National Roundup

New Jersey
Military couple go on trial again for child abuse

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - An Army major and his wife are being retried on charges they abused their three adopted children by withholding food and physically assaulting them.

In November, a federal judge in Newark declared a mistrial after a prosecutor mentioned the death of one of their other children while questioning a witness.

The judge had previously ruled that the boy's death could not be introduced during the trial because Army Maj. John Jackson and wife, Carolyn, weren't charged directly with his death.

The couple is charged with abusing their three adopted children in 2010 when the family was living at Picatinny Arsenal in Rockaway Township. They're accused of disciplining the children over a span of several years by withholding food and water and physically assaulting them.

Pennsylvania
Mom accused of leaving son in the woods hospitalized

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A woman accused of dumping her quadriplegic son in the woods to visit an out-of-state boyfriend remains hospitalized in Maryland while Philadelphia police await her release to arrest her.

Police in Montgomery County, Maryland, say Nyia Parler has been hospitalized for undisclosed reasons since late Friday. That is just a few hours after her 21-year-old son was found in a pile of wet leaves, next to his wheelchair and a Bible.

Police believe he had there since last Monday.

Philadelphia police Lt. John Walker says Monday that the son remains in stable condition after being hospitalized for dehydration, malnutrition and abrasions.

An arrest warrant issued Saturday charges the 41-year-old Parler with aggravated assault, neglect and kidnapping.

A police spokesman in Montgomery County says he cannot disclose why Parler is hospitalized.

California
LA to pay man wrongly convicted of murder $8M

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The city of Los Angeles agreed to pay $8 million to a man who spent 17 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.

The settlement with Obie Anthony was reached last month in his lawsuit against Los Angeles Police detectives and the city for wrongful imprisonment, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

Anthony, 40, and a friend were convicted and sentenced to life in prison in the 1994 killing of Felipe Gonzales Angeles during an apparently robbery attempt outside a South LA brothel.

Anthony claimed he had nothing to do with the shooting, but was convicted based on eyewitness testimony.

Lawyers later showed that a pimp who was a key witness had lied and prosecutors had not disclosed an agreement with him for a lighter sentence in exchange for his testimony.

Anthony and Reggie Cole had their convictions overturned and a judge later found Anthony factually innocent.

The two that alleged detectives concealed the discovery of bullets and shell casings found on the roof of the brothel and didn't have them tested to see if they matched bullets found at the crime scene. The bullets and shell casings were given to a Los Angeles Times reporter who was writing a book that profiled the detectives.

Ballistics tests conducted by Anthony's lawyers showed the bullets were fired from the same weapon used to kill Angeles, though a city expert said last year there was not enough evidence to show a match.

"The misconduct by police led to a miscarriage of justice and Obie spending 17 years in prison for a murder he obviously did not commit," said attorney David McLane, who represented Anthony in the civil case.

The city admitted no wrongdoing and said detectives had done nothing improper.

Anthony still has a lawsuit against Los Angeles prosecutors seeking compensation for his time in prison.

"The money will never make up for it," Anthony said.

Cole has similar lawsuits pending.

Minnesota
Police looking into 'homicide' of 10-year-old boy

CRYSTAL, Minn. (AP) - A body found in the Mississippi River over the weekend has been identified as that of a 10-year-old Minnesota boy who has been missing for nearly a month, and police said Sunday that the boy's father is a "primary suspect" as the case becomes a homicide investigation.

Authorities said the body of Barway Collins was found Saturday, about 10 feet from the river's edge in Brooklyn Center. Crystal, Minnesota, Police Chief Stephanie Revering said authorities have electronic evidence that shows the boy's father, Pierre Collins, was in that area at the time the boy disappeared. She did not elaborate on the nature of that evidence.

"This location is consistent with our knowledge of Pierre Collins' activities on March 18 and he remains a primary suspect," Revering said Sunday.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner said the cause and manner of Barway's death are still being investigated. Revering added that the case is being investigated as a homicide based on the autopsy and information from the medical examiner. She did not elaborate.

Pierre Collins has not been arrested or charged. Revering said authorities have his passport to ensure he stays in the country, and police were stationed at his apartment complex for his own protection.

Pierre Collins has said he is innocent. A phone message left at the home on Sunday was not immediately returned to The Associated Press.

In a March 25 interview with the Star Tribune, Pierre Collins said he was not home when his son disappeared and he was upset to be considered a suspect.

"I've been working with the police just to bring my son home," he told the newspaper. "I will do whatever they want just so Barway can come home. I have nothing to do with Barway's missing."

His wife and Barway's stepmother, Yamah Collins, also said she and her husband didn't know who took the boy, and they pleaded for his safe return.

The family told the Star Tribune that Barway emigrated from his home country of Liberia to stay with his father in 2011. The father said he wanted "to make him better" and for Barway to eventually go to college. Barway's mother lives in Liberia.

Barway was last seen after school on March 18. Video surveillance from his apartment complex shows he was about to go inside, but then turned around as if he was called over to the parking lot by someone he knew, and he walked away, police said last month.

Video from a school van shows that right before he was dropped off, he had said that he saw his dad and a man who he referred to as his "uncle" nearby.

Revering said earlier in the investigation that a lie detector test showed Pierre Collins was being untruthful with authorities.

Barway Collins was a fourth-grader at Evergreen Park World Cultures Community School. Volunteers have helped search for him in recent weeks. His body was found Saturday by searchers from a Boy Scout troop, who then notified authorities.

Published: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

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