National Roundup

Teen charged with murder in birthday party shooting

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — Police in a Mississippi city have arrested a 17-year-old after a 16-year-old girl was shot and killed at a birthday party at a public park.

Columbus police said Tuesday that they have charged Curtis Lathan as an adult with murder in the shooting death of Arykah Patrice White.

Police Chief Fred Shelton says in a news release that Lathan was denied bail in a Tuesday hearing. It’s unclear if Lathan has a lawyer.

White died Saturday night before she could be taken to a hospital after a fight disrupted the party. The fight moved outside a park building into a parking lot and shots were fired.

City officials have since announced plans for stronger security at city-owned venues, including cameras, increased police patrols, and enforcement of tighter operation hours.

4 men, ages 18 and 19, indicted on rape charges

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (AP) — A 19-year-old and three 18-year-olds who are accused of raping a woman in May have been indicted by a Kentucky grand jury.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports 18-year-olds Ronald Leas, Ryan Davis, Michael Davis and 19-year-old Benjamin Brock were all indicted Monday on charges of rape and video voyeurism.

The indictment says the group is accused of having sexual intercourse with a female while she was physically helpless and recorded the act.

Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird says the female victim was incapacitated by alcohol. He says police have the video recording.

Leas and Ryan Davis were later accused of tampering with a witness after they allegedly went to the victim’s workplace. Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronnie Bowling says his office is not pursuing that charge.

Court tosses law that blocked ­malpractice ­lawsuits

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Supreme Court has struck down part of a law that allowed a state panel to block malpractice lawsuits from reaching the courtroom.

The court ruled last week that it is unconstitutional for the panel under the state Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to make final decisions in lawsuits without the opportunity of judicial review.

Yolanda Vega sued a Salt Lake City-area hospital after her husband Gustavo Vega died in 2014 after falling into a coma following gall bladder surgery.

State law mandates a process outside the court system for claims to go through before malpractice suits can proceed. A panel made up of a medical professional, a lawyer and a layperson determines the merit of malpractice claims.

If the panel rejects the claims, the law allows for health care providers to make a case for the claim. The panel can still reject the claim, preventing the case from moving into the court system.

In the Vega case, the panel rejected the family’s claims and a doctor’s affidavit.

Vega filed the lawsuit in state court, which a judge dismissed. She appealed, and the state Supreme Court sided with her.

“If there is no review or appeal to the courts, then the ruling of the panel is not a recommendation or an opinion — it is an authoritative and final ruling on whether a claim has merit,” Justice Deno Himonas wrote.

The court found that the state Constitution requires the judicial system to have the final say.

Judge dismisses prisoners’ lawsuit over spoiled food

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a class action lawsuit by current and former inmates claiming the Oregon prison system served them spoiled food.

The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported Tuesday that the 2017 lawsuit was thrown out by a U.S. district judge who found there was no evidence of sustained “adverse health impacts.”

The lawsuit says state prison inmates were served fish and chicken intended as “bait food,” spoiled milk and other food marked “not for human consumption.”

The lawsuit says the conditions violated the inmates’ Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment.

The judge found there was occasional illness but no evidence food was “constitutionally inadequate.”

The prisons cited in the lawsuit were the Oregon State Penitentiary, Two Rivers Correctional Institution, Columbia River Correctional Institution, and Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.

Rapper gets 55 years in prison for man’s killing

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A Texas teenager who rapped under the name Tay-K has been sentenced to 55 years in prison for the 2016 shooting death of a man during a home invasion.

A jury in Fort Worth convicted 19-year-old Taymor McIntyre last week for his role in the death of 21-year-old Ethan Walker. On Tuesday, the jury deliberated for about three hours before sentencing McIntyre to 55 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The Star-Telegram reports that McIntyre has appealed his conviction and sentence.

The man who shot Walker was sentenced last year to life in prison. Prosecutors have said McIntyre was charged with murder because he recruited the triggerman and organized the robbery. He was 16 when the killing occurred but was tried as an adult.

McIntyre’s 2017 single “The Race” appeared on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Man gets life for stabbing, burning of landlord

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama man has been sentenced to life in prison for beating his 82-year-old wheelchair-using landlord with a bat, stabbing him with an ice pick and burning his body.

The Tuscaloosa News reports 54-year-old Clifford Madison was sentenced Monday in the 2016 slaying of Emmett Kyzer, who disappeared after asking the sheriff’s office how to evict someone.

Authorities investigating the disappearance found Kyzer’s bloody wheelchair in his yard along with a single Velcro shoe. The other shoe was found nearly a year later with Kyzer’s skeletal remains in a wooded area.

Madison’s ex-girlfriend, Marla Johnsey, was a key witness. She testified she unwillingly helped dispose of Kyzer’s body, then stayed quiet out of fear for her life. She hasn’t been charged.

Madison blamed the death on Johnsey.