News Minute: Here is the latest Nebraska news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. CDT
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska could be headed to a special session to try to ban abortions now that the U.S. Supreme Court has given states that power, but it’s unclear whether one will actually happen or what type of restrictions might win enough support to pass. Gov. Pete Ricketts says he would work with Speaker of the Legislature Mike Hilgers to try to find a way to ban abortions, but hasn't yet committed to a special session. Ricketts, a conservative Republican who vehemently opposes abortion, praised the ruling as “a victory for the people” and has said he would support a special session to outlaw the procedure in Nebraska.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court has denied the postconviction appeal of a death row inmate who said his defense attorney was so inept that his right to a fair trial had been compromised. Roy Ellis Jr. was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for the 2005 killing of 12-year-old Amber Harris. Amber's remains were found buried in an Omaha park six months after she went missing from an Omaha school bus stop. Prosecutors also presented evidence indicating Harris had likely sexually assaulted the girl. In its ruling Friday, the state's high court said Ellis' argument that his trial lawyer failed to effectively challenge prosecutors' DNA evidence was without merit.
BOSTON (AP) — Harvard has returned a tomahawk once owned by a pioneering Native American civil rights leader to his tribe. Members of the Ponca tribes in Nebraska and Oklahoma visited the Massachusetts university this month for a ceremony returning the pipe-tomahawk owned by Chief Standing Bear. The university’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology has been working with the tribe for the past year to repatriate the artifact. Standing Bear gave the tomahawk to one of his lawyers after winning the 1879 court case that made him one of the first Native Americans granted civil rights.
DENVER (AP) — A Nebraska man has pleaded guilty in federal court to making death threats against Colorado’s top elections official. Officials say it's the first such plea obtained by a federal task force devoted to protecting elections workers across the U.S. who have been subject to increasing threats since the 2020 presidential election. Prosecutors say Travis Ford of Lincoln pleaded guilty in Denver federal court to sending threats on social media to Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a national advocate for elections security. The plea was announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Colorado. Ford faces up to two years in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 6.
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