National Roundup

South Carolina
Man charged in deaths faces another lawsuit

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Another lawsuit has been filed against a man accused of killing seven people in South Carolina.

Local news outlets report the mother of Chris Sherbert has sued Todd Kohlhepp, a former real estate agent charged with killing Sherbert and three other people at a Spartanburg County shop.

The lawsuit accuses Kohlhepp of negligence and intentionally inflecting emotional distress.

The case developed after Kohlhepp was arrested on charges of kidnapping an Anderson woman last November. Spartanburg County deputies say Kohlhepp confessed to killing the workers at the Superbike Motorsports shop in 2003.

Kohlhepp is also charged with killing Charles David Carver, the kidnapped woman’s boyfriend and Johnny and Meagan Coxie, a husband and wife who disappeared in 2015.

He now faces more than a half dozen lawsuits.

Judge rules suspect in school killings fit for trial

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A California judge has decided that a defendant is mentally competent to stand trial for killing seven former classmates at a small Christian college in 2012.

The East Bay Times reports a trial was ordered Friday for One Goh. He’s scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

The former nursing student is charged with killing seven and injuring three during an April 2, 2012, rampage on the Oakland campus of Oikos University.

The trial had been put on hold in 2015 after a judge determined Goh had a mental illness that prevented him from rationally assisting his attorneys with his defense.

Prosecutors say Goh dropped out of Oikos several months before the shooting and wanted his tuition refunded.

South Carolina
Mother of suspect in 7 murders dies

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina woman whose son faces seven murder charges has died.

Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said that 70-year-old Regina Ann Tague was found dead Sunday morning in her home by her husband. Clevenger says she is the mother of Todd Kohlhepp, who is charged with four notorious slayings at a motorcycle store in 2003 and three more recent killings. The real-estate agent was arrested in November after a woman was found chained on his property.

Tague said in a CBS television interview in November that her son was misunderstood and not a monster.

The coroner said law enforcement officials investigated Tague’s death and found no indication of foul play. He expected to release the cause of death on Monday.

Man who killed sister at 14 gets new sentence

YORK, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska man who was convicted of killing his 12-year-old sister when he was 14 has gotten a new sentence.

On Friday a York County district judge sentenced 44-year-old Sydney Thieszen to 70 years to life, giving him an eventual chance at parole. Thieszen was convicted in 1988 of killing his sister, Sacha Thieszen, at their home near Henderson. Prosecutors say
Thieszen killed his sister because he was afraid she would tell police he was running away from home.

Thieszen had filed a motion for post-conviction relief in 2013 in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared mandatory life-without-parole sentences unconstitutional for juvenile offenders.

Pretrial hearing for ‘Pacman’ Jones moved

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones’ courtcase has been continued to May 16, when there will be a pretrial hearing.

Jones faces three misdemeanor charges, including assault, in Ohio’s Hamilton County. Municipal Court Judge Dwane Mallory on Monday set a new hearing date.

Cincinnati police say Jones pushed a hotel security employee and poked him in the eye in January, then kicked and head-butted as officers tried to put him into a police vehicle. Jones said after his release that he shouldn’t have been arrested and that the case didn’t make sense.

A felony charge of harassment with a bodily substance, for allegedly spitting at a jail nurse, was recently dismissed.

The veteran player with a history of off-the-field issues will be subject to NFL discipline.

Mom, daughter may be tried together in death of young boy 

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) — A Forks woman and her mother may be tried together in connection with the death of a 2 1/2 year old boy.

The Peninsula Daily News reports that 28-year-old Michelle Ward, who had custody of the boy, appeared in Clallam County Superior Court Friday on a charge of second-degree manslaughter. She is to be arraigned May 5.

Her mother, 44-year-old Ramona Ward, was arrested in November on charges of second-degree murder and homicide by abuse-domestic violence in the death of Isaac Ward. She remains jailed on $300,000 bail.

In charging documents, prosecutors say that there’s no indication Michelle Ward, who lived with her mother, physically abused Isaac Ward, who was a relative. But they accuse her of failing to be aware of the risks she put the boy in by placing him the care of her mother.

Isaac Ward died Nov. 11, two days after he was found unconscious. Investigators have said medical staff identified injuries consistent with a pattern of abuse and neglect.

Trial to begin in 2014 deaths of  2 firefighters

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Jury selection is ready to begin for the trial of a property owner facing murder charges in the January 2014 deaths of two Toledo firefighters.

The Blade newspaper reports that a visit to the site is planned after jurors are seated in a selection that begins Monday. Strong public interest is expected in the Lucas County case before Judge Stacy Cook.

Building owner Ray Abou-Arab has denied setting the blaze that resulted in the deaths of the firefighters, 31-year-old James Dickman and 42-year-old Stephen Machcinski.

Prosecutors recently decided not to pursue death-penalty specifications in the case.

The 64-year-old man has been held in Lucas County for more than three years awaiting trial. He could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on aggravated murder counts.