Court Round Up

Michigan: Convict in Wis.-Mich. slayings loses civil case
IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (AP) — A man who gunned down three teens in a 2008 shooting rampage on the Wisconsin-Michigan border will not be able to profit if he ever decides to sell his story.

A judge ruled Wednesday against Scott J. Johnson of Kingsford, Mich. Johnson was convicted of ambushing a group of teens at a secluded swimming spot, killing three and injuring one.

Families of two victims each filed a civil suit seeking $5 million. Attorney Paul Poulson (POHL’-son) says they knew Johnson has no money and will never leave prison, but they wanted to ensure he never makes a cent from his crimes.

A court clerk told The Associated Press that Johnson appeared in court by phone. She says Johnson had no attorney and told the judge he lacked the legal expertise to understand the proceedings.

Kansas: American Indian chief charged with sex crime
BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. (AP) — Cherokee County authorities say the chief of the Neutral Lands Cherokee group has been charged with a sex crime involving a child.

The Joplin Globe reported Thursday that 73-year-old Ray Golden, of Baxter Springs, was charged with felony indecent solicitation of a child between the ages of 14 and 16.

Cherokee County Attorney John Bullard filed the charge in Cherokee County District Court.

The Neutral Lands Cherokee is a non-federalized American Indian group based in Baxter Springs. It was organized in 1998 and is not part of the Cherokee Nation.

The group is named for the Cherokee Neutral Lands in what is now Cherokee and Crawford counties. The Cherokee tribe once lived in the area but left Kansas during the Civil War.

Golden was released from the Cherokee County Jail after posting $25,000 bond.

Minnesota: Previous citation in deadly windshield crash
OWATONNA, Minn. (AP) — The truck driver who lost a landscape block and caused a deadly highway crash was fined last year for failing to secure his load.

Seventeen-year-old Steven Batt of Waseca was killed Tuesday when the cement block bounced on Highway 14 and smashed through the windshield of a van traveling in the opposite direction. Batt was a front seat passenger in the van.

The State Patrol says the truck driver, who works for North Star Stone and Masonry, paid a $300 fine in Dakota County District Court last December after he was cited for failing to secure his load.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports in that incident, a cement block bounced off his truck on Interstate 35W in Burnsville, but no one was injured.

Tennessee: Woman killed by train had been indicted
CLINTON, Tenn. (AP) — A published report says a Clinton woman who laid down in front of an oncoming train was to have appeared in court on an embezzlement charge.

The Knoxville News Sentinel cited court records in reporting 38-year-old Jennifer Ellen Peterman was scheduled to answer to an indictment on Monday morning — the day she was killed by a train near Lake City.

The indictment returned last month by an Anderson County grand jury charged Peterman with taking more than $10,000 from Ace Hardware in Clinton, where she worked.

The thefts occurred between November 2008 and February 2009.

Massachusetts: Convicted child molester faces new charges
TAUNTON, Mass. (AP) — A former Mansfield man just days away from being released after completing a five-year child rape sentence has been ordered held without bail for allegedly raping a 12-year-old boy in 2004 before he was put behind bars.

Not guilty pleas were entered on behalf of 41-year-old Paul Hawksley on Wednesday in Taunton District Court on two child rape charges and one count of enticement.

Hawksley, a former youth volunteer at an Easton church, pleaded guilty in June 2006 to 12 charges involving sexual attacks on children.

Authorities tell The Enterprise of Brockton that Hawksley’s five-year sentence at the Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater ends on Saturday. He was arrested on the new charges on Friday.

Massachusetts: 2 homeless men indicted for Beverly slaying
BEVERLY, Mass. (AP) — Two homeless Beverly men have been indicted on first-degree murder charges for allegedly kicking and beating to death another homeless man.

Prosecutors say 49-year-old Michael Bryson and 33-year-old Eric Roberts beat 56-year-old Bradley Killam inside a vacant rooming house on June 17. Authorities say the two defendants were known and feared in Beverly for intimidating older homeless men.

The Salem News reports that they have past convictions for other attacks.

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