National Roundup


Student pleads not guilty to horse thefts

MAGNOLIA, Ark. (AP) -- A 19-year-old member of the Southern Arkansas University rodeo team has pleaded not guilty to charges of stealing five champion rodeo horses, saddles, a horse trailer and tack from other team members.

Jaci Rae Jackson pleaded not guilty to six felony theft counts Wednesday in Columbia County Circuit Court in Magnolia.

The horses owned by other members of the SAU rodeo team disappeared Nov. 2. Four were found alive Nov. 15 in McCurtain County, Okla. The fifth was later found dead in McCurtain County.

Jackson lists addresses in Buckner and in Broken Bow, Okla.

An arrest affidavit says Jackson had romantic problems with at least one of the owners of the stolen horses. It does not identify the owner.


Man accused of fatally shooting grandmother

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) -- A southwestern Illinois man is accused of fatally shooting his grandmother with a gun he later turned on himself.

St. Clair County prosecutors on Wednesday charged 51-year-old Gregg Price with first-degree murder.

He's still in a St. Louis hospital being treated for a gunshot wound to the head.

Authorities say he shot 88-year-old Juanita Clemons in the head in her Brooklyn home where Price often has stayed.

Illinois State Police say without elaborating they believe they know what motivated the shooting after they spoke with relatives.

Price's bail is set at $1 million.

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

New Mexico

Los Lunas teen found guilty in deadly beating

LOS LUNAS, N.M. (AP) -- A Los Lunas teenager has been found guilty of second-degree murder after a jury trial that lasted less than two full days.

The Albuquerque Journal reports a 12-member jury took less than two hours to find 18-year-old Steven Ayers guilty of second-degree murder in the death of 51-year-old Ferlin Lucero.

The jury found Ayers not guilty of bribery of a witness. Ayers allegedly threatened a witness who saw the incident take place.

Two Los Lunas police officers testified that spattered blood was spread throughout the interior of the RV where Lucero was staying when he was found in 2009. Lucero died in the hospital a few weeks after the beating.

Ayers could face 15 years behind bars depending on whether he is sentenced as an adult.


Pittsburgh porn violator nabbed with bags packed

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A Pittsburgh man on probation for child pornography possession is in jail because authorities say he had his bags packed and a passport ready after his probation officer claimed the man violated the terms of his supervision.

Thirty-three-year-old David Kacprzyk (KAS'-per-zak) was arrested Wednesday night by Allegheny County sheriff's deputies at his home.

Kacpryzk was on probation from a 2009 arrest for possessing child porn and wasn't supposed to access the Internet using his computer as part of that sentence. His probation officer had found a device that let Kacprzyk go online and planned to have him jailed on a probation violation and, authorities say, the man was apparently planning to leave the country before that happened.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Kacprzyk who is jailed without bond.


Couple sues over loss of parental rights

BANGOR, Maine (AP) -- A Maine couple has filed a lawsuit claiming their civil rights were violated when their parental rights to an adopted son were terminated.

The Morning Sentinel ( ) reports that Russ and Ellie Handler, of Northport, are suing officials of the state Department of Health and Human Services and the Waldo County Sheriff's office.

The Handlers adopted a son, David, in 1999, but their parental rights were terminated eight years later. The lawsuit claims they were subject to harassment and that officials manufactured false evidence against them.

Court documents show state officials were concerned about domestic violence in the home.

Russ Handler was charged with assaulting his wife in 2005, but the charge was later dismissed.


Former Nashville agency attorney indicted

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A former attorney for a Nashville government agency has been indicted on a felony theft charge.

Bobby Dean Davis told The Tennessean he denies depriving the Metro Industrial Development Board of anything, but said he made a mistake in the handling of the agency's funds.

At issue is a controversy three years ago involving more than $150,000 in missing board money.

Davis is charged with theft of property over $60,000.

He was disbarred by the Tennessee Supreme Court in August.


Alabama man found guilty of VNMP dig

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) -- An Alabama man has been given three years' probation and been told to stay out of national military parks after an unauthorized dig at the Vicksburg National Military Park.

The Vicksburg Post reports that Ernest Taylor of Foley, Ala., pleaded guilty last month in federal court to altering or defacing an archaeological resource, a felony. He was sentenced Nov. 28.

Court documents show Taylor, his wife and son were arrested Sept. 3, 2010 using a metal detector and digging holes at the park for Civil War relics.

Supervising Park Ranger Patty Montague says about 30 holes were found at the park and iron artillery shell fragments were found in Taylor's possession.

It is a violation of federal law to dig in or otherwise disturb national parks or wildlife refuges.

Montague said Taylor's wife was charged with a misdemeanor and paid a fine, and his son, 18 at the time, was not prosecuted.

The Vicksburg park was established by Congress in 1899 as a memorial to the 1863 campaign and siege of Vicksburg. Nearly 1,400 monuments, markers, tablets and plaques commemorate the military action and those who fought during the Siege of Vicksburg.

Published: Fri, Dec 9, 2011


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