State Roundup

Muskegon: Settlement reached in police pepper spray lawsuit
MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — Muskegon has approved a $775,000 settlement with the estate of a man who died in police custody after being pepper sprayed.

Court records say the settlement in the civil rights lawsuit was reached between the city’s insurance carrier and the estate of 47-year-old William P. Griffin of Muskegon Heights.

Griffin died in police custody Oct. 1, 2007, after being arrested for resisting officers.

Police used pepper spray to subdue Griffin, who died in the Muskegon Police Department parking lot while being taken to the Muskegon County Jail.

The Muskegon Chronicle says City Manager Bryon Mazade and Public Safety Director Tony Kleibecker declined comment.

Attorney Stephen Drew, who represented Griffin’s estate, said the “family just wants to put this behind them.

Flint: Lego masterpiece competition set for Saturday
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Ready. Set. Build.

Students from four Michigan colleges are scheduled to compete Saturday in a Lego masterpiece competition.

Contestants from Baker College, Kettering University, Mott Community College and the University of Michigan-Flint will build their designs by sorting through 90,000 colorful Lego pieces during a three-hour competition.

The Flint Journal says the public is invited to attend the event being held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Flint Institute of the Arts.

Flint is about 50 miles northwest of Detroit.

Jackson: Man, 45, pleads no contest to abusing teen boys
JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A former youth hockey coach faces prison time on charges he sexually abused and took pornographic photographs or videos of teenage boys.

Forty-five-year-old Scott Tippner of Hanover Township pleaded no contest Tuesday during an appearance in Jackson County Circuit Court.

The plea includes one count each of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony involving sexual penetration, and “child sexually abusive activity” for creating the images. That’s punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Jackson County prosecutors will dismiss nine charges.

A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.

The Jackson Citizen Patriot says Tippner was a Jackson Area Hockey Association coach for about 10 years.

Detroit: Jackson impersonator sentenced in molestation case
DETROIT (AP) — A Michael Jackson impersonator and former Detroit-area entertainment promoter will serve between 13 and 20 years in prison in connection with the molestation of an 11-year-old boy.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says that Ricardo West will be registered as a sex offender when he’s released and subject to lifetime electronic monitoring. He was sentenced on Tuesday.

Defense attorney Nader Nassif say West agreed to plead guilty to child sexually abusive activity and criminal sexual conduct.

The incidents occurred between March 15 and April 9 at a home in Allen Park, 10 miles southwest of Detroit. Authorities say sexual contact also was made with the boy at the Allen Park Auditorium.

Nassif says West’s family is sorry for his actions.

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