National Roundup

 Virginia

Ex-governor seeks FDA, SEC files on witness 
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s attorneys are seeking documents from two federal agencies that they hope they can use to attack the credibility of the government’s expected star witness in McDonnell’s public corruption case.
McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are charged with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from the head of a dietary supplements company in exchange for promoting his products. They’ve pleaded not guilty. Their trial is set for July 28.
Defense attorneys filed papers late Thursday asking a federal judge in Richmond to issue subpoenas for Food and Drug Administration and Securities and Exchange Commission files on Star Scientific Inc. and its former CEO, Jonnie Williams. Both agencies have investigated the company.
McDonnell’s attorneys say those documents will be essential to evaluating Williams’ testimony.
 
Maryland
Women indicted in children’s exorcism deaths 
ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — Two Maryland women have been indicted in the stabbings of four children in what authorities say the women believed was an exorcism.
Twenty-eight-year-old Zakieya Avery and 21-year-old Monifa Sanford were indicted Thursday on two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Avery’s 18-month-old son and 2-year-old daughter in January at a home in Germantown, Md., outside Washington. They were also indicted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder in an attack on Avery’s 5-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son.
Prosecutors have said the women told investigators they believed evil spirits moved between the bodies of the children and an exorcism was needed to drive the demons out.
Police said that if a neighbor had not called 911, the two older children might have died too.
 
Ohio
5-year sentence given for man in slave labor case 
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — A judge on Thursday handed a five-year prison term to the first of four people sentenced for participating in the enslavement of a mentally disabled woman held for two years with her young child in northeast Ohio.
Daniel Brown pleaded guilty last year to a single conspiracy charge and agreed to cooperate with the investigation. He was sentenced by Judge Benita Pearson in federal court in Youngstown.
Brown, 34, and three others were charged in connection with the enslavement and beating of the woman. Prosecutors said she was recruited and targeted along with her daughter as part of a plot to obtain the woman’s government benefits and steal her pain medication.
Prosecutors also contend the woman was hit badly enough to require a hospital visit for pain medicine, which the defendants then took from her. They said the woman was forced to use her public assistance money to buy groceries and cigarettes for the defendants.
The victims were taunted and threatened with pit bulls and snakes, forced to sleep in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, had their access to the bathroom restricted and were prevented from eating regular meals, prosecutors said, citing trial testimony and court documents.
One woman has pleaded guilty to various charges, and a man and his girlfriend were convicted at trial last week.

Pennsylvania
Jerry Sandusky’s ex-lawyer gives up law license 
CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) — One of two defense lawyers who represented former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky at his child sex abuse trial has voluntarily surrendered his license to practice law in Pennsylvania. The move comes amid an investigation into allegations of misappropriation of client funds.
The Cumberland County Bar Association said Thursday that Karl Rominger had surrendered his license. It says the effective date of that surrender will be determined by the state Supreme Court.
Rominger’s law firm is based in Carlisle. It’s the subject of a probe into possible misappropriation of funds from a client’s divorce settlement.
The Internal Revenue Service recently filed nearly $310,000 in tax liens against Rominger.
A message left at Rominger’s office hasn’t been returned.
Sandusky was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys and is imprisoned but maintains his innocence.
 
Oklahoma
Police: Arizona man ‘just felt like killing’ brother 
PHOENIX (AP) — A 27-year-old Arizona man charged with fatally stabbing his 12-year-old half brother reportedly told police he “just felt like killing.”
Andrew Ward called 911 from a convenience store near the north Phoenix home where Austin Tapia suffered multiple stab wounds last Wednesday, police Sgt. Steve Martos said.
Ward told the dispatcher he had stabbed someone, and officers found Ward with blood on his hands and clothing and a knife in a pants pocket, Martos said.
Martos said detectives asked Ward why he killed the boy, and Ward said, “Honestly, I just felt like killing.”
Other family members had gone to dinner, so Ward and the boy were the only ones home. The mother and two teenage sisters returned home to find police at what had become a crime scene.
Ward was booked into jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and child abuse, and bond was set at $1 million at his initial court appearance Thursday.
He doesn’t have a lawyer yet and is facing a March 20 status conference and March 24 preliminary hearing in the case.
A Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said Ward was still being processed into the jail and was not available Thursday to be asked about a request for a jailhouse interview.
A clerk at the convenience store, Kristina Krasovich, said the man identified by police as Ward had blood on his shirt and an arm and that it looked like he had wiped his hands on his pants when he arrived at the store.
“He was real shaky and scared. I could see in his eyes something bad had happened,” Krasovich told KNXV-TV.
She saw him talking on the phone, Krasovich said.
“He had calmed down, but he still had this look of horror on his face,” she said.
She asked if the man was OK and said he gave her a thumbs-up
A few minutes later, Krasovich said, the man started to walk toward the door where police officers waiting with guns drawn ordered him to the ground.

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