National Roundup

Man recovers 300-year-old family Bible

MARYSVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A central Ohio man’s heart sank when he realized that burglars had stolen a safe holding his most prized possession — a 300-year-old family Bible.
But thanks to Goodwill, local deputies and a bit of luck, the priceless family heirloom was returned to Tim Shier more than a year after it was taken from his home in Marysville, near Columbus.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that one of Shier’s cousins saw a reference to the German Bible on an ancestry website recently. Sheriff’s deputies enlisted the help of Goodwill, which had sold it online.
They tracked it to Georgia, but the couple who bought it wouldn’t release it without recouping the $405 they paid for it.
The police union in Shier’s home county covered the cost and recovered the Bible.

Homeless man charged in 2003 murder of woman

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a homeless man has been charged with the 2003 murder of a German woman whose body has never been found.
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune ( ) reports 53-year-old John Alan Mellquist was arrested Friday and is being held in jail without bail.
Deputies say he killed his landlord, 69-year-old Anneliese Schweickardt. She was a German national who lived in the United States on a tourist visa.
A friend reported her missing in October 2003. At the time Schweickardt was evicting Mellquist, who rented a room in her Sarasota home.
Investigators found signs of a violent attack in the home, indicating that she was likely slain. Detectives built a case on DNA evidence since Schweickardt’s body wasn’t recovered.
Mellquist was living in a tent in the woods.

Man convicted after body found in sewage tank

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man has been convicted of aggravated murder in the slaying of his daughter-in-law, who was strangled and dumped in an underground sewage tank.
A jury in Chillicothe (chihl-ih-KAHTH’-ee) issued its verdict Monday for 48-year-old William Inman, who was held after the March 2011 killing of 25-year-old Summer Inman.
The trial was moved to Chillicothe after unsuccessful attempts to seat a jury in Hocking County.
Inman’s wife and son were convicted last year.
Authorities say Summer Inman was abducted in Logan, 45 miles southeast of Columbus. They say she was strangled with a zip tie and dumped in a septic tank behind a church in Athens County.
Summer Inman had filed for divorce from William Inman’s son and was seeking custody of the couple’s three small children.
William Inman denied killing her.

FBI: Informant was close to entrapment

CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys for a young Lebanese immigrant who pleaded guilty to placing what he thought was a bomb in a backpack near Wrigley Field have disclosed FBI notes that indicate agents feared an informant might entrap the Chicago man during their investigation.
Sami Samir Hassoun admitted in a plea agreement last year that he took what he thought was a bomb from undercover FBI agents and put it into a trash bin near the home of the Chicago Cubs in the summer of 2010. He is due to be sentenced on April 12.
The informant played a central role by befriending Hassoun and later tipped off undercover FBI agents.
The FBI notes from March 1, 2010, were released in a court filing in which defense attorneys asked prosecutors to turn over more details about the informant, including how much the person was paid. In the notes, agents worried the informant “is or is close to committing entrapment with Sami.” The informant was taken aside “and it was emphasized not to encourage Sami to get involved in illegal activity.”
The notation was made in a section about Hassoun’s alleged drug dealing, but it wasn’t clear if the note referred only to drug dealing or to the bomb plot. Investigators are barred from inducing someone to commit crimes they otherwise wouldn’t commit.
It wasn’t clear when defense attorneys became aware of the FBI notes. On Monday, defense lawyer Alison Siegler and a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago, Randall Samborn, both declined to comment the defense motion, which was filed on Friday.
After his arrests, Hassoun’s lawyers described him as uniquely gullible, seemingly opening the door to the possibility of an entrapment defense. Instead, Hassoun pleaded guilty to one count each of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted use of an explosive device. Prosecutors last year indicated they would recommend a prison sentence of 30 years.
The issue of what the informant was paid and the extent to which he led on Hassoun, the defense motion argues, is relevant because those who think up a crime on their own are typically penalized more than those who may have been egged on.

Historic yacht subject of court fight over loan

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The owners of the former presidential yacht Sequoia are asking a Delaware judge to prevent a lender from seizing it.
Sequoia Presidential Yacht Group claims in a Chancery Court lawsuit filed late last week that FE Partners reneged on a $5 million loan agreement in a “dastardly” plan to take control of the historic vessel.
Washington, D.C.-based FE Partners says the lawsuit is grossly inaccurate and without merit.
The Delaware lawsuit was filed after a New York judge dismissed a similar complaint last month on jurisdictional grounds. Both parties are Delaware limited liability companies.
The Sequoia plaintiffs claim that FE Partners lent only half the $5 million that was promised, leaving them in financial distress and subject to “trumped up” default claims that allow FE Partners to buy the yacht at a fire-sale price of $7.8 million.
According to the plaintiffs, the 104-foot Sequoia, built in 1925, is the longest-serving presidential yacht in American history. It was the official yacht for presidents from Herbert Hoover through Jimmy Carter.
The Sequoia was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987 and is currently docked at a marina about a mile south of the U.S. Capitol. The yacht is available for rental, at about $10,000 per charter.s


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