National Roundup

North Dakota

Sex trafficking suspect begins defense in court

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A man accused of sex trafficking in the Williston area is presenting his defense in federal court in Bismarck this week.

Keith Graves is defending himself against 11 charges related to sex trafficking and drugs. Women who testified for the prosecution last week alleged that Graves used a handgun, bat and fists to keep them in line.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that the government rested its case on Friday, and U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland rejected a request from Graves to dismiss the case. Graves cited insufficient evidence but Hovland disagreed.

Graves was one of the main subjects in "The Overnighters," which won an award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. It followed a pastor who opened his church to homeless oil workers.

Washington

Baby sitter sent to prison for child's death

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A baby sitter in Washington will spend more than eight years in prison after an 8-month-old died while in her care.

The News Tribune reports that the judge who sentenced 35-year-old Jamie Thompson said Friday it isn't entirely clear what happened to Jayceon Thomas.

Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Martin says competing experts had competing findings. Prosecutors say Thompson hit the little boy in the head in April 2014, causing a fatal injury. But Thompson's attorneys say Thomas suffered from a disease or other condition that caused him to die.

Thompson was originally charged with murder, but took a deal that allowed her to maintain her innocence while pleading guilty to manslaughter for the boy's death. The deal let her avoid risking a longer prison sentence.

New Mexico

Man says he killed friend who became a zombie

GRANTS, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico man who had been watching TV's "The Walking Dead" told authorities he fatally beat his friend before he could become a zombie.

Grants police spokesman Moses Marquez said Sunday that 23-year-old Christopher Paquin was beaten and that 23-year-old Damon Perry is being held on a murder charge.

Perry's attorney, Michael E. Calligan, did not immediately return a call for comment.

Officers were called Thursday afternoon to an apartment complex where Perry was allegedly wielding a knife.

They found Paquin's body inside an apartment and maintenance workers detaining Perry.

Perry told investigators they had been drinking when Paquin began "to change into a zombie" and tried to bite him.

Police say Perry beat Paquin with his hands, feet, an electric guitar and a microwave.

Authorities say Perry attributed his actions to binge-watching "The Walking Dead," which centers on a zombie apocalypse, on Netflix.

Pennsylvania

Parents plead guilty to murder in death of son

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania couple charged in the starvation death of their disabled 9-year-old son has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and other charges.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jarrod Tutko Sr. pleaded guilty Monday in Dauphin County Court to the murder charge as well as child endangerment and concealing the death of a child.

Forty-year-old Kimberly Tutko pleaded guilty to murder and child endangerment in the death of Jarrod Tutko Jr. The boy's body was found in August 2014 in the family's Harrisburg home.

Jarrod had a genetic disorder with autism-like symptoms and weighed less than 17 pounds. An autopsy concluded that he died of malnutrition and neglect.

The parents also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and child endangerment related to their 10-year-old disabled daughter. Police investigating Jarrod's death found her in dire medical condition.

Indiana

Restaurant offers discount to legal gun owners

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indianapolis restaurant owner is offering a 25 percent discount to concealed-carry permit holders after his business was robbed.

Art Bouvier announced the discount on Facebook Saturday night, shortly after the robbery at his Cajun restaurant Papa Roux.

"I don't want Papa Roux to turn into the O.K. Corral, but I don't want to be an easy target," Bouvier told The Indianapolis Star.

It's unclear how much money was taken. No one was injured. Bouvier said his employees handled the situation like pros and that none of his customers even knew the restaurant was being robbed until the robber had left. Legal gun owners with concealed carry permits will be offered the discount until further notice, he said.

Some longtime customers have told Bouvier they're upset with his decision. He said that's "a little disheartening." The restaurant has been open eight years.

Indianapolis police said about a half a dozen city restaurants and bars have been robbed this month.

"This case appears to be an isolated event, and there is nothing indicating at this time that this is related to the other business robberies," said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Rafael Diaz Jr.

Pennsylvania

Paralyzed logger awarded $2.2M in malpractice suit

MEADVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Three doctors affiliated with a northwestern Pennsylvania hospital owe a former Pennsylvania logger $2.2 million for not properly treating his spinal injury, which has left him a paraplegic, a jury has ruled.

The Crawford County jury awarded the money to Robert Anthony, 50, and his wife and caretaker, Tina, the Titusville Herald reported Saturday. The jury returned the verdict Friday after a nearly two-week trial.

The Anthonys sued claiming doctors at Titusville Area Hospital didn't properly examine him after a 500-pound treetop slammed into Anthony's back in the summer of 2012. Anthony claimed he was in too much pain to lie down properly for a complete set of spinal X-rays and the incomplete set didn't detect the spinal fracture that eventually paralyzed him.

The Anthonys argued he should have been given a CT scan instead, and a jury agreed after hearing testimony from a surgeon who said Anthony would be walking today had the fracture been diagnosed properly, among other witnesses.

Instead, Anthony was hospitalized for three days before he spent two painful days at home, and eventually was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital. By then, he was paralyzed from the chest down, the lawsuit said.

The jury awarded Anthony $300,000 for past pain and suffering, $1.7 million for future pain and suffering, and $200,000 to his wife for her suffering.

Published: Tue, Oct 27, 2015

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