National Roundup

Georgia
Terrorist suspect to ask judge for home detention

ATLANTA (AP) - A man accused of helping to provide financial support to an al-Qaida leader wants a judge to allow him to live with relatives in Georgia while he awaits trial.

Lawyers for Asif Ahmed Salim say in court records that his sister-in-law, Gwinnett County Assistant District Attorney Sabrina Nizam, has agreed to monitor his activities if a judge allows him to be placed on home detention in Duluth, Georgia.

Salim is a former Ohio State University student. He is jailed and faces trial in federal court in Ohio.

Salim's attorneys deny his involvement in what prosecutors say was an effort to raise money for the late Anwar al-Awlaki, who was linked to planning several attacks against Americans. A U.S. drone strike killed Al-Awlaki in Yemen in 2011.

New Jersey
State judge: Ted Cruz eligible for pres. nomination

TRENTON, New Jersey (AP) - A New Jersey judge has ruled that Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz meets the constitutional requirements to be president and may appear on the state's presidential primary ballot.

Judge Jeff Masin ruled Tuesday that a child of a citizen-father or citizen-mother is "indeed a natural born Citizen within the contemplation of the Constitution."

Cruz, who was born in Calgary, Alberta, to a Cuban father and American mother, faced challenges to being on the June 7 primary ballot from Catholic University of America law professor Victor Williams and the South Jersey Concerned Citizens Committee.

The challengers argued Cruz was a naturalized citizen because he was not born on U.S. soil.

The decision goes to Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who as secretary of state can accept, reject or modify the ruling.

Florida
Miami Herald settles suit with former candidate

MIAMI (AP) - The Miami Herald has settled a libel lawsuit brought against the newspaper by former U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene.

The Herald reports that a notice of dismissal was filed Monday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

An agreement was signed last week by Greene and Alexandra Villoch, president and publisher of the Miami Herald Media Co. Green filed the suit six years ago after losing the Democratic primary to former U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek by 26 percentage points.

Greene also sued the parent company of the Tampa Bay Times, then the St. Petersburg Times. The Palm Beach billionaire argued three reports about his real-estate dealings and yacht parties cost him the primary and defamed his reputation. He sought $500 million in damages.

Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed.

Texas
Judge orders 'affluenza' teen to nearly 2 years' jail

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - The Texas teenager who used an "affluenza" defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck must serve nearly two years in jail, a judge ordered Wednesday.

Ethan Couch, who turned 19 Monday, was making his first appearance in adult court.

Initially, state District Judge Wayne Salvant said he would not immediately rule on how much longer Couch would spend in Tarrant County jail. But he reconsidered his ruling after hearing an argument from prosecutors that Couch should be sentenced not to a maximum of 120 days in jail, but for 180 days for each of four counts of intoxication manslaughter under a separate part of Texas code.

The terms will be served consecutively. It was not clear if that would include the time Couch has already spent in jail.

A juvenile court judge originally sentenced Couch only to probation, angering the families of his victims and prosecutors who had pushed for detention time.

Further sparking outrage was the contention of a defense psychologist, Dr. Dick Miller, that Couch had been coddled into a dangerous sense of irresponsibility by his wealthy parents. Miller used the term "affluenza," which has stuck with the case ever since.

Couch ended up in trouble again last year after a cellphone video showed him at what appeared to be a party with alcohol. Drinking alcohol is a violation of Couch's probation. Shortly after the video surfaced, Couch and his mother, Tonya, fled to Mexico.

The two were apprehended in a Mexican resort city in December and sent back to the United States. Couch has been in custody since.

Couch lost control of his family's pickup truck after he and his friends had played beer pong and drank beer that some of them had stolen from a Wal-Mart. He veered into a crowd of people helping the driver of a disabled vehicle on the side of the road. Authorities later estimated that he was going 70 mph in a 40 mph zone.

The crash fatally injured the stranded motorist, a youth minister who stopped to help her and a mother and daughter who came out of their nearby home.

Couch was found to have had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit for adult drivers.

It was not Couch's first run-in with the law. At 15, Couch was given two citations after a police officer found him behind the wheel of a pickup truck next to a half-naked girl, with an open vodka bottle on the backseat floor.

Ethan's father, Fred, runs a roofing and construction company and has faced lawsuits over a $100,000 debt and allegations of sexual harassment. Tonya Couch has been charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon for helping Ethan flee to Mexico.

Miller, the psychologist who suggested Couch had "affluenza," blamed Couch's parents at his sentencing for having "taught him a system that's 180 degrees from rational. If you hurt someone, say you're sorry. In that family, if you hurt someone, send some money."

Kentucky
Man asks deputy to fix computer, faces porn counts

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky man is facing child porn charges after asking a sheriff's deputy to fix his computer.

The Daily News reports 63-year-old William Breece Dudley was indicted on four counts of possession of child pornography.

According to records from the Warren County Sheriff's Department, Deputy Robert Boyden said he was trying to repair Dudley's laptop computer when he saw a list of files from a server known for child porn that were infected by a virus. After seeing images, Boyden contacted a supervisor and officials executed a search warrant, which led to charges.

Warren County Sheriff's Department spokesman Stephen Harmon said the two men were acquaintances and that Boyden has some IT knowledge.

Dudley told police he thought someone else infected his laptop with child porn.

Published: Thu, Apr 14, 2016

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