National Roundup

West Virginia
Lawsuit: Defunct funeral home mixed up bodies

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A now-shuttered West Virginia funeral home is being sued after a family says it mixed up their relative's body with another woman's.

Madeline Yost's daughter Peggy Bowles tells WCHS-TV that her mother's dying wish was to have a closed casket funeral. Instead, the family says Bartlett Burdett-Cox Funeral Home displayed Yost's open casket to another woman's family at a viewing, before burying her in that woman's grave the same day back in January.

Bowles' attorney Russell Williams says in addition to damages, they want to make sure this doesn't happen to another family.

The funeral home closed shortly after the lawsuit says the mix-up happened. The funeral home's parent company didn't respond to WCHS for comment.

Yost's remains were exhumed and she was buried next to her husband.

Nebraska
High court to consider ­cameras in courtrooms

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Supreme Court is scheduled to consider approving a rule change that would allow cameras in courtrooms across the state.

The Journal Star reports that judges in seven of 12 judicial districts have already allowed expanded media coverage in their courtrooms.

Justice Jeff Funke says judges and attorneys have been working on the issue since May 2015.

Funke says a March 1 start date will give time to address comments sent to the clerk of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals by Nov. 15.

Pennsylvania
DA: Man who had kids with girl abused her sisters

FEASTERVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Prosecutors say a Pennsylvania man accused of fathering two children with a 14-year-old girl gifted to him by her parents also sexually assaulted five other girls in that family, calling them his wives.

Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub on Monday announced new child sex abuse charges against Lee Kaplan, of Feasterville.

Weintraub says Kaplan represented himself a cult-like figure to the girls.

The oldest girl told police the six sisters were Kaplan's wives, and he told them it was what God wanted.

They were among 11 girls found living in Kaplan's home when he was arrested in June.

The girls ranged in age from 6 years old to 18 years old during the time of abuse.

Kaplan's attorney, Ryan Hyde, says he can't comment until he sees the complaint.

Police say the teen's father told them he and his wife "gave" their daughter to Kaplan after he financially helped the couple.

Ohio
Judge assures police shooting case jurors of anonymity

CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio judge assured potential jurors Monday their identities will be safeguarded if they are selected for the murder trial of a white University of Cincinnati police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man during a traffic stop.

Hamilton County Judge Megan Shanahan told the pool of nearly 200 people for Ray Tensing's trial that she has ordered the news media not to name them or show them in photos or on video. She said any juror who gets shown on video could withdraw from the case.

"Rest assured, you will not be subjected to any of the goings-on outside the courthouse," she added. The case has attracted demonstrations, including Monday by Black Lives Matter activists.

Tensing, 26, has pleaded not guilty to murder and voluntary manslaughter charges in the shooting of 43-year-old Sam DuBose. The University of Cincinnati fired Tensing. His attorney has said he feared for his life as DuBose tried to drive off on July 19, 2015.

Tensing, who could face up to life in prison if convicted of murder, took notes and sipped bottled water in the courtroom as jury questioning began. Last week, the candidates filled out 25-page questionnaires asking about their knowledge and feelings about the case, and other matters such as their own experiences with police and the court system.

"Almost every juror has some knowledge of this case," said Rick Gibson, an assistant prosecutor. "It's hard not to hear about this case or know something about it."

He said knowing about the case wasn't a problem, as long as jurors followed the law and decided the case based on the evidence.

Shanahan also asked about potential work conflicts for the trial, which she said would end by Nov. 18, at the latest.

The case has added to increased attention nationally to the treatment of black people by police. Jury selection was beginning Monday in Charleston for the murder trial of a white former South Carolina officer in a black man's shooting after pulling him over for having a broken taillight.

Tensing pulled DuBose over near the UC campus for a missing front license plate.

Minnesota
Mother sentenced for plotting to kill daughter's ex

LE CENTER, Minn. (AP) - A southern Minnesota mother accused of plotting to kill her daughter's ex-husband has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.

Sixty-year-old Linda Bloom of Cleveland and her 41-year-old daughter, Blanche Wilson of Le Sueur, were charged in June with conspiracy to commit murder.

The Free Press of Mankato reports that Bloom was to stand trial this week but pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to 10 years, 10 months and 15 days in prison.

Bloom and her daughter were accused of enlisting an undercover officer to kill Wilson's ex-husband, who had recently received custody of the pair's three children. Wilson has pleaded not guilty.

Montana
Trial to start for man charged in girlfriend's death

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A trial is scheduled to start this week in the case of a Big Sky man charged with negligent homicide in the April 2015 death of his girlfriend.

Prosecutors say 28-year-old Kerri McKinney suffered fatal injuries when 33-year-old David Hughes drove his truck away while she was trying to get into the passenger door during an argument. Defense attorneys argue that McKinney was negligent in trying to get into the truck while Hughes was driving away.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports he trial is scheduled to start with jury selection on Monday.

District Judge John Brown has scheduled five days for the trial.

Published: Tue, Nov 01, 2016

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