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Mentally ill NC inmate dies of thirst after water denied during 35-day solitary confinement

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Investigators from the U.S. Department of Justice are probing the death of a mentally ill inmate who died of thirst earlier this year after 35 days in solitary confinement.

An autopsy showed Michael Anthony Kerr died from dehydration March 12 and was receiving no treatment for his schizophrenia, reported WNCN-TV.

The 54-year-old Kerr, who was serving 31 years for larceny and assault after he was convicted as a habitual felon in 2011, had been cited twice in the weeks before he died for flooding his cell, according to records.

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Prison staffers are permitted to turn of water to an inmate’s sink or toilet for the “misuse of plumbing facilities,” according to a written policy of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

David Guice, the state commissioner of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, told the Associated Press that water to Kerr’s cell “had not been turned off in the days immediately preceding his death.”

But prison officials have so far refused to specify exactly when the water was cut off.

They also refused to say whether Kerr was chained in restraints or if he was too weak to walk in the days prior to his death.

The inmate was found unresponsive in the back of a prison van after he was driven three hours from Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville to a mental hospital at Central Prison in Raleigh.

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Prison officials have said since Kerr’s death six months ago that they would investigate the events that led to his death, but no report has been issued and officials have not said when one would be.

A federal grand jury issued two subpoenas Wednesday seeking records on Kerr’s death from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Prison officials said Thursday that many changes had been made since Kerr died, and personnel actions have been taken against 30 employees – including 11 who were fired or resigned.

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A new chief administrator was also assigned at the prison where Kerr was held.

Watch this news report posted online by WNCN-TV:

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Fox News legal analyst makes stunning prediction: Trump will testify under oath in impeachment trial

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Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano predicted that President Donald Trump would testify during his impeachment trial.

Napolitano told "America's Newsroom" anchor Bill Hemmer on Thursday that he believed the president would testify on his own behalf once the House votes to impeach him and the Senate holds a trial, reported The Hill.

“If you go to a Senate trial, who testifies on behalf of the president?” Hemmer asked.

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Mitch McConnell may let Republicans write Senate impeachment rules without Democratic votes

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is plotting to shut out Democrats on impeachment if a bipartisan compromise on rules for the trial can't be reached.

The Kentucky Republican said this week that he hopes to reach an agreement on rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but he's also readying a "backup plan" in case he can't reach an agreement with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, reported Vanity Fair.

“The first thing Sen. Schumer and I will do is see if there’s a possibility of agreement on a procedure,” McConnell said. “That failing, I would probably come back to my own members and say, ‘Okay, can 51 of us agree how we’re going to handle this?’”

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Fresno Bee burns Nunes to the ground in scathing editorial

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The editorial board of the Fresno Bee has written a scathing takedown of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for his extraordinary fealty to President Donald Trump, which the editors say is harming the country.

Specifically, the editorial accuses Nunes of forsaking his oath of office as a congressman to serve as Trump's most loyal toady on the House Intelligence Committee.

"As has been true for nearly all of Trump’s first term, Nunes has relinquished his proper role as an independent representative of Congress and has instead acted like a member of the Trump 2020 re-election team," the editorial states.

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