National Roundup

Kentucky
Bill would make targeting public safety workers a hate crime

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A state lawmaker from Louisville has introduced a bill that would make it a hate crime to target police officers, firefighters or emergency medical service workers.

Republican state Rep. Kevin Bratcher filed the legislation on Thursday. It comes after Louisiana’s Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a similar law last month, making Louisiana the first state in the country to expand its hate crimes law to cover public safety workers.

Killing a police officer or firefighter is a capital offense in Kentucky. But by making targeting public safety workers a hate crime would give judges more leeway to impose tougher sentences. The state legislature will consider the bill when it convenes in January.

Kentucky state Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder and Richmond Police Officer Daniel Ellis were shot and killed while on duty in 2015.

Florida
Man gets 343 years’ prison for trying to kill judge

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been sentenced to more than 300 years in prison for trying to kill a federal judge in what prosecutors said was an assassination attempt.

Media reports show the 343-year sentence was imposed Friday by a Jacksonville judge on 27-year-old Aaron Richardson. A jury convicted Richardson in March of 24 charges stemming from the June 2013 attempt to shoot U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan.

Trial evidence showed Richardson hid in bushes outside Corrigan’s home and fired a single shot inside with a high-powered rifle, missing the judge by inches. Evidence also showed Richard faced going to prison for violating probation previously imposed by Corrigan for a 2008 firebombing attack.

Prosecutors urged a lengthy sentence for what they called an attempt to assassinate the judge by Richardson.

Texas
Dallas parents win $142M after baby suffocates at day care

DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas County jury has awarded $142 million to the parents of a baby who suffocated after being swaddled for a nap at day care.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Zac and Heather Lytle accused All In The Family Child Care Services of negligence after their 7-month-old son, Roger, was found face down and unresponsive at the home child care facility in 2014.

The family had asked the jury for $7 million. Experts say the $142 million verdict is one of the largest of its kind in the county, if not the U.S.

But the unusually high judgment was largely symbolic. The Lytles’ attorney says it’s unlikely his clients will receive the money because the facility has already closed, and it had no insurance.

The day care’s attorney didn’t immediately return the newspaper’s request for comment.

Iowa
Court backs school’s search of injured student’s football bag

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court is upholding the search of a high school football player’s equipment bag that uncovered a loaded handgun and drugs.

The court ruled Friday that Dunkerton High School officials had grounds to search Mar’yo Lindsey Jr.’s bag in 2013, rejecting arguments that it violated his constitutional rights.

The case arose when Lindsey got injured on the field during a road game. Before going to the hospital, Lindsey told school officials to make sure that a specific student got his bag and that nobody else should take it.

That raised their suspicions. The superintendent later searched the bag after putting it on the floor and hearing a “clunk” that he believed was a gun. He found marijuana and a loaded long-barreled handgun in a backpack inside the bag.

Oregon
Homeowner shoots intruder police identify as ex-Detroit Lion

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A homeowner in Portland shot an intruder this week who turned out to be former Detroit Lions cornerback Stanley Wilson II, authorities said.

Wilson was naked and wounded Wednesday when officers found him in a water fountain in the backyard of the multimillion-dollar home, Multnomah County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Alexander said.

His injuries were not life-threatening, and he was expected to be arraigned Friday on charges of burglary and criminal trespassing. Court records do not list a lawyer to speak on Wilson’s behalf.

Wilson, 33, spent three seasons with the Lions, from 2005 to 2007, after playing college ball at Stanford. He is the son of former Cincinnati Bengals running back Stanley Wilson Sr., whose notorious cocaine binge on the eve of the 1989 Super Bowl led to his ouster from the NFL.

This week, the Portland homeowner called 911 to report the shooting, Alexander said.


Deputies ordered the shooter to come out through the home’s front entrance while leaving his firearm at the door. He followed instructions and met investigators in the driveway.
Oregon law allows a person to use deadly physical force against someone trying to burglarize their home.

Maryland
Annapolis public defender ­arrested for DUI, assault on cop

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — An Anne Arundel public defender has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and kneeing an arresting officer in the groin.

The Capital Gazette reports that 43-year-old Michele Vignola was arrested Wednesday on several charges, including driving under the influence and second-degree assault. Vignola has been a public defender for 16 years.

According to court records, Anne Arundel County police stopped Vignola early Wednesday morning in Annapolis, saying she didn’t fully stop at a red light before making a right turn. Police say Vignola smelled like alcohol, but denied having anything to drink and declined to perform a sobriety test.

As police tried to arrest Vignola, she allegedly hurled profanity-laced insults at them, and struck an officer in the groin with her knee.

Neither Vignola nor her attorney, David Putzi, could be reached for comment.

It’s unclear when Wilson moved to Portland. Records show he lives near the home he is accusing of trying to break in to.

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