National Roundup

New York

Two suspects in violinist's death held without bail

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Two men accused of killing a New York concert violinist during a robbery in her home have been ordered held without bail after a prosecutor detailed how the victim was shot and stabbed after opening her door to help them.

Jonathan Conklin and Charles Sanford said nothing during a detention hearing Thursday in federal court in Buffalo, where they've pleaded not guilty to stealing property and taking it across state lines, and carjacking.

Police say the men killed 61-year-old Mary Whitaker after she agreed to lend them her phone in the Chautauqua County town of Westfield on Aug. 20. They're accused of driving her car to Erie, Pennsylvania, where they were arrested.

A grand jury will consider state murder charges.

Louisiana

Gun company cuts ties with reality TV star

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A Louisiana firearms company at the center of the reality TV show "Sons of Gun" distanced itself from the program's star this week after he was arrested on charges of repeatedly raping a child.

Will Hayden was arrested Tuesday. As of Thursday, Red Jacket Firearms said that "with heavy hearts," it had legally cut ties with him but would continue to operate.

"We are the heart and soul of Red Jacket and will remain steadfast in our commitment to quality and our customers, for years to come," a statement on its website said.

An email request for information from the company was not immediately answered.

After the arrest, The Discovery Channel canceled the show, citing "the serious and horrific nature of the charges" against the star.

Hayden remained in prison Thursday morning, jail records showed, with bail set at $250,000. He was arrested on aggravated rape charges involving a child, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said. He already faced child molestation and aggravated crime against nature charges stemming from an arrest Aug. 9.

Hayden began having sex with the child, then 11 years old, in 2013, according to allegations in an affidavit filed by sheriff's deputies. The latest rape, the report said, happened in July.

A guardian of the victim contacted deputies Aug. 16. The victim confided to the guardian after Hayden's Aug. 9 arrest, according to the report.

Deputies said they met with the child and guardian and took a statement.

According to the affidavit, the child told deputies Hayden took her virginity when she was 11 years old and that sex acts happened almost daily thereafter.

The Associated Press generally does not identify potential victims of sexual assault.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Hayden had an attorney

"Sons of Guns" began airing in 2011 and followed Hayden's family-owned custom firearms business. Episodes often showed Hayden and his adult daughter, Stephanie, helping customers find weapons, including rifles. Other scenes showed the process of making the guns, images from firing ranges, and ammunition tips.

Massachusetts

Ex-congressman sues state over marijuana denial

BOSTON (AP) - A former Massachusetts congressman whose bid to open three medical marijuana dispensaries was rejected by state regulators has filed a lawsuit.

Former U.S. Rep. William Delahunt is asking a court to force the state Public Health Department to give him licenses to run dispensaries in Dennis, Masphee and Taunton.

The Boston Globe reports that in a lawsuit filed this week in Suffolk Superior Court, Delahunt's company, Medical Marijuana of Massachusetts, said regulators broke their own rules and reacted unreasonably to negative publicity when they reversed themselves and rejected the company's bid to run dispensaries after initially granting approval in January.

Delahunt's lawsuit is among at least a half-dozen suits filed by rejected applicants.

State regulators notified Delahunt's company in June that it was denied licenses because it planned to divert excessive revenues to a management company associated with Delahunt, and made incorrect representations on its application that suggested it had support from state Senate President Therese Murray.

Delahunt's company says the reversal was arbitrary and capricious because it was based on publicity considerations rather than the merits of the company's applications.

A health department spokeswoman defended the selection process, and noted that some of the other legal challenges to the process have been rejected in the courts.

Pennsylvania

Man gets 35 years in plot to murder ex-wife

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - A northeastern Pennsylvania man has been sentenced in federal court to 35 years in what authorities called an unsuccessful murder-for-hire plot.

Forty-five-year-old Gary Williams of Scranton was sentenced Wednesday on last year's convictions of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, witness tampering and several firearms offenses.

Prosecutors said Williams was promised a $50,000-a-year job if he killed the ex-wife of 64-year-old Edward McLaughlin of Cape Coral, Florida, Authorities said the men hatched the plan when they were cellmates in Pike County in 2011 and that McLaughlin shipped a rifle from Florida to Scranton for Williams.

Williams, who told authorities he was only stringing McLaughlin along, unsuccessfully sought a new trial. McLaughlin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a murder-for-hire and two firearms counts but sought to withdraw the pleas earlier this year.

Ohio

Dayton officer can't be sued for discrimination

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a Dayton police officer can't be sued individually as part of a sex discrimination case.

At issue in the court's divided ruling were complaints of age- and sex-discrimination by a female police officer against the department and her supervisor.

The court's 4-3 decision Thursday said the portion of Ohio law governing employment discrimination places liability on a government entity but not its individual employees.

Justice Judith French, writing for the majority, says the court's decision relates only to law dealing with discrimination by a government entity and says individual employees can still be sued under different circumstances.

Justice Paul Pfeiffer in a dissent said the supervisor was liable because he was acting in the department's interest.

Published: Fri, Aug 29, 2014

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