Court Roundup

Oregon

State Parole Board freeing man who killed parents

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A man convicted of killing his parents in 1985 in the Cedar Mill community near Portland is scheduled to be released from prison Friday.

The Oregon State Board of Parole voted in November to released Kenneth Janowski.

The Oregonian reports he had pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and won a state supreme court case in 2010 that said he was eligible for parole after 20 years.

The 45-year-old has taught automotive repair to other inmates and in 1995 he married a woman he met as a pen pal. He'll be released in Marion County where his wife lives.

South Carolina

Judge: 2010 Bluffton shooting not self defense

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) -- A judge has ruled that a tow-truck driver charged with killing a Bluffton man on Christmas Eve 2010 did not act in self-defense.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports that Circuit Court Markley Dennis Jr. has denied a motion to dismiss the manslaughter charge against Preston Oates.

Under state law, self-defense shields people from prosecution when defending themselves in their homes, workplace or vehicles.

Oates' attorneys argued their client was enforcing parking regulations when forced out of his tow truck by 34-year-old Carlos Olivera, who threatened him and revealed a loaded handgun in a parking dispute.

But prosecutors told the judge the argument was over and victim was walking away when Oates shot Olivera him five times. Oates is charged with manslaughter and a weapons charge.

Louisiana

Third Circuit reinstates murder verdict

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) -- A state appeals court has reinstated a trial jury's second-degree murder conviction of a man who killed a Marine on leave during a July 2009 party in Lake Charles.

The American Press reports the Third Circuit Court of Appeal, in an opinion released Wednesday, reversed a ruling by state District Judge Ron Ware that substituted the jury's verdict with a manslaughter verdict in the case of Bryce Perkins. Perkins was found guilty on Feb. 10, 2011, in the fatal shooting of Daniel Gueringer.

Ware threw out that conviction at Perkins' sentencing hearing. With the manslaughter conviction, he sentenced Perkins to 30 years in prison, 20 of which would be served without the possibility of parole.

The appeals court ordered Ware to resentence Perkins in accordance with the jury's conviction.

New York

Chef Batali settles lawsuit for $5 million

NEW YORK (AP) -- Celebrity chef Mario Batali and his business partner have agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged they confiscated a portion of their restaurant workers' tips.

According to court papers filed in Manhattan federal court, the settlement may compensate as many as 1,100 waiters, captains and other staffers.

The settlement must still be approved by a judge.

The lawsuit against Batali and Joseph Bastianich was filed in 2010. It claimed their restaurants had a policy of deducting 4 to 5 percent from the tip pool at the end of each night.

Lawyers for both sides said the matter was resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.

Batali's Manhattan restaurants include Babbo, Bar Jamon and Del Posto.

Kansas

State supreme court disbars convicted attorney

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas Supreme Court has disbarred a Topeka attorney who was convicted of multiple charges stemming from a 2010 traffic death.

The court said Wednesday that Marc A. Schultz submitted a letter Feb. 29 surrendering his law license.

Schultz was prosecuted for a September 2010 collision in rural Shawnee County that killed 55-year-old bicyclist Timothy Roberts.

Schultz was sentenced in June of last year to five years and two months in prison for involuntary manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident. His law license was suspended last year when he reported his guilty pleas to the charges to the state disciplinary board.

Published: Fri, Mar 9, 2012

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