National Roundup

Woman to serve  five Christmases in jail for fraud

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A central Ohio judge has ordered a woman to spend the next five Christmases in jail as part of her sentence for issuing state ID cards and driver’s licenses to immigrants who entered the country illegally.
Prosecutors say 44-year-old Betina Young — a former license agency employee — accepted payments from applicants to falsify records showing they had verified their immigration status. She has pleaded guilty.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that Judge Michael Holbrook put Young on probation Monday for five years — ordering that she spend a minimum of three days in jail each Christmas while on probation.
If she violates probation, she could go to prison for 15 years.

Judge rules for men’s same-sex marriage case

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal judge has ruled in favor of two Ohio men who want their out-of-state marriage recognized as one of them nears death, a case that’s seen as encouraging for same-sex marriage supporters in the state.
The death certificate for ailing John Arthur can show James Obergefell as his surviving spouse, U.S. District Judge Timothy Black in Cincinnati said Monday. The couple wanted the ruling for purposes including being able to be buried next to each other in an Arthur family plot that allows only descendants and spouses, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Though Black’s temporary restraining order supporting their death certificate request was specific to the couple’s case, opponents of Ohio’s ban on gay marriage were encouraged by it.
“This is going to open the door to create a large number of same-sex couples married in other states” to try to change the law, said the couple’s attorney, Al Gerhardstein.
The men married recently in Maryland, which recognizes gay marriages, their lawsuit filed Friday against state and local authorities said. With Arthur’s condition deteriorating, they flew there July 11 and were married on an airport tarmac, their lawsuit states. Arthur has Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Black said Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage denies them equal protection under the law, and he also noted that Ohio recognizes other out-of-state marriages, such as between first cousins, that aren’t authorized to be performed in the state.
“How then can Ohio, especially given the historical status of Ohio law, single out same-sex marriages as ones it will not recognize?” Black wrote. “The short answer is that Ohio cannot....”
An attorney for the city of Cincinnati said it doesn’t oppose the couple’s request. Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday for the other defendants, Ohio’s governor and attorney general.

Insanity plea in child-asphyxiation case by mother

MEDFORD, Wis. (AP) — A central Wisconsin woman accused of trying to kill four of her six children to spare them the pain of her divorce has pleaded insanity.
Thirty-seven-year-old Heidi S. Mann of Rib Lake is charged with four counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. She’s being held on $200,000 bail.
Online court records say she entered two pleas Monday: not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. She’ll now be evaluated by a mental-health professional.
She’s accused of putting her four youngest kids in an SUV and letting the engine run in a closed garage for two hours. Prosecutors say she was worried they couldn’t handle her divorce.
The children survived without any apparent effects. They were 3, 6 and 9 and 12.
Defense attorney Shawn Paul declined to comment.

Man sentenced to 15 years in case involving forgery

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A 27-year-old Sergeant Bluff man has been given 15 years for forgery and his actions during a police chase.
The Sioux City Journal says Brandon Miller had been passing counterfeit money. He was sentenced in Woodbury County District Court on Monday. He’d pleaded guilty on June 13 to forgery, eluding and assault on a peace officer.
Miller drove a pickup truck and originally fled authorities in North Sioux City, S.D., in March. The chase went down Interstate 29 and off into a neighborhood, where Miller crashed into two police vehicles, injuring a deputy. The chase ended when Miller crashed into a truck.
Police said Miller and two other people had used counterfeit bills at one store and that a clerk at another store refused to take the counterfeit money.

Murder trial of man who killed girlfriend delayed

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — The trial of a western Massachusetts man charged with killing his girlfriend and hiding her body in a cardboard box has been delayed pending the completion of forensic testing.
The trial of 37-year-old Jeb Daly was scheduled to start next month. The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that the prosecutor said in court Monday that it is now not expected to start until November when the testing is completed.
Prosecutors allege Daly beat and strangled Jessica Dana in the Huntington home they shared in June 2012 after an argument sparked by money and drug use. Her body was found in a cardboard box behind the home.
Daly has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges. He said she left home on her own accord following an argument.

Dismissal sought of lawsuit over Earhart’s plane

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Delaware aircraft recovery group is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges the group sought funds to find Amelia Earhart’s missing plane after it had already been found.
Earhart’s plane disappeared in 1937 in the South Pacific.
Timothy Mellon, of Riverside, Wyo., filed a lawsuit in June alleging The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery solicited $1 million from him last year to support efforts to find Earhart’s plane, without telling him the plane had been spotted two years earlier. The lawsuit mentions a video from a 2010 expedition in which he says wreckage can be seen.
The Casper-Tribune reports the group’s Executive Director Richard Gillespie disputes what the video shows and insists the wreckage hasn’t been found.?