Court Roundup

South Carolina
Woman gets probation in boyfriend's death

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina woman has been sentenced to five years of probation for fatally neglecting her boyfriend, who died several months after being taken to the hospital with bedsores, mold in his catheter and bug bites.

Multiple media outlets report Crystal Perdue, Rock Hill, pleaded guilty Friday to neglect of a vulnerable adult resulting in death.

Perdue cried as she told the judge she loved Jonathan Earle but failed him. Earle had multiple health problems, including multiple sclerosis and diabetes. He was also blind. He died on his 41st birthday in September 2012.

"I loved him with all my heart," Perdue said before being sentenced. "I was incapable of taking care of him."

Prosecutor Erin Joyner said Perdue called 911 on May 23, 2012, after Earle began bleeding from his catheter. He arrived at the emergency room dehydrated and filthy. Joyner said Earle also had a urinary tract infection, and his blood-sugar level was so high, "it was unreadable."

Detectives who went to their home said they had to wade through knee-deep trash. Crime scene investigators wore biohazard suits and masks.

Perdue's defense attorney said her client suffered from depression and a troubled past that included her father being murdered and her ex-husband leaving her and their children after she confronted him about having another family.

Her attorney, Mindy Lipinski, said Earle's health began deteriorating soon after they began dating. Lipinski said her client tried to tell Earle she couldn't care for him on her own, but he didn't want to be in a nursing home.

Perdue, a mother of two, faced up to 30 years in prison. Two counts of unlawful neglect of a child were dropped in exchange for her plea.

If she violates her probation, she faces 10 years in prison.

Rock Hill is about 27 miles south of Charlotte.

Virginia
Republicans reject gov.'s pick for high court

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Leaders of the Republican-controlled General Assembly say they are rejecting Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe's pick for the Virginia Supreme Court in favor of a their own selection.

House Speaker William J. Howell and Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. said late Sunday that the legislature plans to appoint Rossie D. Alston Jr. to the high court during an upcoming special session.

Alston is currently a member of the Virginia Court of Appeals. His appointment would mean the dismissal of Jane Marum Roush, who McAuliffe appointed late last month.

Republicans said they have no qualms with Roush's qualifications. But Republican Del. Greg Habeeb said the General Assembly has the ultimate authority on appointing judges and McAuliffe did a poor job of consulting with GOP leaders before making his selection.

Oklahoma
Not guilty pleas filed for 2 teens in stabbings

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A judge has entered not guilty pleas for two brothers charged with stabbing their parents and three siblings to death at their Oklahoma home last month.

Eighteen-year-old Robert Bever and his 16-year-old brother, Michael, appeared in court Monday via video.

A judge entered not guilty pleas on their behalf and scheduled an Oct. 28 preliminary hearing.

Lawyers for the two declined comment, saying it was too early to talk about the case.

The brothers were charged Friday with five counts of first-degree murder each in the July 22 deaths of their parents, two brothers and a sister at their home in Broken Arrow, a Tulsa suburb.

They are also accused of stabbing their 13-year-old sister, who survived. A toddler was found in the home unharmed.

Connecticut
Mother explores deportation policy after girl's death

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut mother said she's trying to learn how a Haitian immigrant accused of fatally stabbing her daughter managed to avoided deportation only months before being charged with her murder.

Wendy Hartling told The Day of New London on Thursday that she felt her daughter Casey Chadwick had been killed all over again when she found out Jean Jacques should have been deported after serving a 16-year prison sentence.

The newspaper reported that Jacques' previous crimes - including the illegal use of a gun during a deadly 1996 shooting - qualified him for deportation to his native Haiti.

Jacques's prison file was marked "Detainer: Immigration" and Connecticut officials said he was released in January to the custody of the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Last month, Jacques was in New London Superior Court to answer to murder and drug charges, stemming from the June 15 stabbing death of Chadwick at her apartment in Norwich. The 25-year-old woman's body was found stuffed in a closet.

"If our federal agencies had been on top of this, my daughter still would be here with us," Hartling told The Day at the office of New London attorney Chester Fairlie.

U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement officials said they have tried to send Jacques, 40, to Haiti since 2002, but that the country wouldn't accept him without citizenship documents.

Officials with ICE said they took the appropriate steps by detaining Jacques when he was initially released from prison in 2012. They said they cannot hold someone indefinitely when a country will not accept them.

"Unquestionably, there was a breakdown in the system that allowed a convicted felon with a deportation order to return to the Norwich community," U.S. Rep Joe Courtney said in a statement to The Day. "ICE confirmed that they are conducting an ongoing internal investigation into the handling of this case, and reiterated their position that legal precedent prevented them from detaining Jacques indefinitely."

Courtney said he has "serious remaining concerns and questions" that he plans to ask federal officials.

Hartling and New London attorney Chester Fairlie are working with lawmakers including Rep. Courtney to get answers. She said she hopes to tell her story to Congress.

Kansas
Order to release report on boy's death on hold

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas agency doesn't yet have to release results of its internal investigation into the death of a 4-year-old northeast Kansas boy.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that a federal judge's order for the Department for Children and Families to release an investigative report and other documents regarding the 2013 death is on hold.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Gale stayed his earlier order following objections by the agency.

Naomi Boone had sued the department following the death of her son, 4-year-old Mekhi Boone. The child died in 2013 at the hands of his father, Lee Davis, who's serving nearly 20 years for second-degree murder. Boone contends the child shouldn't have been placed with his father.

The agency says the order to require the documents' release wasn't supported by case law.

Published: Tue, Aug 04, 2015

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