National Roundup

Dealer who sold weapon used in killing to stop selling guns

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A firearms dealer who sold a gun used in a deadly Kansas City shooting will stop selling guns as part of a settlement with the parents of the victim.

Green Tip Arms also agreed to surrender its federal firearms license to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives under the agreement that a Jackson County judge approved Tuesday.

Alvino and Beverly Crawford filed  the wrongful death lawsuit in June in Jackson County Circuit Court on behalf of their son, Alvino Dwight Crawford Jr. The suit alleged that Green Tip Arms had reason to be suspicious that a frequent customer, James Samuels, was an unlicensed gun dealer. One of the weapons was used to kill Crawford two months after it was purchased in 2016.

The lawsuit accused Jimenez Arms, the manufacturer of the gun, of aiding and abetting the gun trafficking ring. The lawsuit did not say how the weapon moved to Green Tip Arms. Jimenez Arms, which filed for bankruptcy this month,  was not part of the settlement.

“Dwight’s life was precious and priceless, and Green Tips Arms fell short of a moral compass about the potential impact of its decisions,” Crawford’s parents said in a written statement. “To protect other families from experiencing the enduring pain of loss as we have, we hope this action conveys a message to other gun dealers who chose to conduct business irresponsibly and without regard for human life.”

Michael Brown, an attorney for Green Tip Arms, originally based in Missouri but now based in Arizona, declined to comment.

Lawyers with Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, an umbrella group of gun control advocacy organizations funded by billionaire presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, helped to represent Crawford’s family.

Jerome Walker, 41, and Devon Davis, who was 16 at the time, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the killing. Prosecutors alleged that Walker struck Crawford with a baseball bat and, as Crawford stumbled away, Davis shot and killed him.

Samuels, a former fire captain who is accused of facilitating the sale of the gun used in Crawford’s killing, faces a June trial on charges that he knowingly supplied weapons to felons.

Joe Picerno, an attorney for Samuels, said Thursday that his client has entered a not guilty plea and “denies that he did any wrongdoing or anything illegal.”

The settlement with Green Tip Arms was reached less than a month after Kansas City and Everytown filed  a lawsuit alleging that several businesses and individuals trafficked firearms in the region while willfully ignoring evidence that the guns were being sold illegally.

The lawsuit, which Everytown said was the first of its kind filed in 10 years, alleges that the gun trafficking created a public nuisance in Kansas City, which has one of the highest homicide rates in the U.S. That suit also named Jimenez Arms.

Joseph Roper, an attorney for Jimenez, didn’t immediately return a phone message.

Teen charged in slaying of police officer’s son

LA PLATA, Md. (AP) — Maryland authorities have charged a 17-year-old suspect with fatally shooting the teenage son of a Washington, D.C., area-police officer during a drug-related encounter.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office charged Darryl Edward Freeman as an adult on first-degree murder and other related charges in the slaying of Bradley Alan Brown, 17, the office said in a statement  Wednesday.

Brown was found shot to death in the driveway of a home Tuesday night, Diane Richardson, a spokeswoman for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, told news outlets. He was the son of a Prince George’s County officer, a spokeswoman for that department confirmed. The officer’s name wasn’t released.

The shooting appeared to be drug-related, the sheriff’s office statement said. Richardson said there’s no evidence the slaying was related to Brown’s father’s work in law enforcement.

A spokeswoman for Charles County Public Schools identified Brown in an email on Wednesday, saying he was enrolled in a criminal justice program and ran cross country for four years, WTOP-FM reported.

Lawsuit settled over Virginia Tech hazing suspension

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A lawsuit has been settled between Virginia Tech and a former student who was accused of overseeing a ceremony that violated the school’s hazing policy.

The federal lawsuit filed last month “has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both parties,” Virginia Tech spokesman Mark Owczarski told The Roanoke Times  on Wednesday.

Darrien Brown sued  the university, alleging that it denied him due process when administrators suspended him for two semesters for allegedly overseeing a Corps of Cadets blood-pinning ceremony in October.

During the ceremony, the sharp ends of military pins are pushed into the chests of cadets. Brown’s lawsuit described the ceremony as “a Corps tradition.”

Rob Dean, an attorney for Brown, declined to comment on the lawsuit, the Times reported. Neither Dean nor Owzarski would confirm whether Brown was readmitted to the university.

Judge quits amid ethics case over son’s appointment

CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) — An long-serving Alabama judge is stepping down after being accused of violating judicial ethics rules by appointing his son to handle cases.

Cullman County District Judge Kim Chaney announced his retirement this week after serving almost 30 years, media outlets reported. He was in his fifth term in office.

Chaney’s departure came as the Judicial Inquiry Commission released a complaint Tuesday accusing him of violating judicial canons by appointing his son to represent indigent defendants in more than 200 cases from 2015 to 2017 and then presiding in some of the cases.

The younger man was paid $105,000 for the appointments, the charges said.

Court records show Chaney has waived his right to respond to the charges, and a hearing is set for Monday before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary to resolve the allegations.

The Cullman Times reported the Alabama Ethics Commission found probable cause to refer an ethics complaint against Chaney to the state attorney general’s office in 2017. The complaint alleged Chaney violated state ethics law by allegedly appointing his son, Cullman attorney Alex Chaney, to represent indigent people on the court docket.