National Round Up

Oklahoma: Jury selection set in murder trial of ex-Tulsa teacher
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Jury selection began Monday morning in the trial of a former Tulsa school teacher who’s charged in the shooting death of his wife.

John Robert Kastner has been in jail more than two years after the June 2008 death of his wife, Lori Moon Kastner. Prosecutors say John Kastner shot his wife to death at their home; John Kastner has blamed an intruder for the death.

John Kastner is a former Webster High School teacher and coach, while Lori Kastner was a former Oklahoma Supreme Court attorney.

Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty. If convicted, Kastner faces life in prison, with or without the possibility of parole.

Illinois: Police seize $1.5 million worth of cocaine in truck 
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A Texas man is accused of planning to deal what authorities estimate is $1.5 million worth of cocaine seized from a truck he was driving during an Interstate 70 traffic stop.

Hilario Medina of Houston is charged in East St. Louis with possession with intent to distribute 65 kilograms of cocaine. Investigators say the drugs were found in the cab of Medina’s truck last Thursday during the traffic stop in Madison County.

Investigators say the 45-year-old man insisted he didn’t know what he was carrying but believed it to be cocaine, marijuana or money, and that he was paid $6,000 to drive the load to the Chicago area.

Medina was ordered detained pending further proceedings.

Online court records do not show that Medina has an attorney.

Connecticut: Van de Velde upset court ruling not issued yet
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A former Yale professor named as a suspect but never charged in the 1998 killing of a student says he’s upset there’s been no ruling yet in his lawsuit against the university and New Haven police.

James Van de Velde says in an e-mail to the New Haven Register that he’s frustrated that U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny (CHAT’-nee) is taking so long to rule. The lawsuit was filed in 2003.

The killing of 21-year-old Yale student Suzanne Jovin remains unsolved.

Van de Velde, who moved to the Washington, D.C., area years ago to do government security-related work, says in his lawsuit that being named a suspect violated his civil rights and destroyed his life.

Chatigny said through a representative that he expects to issue a decision “soon.”

Missouri: KC police say gang targeted other criminals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Federal court documents reveal that a gang of robbers in Kansas City targeted other criminals as their victims.

The Kansas City Star reports that officers investigating the alleged gang have seized drugs, firearms and stolen property.

Kansas City police Capt. Rich Lockhart says criminals sometimes target other criminals because they are unlikely to call police.

A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City details at least four armed robberies, including one in which a man was shot in the leg.

Lockhart says police generally get involved in criminal-on-criminal cases only if someone is shot and needs medical help.

Six people have been indicted in the case.

New York: Lawsuit says club owner weeded out minority guests
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawsuit accuses a New York City businessman of using Facebook and MySpace to keep certain minorities from making reservations at his nightclub.

Five former workers at Bowlmor Lanes in Union Square filed the lawsuit in Manhattan state Supreme Court. They say they were fired after objecting to what they described as racially discriminatory practices.

The suit says Tom Shannon allegedly researched prospective patrons on social-networking Web sites to see how they looked and dressed. It says he also wanted terms and conditions for booking events rewritten to prohibit baseball caps, sports jerseys and oversized jeans.

Tennessee: Federal judge to sentence Dennis Bolze next week
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge will sentence convicted Gatlinburg swindler Dennis Bolze next week in Knoxville.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan recently filed a memorandum in the case in which he found in favor of factors prosecutors say would substantiate a longer sentence for Bolze.

A pre-sentence report calls for a prison term of 27 years to nearly 34 years when the sentence is pronounced on Aug. 26.

Bolze is 60 years old and had sought a sentence below the federal guidelines.

The newspaper cites court documents in reporting the investment scheme brought Bolze about $21.5 million and he invested only about $1.6 million of it. Investors lost about $12.9 million.

Mississippi: Ole Miss coach’s defamation lawsuit trial starts
CINCINNATI (AP) — University of Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy is expected in a Cincinnati courtroom as trial starts in his defamation lawsuit against a cab driver and a valet.

The case being heard by a jury was filed by Kennedy hours after his arrest in an altercation with the cabbie in 2008.

Kennedy denied that he punched and taunted the driver but pleaded guilty last year to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct. He was sentenced to probation and 40 hours of community service.

During the criminal case, Kennedy apologized in court to the cab driver and the valet, who had come forward as a witness. But the coach did not drop his civil lawsuit against them. They have filed counter suits.

Florida: Son charged with killing mother in argument

SEMINOLE, Fla. (AP) — A 23-year-old man is accused of killing his mother in Pinellas County.

Kevin Kyne was arrested and charged Sunday with first-degree murder.

Authorities have not said how 49-year-old Diane Kyne was killed, although they said there was evidence of upper body trauma. An autopsy was conducted Monday.

The sheriff’s office said deputies responded to a 911 call from the Kyne home and found the woman in her bedroom. Kevin Kyne and his parents had been arguing over a computer and the parents decision to make him move out of the home.