News on the go: Oct. 24, 2013

Carrie Blazina

The lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the young man who was accused along with his brother of the bombing at the Boston Marathon in April, might try to spare him from the death penalty by saying he was under his brother’s influence. Court papers this week showed that the lawyers are trying to access records about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s alleged involvement in a triple murder in 2011; they said information related to that case is critical as they prepare Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense. The United States government has not decided yet to seek the death penalty against Tsarnaev, who faces 30 federal charges in the bombing deaths of three people.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel complained to President Barack Obama on Wednesday that she learned U.S. intelligence was targeting her cellphone. The president said the U.S. is not and will not monitor her mobile phone, but he did not specifically say it had never been monitored. Merkel seems to have gotten the information from German newspaper Der Spiegel, which has published material from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

A Columbus-area man was sentenced Wednesday to 6 1/2 years in prison for causing a deadly wrong-way crash, to which he had admitted in an online video. Matthew Cordle, 22, had his driving privileges revoked for life in the death of Vincent Canzani, who was killed in the June crash. Cordle has said the crash came after a night of heavy drinking, and he blacked out and could not remember exactly how much he drank.

An Ohio University student who was misidentified as the victim of an alleged rape that occurred Oct. 11 filed a complaint with police Monday saying she has been harassed through social media. The girl has deactivated her social-media accounts, and the university has excused her from classes for a week. Investigators continue to look into the alleged sexual assault, which was widely documented and shared online by bystanders, and OU officials have said they are hosting an event to openly discuss rape culture Thursday.

Contact Carrie Blazina at [email protected].