National Roundup

 Rhode Island

Judge: Man owi­n­g $330K said IRS agent would die 
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man has been convicted of threatening to kill an Internal Revenue Service agent and rape and kill the agent’s wife over a $330,000 tax bill.
A federal judge on Friday found Cranston resident Andrew A. Calcione guilty of threatening to assault and murder an IRS revenue agent and his family.
Prosecutors say Calcione left voice mail messages in the Warwick IRS office on July 15 threatening that if the agent called him again, he would torture the agent, rape and kill his wife and injure his daughter while the agent watched. He said he would then kill the agent.
Tax agents estimated that Calcione owed $330,000 for 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The 49-year-old Calcione faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced Sept. 11.
Boy charged in murder s­a­w triple homicide in 2013
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — A 16-year-old boy charged with fatally shooting a Pennsylvania cab driver who didn’t take his preferred route was interviewed as a witness to a triple homicide in New Jersey last year, police said.
Aazis Richardson was charged with murder Friday night, hours after 47-year-old cab driver Vincent Darbenzio was found shot twice in the head in Scranton. Police said Richardson had complained that the driver was “taking the long way and ripping him off.”
Police said a woman at a Scranton house had called the cab for Richardson, and they were able to trace the call back to the residence.
According to the criminal complaint, Richardson confessed to shooting Darbenzio with a 9mm handgun and said he took $500 from him. That money hasn’t been found. Richardson said he walked to a cousin’s house in a nearby housing project after the shooting and spent the night there, the complaint said. The next morning, he walked back to the Scranton house where the cab had picked him up, and detectives found him hiding in the attic, with a handgun in a nearby bag, police said.
Richardson also told police he was a gang member and claimed he had been a suspect in a Newark triple homicide, authorities said.
But Newark detective Anthony Ambrose told the Star-Ledger that police had interviewed Richardson as a witness to the Christmas slayings of three teenagers, but he wasn’t a suspect. A 15-year-old was arrested in that case.
When Richardson was arraigned Friday night, reporters asked him why he shot the cab driver. He responded: “That’s what I do to people who don’t listen,” TV station WNEP reported. Richardson also cursed the victim’s family, the station said.
Darbenzio was a father of two and had only recently started driving a cab.
Richardson is being held without bail on first-degree murder, robbery and other charges. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer.
Disgraced judge is set to begin his prison term 
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A disgraced former Illinois drug court judge at the center of a courthouse drug scandal is scheduled to begin serving a two-year sentence on heroin and gun convictions.
Online court records show Michael Cook must surrender by Wednesday to the lockup that the Federal Bureau of Prisons slots for him. The location isn’t made public until a defendant actual reports to begin serving their sentence.
The 43-year-old pleaded guilty in November to a misdemeanor heroin-possession charge and a felony count of having firearms while being a user of controlled substances. He was sentenced in March.
Cook resigned after he was charged last year, about two months after the March 2013 cocaine-overdose death of fellow judge Joe Christ. Christ died while the two were at the Cook family’s Illinois hunting cabin.

Appeal hearing set on death sentence case 
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Supreme Court is scheduled this week to hear the appeal of a Gary man sentenced to death for killing his wife and two teenage stepchildren.
A Lake County jury last year convicted Kevin Isom in the 2007 shooting deaths of his wife, Cassandra, and the teens in the family’s Gary apartment.
The Times of Munster reports defense attorney Mark Bates has identified eight possible trial errors in arguing that the Supreme Court should throw out Isom’s death sentence or grant him a new trial. Those include the judge ordering three consecutive death sentences, since a person can only die once.
The state attorney general’s office says the death sentence is appropriate for the crime.
The Supreme Court is to hear arguments in the case on Thursday.
Licensing rules eased for military spouse lawyers 
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Supreme Court has eased licensing requirements for lawyers who move to the state with military spouses.
Beginning July 1, these lawyers can practice law in Virginia without passing the state bar exam. But they must work under the supervision of a Virginia lawyer. They also must have passed a bar exam and be an active member of the bar in good standing in at least one state.
The Military Spouse JD Network proposed the change. Samantha Musso led the effort in Virginia.
Musso tells The Virginian-Pilot that many lawyers stay behind when their military spouses move because passing a bar exam is time-consuming and expensive. She says some lawyers relocate with their spouses but don’t practice law.
The court adopted the new rule earlier this month.

Clients complain when lawyer isn’t showing in court
WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — A Waterbury attorney faces a disciplinary hearing after clients say he failed to show up to represent them in court.
The Republican-American newspaper reports Raymond Kotulski also has not complied with a court order to turn his files over to another attorney to handle those cases.
The newspaper reports Kotulski was found to be “incapacitated” and had his law license suspended after failing to show up at a hearing earlier this month and checking into a drug-and-alcohol rehabilitation center.
There was no answer at Kotulski’s law office. The newspaper reports a man who answered a cell phone number on Kotulski’s business card told a reporter that Kotulski did not live there.
Judge Mark Taylor has not scheduled a date for Kotulski’s disciplinary hearing.