National Roundup

New York
City to get license plate readers amid slayings

BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (AP) - Officials say a city in New York is installing dozens of license plate readers to help investigators collect key data amid a string of brutal killings.

Officials say about 50 cameras will be placed at roughly 20 locations throughout Brentwood, on Long Island.

Four Brentwood High School teens have been found dead over the past several weeks. The skeletal remains of an 18-year-old were also found in the city last week. Police say the 18-year-old was a known MS-13 gang member.

Suffolk County police officials tell Newsday they want to install the cameras in the coming months.

The readers capture plate information that can then be checked against a list of wanted suspects, missing people and stolen vehicles.

Police say $1 million in state funding will pay for the cameras.

Pennsylvania
Family of motorist shot by Easton police file lawsuit

EASTON, Pa. (AP) - The family of a Pennsylvania man fatally shot by police following a car chase two years ago has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The family of 39-year-old Richard Scheuermann claim Easton police Sgt. Dominick Marraccini used excessive force and claim Scheuermann's vehicle was boxed in by police and no longer a threat to the public when he was shot.

The state attorney general's office investigated and found Marraccini did nothing criminal. Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli also determined the shooting was justified.

Police say they chased Scheuermann early Oct. 24, 2014, after seeing him driving the wrong way on a Palmer Township road. Authorities determined Scheuermann rammed a police car, was shot twice, and was found with a knife in his neck after he hit a utility pole.

Missouri
Teenager charged in death of 80-year-old woman

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A teenager has been charged in juvenile court with stabbing an 80-year-old woman to death in southwest Missouri.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the 16-year-old boy is charged with seven offenses in the death of Mary Shisler.

Chief juvenile officer Bill Prince said Sunday that the equivalent of those charges if brought against an adult are first-degree murder, armed criminal action, abandonment of a corpse, second-degree burglary, stealing, attempted arson and tampering with a motor vehicle.

Shisler was found stabbed to death late Friday in a field near her Greene County home after a neighbor reported that her home had been ransacked. When deputies arrived they couldn't find Shisler or her car.

They later found her car being driven by a 16-year-old from Republic.

Delaware

Settlement eludes O'Donnell lawyers in campaign case

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Attorneys for the Federal Election Commission say former Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell and her campaign committee have withdrawn a settlement offer under which they would pay a $10,000 penalty for violating campaign finance laws.

In a court filing last week, the FEC said O'Donnell's attorneys have instead submitted a new, final offer, and that the previously proposed terms are no longer on the table.

O'Donnell's attorneys also are requesting a jury trial to determine a remedy if there is no settlement.

FEC attorneys, who have requested a $25,000 penalty, say a decision on civil penalties is up to the judge, not a jury.

The judge ruled last month that O'Donnell improperly used campaign contributions to pay bills at a Delaware townhouse that also served as her 2010 campaign headquarters.

Utah
Judge could be removed years after contentious appointment

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah judge who became one of few minorities on the state bench despite criticism when she was nominated could now be removed following an unfavorable review of her legal abilities from a judge-evaluation panel.

Voters will decide in November whether to retain 3rd District Judge Su Chon, who emigrated from Korea as a child.

The Utah Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission said in a report that her legal abilities were rated below average and she can be indecisive.

She can be seen as impersonal in the courtroom and doesn't always include meaningful legal analysis in her rulings, the report said, citing a survey of attorneys, court staff and jurors. Others said she is even-handed, attentive and professional.

Chon disagreed with the recommendation, saying in a written response that more than 60 percent of those who responded to the survey said she should stay.

"I respect the process, and I work hard. My rulings have not been overturned on appeal," Chon wrote. "My grandfathers were tortured and mistreated because North Korea refused to uphold the law - this drives the person and judge I am today."

The commission evaluated about 100 judges based on a combination of surveys, courtroom observation reports and a standards check.

They voted against retaining four, said executive director Jennifer Yim. Chon was the only one who decided to run for retention rather than leave.

Judge Darold McDade in Utah County also got a legal ability score below the commission's minimum threshold, but courtroom observers cited his respectful courtroom demeanor and the panel voted to keep him.

In Utah, judges are appointed by the governor, confirmed by state lawmakers and voters periodically decide whether to keep them in office. The evaluations are meant to give information to voters and judges as a public accountability measure, Yim said.

Chon serves in the 3rd District, which includes Salt Lake, Tooele and Summit counties.

A graduate of Brigham Young University, she was an attorney for 18 years before she became a judge. She was the state bar's 2005 pro bono attorney of the year and served as an Office of Utah Property Rights Ombudsman.

Chon was appointed by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert in 2012. In a rare move, a Utah Senate committee rejected her over concerns about her experience, including the fact she'd never argued a case at trial. She was nevertheless confirmed by the full Utah Senate.

Seven out of every 10 judges in Utah's court system are white males. Of the 102 state court judges, 10 belong to an ethnic minority, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, which was the first to report the judicial committee's recommendation against retaining Chon.

Published: Tue, Oct 25, 2016

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