National Roundup

South Dakota
Man imprisoned for biting off girlfriend’s nose

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to seven years in the South Dakota State Penitentiary for biting off his girlfriend’s nose.

The Daily Republic reports that Judge Bruce Anderson called the January 2016 attack by John Abdo “unforgivable.” He sentenced Abdo this week to 15 years in prison with eight years suspended.

Authorities allege the 30-year-old man also bit his girlfriend numerous times elsewhere on her body. A jury convicted him of aggravated assault in February.

Abdo also was sentenced to serve half a year for escape. He failed to return to jail following a job interview in February 2016 and was on the lam for four months.

He’ll get credit for a little more than a year he’s already spent behind bars.

71-year-old woman accused of pointing rifle at man, dog

CALHOUN, La. (AP) — A 71-year-old woman has been charged after being accused of pointing a rifle at a man and his dog.

The Monroe News-Star  reports Janet W. Smith of Calhoun is facing an aggravated assault charge in connection with what happened late Tuesday.

Arrest records say the victim told deputies that Smith came outside and pointed the gun at the dog after the animal approached the fence around her property. Documents say the victim tried to calm Smith down, reminding her that the dog was not on her property. That’s when records say Smith pointed the rifle at the victim.

A nearby witness verified the victim’s account.

Deputies say Smith did admit to having a confrontation with her neighbor, but denied having a gun.

It’s unclear if she has an attorney.

Judge dismisses challenge to aid-in-dying law

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A lawsuit challenging Vermont’s aid-in-dying law has been dismissed by a federal judge.

The lawsuit was filed by the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare and the Christian Medical and Dental Association in Tennessee.

Vermont Public Radio reports the groups said the law violates religious rights by forcing doctors who may oppose the concept for religious and ethical reasons to talk about aid-in-dying options with terminally ill patients.

Two terminally ill patients and several Vermont groups asked the federal judge to dismiss the suit.

In 2013, Vermont became the first state to legislate an aid-in-dying option for terminally ill patients. Four other states have similar laws.

Murder defendant spits at county judge

ALHAMBRA, Calif. (AP) — A murder defendant spat at a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge after being sentenced to 77 years to life in prison for killing his sister and wounding his nephew.

District attorney spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani tells the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that 32-year-old Johnny Goins yelled obscenities and spat at Judge Jared Moses after sentencing Thursday at the suburban Alhambra courthouse.

Goins was convicted of the first-degree murder of his sister, 32-year-old Tanaya Goins, the attempted murder of her then 13-year-old son and two counts of shooting at an inhabited dwelling.

The shooting occurred on March 5, 2015, in an unincorporated area near San Gabriel.

Authorities say Johnny Goins was angry over a text conversation his sister had with his then-girlfriend, who said he tried to suffocate her.

Report: Man steals police uniform, tries to get drugs

PACE, Fla. (AP) — The house guest of a former Florida Sheriff’s deputy is accused of stealing an old uniform in an attempt to get drugs at local pharmacies.

An arrest report says 34-year-old Johnny Ray Wilson went to a Target store in the Florida Panhandle and asked a pharmacy employee for the drug Suboxone. Investigators say he wore a dark green deputy uniform and pointed to a badge in his notebook when asked for his credentials. The employee didn’t give Wilson the drug.

The Pensacola News Journal reports investigators tracked Wilson’s vehicle and found it belonged to the former deputy. The arrest report says Wilson took the former deputy’s firearm when he borrowed his car.

He faces multiple charges including impersonating a law enforcement officer. No lawyer was listed on court records.

New York
NY man pleads guilty to stealing $188K from elderly neighbor

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A 64-year-old western New York man has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $190,000 from an elderly neighbor.

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says Thomas Marchese, of Cheektowaga, pleaded guilty Thursday in county court to a grand larceny charge.

Prosecutors say from January 2012 to last October, Marchese had a neighbor in the Buffalo suburb write checks that she believed were going toward her household expenses. Instead, Marchese cashed them for personal use.

Authorities say he stole a total of $188,000 from the woman.

He faces up to seven years in prison when he’s sentenced June 22.

City examines settlement with longtime worker

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City legal advisers are recommending a settlement with a longtime water employee known as Dr. H2O for his educational videos and visits to schools to teach children about water quality.

The Kansas City Star reports that the city council will consider this week the Law Department’s recommendation that Wilbur Dunnell be paid $557,567. Dunnell, who is black, alleged in the lawsuit that he was discriminated against based on his race. He’s a chemist and longtime supervisor with the Water Services lab division.

The settlement would avoid a trial, resolve any potential liability and attorneys’ fees, and Dunnell would retire.

In March, the city settled a different water employee’s claim of a sexually hostile workplace for $500,000. A third water services chemist has a lawsuit pending in Jackson County.