National Roundup


Prosser victory in Wis. Supreme Court recount OK'd

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser's victory over challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg has been certified by the state board that oversees elections.

The Government Accountability Board on Monday certified results of a statewide recount that showed the incumbent Prosser defeated Kloppenburg by 7,004 votes. The election was widely seen as a referendum on Gov. Scott Walker's proposal taking away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most state workers.

Conservative Walker backers largely backed Prosser while opponents of the collective bargaining bill lined up behind Kloppenburg in the officially nonpartisan race.

Kloppenburg now has until May 31 to challenge the results in court. Her campaign has not said whether it will file a challenge.

Prosser's campaign says there is no basis for a challenge and it's time to move on.


Man pleads guilty in daughter's death

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) -- A former Greenwich man has pleaded guilty to charges in the death of his 20-year-old daughter at the luxury estate where he worked as a landscaper.

Adam Dobrzanski faces a 40-year sentence when he returns to Stamford Superior Court for sentencing Aug. 17. He'd originally been charged with murder, but pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree manslaughter and home invasion.

Prosecutors say the 57-year-old man was experiencing psychological problems when he slashed Amanda Dobrzanski's throat in December 2009. She was home on vacation from the University of Rhode Island.

The incident occurred in the servants' quarters of a hedge fund executive's Greenwich estate, where Dobrzanski's wife was the family cook and he was the landscaper.

His attorney says he was distraught over his pending divorce and fears of losing his job.


Man charged in bludgeoning unfit for trial

COEUR d'ALENE, Idaho (AP) -- A mental health exam of a Bayview man found he is unfit to stand trial on charges that he attacked four neighbors with a hammer, killing one.

Court records show 1st District Court Judge Benjamin Simpson has suspended criminal proceedings against 31-year-old Larry Cragun. Cragun was ordered into the custody of the Idaho Department of Correction for care and treatment.

Prosecutor Barry McHugh told the Coeur d'Alene Press on Friday that the case won't go forward until Cragun understands the charges and can aid in his defense.

Simpson's order asks for a progress report on Cragun to be filed in 90 days.

Cragun is charged with first-degree murder in the Dec. 19 death of 43-year-old Patricia Heath. He also faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder and four other felonies.


Lawsuit seeks return of dead scientist's money

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- The estate of a former Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientist is suing financial institutions over money missing from his accounts.

The burned remains of 73-year-old Walter Sartory of Hebron, Ky., were found in an Indiana field in March 2009.

Authorities have charged Sartory's housekeeper and her son in the scientist's death. Willa Blanc and Louis Wilkinson have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping and other crimes.

The lawsuit, filed in Boone County and then moved to federal court in Covington last month, claims Blanc used fake documents, including power of attorney, to gain access to more than $2 million dollars in Sartory's accounts, according to The Kentucky Enquirer.

The newspaper reported attorneys from the estate and the banks are trying to negotiate a settlement.


Judge gives defendants homework assignments

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- A judge in Ohio gives defendants what sounds like homework assignments as a part of probation sentences.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Stacy Cook in Toledo has ordered offenders to write five-page reports on topics including teen violence, drug use and head injuries.

The judge tells The Blade newspaper her goal is to get defendants thinking about why what they did was wrong and how it hurt others.

The Blade reports Cook has told as many as 30 people to write papers since she took the bench in 2007. She reads all of them and says it seems that the number of writers who've later returned to her court for serious probation violations has been low.

Lawyer Richard Hasbrook agrees with that assessment. He's the public defender in Cook's courtroom.


Couple pleads guilty in terror funding case

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- An Ohio husband and wife have pleaded guilty to charges they helped finance a Mideast terrorist group.

Hor (hohr) and Amera Akl (a-MEER'-ah A'-kuhl) were arrested nearly a year ago after authorities said an FBI informant provided them with $200,000 in cash that they were planning to hide in a vehicle to be shipped to Lebanon.

During a meeting with a federal judge in Toledo, the Akls on Monday pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. They had previously pleaded not guilty.

Federal prosecutors said they planned to conceal up to $500,000 and that the money would go to Hezbollah (hez-BUH'-lah). The U.S. government lists Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and blames it for numerous attacks on Israel.


Deputy files answer in brutality suit

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- A Covington County sheriff's deputy has answered a brutality lawsuit filed against him, arguing that he did nothing wrong and asking that the suit be dismissed.

Scott Clifton Davis sued Covington Deputy Chris Jones in U.S. District Court on March 25, claiming Jones falsely arrested and abused him.

Davis' complaint states Jones illegally arrested and attacked him on Jan. 13, 2010, after following him to his home.

He is seeking compensatory damages including the cost of medical care in an amount to be determined by a jury.

The Hattiesburg American reports Jones argues in his answer that he is entitled to various immunities and that he did not do anything to cause damage or injury to Davis.

Published: Tue, May 24, 2011