National Roundup


Triple murderer resentencing appeal denied

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon Court of Appeals has denied a resentencing appeal for a southern Oregon man convicted of murdering his parents and sister in 1984.

The Mail Tribune reports that Billy Gilley Jr. had challenged a resentencing ruling by Jackson County Circuit Judge Ray White in December 2008.

Gilley had won the resentencing hearing by successfully appealing his original sentence -- three consecutive life terms with a minimum of 30 years each.

But White ruled at the resentencing hearing that Gilley must remain in prison for at least another 36 years.

The 45-year-old Gilley has never denied beating his parents and youngest sister to death with a baseball bat.

New Hampshire

Man sentenced for role in burglary killing

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) -- A New Hampshire man who pleaded guilty to hiding evidence and concocting an alibi for two others convicted in a home invasion and machete attack is going to prison.

In court Wednesday, 21-year-old Autumn Savoy apologized to the family of Kimberly Cates and said he had a chance to do the right thing, but didn't do it. He was sentenced to five to 12 years in prison.

Savoy testified in the trials of Steven Spader and Christopher Gribble. Both were sentenced to life for the 2009 home invasion that left Kimberly Cates dead and her 11-year-old daughter, Jaimie, severely maimed.

Savoy is the last of five defendants to be sentenced. Quinn Glover was sentenced to 20 to 40 years and Billy Marks was sentenced to 30 to 60 years.


Plea deal reported in Eugene sex abuse case

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- A Eugene-based federal parole officer who pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing five women under his supervision is expected to change his plea Thursday at a hearing in Portland.

The Register Guard reports a plea agreement was reached before the trial for 51-year-old Mark John Walker, which was scheduled to start this week in federal court.

Walker also is being sued by 10 people who say he used his position to sexually harass, manipulate or extort sex from women.


Hemet man charged with 1980 rape, murder

HEMET, Calif. (AP) -- A Riverside County man has been ordered tried as an adult on charges that he raped and strangled a 67-year-old woman three decades ago.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says 48-year-old Shelby Shamblin of Hemet was 17 when the body of Elizabeth Crossman was found inside her home in 1980.

The case went unsolved until October, when authorities say they matched evidence from the crime to a DNA sample that Shamblin provided following his arrest on drug charges.

Shamblin denied the charges in juvenile court but was ordered Tuesday to be tried as an adult and could face life in prison if convicted.

South Carolina

Lexington doctor's death lawsuit resolved

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the family of a doctor who died in 2002 after knee replacement surgery at Lexington Medical Center.

The State newspaper reported Wednesday that the hospital and an anesthesiologist have settled the case involving Dr. Asif Sheikh, whose widow says he was killed at the hospital because of medical negligence.

The 58-year-old Sheikh died less than a day after the surgery.

The $2.2 million settlement comes after a Circuit Court judge had overturned a jury's award of $30 million during a 2006 trial.

Neither the hospital nor Dr. Gail Capell admitted fault in the settlement.

Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Wilson would not talk about the settlement, other than saying Sheikh was a "beloved" member of the hospital staff.

Washington, D.C.

D.C. judge: No need to search landfill for woman

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A judge says the District of Columbia police department doesn't have to search a Virginia landfill for a woman who's been missing since August and is presumed dead.

Superior Court Judge William Jackson made the ruling Wednesday after hearing arguments from both sides.

A public defender for Brian Gaither, one of the people accused of killing Latisha Frazier, sought to force police officials to excavate a landfill near Richmond. He says the body could be a critical piece of evidence in her death. But prosecutors say the search would be dangerous, expensive and has a minimal chance of success.

Jackson on Wednesday sided with those arguments and ruled that the department did not have to search the landfill.


Couple continues federal tax case fight

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) -- A couple accused of participating in a murder conspiracy plot is continuing their fight in a federal tax case.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner says Lonnie and Karen Vernon of Salcha filed papers in federal court last week that asks for a more complete rebuttal to their arguments against paying federal taxes.

The U.S. Department of Justice accuses the Vernons of owing a combined $166,000 in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties.

The Vernons also are accused of plotting to kill an IRS agent and U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline, who oversaw their tax case until soon after their March arrest.

Federal criminal prosecutors say the murder conspiracy plot was fueled by anger over the long-running tax dispute.


Homeless mom pleads not guilty over school enrollment

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) -- A homeless single mother has been arraigned for allegedly stealing educational services by sending her son to the wrong Connecticut school district.

Tanya McDowell pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony larceny.

She is accused of using her babysitter's address to enroll her son in Norwalk schools last fall. Prosecutors say the 6-year-old belonged in Bridgeport, where McDowell had her last permanent address.

She is charged with stealing $15,686 worth of education.

McDowell told police she lives in her van and sleeps at a Norwalk shelter or a friend's Bridgeport apartment. Her son now lives with relatives in Bridgeport and attends school there.

Her attorney is asking to move the case to another courthouse because the top prosecutor's father is Norwalk's mayor, who has been outspoken about the case.

Published: Thu, Apr 28, 2011