for the rest of the year.

>> Read more trending news 

The veteran musician’s mega-successful one-man show, “Springsteen on Broadway,” has already been extended twice. Now, The Boss has decided to add 81 more shows between July 10 and Dec. 15 for a third and final extension.

Tickets for the new dates at the Walter Kerr Theatre will go on sale at 11 a.m. March 28 through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program. Only fans who previously registered and have not purchased tickets will be eligible to receive an invitation to the onsale. Those who are eligible will receive additional information on March 26.

A digital lottery will continue to operate through the extension of the show for those interested in purchasing tickets after the March 28 onsale. For details, visit

>> Related: Who was Harry Houdini? 10 facts about the amazing mastermind and magician 

“Springsteen on Broadway” opened Oct. 12, 2017. By the end of his run in December, Springsteen will have played 236 performances.

Glen Campbell’s widow opens up about the family feud over his estate

The widow of country music legend Glen Campbell is telling her side of the story in the legal battle over her late husband’s estate. Kim Campbell also addresses allegations that she barred his children from seeing him.

>> Read more trending news 

Campbell is breaking her silence on the legal battle currently playing out in court over her late husband’s reported $50 million fortune. Several of the country crooner’s older children have claimed their step-mother barred them from seeing their father when he was in an Alzheimer’s care facility in Nashville. She’s denying the allegations.

“I never ever denied them a visit — ever,” Campbell told “Inside Edition.” “They never, ever called me to see how he was doing or if they could help.”

>> Related: Controversy continues in the fight over Glen Campbell’s will

Three of the musician’s older children, including his eldest son, Travis, have filed a lawsuit seeking what they claim is their piece of the family fortune. They were left out of their father’s will, and Kim Campbell says she had nothing to do with that decision.

“That was all done in 2002, and that was a choice that was made by Glen — not me — and there were reasons for it,” she said.

Campbell also claimed Travis Campbell did not visit his father in the 20 years before the superstar’s death in 2017. She said the allegations against her by the children have been difficult.

“It has been very painful and hurtful. It’s a nightmare to have people on the internet threatening to kill you because they think you are this horrible person who wouldn’t let people visit, which is totally false,” she said.

>> Related: Country legend Glen Campbell to release final album, 'Adios'

Campbell is also speaking out about her husband’s former girlfriend, country star Tanya Tucker, who released a song about him titled “Forever Loving You,” following Campbell’s death last year.

“This Tanya Tucker, who dated my husband for a hot minute 35 years ago, going on TV the day after my husband dies, [promoting] ‘Forever Loving You,’ [and] exploiting my husband,” the angry widow said.

The proceeds from that song benefit Alzheimer’s disease research, and Tucker maintained her motives were pure in writing and releasing the song.

>> Related: Country singer Glen Campbell dead at 81

A statement from Tucker’s press rep reads, “Tanya has nothing but love in her heart for the entire Campbell family. Tanya released ‘Forever Loving You’ last year in tribute to Glen and to raise awareness for all those suffering with this heartbreaking disease.”

>> Related: Who was Harry Houdini? 10 facts about the amazing mastermind and magician

Meanwhile, Kim Campbell is moving forward with her advocacy work for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. She has teamed up with the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation and ride service Lyft to help provide transportation for people with the disease who are participating in clinical trials.

It’s devastating to lose someone to this disease. It’s heartbreaking, but I want to bring something positive out of it,” she said.

Who was Harry Houdini? 10 facts about the amazing mastermind and magician

He’s the godfather of escapism and illusion, a magical mastermind whose tricks dazzle to this day. But how much do you know about the man in the handcuffs?

>> Read more trending news 

Here are 10 fun facts about the genius known as Harry Houdini.

Houdini was born Erik Weisz on Mar. 24, 1874, in Budapest, Austria-Hungary. His family immigrated to the United States in July 1878, settled in Wisconsin, and changed the spelling of their last name to Weiss. Young Houdini’s first named changed as well, from Erik to Ehrich.

The Weiss family eventually moved to New York City, where 9-year-old Ehrich took a job as a trapeze artist. He launched his professional magic career in 1891 and changed his name once again. “Harry” is a derivative of his childhood nickname, Ehrie, while “Houdini” is an homage to one of his idols, French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin.

In 1893, he married Wilhelmina “Bess” Rahner, who would become his stage assistant.

Houdini got his big break in 1899, when he impressed manager Martin Beck with his ability to break out of handcuffs. Beck booked the Houdinis on the vaudeville circuit. They eventually took their escape show to Europe, where Houdini challenged local police in several countries to keep him restrained with shackles and locked in jail.

>> Related: 5 facts about the charming Charlie Chaplin

Beginning in 1907, Houdini’s American productions got bigger and more dangerous. They included escaping from a locked milk can filled with water; releasing himself from a straitjacket while dangling by his feet from a rope above a city street; and the famous Chinese Water Torture Cell, which forced Houdini to hold his breath for more than three minutes while getting out of a glass and steel cabinet overflowing with water, all while suspended upside down.

One 1915 trick nearly killed Houdini. He was buried alive in a dirt pit, then started to panic as he desperately clawed his way out. No one could hear his cries for help. His hand eventually broke free, and he was pulled to safety — and passed out once he was back on the ground.

It was not magic that ultimately brought down Houdini, but a ruptured appendix. He died of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital on Oct. 31, 1926, at age 52.

>> Related: 5 fun facts about iconic musician Little Richard

Magic wasn’t Houdini’s only talent. He founded his own film company, The Film Development Corporation, and starred in several productions. He was also an accomplished aviator who made one of the first aerial flights in Australia. He even taught American soldiers how to escape sinking ships and get out of ropes or handcuffs in case they were captured by the enemy during World War I.

15th defense lawyer in Suge Knight's murder case leaves

Marion "Suge" Knight lost another defense lawyer — his 15th — on Friday and the three-year wait for his murder trial to start will grow even longer.

Judge Ronald S. Coen released attorney Dominique Banos, citing a conflict of interest.

Banos said outside court that she had told the judge she believes she is a target in the witness-tampering investigation that led to the indictment and removal of two of Knight's lawyers. She denied any wrongdoing and said she regretted leaving a case she felt was winnable.

The moment Coen finished announcing the dismissal, Knight launched into an animated, minutes-long monologue denouncing prosecutors and jail officials, saying their investigations and the limitations put on his visitors and phone calls have forced him to blow through attorneys and settle for bad ones.

"All this stuff's a way-out, crazy situation," said Knight, 52, as he sat in court in an orange jail jumpsuit and chains. "I should be able to spend my money the way I want it."

"These attorneys," Knight went on, getting angrier, "nobody in the world would use these attorneys for a jaywalking ticket!"

Coen, who has warned Knight to let his attorneys do the talking in court, finally intervened and said, "You need to take a deep breath, Mr. Knight."

The judge appointed a 16th attorney, Robert DeBlanc, who Knight reluctantly accepted on an interim basis. Knight said he has already privately hired yet another lawyer, without giving his name.

The Death Row Records co-founder has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder for running over two men outside a Compton burger stand in 2015.

Banos was also released as Knight's attorney in a hearing that immediately followed on an unrelated robbery case where he has also struggled to keep attorneys.

"This must feel like deja vu," said Judge Craig Richman.

"It does," Knight said with a laugh. "It does."


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Jann Wenner says MeToo suffers from absence of due process

Jann Wenner feels the #MeToo movement shows a "real absence of due process."

In an interview with The Associated Press, the Rolling Stone publisher said he feels that mere accusations of sexual impropriety are threatening careers, many times without corroboration, with people losing their jobs over "some of the most harmless (expletive) things."

"Honestly, I do believe it's a bit of a witch hunt," Wenner said in a recent interview at his office in New York. "It's difficult to get due process because there's no real place to adjudicate it except in court, which takes forever."

The 72-year old Wenner speaks from experience, after a former Rolling Stone employee came forward last year, claiming the media mogul sexually assaulted him in 1983. Wenner doesn't deny something happened between him and his accuser.

"There's some truth to it, but it does not fit any illegal, immoral, or unethical, or go in any way that direction," Wenner said.

"All you can say is no, not me too, and wait," he added.

He also sees violent sexual assault happening on college campuses as being a bigger problem.

"This is student-to-student rape. It's different than being harassed on the job or having your butt pinched or whatever you're complaining about. This is a physical violence," Wenner said.

Wenner made the comments while promoting the recent documentary by award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, "Rolling Stone: Stories From the Edge." The four-hour, six-part documentary —which aired last year on HBO — makes its way to iTunes and other online services March 27. It showcases the magazine's 50-year history, and its remarkable news coverage, including the 1972 presidential election covered by Hunter S. Thompson and the Michael Hastings article that took down Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

It also highlights a dark time for the publication, the 2014 story of a gang rape at the University of Virginia, which the magazine had to retract because of "discrepancies" in the alleged victim's account. The magazine settled at least one suit over the story for $1.65 million.

Wenner considers that time one of the most regrettable moments in Rolling Stone's history, but "nothing I feel guilty about.

"Looking back, there's a few mistakes — had we not made a few mistakes, it would have turned out differently," he said. "In terms of regrettable things that have happened to us after 50 years, we finally had our turn with our feet on the fire. If you're in this business, sooner or later you're gonna make mistakes — that mistake happens."

Wenner's life has been in the news over the past year with the sexual misconduct allegation, and "Sticky Fingers," the salacious biography by Joe Hagan.

Yet, Wenner says he's unaffected by it all, especially now that the tables have turned, making him the focus of the story.

"I'm in the business of journalism myself, and I'm not really ashamed of anything I've ever did, so it doesn't matter to me if you tell some stories of my sex life. It's just that it's not well done, it's out of context, and it overwhelms the real story, which is what great work we did, what fun we had, instead of saying I had sex with somebody that nobody has ever heard of before, will ever hear of again. It doesn't affect anything," he said.


Will Smith performs ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ theme with Jimmy Fallon

Will Smith joined Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” Thursday to sing a medley of theme songs.

Among the songs were the themes to “Golden Girls,” “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times,” “Martin,” “Full House,” “Three’s Company” and, of course, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

>> Read more trending news 

Rolling Stone reported that the skit was a spin-off of Fallon’s “History of Rap” series, which features Fallon and Justin Timberlake.

This isn’t Smith’s first musical collaboration with Fallon. In 2015, the two performed Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s “It Takes Two” with an iPad app. They danced together in “The Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing,” which included the Carlton dance. In 2012, the pair did a 1920s radio skit.

Watch Smith and Fallon perform “History of TV Theme Songs” in the video below. The “Fresh Prince” theme starts at the 2:40 mark.

Opera in New York City to feature inmates recorded in Iowa

Inmates from an eastern Iowa prison have spent weeks learning German and perfecting inflections for a recording that will be played during a New York City opera performance of Beethoven's "Fidelio."

Heartbeat Opera invited the Oakdale Community Choir of the Iowa Medical and Classification Center to perform the "Prisoner's Chorus" for its New York City live production in May.

Production Director Ethan Heard traveled to the medium-security prison in Coralville, Iowa, on Wednesday to record the choir, comprised of 40 inmates and 30 community members. It's among six choirs being recorded singing for a pivotal scene.

Heartbeat Opera's modern-day performance of "Fidelio" is about a woman's journey to free her falsely imprisoned husband, a black activist. Video and audio from choirs such as Oakdale's will be projected during a scene in which prisoners are released into a courtyard to breathe fresh air. Each choir performs a different portion of the "Prisoner's Chorus."

Inmate Shane Kendrick has been singing in the Oakdale choir for two years. He said any humanizing depiction of inmates is good for them and the community that they'll re-enter. Kendrick said he has six more years to serve on his sentence.

Heard told the Iowa City Press-Citizen that the idea to reimagine "Fidelio" came to him when he began exploring injustice in today's prison system.

"I was looking for a story that would resonate in 2018, and it felt like 'Fidelio' was a story about hope in the face of injustice and perseverance in the face of corruption," he said.

Oakdale Choir Director Mary Cohen started the program in 2009. The choir showcases their talents in an annual performance, where parole officers, police and prosecuting attorneys are invited to attend. This year, the concert will feature the "Prisoner's Chorus."

Warden James McKinney said the performance shows the rehabilitative side of prison.

"Those 95 percent (of inmates) are going to be somebody's neighbor. Maybe yours, maybe somebody else's," he said. "My job has always been to make them the best neighbor as possible, and punishment doesn't work. But I know if they start to learn to communicate with people and learn that they can be a contributing member of society, they usually walk out the door better prepared to be somebody's neighbor."


Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen,

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