Court Roundup

Detroit: Jury convicts four Highwaymen cycle club members
DETROIT (AP) — Four members of the Detroit Highwaymen Motorcycle Club have been convicted in a racketeering and drug distribution case, the second such trial in a case with 91 defendants.

The U.S. attorney’s office says those convicted Wednesday are 40-year-old Leonard Moore, 46-year-old Johnny Jarrell, 39-year-old Robert Flowers and 41-year-old Sean Donovan.

The Detroit trial lasted a month.

In June, a federal jury convicted six others Highwaymen members on a variety of charges.

Prosecutors say the Highwaymen are a violent gang involved in drugs, armed robbery and other crimes.

Detroit: Auto parts maker says competitor lost patent appeal
DETROIT (AP) — Commercial auto parts maker Wabco Holdings Inc. said Wednesday it has won another round in a legal dispute with a competitor over alleged violations of patent laws.

The competitor, Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH, lost a second appeal of a Munich court decision in the case, according to a statement issued by Wabco.

Wabco said that on Dec. 2, the Munich Appeals Court dismissed the appeal by Knorr and confirmed a preliminary ruling from Oct. 19 that ordered Knorr to stop telling a customer that one of Wabco’s brake systems violated Knorr’s patents. The Munich District Court ruled against Knorr on Jan. 20, and Knorr appealed, Wabco said.

“Wabco reaffirms its belief that it does not infringe on any valid patent referred to in the allegations made by Knorr,” the Brussels, Belgium-based Wabco said in the statement. Wabco also has executive offices in Piscataway, N.J.

Christoph Günter, a spokesman for Munich-based Knorr, said the company does not comment on legal proceedings.

Detroit: Lawyers: Jockey makes deal in race-fixing case
DETROIT (AP) — Lawyers say a Florida jockey charged in Detroit with conspiring to fix horse races plans to plead guilty.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Morris in Detroit says he has a plea deal with Ricardo Valdes of Ocala, Fla. Defense lawyer Brian Russell acknowledged it while participating in a court hearing by telephone Wednesday.

Valdes was charged last year with conspiring with two Detroit-area businessmen to influence the outcome of some horse races, including races at Tampa Bay Downs in Florida and Delaware Downs in Delaware in 2005 and 2006. The races were simulcast at Michigan tracks.

There was no indication when Valdes will appear in Detroit federal court to plead guilty.

Pontiac: Woman faces trial in Facebook-feud fatal car crash
PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A 23-year-old Pontiac woman accused of starting a fatal high-speed chase in a Facebook feud with a woman over the affections of a prison inmate will stand trial.

The Oakland Press of Pontiac and Detroit Free Press say Torrie Emery was given a Jan. 10 trial date after prosecutors and defense attorneys were unable to reach a plea deal.

Emery faces second-degree murder in the July 21 death of 21-year-old Alesha Abernathy. She also faces assault with intent to commit great bodily harm and second-degree child abuse.

Authorities say Emery saw rival Danielle Booth in the passenger seat of Abernathy’s car and gave chase. Emery’s 3-year-old daughter was riding with her when she rammed Abernathy’s car, which sped through an intersection and struck a dump truck.

Abernathy died, and Booth was critically hurt.