Court refuses to dismiss Polanski case
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LOS ANGELES — A California appeals court yesterday rejected Roman Polanski's bid to have his 32-year-old sex case dismissed, but cited concerns over possible judicial and prosecutorial misconduct.
The California 2nd District Court of Appeal announced it had denied the petition, with justices saying they are "deeply concerned" about the probable misconduct by a now-deceased judge and a retired prosecutor who advised him.
The appeals court faulted Polanski for fleeing the country rather than seeking legal remedies at the time. But it also said repeatedly it is time for the case to be over.
It raised a number of potential options for Polanski, including seeking sentencing in absentia, but it did not require further action by the trial judge. Polanski is under house arrest at his chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, fighting extradition.
ASTOR'S SON GETS UP TO 3 YEARS IN PRISON
NEW YORK — The 85-year-old son of philanthropist Brooke Astor was sentenced yesterday to as many as three years in prison for exploiting her mental frailty to plunder her millions, but the legal saga surrounding the society doyenne's fortune will persist with planned appeals.
Anthony Marshall showed little emotion as state Supreme Court Justice A. Kirke Bartley sentenced him to one to three years in prison — the minimum term his conviction required — for looting his mother's fortune. She gave away nearly $200 million to institutions and charities before she died at age 105 in 2007.
Marshall will remain free for at least the next month as his defense lawyers try to persuade an appeals court to let him stay free on bail indefinitely while his planned appeal plays out.
MURPHY FAMILY TELLS OF FLULIKE SYMPTOMS
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County coroner's office says yesterday it completed an autopsy of Brittany Murphy but will defer releasing a cause of death until after toxicology tests are complete.
It says there was no evidence of trauma to Murphy's body.
Murphy, 32, died Sunday after collapsing in the bathroom of her Hollywood Hills home. Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said her family told investigators she had been suffering from flulike symptoms in the days before her death.
SAWYER BEGINS NEW JOB AS ABC ANCHOR
NEW YORK — Diane Sawyer was all business on a first day as anchor of ABC News' flagship evening newscast yesterday, save for a brief salute at the end to Charles Gibson, whose retirement opened the job for her.
No mention was made that it was Sawyer's first night on the job. Her greeting: "Good evening and it is so good to be here with you tonight."