National Roundup

Ohio
Town wants suit against ex-police chief dismissed

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — A northeast Ohio township is asking a court to dismiss a lawsuit by one of its police officers accusing the popular former police chief of sexual harassment, battery and discrimination against her and alleging the local government was negligent in supervising him.

Brimfield Township, near Kent, denied such negligence in a response filed last week and said the claims are barred for several reasons. Among those, it said that the officer failed to exercise her rights under the township’s policy on discrimination and harassment and that the township responded properly when it became aware of the allegations.

The township was named as a defendant in Officer Crystal Casterline’s updated complaint filed in Stark County. Her lawsuit accuses former Chief David Oliver of violating her rights with unwanted touching and sexual and derogatory comments, and it alleges Oliver struck her in the throat and thigh.

Oliver denied the allegations and has suggested that his style of management was being used against him.

His resignation this year disappointed fans of his blunt, humorous commentary that made the small department’s Facebook page among the most-liked local law enforcement pages in the country.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages potentially totaling more than $1 million from Oliver and the township.

Georgia
Pill leads to murder charge after fetus dies

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — A south Georgia woman has been charged with malice murder in the death of a 5 1/2-month-old fetus she delivered after taking an abortion pill.

WALB-TV reports 23-year-old Kenlissa Jones took a Cytotec abortion pill she purchased on the Internet and delivered the fetus Saturday night. A neighbor drove Jones to the hospital, but she delivered the baby boy in the car.

Officials said the boy died after about half an hour at the hospital. Jones was arrested and taken to the Dougherty County Jail.

Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards said the case will likely go before a grand jury.


California
Court upholds lockup for boy who killed dad

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California boy who shot and killed his neo-Nazi father in 2011 lost a bid to have his case tossed when a state appellate court on Monday rejected his argument that a judge wrongly considered statements he made to authorities in violation of his Miranda rights.

A division of the 4th District Court of Appeal also said the court did not make a mistake when it allowed the boy to be evaluated by a doctor without his attorney being present.

There was substantial evidence to support the court’s finding that the boy understood what he had done was wrong, and the court considered all of the relevant evidence before sending him to juvenile lockup as opposed to a less restrictive residential treatment center, the appeals court said.

Amy Quartarolo, an attorney for the boy, declined comment on the ruling.

Authorities say the boy shot and killed his father, 32-year-old Jeffrey Hall, at point-blank range as he slept on a sofa in their home on May 1, 2011, after a night of drinking. The boy told officers his father had repeatedly abused him, according to the appeals court.

He also had a history of violence that pre-dated his father’s involvement with white supremacist causes, prosecutors said. At age 5, he stabbed a teacher with a pencil during his first day in kindergarten. He also tried to strangle a teacher with a phone cord, according to prosecutors.

A judge ordered the boy in 2013 to spend at least seven years in juvenile lockup. Judge Jean R. Leonard noted that had he been convicted as an adult he would have been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison. The longest he can be held as a juvenile is until age 23, and he would become eligible for parole in seven years.


Georgia
Father pleads guilty in death of 10-year-old girl

ATLANTA (AP) — A man has pleaded guilty in the death of his 10-year-old daughter whose emaciated and burned body was found in a trash bin.

WAGA-TV reports that Eman Moss pleaded guilty to murder on Monday in Emani Moss’ 2013 death.

Authorities have said the girl weighed 32 pounds when she was found and may have been starved to death.

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter recommended Moss receive a life sentence without a chance of parole. Porter says he expects Moss to cooperate with investigators and testify against his wife, who still faces a murder charge.

Porter had said he would seek the death penalty against both the girl’s father and her stepmother, Tiffany Moss.

Washington
Suits challenging climate change plan tossed out

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has thrown out a pair of lawsuits challenging the Obama administration’s plan to address climate change.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that the lawsuits are premature because the proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency is not yet final.

The lawsuits from a coalition of 15 states and the nation’s largest privately held coal mining company claim the EPA exceeded its authority last year when it proposed new curbs on pollution from the nation’s coal-fired power plants.

But the appeals court said opponents of the plan must wait until the EPA approves a final rule, expected later this year.

The EPA says it has authority for the plan under the Clean Air Act.

New Hampshire
Court rules on parking meter ‘Robin Hoods’

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The state’s highest court has ruled the conduct of a band of self-styled “Robin Hoods” in Keene who feed parking meters while following officers is protected under the First Amendment, but the city has a right to pursue an injunction against them in the interests of public safety.

City officials said they have no problem with the group paying the fees — a reaction to what the group calls “the king’s tariff”— but want to protect officers from harassment and argued for a buffer zone. The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday the “challenged conduct” is intended to draw attention to parking enforcement operations. There’s no allegation that it involves violent conduct.

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