National Roundup

Iowa
Student faces prosecution in China for slaying

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Chinese authorities have arrested a former University of Iowa student in southeastern China and say they will prosecute him in the slaying of his girlfriend in Iowa, where her body was found stuffed into the truck of her car, Iowa City police said.

An Iowa City police news release issued Monday night said Xiangnan Li, 23, surrendered to police in Wenzhou on May 13 and was arrested on June 19 to face a charge of intentional homicide.

Li had returned to China following the slaying of Tong Shao, a 20-year-old Chinese national whose body was found Sept. 26. An autopsy said she’d been asphyxiated and authorities said she had been killed after a weekend with Li at a motel in Nevada, Iowa. Shao was reported missing on Sept. 17 in Ames, where she was an international student at Iowa State University.

Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness told The Des Moines Register that Iowa authorities want Li to be returned to the U.S. for trial, but that the United States and China don’t have an extradition treaty.
“That’s the only way we could have him prosecuted — to have the Chinese do it themselves, because they will not extradite anyone back from China,” Lyness said.

The Criminal Investigation Bureau of China said that under Chinese criminal law, Chinese citizens are subject to Chinese prosecution for any crimes they commit abroad. The range of punishments in China for intentional homicide includes the death penalty, life imprisonment and imprisonment over 10 years.

Iowa authorities had said Li was a person of interest in the investigation, but he returned to China before he could be questioned. Iowa City police officials contacted Chinese officials, and soon the Criminal Investigation Bureau of China and police in Zhejiang Province opened an investigation.

Iowa officials said a team of Chinese investigators came to Iowa in early June to join Iowa police and prosecutors in their investigation.

China’s Ministry of Public Security said in a statement Monday that Chinese detectives collected evidence, checked the crime scene and questioned witnesses. U.S. police handed evidence to the
Chinese team, the ministry said.

Wenzhou is a city in the coastal province of Zhejiang in southeastern China.


New York
Former prison with mountain view for sale


MOREAU, N.Y. (AP) — For sale: A 325-acre New York property containing more than 100 structures atop a mountain offering spectacular views. Sleeps hundreds.

And one more thing: It’s a former prison.

The economic development office says July 7 is the deadline to submit bids to turn the prison in the Adirondack foothills into a new enterprise.

The state closed the medium-security Mount McGregor Correctional Facility last summer as part of a plan to shut down four prisons because of declining inmate populations.

It’s located in the Saratoga County town of Moreau (MOHR’-oh), just north of Saratoga Springs.

Some of the buildings date to 1915, when the site was home to a tuberculosis sanitarium. It was turned into a state prison in the 1970s.

McGregor’s dormitories and cells could sleep more than 540 inmates.


Kentucky
Man pleads guilty to gunning down defense lawyer


SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) — A south-central Kentucky man accused of gunning down a prominent defense attorney last year has entered a plea of guilty but mentally ill.

Local news outlets report Clinton Inabnitt entered the plea Monday to charges of murder and wanton endangerment in the death of Somerset attorney Mark Stanziano.

The move came a week before he was scheduled to stand trial. Previous testimony has indicted that Inabnitt was schizophrenic and delusional.

Prosecutor Eddy Montgomery said he’s recommending a 20-year prison sentence on the murder charge followed by three years of probation on the wanton endangerment count. Montgomery said Stanziano’s wife and daughter were “heavily involved” in the decision.

Stanziano was known for defending people accused in high-profile cases including a triple slaying at a pawn shop and the fatal shooting of a sheriff.


Pennsylvania
Man jailed for not paying $749 fare for 300-mile ride

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Police say a man who took a 300-mile cab ride across Pennsylvania to surprise his fiancee has been jailed because he couldn’t pay the $749 fare.

Police say 35-year-old New York City resident John Williams Jr. took the taxi from Philadelphia to Uniontown with his children early Saturday.

But when they arrived in Uniontown, authorities say, Williams refused to pay the bill, and the cab driver called police.

Police say Williams told them he didn’t have cash and “his credit card was maxed out for the day.”

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Williams was charged with theft of services. He was jailed on $2,500 bail to await a preliminary hearing July 7.

It’s unclear where the children are staying.
Online court records don’t list an attorney for Williams.

Massachusetts
Mistrial declared after defendant hits lawyer


WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A judge has declared a mistrial for a Massachusetts murder suspect who punched his lawyer in the face in open court.

The Telegram & Gazette  reports that the jury was not present when 35-year-old Janleer Povez hit his appointed lawyer, Elliot Levine, at a hearing on Monday.

Povez said he didn’t want Levine as his lawyer.

Povez is facing a second-degree murder charge for allegedly stabbing a Westborough man during a drug deal in 2008.

Povez was removed from the courtroom following the outburst and Levine moved for a mistrial. Levine suffered a fat lip.

The prosecutor objected, saying Povez deliberately tried to cause a mistrial. The district attorney says Povez could face additional charges.

A new lawyer will be appointed for Povez, whose case will continue in August.

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