Tennessee news briefs
Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 8:01 pm
Bill to give divorcees equal custody dies
NASHVILLE (AP) — A proposal to give equal custody to divorced parents in Tennessee is likely dead this session after the sponsor withdrew it from a House panel.
Lawmakers hotly debated the measure sponsored by Rep. Mike Bell for weeks. But the Riceville Republican decided to withdraw the proposal from the House Children and Family Affairs Committee on Tuesday after an amendment was added.
The measure sought to give divorcees “maximum time” with a child, instead of dividing the time equally.
Bell says he’s unsure about the future of the bill in the House because he isn’t seeking re-election, but instead running for a state Senate seat.
The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
2011 trial set for man charged in 5 slayings
FAYETTEVILLE (AP) — A judge set a January 2011 trial for a man charged in the slayings of his estranged wife and four other people in southern Tennessee.
At a Tuesday hearing, Circuit Judge Robert Crigler said jury selection in the death penalty case of Jacob Shaffer is to start Jan. 24. The trial is expected to last several weeks.
Shaffer’s estranged wife, Tracie, her teenage son, father, brother and a teenage neighbor were slain in two homes in Lincoln County on July 18. Shaffer is also the suspect in the fatal beating of a man in Huntsville, Ala.
Sheriff Murray Black-welder has said Shaffer used large knives in some of the killings.
Shaffer previously told an investigator he “slayed them all.”
A hearing is set May 4 on a change of venue motion by public defender Donna Hargrove.
AP names Sainz as Memphis correspondent
NASHVILLE (AP) — Adrian Sainz, a business writer and newsman in the Miami bureau of The Associated Press, has been named the AP’s correspondent in Memphis.
The appointment was announced Tuesday by Adam Yeomans, bureau chief for Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi.
Sainz has worked in the AP’s Miami bureau for nearly 10 years, as a reporter and editor, and as a business writer specializing in real estate coverage since 2008.
He succeeds Woody Baird, who retired in June 2009 after covering the region for 27 years.
Sainz, 35, holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Loyola University.
Published in The Messenger 4.7.10
Tennessee news briefs