National Roundup

Georgia
Police: Man fakes disappearance to escape charges

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - When Cody Magee's wife reported that her husband hadn't returned from a kayaking trip off the Georgia coast, the Coast Guard launched a two-day search by land and sea.

Magee was eventually found alive - in Oklahoma. Authorities say he staged his disappearance to escape prosecution on charges that he sought sex with a child.

Magee, 38, of Savannah was being held Wednesday in Oklahoma City after failing to appear in court Monday on charges of child pornography and attempted child molestation in Effingham County west of Savannah, said Savannah-Chatham County police spokesman Sonny Cohrs.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Magee last June after undercover investigators posing online as a young teenager lured him to a home, said Sgt. Don White of the Effingham County Sheriff's Office.

Magee shared images of child pornography during the online exchanges with undercover investigators, White said. During the arrest, he said, deputies found a handgun in Magee's pocket.

Stuart Patray, identified by the public defender's office for the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit as Magee's lawyer, didn't return a phone call Wednesday.

It wasn't known if he would face additional charges for faking his disappearance, said Cohrs, who said Magee's wife first reported him missing.

The Coast Guard launched a two-day search for Magee around Tybee Island, a beach community 18 miles east of Savannah, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony Soto. Crews covered more than 2,500 square miles before the search was called off Tuesday night, Soto said.

A few hours before midnight Tuesday, a police officer in Oklahoma City pulled Magee over after a routine license plate check showed he had been reported missing, said Oklahoma City police Sgt. Gary Knight. Police found a handgun and rifle in his car, Knight said.

Magee talked with the officer and was taken to a hospital, Knight said, though he declined to say why. Savannah police said in a news release that Magee was "considered a danger to himself."

Georgia authorities were working to extradite Magee.

New Jersey
ACLU defends man ticketed for flying Trump flags

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey's American Civil Liberties Union is defending a man who is facing a fine for flying flags supporting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Joseph Hornick was ticketed for violating a West Long Branch ordinance that restricts the display of political signs until 30 days before an election. The town considers the flags that proclaim "Trump-Make America Great Again" equivalent to a political sign.

Chapter deputy legal director Jeanne LoCicero says it doesn't matter whether it's a lawn sign or a flag. She says people have the right to express their political beliefs every day. The chapter plans to defend Hornick in court.

New Jersey's primary is June 7.

Violators of the ordinance face a minimum fine of $100.

Hornick is scheduled to appear in municipal court May 18.

Louisiana
Stop ticketing lemonade stands, say state senators

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Looking for someone to ticket? Louisiana legislators say to steer clear of neighborhood children selling lemonade.

Louisiana's state senators came down squarely on the side of the local lemonade stand Wednesday, voting 37-0 for a bill that would exempt minors engaging in sales of less than $500 a year from having to pay an occupational license tax.

Sen. Gary Smith, a Norco Democrat, says he introduced the proposal after municipal officials have written tickets to children for not having an occupational license to sell the lemonade.

Senators were stunned with the ticket news.

Sen. Norby Chabert, a Houma Republican, simply asked Smith: "Are you serious?" Chabert then urged local officials to use more common sense.

Smith's bill goes next to the House for consideration.

New York
Police: Doctor hid 2 cameras in ICU's bathroom

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A New York doctor is accused of hiding two surveillance cameras in a bathroom of a hospital's intensive care unit.

Thirty-two-year-old Jeffrey Gould has been charged with unlawful surveillance stemming from the March 1 discovery of two "spy pens" in a bathroom at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse. Police say one camera was taped to the side of a trash can and the other was on a toilet paper dispenser.

Defense attorney Edward Menkin tells The Post-Standard of Syracuse that Gould hid the cameras to try to catch the person who he says stole his prescription medication and a camera.

Menkin says his client used "terrible judgment," but didn't intend to invade anyone's privacy.

He says Gould has since been fired.

Arkansas
Judge: Excessive force lawsuit not believable

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A federal judge ruled in favor of two Pulaski County sheriff's deputies accused of excessive force by a man who was later convicted in the death of a real estate agent.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson ruled Wednesday that 35-year-old Arron Lewis did not prove his case. "Lewis is obviously a highly intelligent individual, but he is not a believable individual," Wilson said.

Lewis filed a lawsuit after his 2014 arrest that named deputies Gary Seibel and Jackson Bennett, Sheriff Doc Holladay and two nurses who work at the county jail. Lewis claimed the deputies dislocated his shoulder during questioning about Beverly Carter's disappearance.

The judge dismissed most of Lewis' claims before this week's trial, but he allowed Lewis to present evidence on the excessive force allegations.

Lewis' lawyers called several witnesses to the stand on Tuesday and Wednesday, while David Fuqua, the attorney for the deputies, did not call any witnesses.

The lawsuit claimed Lewis' arm was twisted out of its socket during the interrogation, and then dislocated again after doctors fixed the shoulder.

Bennett testified Tuesday that he removed a sling from Lewis' arm because he'd been placed on suicide watch and the sling could be used as a choking device. Bennett said he did not remove it in a violent manner.

Wilson said Wednesday he believed Lewis injured his shoulder before Little Rock police arrested him in September 2014. Wilson noted that Lewis jumped from the second floor of an apartment complex while fleeing officers.

Lewis was convicted in January of kidnapping and capital murder in Carter's death.

Published: Fri, Apr 22, 2016

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