National Roundup

 Maryland

Mia Farrow’s brother gets 10 years in sex case 
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The brother of actress Mia Farrow has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing two boys in his neighborhood in Maryland.
Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Laura Kiessling sentenced John Villers-Farrow on Monday to 25 years in prison with all but 10 years suspended.
In July, Villers-Farrow entered an Alford plea, which allows a defendant to maintain his innocence while admitting prosecutors have enough evidence to convict. The 67-year-old businessman, husband and father was indicted after two men accused him of sexually abusing them between 2000 and 2008 when they were children. Prosecutors say Villers-Farrow began abusing one boy when he was 9 years old and the second when he was 8.
Villers-Farrow apologized to the victims, who were not in court.
 
California
Judge sentences killer, then does wedding duties
EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — The family of a murder victim has demanded an apology from a San Diego Superior Court judge who performed a wedding for the killer minutes after sentencing him to a lifetime in prison.
In a letter to Judge Patricia Cookson, the family of Kevin Santos asked her to explain her action and warned they will file a complaint with the California Commission on Judicial Performance, which investigates judicial misconduct, U-T San Diego reported Monday.
Performing the ceremony showed partiality to the killer’s interests and “displayed insensitivity to the victim’s family,” the letter said.
Cookson did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.
The judge performed the wedding for Danne Desbrow and the mother of his son on Sept. 17 shortly after sentencing him to a maximum term for killing Santos in 2003. The bride said she and Desbrow rekindled their romance while he was in jail, and that during trial she asked Cookson if she could marry the couple at sentencing.
Destiny Desbrow said Cookson agreed, and even gave the newlyweds two slices of cake that the judge had baked after vows were exchanged.
Santos’ relatives said they were rushed out of the courtroom after the sentencing, and were insulted when they later learned about the ceremony.
“It was just wrong,” Santos’ younger sister, April Santos, said. “That day was not for him. That was our day, that was Kevin’s day.”
 
California
2 charged in Craigslist killing in Los Angeles 
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two reputed gang members were charged Monday with robbing and killing a man who police say was lured to his death with a Craigslist ad and gunned down in front of his 15-year-old son.
Ryan Roth, 17, and Markell Thomas, 18, were charged with murder, attempted murder and robbery in the Oct. 19 death of Rene Balbuena and the wounding of his son.
Roth, the alleged shooter, was charged as an adult. Both were arrested last week and remained jailed.
Both are reputed members of an Inglewood gang, police said.
At a news conference, family members said they were grateful to investigators for finding Balbuena’s alleged killers.
“My dad is my best friend. He was everything to me and nothing’s going to bring him back,” Sandra Balbuena, 19, said in a shaking voice.
Thanks to the arrests, the alleged killer “isn’t gonna go do more damage to no one,” said Ana Guerrero, the victim’s sister.
Balbuena, 41, answered a Craigslist ad for a $300 Samsung Galaxy and drove with his son to South Los Angeles the night of Oct. 19 to buy it, authorities said.
Balbuena texted the supposed sellers to let them know he was there and minutes later two men came up to the car from behind. Thomas allegedly jumped into the back seat and pointed a gun at Balbuena’s son and both robbers demanded money, Detective Chris Barling said.
Balbuena got out of the car and Roth shot him several times, Barling contended.
Balbuena was declared dead at a hospital. His son was grazed.
The robbers ran off without taking any money, Barling said.
Barling declined to say specifically what led investigators to Roth and Thomas, but he said detectives learned that seven similar holdups — all involving Craigslist ads for cellphones — had occurred in the Baldwin Hills area from Aug. 2 to Oct. 7.
No one was injured in those robberies, he said.
Thomas is suspected of taking part in those holdups, sometimes with other people, and prosecutors could add additional robbery charges, Barling said.
Thomas was arrested Thursday and Roth was arrested the next day. A gun was found in Roth’s backpack, but it wasn’t the murder weapon, which has not been found, Barling said.
 
Illinois
Men take issue with ejection from cab for kiss 
CHICAGO (AP) — Two men filed a complaint with the state of Illinois against a Chicago taxicab company Monday, alleging one of the company’s drivers ejected them from a cab after they kissed.
Steven White of West Hollywood, Calif., and Matthew McCrea of Chicago say they kissed during a ride in May from O’Hare International Airport to McCrea’s home. They claim the driver for Sun Taxi turned the interior lights on and off, telling his passengers, “This is public transportation.” The driver initially pulled over on an expressway but then drove to a grocery store parking lot and ordered them out, they said.
“My initial reaction was that I was afraid of this man, and I didn’t know what he was thinking,” said White, 29. “Matt’s initial reaction was that we are not getting out of this cab on the expressway.”
White called a complaint line and was eventually connected to police, who sent officers to the grocery store parking lot. The cab driver told police White and McCrea had been “making sex,” which the two deny. No one was arrested, and the two men eventually got out of the cab and waited for another one to come pick them up.
The driver told the Chicago Sun-Times that he was annoyed because the two men wouldn’t stop kissing and that he found their behavior distracting.
The couple say they exchanged only a brief kiss.
The gay rights organization Lambda Legal filed a complaint Monday with the Illinois Department of Human Rights seeking damages on their behalf.
Sun Taxi general manager Jong Lee says he can’t comment on the complaint until he sees it.
McCrea says since the incident he might be a little more cautious about how he acts. However, White says he refuses to change his behavior.
“We’re a couple just like any other couple,” he said.

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