State Roundup

 Flint

Police seek tips, offer reward in slaying of cabbie 
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Flint police are seeking tips from the public in the slaying 25 years ago of a cab driver.
The Flint Journal reports Otto Brown’s body was found in his cab in Flint on April 27, 1989. Police say Brown made a pickup around 4 a.m. at Sussex Apartments and was driving to Amy Jo Manor Apartments in Mount Morris Township.
Police say Brown appeared to be the victim of a robbery. Crime Stoppers is offering up to $2,500 for any information leading to an arrest.
 
Detroit
City auctioning vacant homes in blight fight online
DETROIT (AP) — Detroit’s effort to auction off vacant, city-owned houses to people willing to quickly fix them up is getting attention from potential buyers.
The auctions began Monday, with The Detroit News and MLive.com reporting the first home being offered as part of the effort getting a top bid of $34,100. Bidding began at $1,000 for the 1,400-square-foot, 3-bedroom colonial-style home in Detroit’s East English Village.
One home is being auctioned each weekday. The auctions are part of the city’s effort to eradicate blight while stabilizing neighborhoods.
Detroit has struggled for years with vacant homes and buildings, and thousands of them have been razed. Vacant houses and buildings often are vandalized by metal and wire thieves. The damage they do make the structures nearly impossible to sell.
 
Detroit
Feds want prison for 90-year-old Indiana drug mule 
DETROIT (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Detroit are recommending a five-year prison sentence for an elderly Indiana man who was a cross-country drug courier for about a decade.
Leo Sharp is hoping his age and health problems will persuade a judge to keep him out of prison Wednesday — his 90th birthday. But in a court filing Tuesday, the government says he deserves no such break.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline says Sharp worked for a drug organization that “literally flooded” southeastern Michigan and Fort Wayne, Indiana, with cocaine.
Sharp, a Michigan City, Indiana, resident, pleaded guilty last fall. Michigan State Police caught him in 2011 with more than 200 pounds of cocaine on Interstate 94, west of Detroit.

Marlette Twp.
Man pleads guilty for role in boy’s shooting with rifle
MARLETTE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Sanilac County man has pleaded guilty to charges related to the accidental fatal shooting of an 11-year-old boy who was an overnight guest at his home.
The Times Herald reports the man made the plea Monday to firearm possession by a felon and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was scheduled for trial May 15.
The man’s 12-year-old son pleaded guilty last month to reckless discharge of a firearm and a written sentence is expected this week.
Tyler Dunn died Nov. 23 from a rifle shot in Marlette Township, about 65 miles north of Detroit. Authorities say no adult was home.
 
Grand Blanc
Priest accused of inappropriate touching 2 kids 
GRAND BLANC, Mich. (AP) — The Catholic Diocese of Lansing says a priest at a Flint-area parish and school has been placed on leave as authorities investigate allegations he inappropriately touched two children.
The statement says Holy Family Catholic School, Church of the Holy Family and the diocese are cooperating with the investigation into the Rev. Ken Coughlin. He’s accused of touching two students on their hands and legs.
The diocese says Coughlin denies anything inappropriate happened but will be on administrative leave until the investigation is completed. 
 
Flint
Man gets prison for 2007 store owner’s shooting 
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A judge ordered a Flint man to spend decades in prison after he pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in the robbery-shooting of a Flint store owner seven years ago.
Genesee County Circuit Judge Archie Hayman sentenced Harvey L. Johnson Monday to 18-50 years in prison. Johnson also was ordered to serve a consecutive two-year term for possessing a firearm during a felony.
Johnson made the plea in March. His first murder trial ended with a deadlocked jury last year.
Authorities say Johnson and Markcus McGill robbed Wajdi Badr in March 2007. Badr was struggling with McGill when Johnson fired several shots, hitting both men.
McGill survived and pleaded guilty in 2008 to second-degree murder.

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