National Roundup

Ohio
Judge who ruled in Pete Rose's favor retires

CINCINNATI (AP) - A county judge in Cincinnati who ruled in favor of Pete Rose during the star's court fight against Major League Baseball is retiring after hearing thousands of cases over 40 years on the bench.

Judge Norbert Nadel (NAY'-del) of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court tells The Cincinnati Enquirer he's learned that the job requires not being afraid to do what he thinks is right. He says the best part is making a difference in people's lives.

He sometimes yells at defendants, and not everyone thinks he is fair.

Nadel says his most famous case was the 1989 order he granted that temporarily stopped baseball from banning Rose, who eventually was banned, and still is. More recently, Nadel drew attention overseeing the case of a convicted juvenile judge, Tracie Hunter.

Massachusetts
Tsarnaev lawyers again seek postponement of trial

BOSTON (AP) - Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehvz) defense team has again asked a judge to postpone his trial, given that he faces the death penalty.

In a filing Monday, defense lawyers said given the volume of documentation and evidence in the case, more time is needed to prepare.

Defense lawyers also say the government hasn't handed over all documents requested and that Tsarnaev deserves the most thorough defense possible because he faces death.

Defense lawyers say Tsarnaev "is being afforded substantially less time to prepare than the vast majority of defendants in federal capital cases."

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Jan. 5. Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty.

The April 2013 bombings killed three and injured more than 260.

Pennsylvania
Police say man jail­ed for posting police threats

MCDONALD, Pa. (AP) - A southwestern Pennsylvania man has been jailed on charges he posted Facebook comments encouraging people to kill police the same day a man fatally shot two New York City officers.

The (Washington) Observer-Reporter says Steven Drake Jr. was arrested Wednesday in McDonald. Police there were alerted to the Dec. 20 posts by officers in a nearby community.

Among the comments Drake allegedly posted were, "The police brought this on themselves! I say kill them all! Enough is enough."

The 29-year-old from Midway faces a preliminary hearing Jan. 6 on charges including terroristic threats and disorderly conduct. Online court records don't list an attorney for him.

Police say Drake acknowledged making the posts, which also referenced the recent police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City.

Texas
Woman to plead guilty in murder of top prosecutor

KAUFMAN, Texas (AP) - The estranged wife of a former justice of the peace in North Texas is expected to plead guilty to murder in connection with the 2013 slayings of a district attorney, his wife and a top prosecutor.

Kim Williams is charged with three counts of capital murder, but it's unclear if she will plead guilty to all three indictments Tuesday.

Prosecutor Toby Shook said a tentative plea deal has been reached but specifics won't be disclosed until the agreement is signed. Defense attorney Paul Johnson declined to comment on the agreement.

Williams' husband, Eric Williams, was sentenced to death earlier this month for killing Cynthia McLelland, wife of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland. Eric Williams has been charged, but not tried, in the deaths of Mike McLelland and prosecutor Mark Hasse.

Prosecutors say the deaths were retribution after Hasse and McLelland prosecuted Williams for the theft of county equipment. He lost his job and law license as a result.

During his trial, prosecutors presented evidence that he paid a friend to rent a storage unit where he kept more than 30 guns, police tactical gear and a getaway car.

A "masked assassin," whom prosecutors identified as Williams, approached Hasse as he walked to work and the two shoved each other. They said Hasse pleaded and yelled "I'm sorry" before he was repeatedly shot.

Two months later, Williams stormed into the McLellands' rural home and shot both the district attorney and his wife more than a dozen times each, according to evidence at his trial.

During the punishment phase, Kim Williams testified for more than two hours about her role in the plot, saying she was a "willing participant" in her husband's revenge killings.

Her testimony indicated she drove the getaway car in Hasse's slaying and helped to dispose of the weapons used to kill the McLellands at their home east of Dallas.

California
Hearse stolen ou­tside church <t-2>with casket inside

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A pastor's wife says a hearse was stolen from outside a Southern California church ahead of funeral services with a casket inside.

The Los Angeles Times reports Sunday that the hearse was idling outside Ebenezer Baptist Church in South Los Angeles while the funeral director arranged flowers for Saturday morning services for 19-year-old Jonté Lee Reed.

Shirley Little, the pastor's wife, says the director called ministry friends for help when he saw the hearse was missing.

Little says family members driving to the funeral had been notified and stopped the hearse four blocks from the church.

KTLA-TV reports that police detained the man, whose mental condition will be evaluated.

Florida
Man in MLB drug investigation facing prison

MIAMI (AP) - A key figure in the investigation into use of banned performance-enhancing substances by Major League Baseball players is facing prison time after pleading guilty.

Sentencing is set Tuesday in Miami federal court for Jorge Velazquez, who pleaded guilty in October to conspiring to distribute testosterone.

Velazquez could get about two and a half years behind bars, possibly less because of his cooperation with prosecutors.

Velazquez admitted being a drug supplier for Anthony Bosch, who ran the now-closed Biogenesis of America clinic in Coral Gables. Bosch and four others have also pleaded guilty in the case, which resulted in suspensions of 14 professional baseball players including New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez.

Published: Tue, Dec 30, 2014

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