Court Roundup


Salem teen fined for taunting suicidal man

SALEM, Mass. (AP) -- A Massachusetts teenager who yelled "jump" to a suicidal man on a rooftop has pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct.

David Duchesne (doo-SHANE') was fined $150 in Salem District Court on Tuesday.

Prosecutors say a 20-year old man climbed onto the roof of a Beverly home on Monday when police acting on a judge's order showed up to bring him to a psychiatric hospital. Prosecutors say the 19-year-old Duchesne and another man then yelled "jump" and shouted profanities.

The Salem News reports that Duchesne was contrite in court and said he wasn't thinking. He told a judge he would have felt "terrible" if the man had jumped.

The other suspect has decided to fight the charges.

The man on the roof came down after a 12-hour standoff.


Judge tosses suit challenging FEMA flood mapping

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) -- A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit three southwestern Illinois counties filed to block the U.S. government from declaring the region's levees functionally useless.

U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert called the lawsuit moot Monday, after the Federal Emergency Management Agency said in court it had no plans to pull the accreditation of the region's levees as part of a levee-mapping effort.

The counties sued in November 2010 over the mapping change that Madison, St. Clair and Monroe counties said could have saddled thousands of property owners with higher, unaffordable insurance rates.

The maps would have shown the area as a high-risk flood zone if FEMA rescinded accreditation of the 64 miles of earthen Mississippi River levees.


Lawyer: Sheriff innocent; his arrest political

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) -- Defense attorney Taylor Townsend says the jailed sheriff of Winn Parish is innocent of federal drug charges and of possible state charges.

A state investigation of Sheriff Albert D. "Bodie" Little, 62, could wind up by the end of August, Caddo Parish Assistant District Attorney Hugo Holland told The Town Talk on Tuesday.

Holland said the investigation he is leading for the state attorney general's office is "totally unrelated" to the federal charges on which Little was arrested Tuesday, and could involve charges such as malfeasance and abuse of office.

Little, who was elected in 2008, will remain in the Caddo Correctional Center at least until a detention hearing Thursday afternoon on charges alleging that he distributed methamphetamine, The Times of Shreveport ( reported Wednesday.

Townsend, of Natchitoches, told The Town Talk that the charges and investigation are the result of political enmity. "I don't think there's any doubt that the underlying basis of this are the political naysayers and those who have been affected by his tough stance on drugs," Townsend said.

The federal charges result from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force, a federal, state and local cooperative against drug trafficking, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said. She said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, Louisiana State Police, the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office, Shreveport police and Bossier City police conducted the investigation.

If convicted of conspiracy or possession with intent to distribute at least 50 grams of methamphetamine, Little and the other suspects face 10 years to life in prison and up to $10 million in fines, she said.

Convictions of possessing and intending to distribute lesser amounts range from five years to 40 years in prison, she said.

Since taking office in 2008, Little has twice had to ask the Louisiana Bond Commission to let him borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep the office afloat. In 2010, Little was accused of allowing a convicted DWI offender to get out of parish jail early, despite a state district judge's order.

State police searched his home and office in February as part of Hollind's investigation.

Ten people were indicted with Little. Finley said four were arrested Tuesday; three were arrested in June on charges related to the indictment, one was in jail on unrelated charges, and two have not been arrested.


Patent office sides with Iowa in USM logo case

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Administrative judges with a federal agency have sided with the University of Iowa in a case that appears to put the Golden Eagle logo of the University of Southern Mississippi in jeopardy.

The logo, unveiled in 2003, was created by USM graduate Rodney Richardson. In 2004, University of Iowa officials argued that it was confusingly similar to their Tiger Hawk emblem.

As a result, USM's trademark application was denied last week by judges in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, who ruled 2-1 in favor of Iowa, according to a report in The Hattiesburg American.

USM athletic director Richard Giannini said Tuesday that the university's attorneys are reviewing the 54-page decision.

Jason Bush, an attorney with Baker Donelson in Jackson, said USM could appeal the decision, which was made by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.

"In the alternative," wrote Bush in an email, "USM has the option of presenting additional evidence or raising additional claims in the United States District Court in any district venue that is proper."

Administrative trademark judge David Bucher wrote in his majority opinion that he backed Iowa's claim that there would be "the likelihood of confusion" in merchandise sales between the schools, rejecting USM's detailed argument on differences between the two logos:

"The overall similarity in appearance of the marks on the goods, particularly in light of the use of identical color schemes, creates virtually identical commercial impressions," Bucher wrote.

USM made the case that the use of birds of prey as mascots is prevalent in college sports along with the use of bird heads as logos. USM submitted several examples to back its claim.

Bucher also shot down that argument: "When making a visual comparison between Iowa's Hawkeyes marks and each of these designs, we find that none of these Division I third-party marks remotely resembles Iowa's Hawkeyes designs. Certainly, none is as similar to Iowa's marks as is (USM's) mark."

Published: Thu, Aug 4, 2011


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