Wandering Eye:

Ottobar murder trial begins, Maryland hires new football coach, and more

Your tax dollars at work: The University of Maryland hired a new football coach yesterday, D.J. Durkin, a now-former assistant coach at the University of Michigan. "This year, Durkin oversaw a Michigan defense that ranked fourth nationally in total defense and 11th in scoring defense," reports The Sun. Just as important: "He also has the reputation of a stellar recruiter and was named Rivals.com's recruiter of the year in 2012 while at Florida." That may be a crucial factor to keeping the school's highly regarded 2016 recruiting class intact. Players, including big-name quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., were monitoring the coaching situation closely. (Brandon Weigel)

 

While the focus of the city and much of the world is on the first trial of a police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, there's another newsworthy trial starting in the city for the fatal stabbing of Ottobar employee Tom Malenski. As The Sun reports, Nicholas Brandon Heath, 33, the man charged with first-degree murder, was "angry over the ejection of his friend." He later confessed to stabbing Malenski and another employee when questioned by police. Heath's attorney told the jury, however, "This case does not match first- or second-degree murder in any way." Malenski was attending a concert on his night off when he stepped in to help his co-worker. (Brandon Weigel)

 

Threats of violence against abortion providers increased by nine times back in July, when the first Planned Parenthood smear video was released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress. Those threats continued to rise in August. The National Abortion Federation detailed the many death threats made to Planned Parenthood doctors as well as "an increase in 'off' hour requests for security advice" in a July 31 application for an injunction against the CMP. The document also described nine recent incidents of violence as "consistent with the actions of lone offenders using tactics of arsons and threats all of which are typical of the pro-life extremist movement." The warnings highlighted by this information went largely ignored until Robert Lewis Dear (who, by the way, turns out to be an art dealer) allegedly killed three people in a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic on Nov. 27. According to two law enforcement sources, Dear said "No more baby parts" when taken into questioning, echoing the message of the CMP video titled "Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts." (Maura Callahan)

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