National Roundup

North Carolina
Woman says man dressed up as a clown swung ax
HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — Police in western North Carolina have identified a man accused of swinging an ax at a woman while wearing a clown costume.

Multiple media outlets report that the woman has obtained an arrest warrant for 31-year-old Jimmy Raybon of Connelly Springs on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Hickory police spokeswoman Chrystal Dieter says the man came to the woman’s Hickory house around 4:30 a.m. Friday wearing a clown mask and a multicolored wig.

Authorities say the man didn’t hurt the woman, and she was able to remove his mask and recognized him as an acquaintance before he left.

A motive for the attack was not immediately clear.

California
Paraglider prompts chase after jail flyover

CASTAIC, Calif. (AP) — A midair traffic stop? Almost, as a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s helicopter pursued a powered paraglider that had just flown past a jail, raising concern.

A KABC-TV helicopter captured the brief chase that took place when the man in the paraglider flew near Los Angeles County’s Pitchess Detention Center Monday.

Jail deputies saw the fly-by and a sheriff’s helicopter began following him. He at first didn’t obey orders to stop, but landed a few minutes later near a paintball playing field

A sheriff’s statement says the 67-year-old was very apologetic and said he hadn’t heard them because of the motorized fan at his back. He said the winds took him near the jail.

Authorities say they’re still investigating, but the man had no contraband, was not spotted dropping anything and was not arrested or cited.

Virginia
Court upholds convictions of  former governor

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday declined to review the case of a former U.S. governor, who was convicted on public corruption charges.
A jury in September found former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty of doing favors for a wealthy executive in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts and loans.

The former Republican governor was sentenced to two years in prison. His wife was sentenced to one year and one day. Both have been free while they pursue separate appeals.

In a decision on Tuesday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it will not revisit McDonnell’s case. McDonnell now plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, his lawyer said.

According to trial testimony, vitamins executive Jonnie Williams showered the McDonnells with lavish gifts — including a Rolex watch for the governor, about $20,000 in designer clothing for the first lady and $15,000 to pay for catering at a daughter’s wedding — while the businessman was seeking state university research on his company’s signature product. He also loaned the McDonnells thousands of dollars on exceptionally favorable terms to help them pay off debt and keep their money-losing Virginia Beach vocation rental properties afloat.

Meanwhile, the McDonnells attended promotional events and hosted a product launch event for Anatabloc, the tobacco-derived anti-inflammatory manufactured by Williams’ company. Bob McDonnell also arranged meetings with administration officials for Williams, who wanted not only the university research but also inclusion of Anatabloc in the state’s employee health plan.

The former governor has insisted that he provided nothing more than routine political courtesies and access to Williams.

Ohio
Parents get jail for endangering their five children

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman and her husband were sentenced to prison for endangering and neglecting five of her children, including a 4-year-old with cystic fibrosis who had a dead cockroach in his breathing tube.

The pair from Akron was accused of not regularly feeding the children, tying them to chairs with rope and leaving them, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported.

Summit County Children’s Services alerted police in September about the condition and alleged neglect of the youngsters, who range from 1 to 15 years old and were found to be underweight. The parents eventually pleaded guilty to child endangering charges.

“Your conduct is appalling,” Summit County Common Pleas Judge Amy Corrigal Jones said Monday before sentencing the mother, Christian Cunard, to three years in prison. “Your conduct as a mother is despicable and you stand here today and blame your choices on someone else.”

Cunard, 42, had tearfully told the judge that her husband ran the family’s finances and wouldn’t pay for the children’s care.

“I wanted to leave so bad but I didn’t have the money,” she said. “He controlled all of us. I love my kids. I’d do anything for them.”

Wayne Cunard, 46, also cried as the judge sent him to prison for a year. He said little in court, aside from a comment that he would forfeit custody of his one biological child, the media group reported.

Wayne Cunard had cooperated with investigators and agreed to testify against his wife, who was believed by authorities to be primarily responsible for how the children were treated, assistant prosecutor Nik Buckmeier said.

Christian Cunard previously lost custody of her children in 2007, but an appeals court had reversed that ruling in 2010.

They are now in foster care, with some of them returning to the foster parents who cared for them years ago.

The child endangerment convictions mean the Cunards won’t get legal custody of the children again, Buckmeier said.

Ohio
Man charged with murder in death of 2-year-old boy

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man who spent time in prison for child endangering has been charged with murder in the death of a 2-year-old boy less than a year after his release, a prosecutor’s spokesman said Tuesday.

Justin Payne, 26, was initially arrested Saturday on a felonious assault count. Montgomery County Prosecutor’s spokesman Greg Flannagan said Payne has been charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter and two counts of endangering children.

Payne called 911 from a Dayton apartment on Saturday morning to say his girlfriend’s child apparently “choked on a Pop Tart.” The coroner’s office said the child, Jacob Barker, died Sunday. The cause of death hasn’t been determined.

Records show Payne pleaded no contest in June 2012 to a child endangering charge involving an infant and was released in November. Court records show that child was less than 2 months old and suffered serious injury, but survived and is now 4 years old.
 

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