National Roundup

Man chooses to wear ‘I am a thief’ sign over jail time

GIRARD, Ohio (AP) — A man has chosen to wear a sign proclaiming he’s a thief rather than go to jail for theft in Ohio.

Forty-three-year-old Greg Davenport, of Liberty Township, pleaded no contest this month to a theft charge for stealing merchandise from a Wal-Mart store in the township in December.

A Girard Municipal Court judge found Davenport guilty. But he gave him the sentencing option of wearing a sign saying, “I am a thief. I stole from WalMart” or serving 30 days in jail.

Davenport has to wear the sign in front of the store eight hours a day for 10 days of his choosing.

9 charged with murder after teen slain in huge brawl

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say nine people have been charged with murder and another is being sought after a teenager was stabbed to death in a massive, chaotic brawl that involved baseball bats, pipes, knives and other weapons near Augusta.

Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree says the killing of 18-year-old Demajhey Bell on March 18 was “the epitome of a senseless murder.” Bell died Sunday at a hospital.

A woman told sheriff’s deputies that 30 to 50 teens armed with baseball bats, pipes, knives and other weapons showed up to fight her 15-year-old daughter.

The Augusta Chronicle posted video recorded from bystanders that shows girls fighting, boys attacking people with bats, and an out-of-control Dodge Charger that nearly runs over people.

New York
Second brother sentenced for child sex abuse

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A former truck driver from New York state has been sentenced to life behind bars in a child sex abuse case less than two years after his brother was sentenced to more than 100 years for molesting children.

The sentence was handed down on Wednesday against David Allen Vickers of Stanley, New York. He was convicted last year of taking two children to Canada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and repeatedly abusing and molesting them while making deliveries.

Federal prosecutors say the crimes took place between 1999 and 2007. They say Vickers abused other children with the first starting in 1983.

The case against Vickers started after an investigation into his brother, Sean Vickers, who was sentenced to 107 years in 2014 for sexually abusing five children.

Jurors say Hogan was distressed by release of video

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The six jurors who sided with Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit over the publication of a sex tape said they believe the ex-pro wrestler was emotionally distressed over it.

In an ABC News interview that aired Thursday morning, the jurors said that despite Hogan’s celebrity status, he’s still a human being. They awarded him $140 million in his lawsuit against Gawker Media.

“If we were all in the same circumstance, how would we feel about it?” juror Paula Eastman said. “And, emotionally, we would have all been pretty devastated.”

In an interview that aired Thursday, Hogan told NBC’s “Today” show he hasn’t watched the tape, adding it was “the most embarrassing moment of my life.”

He sued Gawker for invasion of privacy after it published the video in which he has sex with his friend’s wife online. Hogan said he didn’t know he was being recorded. Gawker said the footage was newsworthy information about a public figure, and protected by the First Amendment.

Hogan also said he is accountable for his actions.

“I blame myself because you’re at an all-time low, you have nobody. My gut was telling me something’s wrong and I made the worst decision of my life,” he said.

Salina Stevens, another juror in the case, said she looked for signs of remorse from Gawker Media founder Nick Denton but didn’t see any.

Denton, who says he’ll appeal the verdict, told ABC he still believes the sex tape was newsworthy. He also said he does not think Hogan is credible when he says he did not know he was being recorded.

Court: State doesn’t owe fees despite lost case

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida appeals court says taxpayers don’t have to pay attorney fees for groups that sued the Legislature over congressional districts.

The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled Thursday that the League of Women Voters of Florida and a coalition of other groups cannot ask the state to pay their legal fees. The groups successfully challenged the congressional districts adopted by the Florida Legislature.

Attorneys for the groups maintained that taxpayers should pay millions in legal fees because of the “strong public interest” and unique nature of the case. The trial judge disagreed and said that the court must follow the usual practice in Florida.

The appeals court upheld that ruling and stated that it should be left to the Legislature to decide whether to allow the award of attorney fees.

Man to plead guilty to Sandy Hook fraud

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Tennessee man has agreed to plead guilty to charges he stole money from the charity he created to benefit the people of Newtown, Connecticut, following the December 2012 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Robert Bruce is scheduled to appear in federal court in Hartford, Connecticut, on May 12 for a change of plea hearing.

The Nashville man faces six federal wire fraud charges stemming from the alleged misuse of money from the 26.4.26 Foundation.

The foundation held marathons in Tennessee and New Hampshire, with athletes dedicating each mile run to one of the 26 victims — 20 children and six educators.

A co-founder of the charity said she notified authorities when Bruce could not account for about $73,000 of the $103,000 raised by the charity.

New Mexico
Appeals court drops damages in ‘Billy the Kid’ suit

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A former New Mexico sheriff and one of his deputies will not have to pay $100,000 to an author over documents from an investigation into legendary outlaw Billy the Kid.

Writer Gale Cooper in 2014 was awarded $100,000 and the records she sought relating to the outlaw’s 1881 death.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the state Court of Appeals has now denied Cooper’s appeal that claimed she was owed up to $100 per day she was denied the documents. Citing the same state Supreme Court ruling, the appellate judge also revoked the damages.


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