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Headline Roundup: Judge Denies Bond For Gang Members Accused Of Killing Lake Wylie Couple; More

The Charlotte Observer reports a judge today refused to release on bond five gang members accused in a federal racketeering case that is linked to the killing of a Lake Wylie couple.

Prosecutors allege Doug and Debbie London were shot to death in their home in 2014 to stop testimony in a robbery case involving members of the United Blood Nation gang.

A dozen gang members were charged last week with various federal crimes, ranging from racketeering to murder. Six of them appeared in court today to request bond be set for their release. Five of those requests were denied. The sixth was delayed until Friday.

SC's Longest-Serving Sheriff Sentenced In Corruption Scheme
The man who had been South Carolina's longest-serving sheriff has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison after pleading guilty in a corruption scheme.

U.S. District Judge Terry Wooten also fined former Lexington County Sheriff James Metts $10,000.

Metts had been the county's top lawman for more than four decades when he was indicted last year.

Prosecutors said he took money from a restaurant owner in exchange for keeping employees from being arrested for being in the country illegally.

He agreed late last year to plead guilty to harboring people who were in the country illegally.

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys said they did not think Metts needed to go to prison.

Wooten previously rejected a plea deal that would have meant no prison time.

SC Panel Making Recommendations To Improve Public Schools
A House panel making recommendations to improve South Carolina's public schools is on the road again, this time getting input in the county for which a 22-year-old education funding lawsuit is named.

The task force created by House Speaker Jay Lucas meets today. The 17-member study panel held its first meeting in Columbia.

The state Supreme Court ruled last November that the state fails to provide poor, rural students the opportunity to succeed. The court told legislators and district officials to collectively fix the problem but gave no clear instructions for doing so.

Prosecutors Request At Least A Year In Prison For Two SC Police Officers For Shocking Mentally Disabled Woman
Federal prosecutors are asking that two former small town police officers be sentenced to at least a year in prison for shocking a mentally disabled woman at least eight times with a Taser.

Both Eric Walters and Franklin Brown pleaded guilty in October. They'll be sentenced today. Prosecutors are seeking 12 months to 18 months in prison for Walters and 18 months to 24 months for Brown.

Authorities are asking for extra time for Brown because he shocked the woman after her hand slipped from handcuffs, even though she was making no effort to escape or fight.

Prosecutors say the officers should have known the woman had a diminished mental state.

Pending Lawsuit Is Reason McCrory Let Bill Become Law
Gov. Pat McCrory says a pending lawsuit over North Carolina executive and legislative powers is why he is letting a bill responding to current and past court rulings become law without his signature.

McCrory announced his decision yesterday,  the constitutional deadline to act.

The General Assembly passed the bill making it optional for McCrory to order more conflict-of-interest requirements for people who serve on a coal ash commission and two other environmental panels

A law last year that McCrory has challenged in court mandated those requirements and also gave legislative leaders the ability to appoint positions to some executive branch commissions. The state Supreme Court will hear McCrory's legal challenge June 30.

The bill at McCrory's desk also removed longstanding requirements that actual legislators serve on three other panels.

Charlotte Man Dies Of Gun Shot Wound
A man has died after being shot and driving to his girlfriend's home before she took him to a Charlotte hospital.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police told local media outlets that 37-year-old Rayquan Levon Holmes died at Carolinas Medical Center on Sunday afternoon when he was taken there with gunshot wounds.

Police are investigating the death as a homicide.

Sanford Against Offshore Drilling
South Carolina U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford is on record against offshore seismic testing and drilling for oil.

Sanford announced today he is asking the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management not to allow seismic testing off the South Carolina coast.

Sanford says under the current system, state officials would not have access to the results of seismic tests before the federal government approves drilling leases.

He says it makes no sense to go ahead with testing if states and local communities cannot see that data and have an in-depth discussion about the possible effects of drilling on the environment and tourism.

South Carolina's other coastal congressman, Tom Rice, favors exploration but says states must have a say in where offshore drilling is allowed.