Court Roundup

Pennsylvania

Another suit claims Pittsburgh prison inmate abuse

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Another inmate has filed a lawsuit alleging he was targeted for abuse by Pittsburgh state guards who have been suspended and criminally investigated over such allegations.

The new federal lawsuit filed by 50-year-old robbery convict Robert Veith says his troubles began when he complained about seeing an inmate tamper with the food of another inmate incarcerated for child sex crimes.

Four guards face criminal charges of abusing and sometimes having inmate workers foul the food of pedophile inmates. Those guards were suspended without pay, though state prison officials are contesting an arbitrator's decision that they be reinstated.

Veith contends he was falsely accused of attacking another guard and put in solitary confinement for more than 100 days, even though he was exonerated.

The Department of Corrections isn't commenting.

Kentucky

Prosecutors: Preserve evidence in deputy's death

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Prosecutors in eastern Kentucky have asked a judge to preserve evidence in the case of a Pike County deputy killed when a sport-utility vehicle crossed the center line on US-460 and hit his car head-on.

Pike County Commonwealth's Attorney Rick Bartley wants Circuit Judge Steve Combs to order that the evidence be kept safe and set guidelines on how long the defense may have to examine the vehicles involved. The Appalachian News-Express reported that Bartley is also seeking an order requiring Nissan Motors to provide troopers with the software necessary to remove digital information from 47-year-old David Childers' SUV

Bartley is prosecuting Childers on a charge of murder in the death of deputy James I. Thacker in January.

A trial date has not been set.

Montana

Lawsuit over Bozeman jail death settled for $2M

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) -- A Bozeman man has reached a $2 million settlement in a civil lawsuit filed after his wife died in the Gallatin County jail over Thanksgiving weekend in 2005.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports Gallatin County, the city of Bozeman and the jail's health care provider settled with Jay Josephs and his three children over the death of 45-year-old Kathryn Leibrock-Josephs.

Leibrock-Josephs was arrested the night before Thanksgiving after an alleged assault involving her son. She remained jailed over the holiday weekend and was found unconscious on the floor of her jail cell early Sunday morning.

The lawsuit argued that Leibrock-Josephs had a right to have bail set within 48 hours. It also alleged jailers knew she was an alcoholic and had other medical needs that were not addressed while she was detained.

Maine

Judge dismisses escape charges against Maine man

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) -- A judge has dismissed charges against a 29-year-old man accused of escaping from a Maine State Prison work detail because prosecutors took too long to turn over evidence.

Shawn Benner had been charged with escape after the state alleged he left a pre-release work detail in Rockland in October 2010. Benner and his wife, Amanda Benner, were stopped at gunpoint in Waldoboro the day he escaped.

Shawn Benner had been serving time on convictions including robbery and aggravated assault. He completed his sentence in June.

The Bangor Daily News reports that the judge dismissed the escape charge after the defense attorney argued that evidence should have been provided earlier.

Amanda Benner pleaded guilty to aiding in the escape.

Connecticut

Judge issues 50-year protective order

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) -- A Connecticut judge has issued an unusual 50-year criminal protective order against a Bridgeport man who assaulted his ex-girlfriend.

The Connecticut Post reports (http://bit.ly/AtLWIf ) that Norwalk Superior Court Judge Bruce Hudock issued the order Thursday against 43-year-old Rolf Johnson and sentenced him to 30 months in jail after he pleaded guilty to assault and other crimes. The order bars Johnson from seeing or talking with his former girlfriend until he is 93.

Police say Johnson punched the woman in the face at her Norwalk home in September and threw a glass that shattered and severely injured her left wrist. Prosecutors say the woman has no feeling in her left hand.

Johnson's public defender says protective orders that long are rare. Judges can issue such orders for up to 70 years.

Illinois

Attorney general sues national tax preparer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The Illinois attorney general is accusing a national tax preparer of costing customers hundreds of thousands of dollars through hidden costs and inaccurate tax returns.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the company Mo' Money. The lawsuit seeks to shut Mo' Money locations around Chicago and East St. Louis. It could also force the company to refund $800,000 to customers.

Madigan says some customers lost $700 each. The company deducted fees without permission, filed documents riddled with errors and failed to get people their refund checks.

She says people who had their taxes prepared by Mo' Money should contact the IRS.

Published: Mon, Mar 19, 2012

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