National Roundup

Ohio
Boy’s shooting spurs questions about armed deputies in court

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio officer’s fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy during a scuffle outside a juvenile courtroom has some people questioning whether such sheriff’s deputies should carry guns while monitoring that court.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the Jan. 17 shooting of Joseph Haynes prompted an online petition demanding that deputies stop carrying guns in Franklin County Juvenile Court.

An official from the local police union that represents deputies says taking away guns from trained officers would be a mistake.

Sheriff Dallas Baldwin declined to talk about whether court security measures are being reviewed, saying such discussion would be inappropriate until the shooting investigation is finished.

Court security by armed deputies is common practice, though not universal. Connecticut and Massachusetts don’t allow their court-employed security officers to carry guns in court.

Virginia
Freshman business major gets 4 years for drug start-up

RADFORD, Va. (AP) — A freshman business major will now spend his next four years in prison for running what authorities called a “mini drug syndicate” at Radford University.

Selling cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana paid for the off-campus apartment of 18-year-old Gabriel Eduardo Yus-Baez, where he kept $25,000 and a 9mm gun.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch says a judge gave him a 35-year sentence, but reduced it to less than four years with time served, as long as the young man stays out of trouble. Yus-Baez also must pay a $4,000 fine, among other penalties.

The Times-Dispatch quotes Yus-Baez as saying he was ensnared by fast money. His lawyer Jimmy Turk says he was simply young and stupid.

But prosecutor Chris Rehak says Yus-Baez is a major player in a drug organization.

Florida
Police: Felon sexually attacks 2 neighbors

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — Florida police have arrested a convicted felon accused of sexually attacking two neighbors.

The Sun Sentinel of South Florida reports 35-year-old Andre McGriff was arrested in connection to a Dec. 4 attack of a 13-year-old girl and a Jan. 11 attack on a 50-year-old woman.

In both instances, McGriff sneaked into the victim’s home in the early hours, demanded money and then assaulted them.

A police report says DNA from both crime scenes pointed to Tony McGriff, an alias used by Andre McGriff.

McGriff pleaded no contest last year for peeping into apartment windows. He was convicted of possessing cocaine with intent to sell and burglary of an occupied dwelling in 2001 and 2010.

McGriff is being held without bail.


Georgia
Police chief’s son charged in child’s beating death

VILLA RICA, Ga. (AP) — The son of a police chief in Georgia has been charged with murder in the beating death of his 3-year-old stepson.

Villa Rica Police Capt. Keith Shaddix tells news outlets that Brentley Gore died Sunday afternoon, following his Tuesday hospitalization for multiple skull fractures. Police had determined 21-year-old Joshua David Richards caused the injuries to the child. Investigators believe Richards used a belt to beat the boy.

Richards was jailed Tuesday on aggravated assault, aggravated battery, first-degree cruelty to children and possession of marijuana. Shaddix said murder charges were expected Monday, and online records listed the murder charge.

Richards is the son of Carrollton Police Chief Josh Richards. It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer.

He’s being held in Carroll County Jail without bond.

Montana
City to accept $1M settlement with law firm

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The city of Bozeman is poised to receive a $1 million payment to settle a lawsuit with a law firm that previously represented it.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that the city commission is set to vote Monday on whether to allow city manager Andrea Surratt to sign the settlement with Moore, O’Connell and Refling.

The city sued the law firm about eight years ago, claiming that its poor work cost the city $3 million in a lawsuit over its 2003 purchase of a farm which developers were also trying to buy.

Surrat said that the city has paid roughly $539,000 to pursue the lawsuit against the now defunct law firm. City officials haven’t said how much was spent on it previously.

Missouri
Father of slain off-duty officer files wrongful death lawsuit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The father of a slain off-duty Lee’s Summit police officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the restaurant where the shooting happened and the alleged shooter.

The Kansas City Star reports that Thomas Orr Jr. file the suit on behalf of his son, Thomas Alvin Orr III. The lawsuit accuses Californos, the restaurant that hosted an all-day party in August where the 30-year-old officer was shot, of negligence.

The lawsuit also names Sean Steward, of Kansas City, who has been charged with second-degree murder and other counts in the Aug. 20 shooting. Police have said Orr was not the intended target and was shot during an argument between other people at the restaurant.

The lawsuit seeks to recoup Orr’s lost wages, funeral expenses and other damages.

Ohio
Sheriff’s office: Gun used to shoot deputy is found in pond

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say the gun used in a shooting that wounded a southwestern Ohio sheriff’s deputy has been found more than a year and a half later.

WCPO-TV reports that the rifle was recovered from a pond in Deerfield Township, about 20 miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati.

Sgt. John Smith of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday that a civilian found the gun on private property.

The weapon was missing when officers arrested shooting suspect Mohammed Laghaoui after an hours-long manhunt in June 2016.

The now 21-year-old Laghaoui was sentenced to 36 years in prison for shooting and injuring his father and a Warren County deputy who responded to the domestic dispute.

Defense attorneys argued that Laghaoui should have been found not guilty by reason of insanity.