State Roundup

Mount Clemens

Detroit-area man who choked stepson convicted

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) -- A suburban Detroit man who told police that the devil told him to choke his young stepson has been convicted of attempted murder and child abuse.

The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens reports a jury on Tuesday returned its verdict in the case of 36-year-old Randall Caballero of Warren. Sentencing has been scheduled for Feb. 22.

The jury rejected an insanity defense.

Defense lawyer Kendall Sailler says Caballero has been diagnosed as bipolar and has been hospitalized at least four times since 2007.

Authorities say Caballero attempted to choke the 3-year-old boy in December 2010, then told neighbors he'd killed his son. Police found the boy crying along the street. He was treated for hypothermia.

The boy, now 5, has recovered from his physical injuries and receives counseling.

Detroit

Detroit liquor licenses now flow through council

DETROIT (AP) -- Detroit's population decline means City Council now must weigh in on new liquor licenses from bars, restaurants or other venues.

The state announced Tuesday that because Detroit's population count dropped below 750,000 the Michigan Liquor Control Commission can't approve such licenses without a City Council recommendation.

The change involves applications for a license to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises of a business. The state says the 750,000 threshold has long been in the law. Detroit was the only Michigan city above that level.

Applications approved before Nov. 22 are OK.

Detroit's population of about 713,000 is down about 200,000 from a decade earlier, according to U.S. Census figures from the 2010 count. The population of Michigan's largest city fell more than 1 million since 1950.

Kalamazoo

Plans would bring casino-style venues to Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) -- Plans are in the works for venues in Kalamazoo to allow nonprofits to host black jack, poker and other casino-style games.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that Ryan Reedy wants to open three such casino-style operations in downtown. State officials, however, have at least temporarily put the plans on hold.

Reedy on Tuesday had planned to open Black Jacks Casino & Sports Bar at Will Bull Saloon & Steak House. He said officials are reviewing the charitable gambling plans and asked him to hold off on opening for a few weeks.

Under the plan, Reedy's properties would provide the location, equipment and staff to handle customers. The business then proposed to split the gaming revenues 50-50 with nonprofit organizations.

The venues would be subject to different rules than traditional casinos.

Lapeer

Man gets 25 years for child exploitation

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- A Southern California federal judge has sentenced a man to 25 years in prison for distributing a video of his sexual abuse of a boy to an international child exploitation group.

Riverside Judge Virginia Phillips sentenced 34-year-old Joshua Boras on Monday. The Lapeer, Mich., man pleaded guilty earlier to participating in a child exploitation enterprise and producing child pornography.

Prosecutors say Boras was affiliated with the "Lost Boy" online bulletin board for trading of child porn. The Internet site was shut down three years ago and 15 defendants have pleaded guilty or have been convicted at trial.

Investigators say group had 35 members in the United States, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

New members were required to post child porn to join the organization.

Detroit

Man locked in ship bathroom loses appeal

DETROIT (AP) -- A Michigan man who sued for false imprisonment after co-workers jokingly locked him in a ship bathroom in Washington state won't get a new trial.

A federal appeals court this week said there's enough evidence for the Detroit jury's verdict in favor of a medical-equipment company in 2009.

There's no dispute that Steven Slasinski was locked in the bathroom of the Champagne Lady during a dinner cruise on Lake Washington near Seattle in 2007. Slasinski was trapped for 20 to 25 minutes until the crew responded.

The Genesee County man and his wife were seeking more than $100,000, but a jury found no fault with the employer, known then as Confirma.

Attorney Karen Smith Kienbaum says Slasinski was distressed and never knew when he'd get out of the tight space.

Lansing

Justice Department OKs Michigan redistricting plan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says the U.S. Justice Department has cleared the state's redistricting plans as required by the Voting Rights Act.

Michigan and 15 other states need federal approval for some or all redistricting plans.

The Republican-controlled Legislature approved the plans for redrawing U.S. House and state legislative districts, and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed them.

In November, Republican Schuette asked U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to approve the plan, and the Justice Department said Jan. 12 it doesn't object.

On Dec. 8, labor and civil rights groups sued to challenge new boundaries for Detroit seats in the state House.

The suit says the new map forces black incumbents to run against each other and dilutes the political representation of Hispanics. That case continues.

Mount Pleasant

Former officer enters plea in breast-baring case

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) -- A 34-year-old former campus police officer has pleaded guilty to misconduct for persuading two Central Michigan University students to bare their breasts.

The Morning Sun in Mount Pleasant says that Jeffrey Card faces up to five years in prison at his Feb. 24 sentencing.

Card entered the plea Monday in Isabella County Trial Court.

Card was on patrol when he gave the women a ride in September from a bar. He's accused of betting them that their blood alcohol levels were higher than 0.05 percent. They briefly flashed their breasts when Card won the bet.

Michigan's legal drinking limit while driving is 0.08 percent.

The women later were dropped off at a campus residence hall. Card was suspended after the incident and later resigned. He was charged in September.

Flint

Woman mistakes boyfriend for burglar, kills him

FLINT, Mich. (AP) -- A 32-year-old Genesee County man is dead after his girlfriend believed he was an intruder to their Flint home and shot him in the neck.

The Flint Journal reports that Dustin Newton was shot about 8 a.m. Tuesday. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police say Newton was returning home Tuesday morning from his job at a local soda company when he was shot.

His girlfriend hasn't been charged. The Genesee County prosecutor will review the case.

Published: Thu, Jan 26, 2012