National Roundup

California

Man sentenced to death in NorCal deputy shooting

WOODLAND, Calif. (AP) -- A Northern Californian judge has sentenced a man convicted in the ambush killing of a sheriff's deputy to death.

Yolo County Superior Court Judge Paul Richardson issued the sentence against Marco Topete on Tuesday. He said Topete shot Yolo County Sheriff's Deputy Jose Antonio Diaz on June 15, 2008 out of anger and a desire to retaliate, not desperation.

Authorities say Topete led Diaz on a high-speed chase that day with his infant daughter in the car before jumping out on a dead-end dirt road.

The 39-year-old Topete was accused of then hiding behind a friend's house before opening fire at Diaz with an assault rifle while Diaz checked on his daughter.

Topete's lawyers say there are strong grounds for an appeal.

Kentucky

Judge: Feds can use surveillance evidence

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A federal judge says there's probable cause to believe an Iraqi man facing terrorism-related charged in Kentucky was "an agent of a foreign power" and that investigators properly gathered electronic surveillance and physical evidence him.

In a 19-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell turned away 24-year-old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi's arguments that the government made false or improper statements to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

A grand jury in Bowling Green charged Hammadi in May with multiple counts of providing material support to terrorists, providing resources to a terrorist organization and conspiracy to transfer surface-to-air missile launcher systems.

A co-defendant, 30-year-old Waad Ramadan Alwan, pleaded guilty in December to 23 similar charges and is set for sentencing in April.

Idaho

Trial set for Boise man charged in son's death

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- The trial of a Boise man accused in the death of his infant son is expected to start July 16.

Court records show 19-year-old Reynaldo "Lucas" Sanchez pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder late last week.

Sanchez has been jailed since Dec. 16, when authorities responded to reports an infant had been critically injured. The baby, 3-month-old Adrien Sanchez, was hospitalized and died from blunt force trauma to the head several hours later.

A coroner ruled the death a homicide.

Prosecutors say the baby suffered fatal injuries, including a fractured skull and leg, while in the care of his father. The Idaho Statesman reports (http://bit.ly/574N) Sanchez told others who lived at the home that his son had fallen out of an infant bouncy seat.

Idaho

Repeal of archaic laws is trip down memory lane

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- The Idaho Supreme Court's efforts to repeal obsolete laws offered a trip down memory lane, to the days when passenger trains sped across the Snake River Plain and the telegraph let people quickly communicate over the West's vast distances.

Court administrators went in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, part of justices' constitutionally mandated duty to help the Legislature modernize Idaho's code.

In the era of passenger trains, Idaho required stations to communicate late arrivals from waiting room to waiting room -- by the trusty telegraph, not today's ubiquitous cell phone.

Failure could result in a $100 misdemeanor fine.

While passenger trains still use the old Northern Pacific Route through Idaho's far north, the Supreme Court says it's high time to bid the telegraph notification requirements a fond farewell.

Connecticut

'Cupcake Wars' judge settles Conn. name lawsuit

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) -- A judge on the Food Network reality television show "Cupcake Wars" has resolved her lawsuit with a Connecticut cupcake store over its name.

Candace Nelson's company, Sprinkles Cupcakes, settled its federal trademark infringement lawsuit against a store named Pink Sprinkles last week. The lawsuit claimed the similarity in names was likely to cause confusion in the marketplace.

An attorney and a spokesman for Pink Sprinkles say the store in Fairfield will now be called Pink Cupcake Shack.

The lawsuit said Sprinkles Cupcakes opened its first store in Beverly Hills, Calif., in 2005 and became a national phenomenon as the cupcakes were featured on shows hosted by Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart. Pink Sprinkles opened in 2009.

An attorney for Sprinkles Cupcakes hasn't returned a message left Tuesday seeking comment.

New York

NYC settles loitering lawsuit

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City will pay $15 million to settle a lawsuit brought on behalf of thousands of people charged with loitering years after the laws were declared unconstitutional.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the original eight plaintiffs will receive $25,000 each. But it said lawyers identified about 22,000 other people charged with loitering after the state laws were voided but remained on the books.

The lawsuit centered on three anti-loitering laws that were ruled unconstitutional between 1983 and 1993.

In 2010, a federal judge found the city in contempt for continuing to enforce the laws. The judge found the laws disproportionately targeted gay men and the poor.

The city said it was unfortunate that the statutes remained on the books for so many years after the laws were struck.

Arizona

Bill would prevent 'wrongful birth lawsuits

PHOENIX (AP) -- A legislator has introduced a bill barring lawsuits against doctors and others if they fail to provide information about a pregnancy that could have led a decision to have an abortion.

State Sen. Nancy Barto introduced the bill, which bars so-called "wrongful birth" and "wrongful life" medical malpractice lawsuits.

The lawsuits are often sought by parents because a doctor failed to disclose the results of prenatal disease tests or other information that, had the parents known, they would have elected to have an abortion.

If the bill passes, Arizona would join nine other states barring the lawsuits.

A Senate committee was scheduled to hear the bill Wednesday afternoon.

Published: Thu, Feb 9, 2012

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