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Judge extends grand jury in Ferguson case

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge has extended into January the term of the grand jury considering whether a white suburban St. Louis police officer should be charged in the shooting death of a black 18-year-old.

As expected, the grand jury’s investigation into the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson has extended past its four-month term, which St. Louis County Circuit Judge Carolyn Whittington extended when it expired on Sept. 10. St. Louis County Court Administrator Paul Fox said Tuesday that the extension is the longest allowed by Missouri law.

The extension does not mean the grand jury will meet until January. “It just gives them that window,” Fox said, noting that the grand jury is focused strictly on the shooting death of Brown by Darren Wilson and is not considering any other cases.

Prosecutor Bob McCulloch has said previously that the investigation is expected to last into mid-October. A spokesman for McCullough was out of the office this week and didn’t respond to calls from The Associated Press seeking an update on the status of the investigation.