Daily Briefs . . .

Man convicted of murder in 1988 death of woman in Pontiac


An ex-convict has been found guilty of murder nearly three decades after an 88-year-old widow was found dead in her suburban Detroit home.

Billy Joe Bennett was charged last year after investigators linked the 55-year-old to DNA evidence. The Oakland Press of Pontiac reports an Oakland County Circuit Court jury convicted him Friday of felony murder. Sentencing is March 8.

Investigators say they believe Elnora Barrager died of a heart attack in 1988 as a result of being raped after a break-in at her Pontiac home.

Bennett testified at trial that he didn't hurt her. Defense lawyer Richard Taylor argued details of the case didn't add up.

Prosecutors say Bennett targeted Barrager because he had known her previously. Witnesses testified that he did yard and house work for her.

 

State Board of  Canvassers approves Snyder recall petition


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan State Board of Canvassers has approved another petition seeking to recall Gov. Rick Snyder, citing Snyder's declaration of a state of emergency in Flint after lead leached from the pipes into the city's water supply.

The board approved the petition Monday from the Rev. David Bullock of Detroit. He filed the petition on Feb. 8 after the board rejected eight petitions to recall the Republican governor.

The board also approved one recall petition unrelated to the lead contamination crisis in Flint earlier this month and was split on another 2-2, which failed because it lacked majority approval.

Bullock would need to collect at least 789,133 signatures. If approved, the recall effort would become a ballot question that would then need majority support from voters.

 

Disbarred lawyer  sentenced to at least 6 years in prison


PETOSKEY, Mich. (AP) — A disbarred lawyer in northern Michigan who admits stealing money from an elderly client with Alzheimer's disease has been sentenced to at least six years in prison.

Michael A. Kennedy of Petoskey got his sentence Monday, two months after pleading guilty in Emmet County court. He's been ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution.

An investigation began in 2012 after the Internal Revenue Service alerted the victim's family of problems with her trust. The 67-year-old Kennedy had transferred money into his office checking account beginning in 2006 until the trust was drained.

Legal limits forced investigators to focus on 2009 and subsequent years.

Kennedy will be eligible for parole after six years in prison. He was disbarred as a lawyer 11 months ago.

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