National Roundup

Maryland
Officer accused of biting testicle leaves police force

BALTIMORE (AP) - A Baltimore man is no longer an Anne Arundel County police officer after he was charged for public intoxication and accused of biting another man's testicles during a fight outside a bar while he was off-duty on Cinco de Mayo.

County police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure tells The Capital of Annapolis 31-year-old Cpl. Michael Flaig is no longer employed by the department as of Sept. 23, but he wouldn't elaborate on why he left.

Flaig was involved in a fight in May after the victim accused Flaig of groping his female roommate.

After the incident, police told local news outlets that during the fight, the victim straddled Flaig to keep him from getting away and Flaig bit his testicles.

Flaig is serving one year of probation after being convicted of public intoxication and endangering the safety of another person. Officials decided not to prosecute Flaig on a second-degree assault charge.

Arkansas
Challenge delays extradition of man in slaying

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A man in custody in Delaware is fighting an extradition process that would take him back to Arkansas to face first-degree murder and kidnapping charges for the 1967 slaying of a North Little Rock man.

Sixty-eight-year-old James Leon Clay was arrested in his Delaware home March 10 after he was recorded telling a former prison inmate that he killed 27-year-old James Ricks.

Clay's lawyer, Robert Robinson, said a warrant that would put Clay into the state of Arkansas' custody was served after a 30-day deadline and not properly signed.

Jackson County Sherriff David Lucas said he believes the state followed procedure and that Clay is "doing everything he can to avoid" returning.

Washington
High court won't reinstate $250K award in shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court will not reinstate a $250,000 award to the father of a suspected marijuana user in Maryland who was killed by police in a middle-of the-night raid.

The justices on Monday left in place a court ruling that overturned the jury award in the death of Andrew Cornish in 2005. A SWAT team entered Cornish's apartment in Cambridge, Maryland, at 4:30 a.m. with a search warrant to look for marijuana.

The jury found that police violated Cornish's constitutional rights by failing to "knock and announce" their presence before going inside.

A lawsuit filed by Andrew Kane over his son's death argued that Cornish was awakened by the intrusion, grabbed a knife for protection and was shot in the head seconds later.

The case is Kane v. Lewis, 15-193.

New York
Woman pleads guilty to $435K credit card scam

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a 37-year-old citizen of Guyana has admitted to being part of a counterfeit credit card operation that netted hundreds of thousands of dollars in gift cards bought at stores in five northeastern states.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Monday that Georgette Jackman pleaded guilty last Friday in federal court in Albany to charges that include conspiracy to commit access device fraud, aggravated identity theft and trafficking in counterfeit access devices.

Prosecutors say Jackman and two men traveled to 47 Price Chopper supermarkets and other stores in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut between February 2012 and January 2013 and used hundreds of counterfeit credit cards to purchase $435,000 worth of gift cards.

Jackman faces up to 17 years in prison when she sentenced Feb. 18. She also faces deportation after completing her sentence.

South Carolina
Jury: Bar must pay $3.85M after fatal DUI crash

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A Richland County jury has found has returned a $3.85 million negligence verdict in connection with a Columbia sports bar's role in serving liquor to a drunk man who several hours later caused a fatal crash that killed a 6-year-old girl.

The State newspaper of Columbia reports that the jury deliberated more than eight hours in the civil case before reaching a verdict Friday afternoon in favor of the family of Emma Longstreet.

The jury found the Loose Cockaboose Sports Bar was serving liquor after a state-mandated closing time, and that it had served a clearly intoxicated Billy Patrick Hutto.

Hutto, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for felony DUI involving death, testified that he was drunk when he arrived at the bar and drank three cocktails on New Year's Day 2012.

Florida
Man faces prison for phone fraud operated in Peru

MIAMI (AP) - A Peruvian man is facing up to 20 years in U.S. prison after admitting he operated telephone call centers that defrauded hundreds of Spanish-speaking people across the country.

A Miami federal judge has set a Dec. 18 sentencing date for 40-year-old Cesar Luis Kou Reyna of Lima, Peru. Kou Reyna pleaded guilty earlier this month to a mail fraud conspiracy charge.

Court documents show Kou Reyna operated call centers in Peru that contacted Spanish speakers in the U.S. claiming they owed money for products they actually never ordered. Callers made threats of legal action if the debt wasn't paid, but victims were told they could avoid a lawsuit if they paid an upfront settlement fee.

Prosecutors say victims paid at least $250,000 in such fees over a three-year period.

Connecticut
Murder defendant to see mental health expert

DANIELSON, Conn. (AP) - After examining defense psychiatric reports, prosecutors say they want a state mental health expert to examine a Willimantic man charged with killing his father and stashing the corpse away.

The Bulletin reports a lawyer for 36-year-old Andrew Samuolis did not object to the motion Friday in Superior Court.

Police say Samuolis fired on several officers who were conducting a wellness check at his home in June 2013 and fled the scene, leading to a massive manhunt. Police say he confessed to killing his father with a modified flare gun and living with his decomposing body for five months.

Samuolis has pleaded not guilty to murder, assault and other charges. He is being held on a nearly $1 million bond and is expected back in court on Nov. 20.

Published: Tue, Oct 20, 2015

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