National Roundup

Judge tosses part of lawsuit in bullying death

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — A judge has tossed a portion of a lawsuit that alleged negligence against a cement company in the death of a 12-year-old central Florida girl who committed suicide after being bullied.

Rebecca Sedwick jumped to her death from a silo at Cemex Construction near Lakeland in 2013. Circuit Judge John Radabaugh wrote in a recent decision that the company wasn’t at fault.

The Ledger of Lakeland reports the child’s mother Tricia Norman filed the lawsuit against the company and the Polk County School board last year. Her lawyer claimed the fence around the site was in disrepair, allowing unrestricted access. The lawsuit against the school board remains, with mediation scheduled for June.

The family and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office blame bullying by the girl’s former classmates for her suicide.

Dad pleads not guilty to giving daughter poison

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man has pleaded not guilty to trying to kill his sick 7-year-old daughter by poisoning her with drain cleaner.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette ( ) reports that 32-year-old Christopher Conley, of Northampton, was held without bail on Thursday on charges including attempted murder.

The girl underwent a seven-hour surgery April 17 to remove two-thirds of her small intestine and part of her bladder.

Surgeons said they suspected someone injected a corrosive fluid into her cecostomy tube.

Authorities say Conley told investigators he used Liquid-Plumr and a prescription painkiller overdose because he wanted to end his seriously ill daughter’s pain. Court records do not give details of her illness.

A call before normal business hours to Conley’s attorney was not immediately returned Friday.

Dentist ran house of horrors,’ mistreated kids

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) — Multiple parents say in a lawsuit that a Florida children’s dentist ran a “house of horrors” and performed unneeded tooth extractions and surgical procedures without anesthetic.

It’s one of multiple lawsuits filed against Dr. Howard Schneider of Jacksonville. Meanwhile, his office has been picketed in recent weeks by parents carrying signs as a growing number of ex-patients complain about his practices.

In addition, Florida officials have launched an investigation and attorneys say the state is working on an emergency order to shut him down.

Schneider did not return a call seeking comment Friday, but has vehemently denied the allegations in previous interviews.

Lawyers say Schneider is the only pediatric dentist in Jacksonville who took Medicaid, so his practice attracted poorer clients.

Woman used heroin while driving with tot

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A woman appeared in court Friday on multiple charges after authorities allege she crashed into the median of an interstate highway in St. Louis with a syringe of heroin still in her arm and her 3-year-old child in the back seat.

The incident happened Tuesday evening, near downtown. Mandy Schlef, 33, of DeSoto, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a felony, and two misdemeanors: Unlawful use of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence of drug intoxication.

Police said Friday that the child was not hurt and is in the custody of a grandmother.

Schlef is jailed on $50,000 bond. She had a brief court appearance on Friday and faces another on June 25. She does not have a listed attorney.

A probable cause statement from the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office said Schlef passed out and struck a median. She was still asleep when officers arrived and had a spoon and mirror in her lap. A syringe was allegedly stuck in her right arm, just below the bicep.

The probable cause statement said emergency responders administered the drug naloxone in Schlef’s left arm to counter the effects of “what appeared to be a heroin overdose.”

“Within a few minutes of EMS administering the naloxone, the defendant woke up from what appeared to be a comatose state, and began making statements that she needed to quit doing heroin,” the probable cause statement said.

Schlef was convicted in 2009 of endangering the welfare of a child in 2009. She was placed on probation for three years, but details of the crime were not immediately available.

New Mexico
Details emerge in undercover cop’s shooting incident
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque undercover officer was shot multiple times at point blank range by his supervisor in January, the officer’s attorney says in a claim against the city.
Even after officer Jacob Grant was shot at least twice and slumped in his seat posing no threat to Lt. Greg Brachle, the supervisor repositioned himself and emptied his gun, attorney Alex Gabaldon said in a four-page letter released to media outlets.
Previously unknown details of the incident, which took place during a low-level $60 drug bust near an Albuquerque McDonalds restaurant, emerged in the letter.
Authorities have said Grant and another undercover detective were in a vehicle with two drug suspects in the parking lot Jan. 9. Police say something happened inside the car that forced Grant to reveal himself as an officer during the undercover sting and that one of the men he was buying drugs from produced a pellet gun that resembled a real gun.
That’s when Brachle fired the shots into the vehicle, police said.
Gabaldon said Brachle knew Grant well. Brachle has not made a statement about the incident, and it’s unclear whether he intended to shoot Grant, but he doesn’t face any charges.
“... Rather than consider the situation and determine that no viable threat existed, (Brachle) instead continued to fire upon Mr. Grant multiple further times” inflicting grave and unnecessary injury on the detective, Gabaldon said in the letter.
The letter is a claim seeking undisclosed damages from the city and urging an amicable settlement to avoid a trial.
Grant’s injuries will affect him and his family for the rest of their lives, Gabaldon said.
His client will “no longer be able to hold or carry his children with both arms, tend his land, work on his vehicles, hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors, or return” to duty.
The police department acknowledged in a statement the difficult situation for Grant and his family.
“We take Detective Grant’s attorney’s claims very seriously,” the department said. The claims are under review by the city’s legal department and the police chief’s office.