National Roundup

Oregon

Officials: Ore. man says victim begged to be shot

MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. (AP) -- Authorities say an Oregon man accused of killing another man whose body was found on a logging road has told detectives the victim had terminal cancer and begged to be shot.

The Roseburg News-Review reports that Charles Henry Teal was arraigned Tuesday on a murder count in the death of 39-year-old Jeffrey Bension.

A sheriff's report filed in court in Douglas County says the 26-year-old Teal told detectives he shot Bension in the head in a mercy killing. Bension reportedly had recently moved into the Myrtle Creek home Teal shares with several other people.

Bension's body was found by a hunter early Monday about 10 miles northeast of Myrtle Creek, in southern Oregon.

The newspaper reports that court documents don't address whether Bension really had cancer.

Pennsylvania

Police: Men took mentally disabled woman for ride

CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) -- A central Pennsylvania teen faces false imprisonment and other charges after police say he persuaded a mentally disabled woman to let him use her SUV for a high-speed joyride.

Investigators say 19-year-old Andrew David Sheaffer and another man talked the woman into giving them her keys in the parking lot of a Carlisle Walmart on Monday.

Police say the men had her lie down in the back of the SUV while they drove recklessly, swerving wildly and hitting the brakes to toss the woman around the inside of the vehicle. The woman said the men wouldn't let her get out.

Investigators say the men also intentionally damaged the vehicle.

A phone listing for Sheaffer could not immediately be located. Police are still trying to identify the second suspect.

California

Wife who killed, cooked husband seeking parole

CHOWCHILLA, Calif. (AP) -- A California woman who killed her newlywed husband and chopped and cooked his body parts over Thanksgiving weekend in 1991 is seeking release from prison.

Former nanny Omaima Nelson is scheduled to appear before parole commissioners Wednesday at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla where she has been serving a life sentence.

Nelson was convicted of murdering her 56-year-old husband William Nelson in a grisly killing that authorities compared to the fictional slayings of Hannibal Lecter.

Prosecutors said Nelson killed her husband and likely plotted to steal from him as she had done with other middle-aged men. Nelson said she stabbed her husband to fend off an assault.

A psychiatrist testified during Nelson's trial that she told him she ate her husband's ribs but later denied it.

Nelson was denied parole in 2006 because commissioners found her unpredictable and a serious threat to public safety.

New Mexico

Jury eyes death penalty in violent NM kidnap case

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) -- A federal jury in Las Cruces is deciding whether a violent gang member should be sentenced to death or life in prison for kidnapping and killing a teenager in 2005.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the jury began deliberating Tuesday in the case of 32-year-old Larry Lujan who was convicted in August for the death of 16-year-old Dana "Joe" Grauke Jr.

Prosecutors said Lujan kidnapped Grauke, in San Antonio, Texas, and took him to Anthony, N.M., where he forced the teen to perform oral sex on him then nearly beheaded the teen with a meat cleaver. Prosecutors said Grauke's body was dumped in a south county irrigation canal.

Trial took place in federal court due to the inter-state nature of the crime, leading to the death penalty option.

Maryland

Deportation stayed in race bias case

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) -- A Latino civil-rights group says the government has postponed the deportation of a Salvadoran woman who is suing two Frederick County sheriff's deputies in federal court for race discrimination.

A Casa de Maryland spokeswoman told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Roxana Santos' deportation has been stayed for one year. She had been scheduled for deportation last Friday.

Santos claims to have suffered discrimination in 2008 when the deputies detained her for what they called suspicious behavior. The sheriff's office turned her over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after a background check revealed her illegal immigration status.

Santos claims she was singled out for her ethnic appearance amid the deputies' overzealous enforcement of immigration laws.

The defendants have denied any wrongdoing.

Wisconsin

Court upholds conviction in 35-year-old slaying

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state appeals court says a jury properly convicted an Ashwaubenon man of killing a go-go dancer 35 years ago.

A jury in 2009 convicted Thomas Niesen of first-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Kathleen Leichtman in Fond du Lac in 1976.

Prosecutors accused Niesen of luring Leichtman out of the bar where she danced and slashing her throat. The case went unsolved until early 2009, when DNA tests showed Niesen had sex with Leichtman up to 26 hours before she died.

Niesen, now 56, argued prosecutors didn't have enough evidence to convict him.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled the evidence was sufficient to convince a rational jury that Niesen was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Niesen's attorney didn't immediately return a message.

Idaho

AP asks judge to open prison lawsuit settlement

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- The Associated Press is asking a federal judge to unseal the settlement agreement between an Idaho inmate and private prison company Corrections Corp. of America.

The confidential settlement between Marlin Riggs and CCA was reached last month in a widely publicized lawsuit that alleged rampant violence at a CCA-run prison near Boise. Riggs originally asked for $55 million in damages, saying the prison was nicknamed "Gladiator School" and that guards knew he was about to be attacked but failed to protect him. Riggs said he suffered serious injuries in the attack, and required facial surgery to allow him to breathe normally.

The AP is asking the federal judge to open the settlement because the news organization contends the lawsuit raises profound and far-reaching issues of public interest and concern.

Published: Thu, Oct 6, 2011