Cohabitation compromise. A Utah judge handed a resounding legal victory to the polyamorous family that stars in the TLC reality show Sister Wives. The Brown family is entitled to compensation for what they have spent defending themselves from criminal investigations into their polygamous lifestyle. Kody Brown cohabitates with but is not legally married to all of his four “wives.” The family lived in Utah when the series began, but moved to Las Vegas, Nev., during season 2. Federal Judge Clark Waddoups in December struck down a Utah law against cohabitation that aimed to curb situations like the Brown family’s. Waddoups’s Wednesday ruling found the law had a negative effect on the Browns and violated their constitutional rights.
Reasonable doubt. A Texas jury on Wednesday acquitted a father of murdering a drunken driver who killed his two sons. David Barajas and his sons, ages 11 and 12, were pushing a broken-down vehicle near their home when Jose Banda crashed into them. Authorities claimed Barajas went to his nearby home, got a gun, and returned to shoot and kill Banda. But police never found the gun. Barajas’s attorneys claimed someone else, possibly relatives of Banda’s who witnessed the crash, could have shot him. “We believe that Mr. Barajas committed the crime, and we also know the jury did not believe that beyond a reasonable doubt. We respect that,” prosecutor Jeri Yenne said after the verdict.
Killed in action. A crew member of the long-running reality show Cops was shot and killed Tuesday night while filming a confrontation between police and a robber. Police got into a fire fight at a Wendy’s restaurant with an armed robber who turned out to be holding a pellet gun. Bryce Dion, 38, an audio supervisor for the show, was hit by a police bullet. Dion is the first Cops crew member to be killed while filming the show, which premiered in 1989. The suspect, 32-year-old Cortez Washington, was also killed. Police will submit evidence from the shooting, which was well-documented on video, to a grand jury for review.
Drenched. Hurricane Cristobal, upgraded from a tropical storm earlier this week, is trekking through the Atlantic after dousing the Caribbean with heavy rain. The storm will not make a direct hit on the Atlantic coast, but it is churning up heavy surf and dangerous rip tides for beachgoers. Two teens drowned separately off the New Jersey shore already.