State Roundup

Mount Clemens
Woman guilty of murder in death of adult son

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) - A jury in Michigan on Monday found a 61-year-old woman guilty of killing and dismembering her adult son, rejecting her testimony that a masked armed man killed him and kept her hostage for five days.

A Macomb County Circuit Court jury convicted Donna Scrivo of first-degree murder and mutilation of a body.

Scrivo, a registered nurse, filed a missing person's report in January 2014, telling authorities that 32-year-old Ramsay Scrivo left their St. Clair Shores home and failed to return. Bags containing his body parts were found a few days later in St. Clair County, northeast of Detroit. An electric saw was in one of the bags.

According to prosecutors, Donna Scrivo drugged her son, strangled him and dumped his body in a bathtub.

In closing arguments Monday, Assistant Prosecutor William Cataldo called Scrivo's account "fake."

"You either believe that ... or you believe the physical evidence," Cataldo said.

Defense lawyer Mark Haddad pointed out that none of Ramsay Scrivo's DNA was found on his mother. Haddad also said his 110-pound client couldn't lift the body of her 235-pound son into a bathtub and asked what reason she would have for killing and mutilating him.

"She would have to be the stupidest murderer in the world unless she was forced," Haddad said. "Unless she was directed at gunpoint to do these seemingly stupid things."

First-degree murder carries a mandatory penalty of life in prison without possibility of parole under Michigan law. Judge Richard Caretti set her sentencing for June 23.

As the last witness in her defense, Donna Scrivo testified that she found the armed man in her son's room and that he made her help him, including carrying the bags with her son's remains out of the home and driving them to St. Clair County.

"I'm not mother of the year. I have multiple problems," Scrivo said. "I think I did everything to protect the rest of my family. I did everything he told me to."

Baldwin
Vermont to move out-of-state inmates to Mich.

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Department of Corrections says the state's prison inmates being housed out of state are going to be moved to Michigan.

The department said Tuesday it had signed a contract with the GEO Group to house the inmates at the North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin, Michigan.

Currently Vermont is housing 319 inmates at facilities in Kentucky and Arizona. That contract expires June 20. The department will begin transferring the inmates to Michigan soon.

The new two-year, $30.4 million contract with GEO will save the state about $2,055 per inmate per year. The state says GEO will provide "comprehensive correctional management services," including offender rehabilitation programs.

For years Vermont has sent a number of inmates to out-of-state facilities to alleviate overcrowding in the state's prisons.

Grand Rapids
$100K settlement reached over boy who died at farm

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A $100,000 settlement has been reached in a federal wrongful death lawsuit by the family of one of two young people who died in 2010 after falling into a tank at a Barry County dairy farm.

The Grand Rapids Press reports the family of 17-year-old Francisco Martinez reached the agreement with Yankee Springs Dairy Farm and its owner in U.S. District Court.

WOOD-TV reports a judge is to rule June 12 on the settlement.

Martinez and 18-year-old Victor Perez were overcome by fumes emitted by decaying molasses in the tank at the farm, about 20 miles southeast of Grand Rapids. Authorities say they died of asphyxiation after being trapped in the oxygen-depleted environment.

The Perez family has a lawsuit pending in Barry County Circuit Court. Trial is planned next month.

Ludington
Piping plover nest at beach prompts protective action

LUDINGTON, Mich. (AP) - A nesting pair of endangered birds have set up home at a Lake Michigan shoreline park, prompting western Michigan authorities to protectively rope off 10,000 square feet of beach.

The piping plovers were spotted this spring at Stearns Park beach in Ludington this spring, leading the city's public works department to postpone preparations for the summer.

Department supervisor Joe Stickney tells the Ludington Daily News that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requested his crews not to use equipment on the beach.

Published: Wed, May 20, 2015

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