National Roundup

Pennsylvania
Mom's iPhone app helps police find kidnapped girl

MILESBURG, Pa. (AP) - Police say they were able to rescue a Pennsylvania woman kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend thanks to her mother's iPhone tracking app.

Police say the 18-year-old man met the woman Tuesday in East Stroudsburg to discuss custody of a young child. They say he bound her hands, feet and mouth with duct tape and forced her into the trunk of a vehicle.

The woman's mother notified state police after getting a text for help from her daughter.

State police say they used the mother's Find My iPhone app to track the victim's cellphone to a McDonald's in Milesburg, about 150 miles west of her home.

Online court documents show Joseph Boller faces kidnapping and other charges. He's in custody and has a preliminary hearing on Feb. 24. No lawyer is listed.

New York
Police: Man killed wife of 51 years with fire poker

GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say a New York man charged with killing his wife of 51 years admitted using a camping tool and fire poker to beat her inside their apartment.

The Leader-Herald of Gloversville reports a Gloversville detective testified during a preliminary hearing Tuesday that 70-year-old Frank Ostrander told officers he argued Feb. 10 with his wife, Sally.

Detective Sgt. Mike Calbet testified that Ostrander told him he later attacked his sleeping 70-year-old wife with a hatchet or camping shovel. Calbet says Ostrander told him he hit her several times in the head before the tool broke.

Calbet says Ostrander then struck her with a fire poker before stabbing her with another object.

Ostrander is charged with second-degree murder. His public defender declined to comment Thursday on the charges.

Texas
Charges dropped against teacher over relationship

ODESSA, Texas (AP) - A judge has dismissed charges against a former West Texas teacher and swim coach accused of having an improper relationship with a student.

Kathryn Maples, a former history teacher at Odessa Permian High School, was indicted on three counts of an improper relationship between an educator and a student in 2013.

Judge James Rush dismissed the counts on Wednesday, citing a 2015 appeals court opinion that said the original law, under which Maples was indicted, was too broad and unconstitutional. The law was later updated.

Maples was 28 when she was accused of having an improper relationship with a 17-year-old student. She declined comment after Wednesday's court ruling.

Ector County Independent School District Superintendent Tom Crowe says the district has no plans to rehire Maples, who resigned in 2013.

Pennsylvania
81-year-old woman chases fleeing robbers

MOUNT POCONO, Pa. (AP) - Police say an 81-year-old Pennsylvania woman chased down robbers who stole her purse, ramming their car with hers and leaving damage that helped officers apprehend them.

The woman was sitting her car in her Mount Pocono driveway on Tuesday when she was approached by a man and woman. As she talked to them through an open window, one grabbed her purse and they fled in a car.

Pocono Mountain Regional police say the woman took off after them and hit their car, but the duo drove off.

Officers found their damaged car in a grocery store parking lot.

Thirty-four-year-old William Hayhurst and 30-year-old Erin Vanmatre were arrested and arraigned Wednesday on robbery and other charges.

Police say the suspects targeted the woman after seeing her with cash at a pharmacy.

Virginia
Judge sentences man for $1 armed robbery

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia man sentenced for an armed robbery in which $1 was stolen has been ordered to spend time in a correctional center for young adults.

The Herald-Dispatch reports 21-year-old John Bruce Chafin of Huntington agreed to a Kennedy plea on a first-degree robbery charge, which allowed him to plead without admitting guilt.

Cabell Circuit Court Judge Chris Chiles sentenced Chafin to spend at least six months to two years at Anthony Center for youthful offenders after suspending his 15-year prison sentence.

Police and jail records show authorities arrested Chafin on Jan. 13 after they say he brandished a revolver at a Barboursville man, demanding the victim to empty his wallet, which contained $1.

Massachusetts
Jury: Doctors not negligent in transplant case

BOSTON (AP) - A Massachusetts jury has found that several doctors who transplanted a diseased kidney from a deceased homeless man into a patient were not negligent in his death.

WCVB-TV reports a Suffolk County jury on Wednesday cleared the doctors and the organ bank that facilitated the transfer.

Pierre Dimanche, of Everett, died after receiving the transplanted kidney in 2008 at a Boston hospital. Doctors had unknowingly transmitted a rare rodent virus during the transplant. His daughter sued.

His family said the homeless man was an alcoholic and had extensive health problems, including signs of meningitis, that should have prevented his organs from being donated.

Attorneys for the doctors and organ bank say the man was classified as a high-risk donor and Dimanche was warned about the risk level.

New York
Feds dismiss charges against escort website

NEW YORK (AP) - Federal authorities have dismissed charges against six former employees of the escort website Rentboy.com.

The New York Times reports prosecutors are still moving forward with their case against the former chief executive on counts of money laundering and promoting prostitution.

Jeffrey Hurant continues to maintain his innocence. His lawyer, Michael Tremonte, says "it makes no sense to single him out for prosecution."

When the case was announced last summer, activists compared it to police raids of gay bars in the 1950s and '60s. They noted that the website had been operating openly for more than 15 years.

The charges that were dropped could later be refiled. Prosecutors declined to comment.

Published: Fri, Feb 19, 2016

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