National Roundup

Georgia
Sheriff pleads not guilty on indecency charge 

ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia sheriff accused of exposing himself in an Atlanta park and running from a police officer has pleaded not guilty to charges against him.

Local news media report DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann on Friday pleaded not guilty in Atlanta Municipal Court to charges of indecency and obstruction of an officer.

Mann was arrested late on May 6 after an officer said the sheriff exposed himself to the officer in Piedmont Park and then ran, leading the officer on a chase.

Mann has apologized for the negative attention his arrest has brought DeKalb County. He is serving a self-imposed, one-week suspension but has said he plans to remain in his job.

The governor has ordered an investigation, and the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council also opened an investigation.

Ohio
John Gotti’s ex-son-in-law takes a plea deal

CLEVELAND (AP) — A reputed member of the Gambino crime family and former son-in-law of John Gotti agreed to a plea deal that included a large fine but no prison.

Carmine “The Bull” Agnello had been indicted on racketeering and conspiracy charges related to what prosecutors said was a multi-million dollar scam involving stolen cars and scrap metal in Cleveland.

Agnello, 56, pleaded guilty Thursday to an environmental violation and no contest to theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm charges. Agnello could have faced a lengthy prison sentence had he been convicted on the original charges in an August 2015 indictment.

Agnello’s deal calls for him to pay $180,000 to cover the cost of the investigation into his business practices in Cleveland. The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office agreed to dismiss charges against Agnello’s wife, Danielle, and his business, Eagle Auto Parts. The judge placed him on inactive probation for a year, which will end when he has paid the money, defense attorney Ian Friedman said Friday.

Prosecutors also agreed to give one of his associates heavy equipment seized during the investigation and a shotgun found during a search of Agnello’s upscale home in the Cleveland suburb of Bentleyville.

Then-Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty and Cleveland police made a big splash after Agnello’s arrest in July 2015 for what he and others said was a scam that involved weighing down stolen vehicles with sand and dirt before selling them to a scrap yard. McGinty said Agnello bribed scrap yard employees to look the other way about the weighted-down vehicles, many of which had been stolen and purchased by Agnello for as little as $50, sometimes less.

Prosecutors later alleged that Agnello defrauded the scrap yard of $4.2 million over three years, Cleveland.com reports. The theft charge included in the plea deal states Agnello stole between $7,500 and $150,000 from Ferrous Processing and Trading in Cleveland.

The plea deal concludes what McGinty said in 2015 was an 18-month investigation led by Cleveland police and assisted by a detective from the New York City Police Department’s organized crime unit. Wiretaps on Agnello’s phones intercepted conversations with mob associates in New York and Cleveland, authorities said.

Friedman on Friday called the plea deal “fair and just” and thanked county Prosecutor Michael O’Malley, who took office in January, for resolving the case. Friedman declined to comment further. An O’Malley spokesman declined to comment on Friday.

Agnello moved to Cleveland after his release from a federal prison in Youngstown in 2008. He married the daughter of a suspected Armenian-American terrorist with whom he served prison time. Agnello was married 17 years to Victoria Gotti, the daughter of the late Gambino crime boss. They divorced in 2002. Victoria Gotti starred in a reality show with her and Agnello’s three sons called “Growing Up Gotti.”

Agnello received nine years in prison and was ordered to pay $11 million in restitution in 2001 after pleading guilty to federal charges of racketeering and conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. Authorities said Agnello was involved in a scheme to take control of scrap yards in Queens.

Indiana
Court rules state can’t use lethal injection drugs

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana appeals court has ruled that the state can’t execute prisoners with the current lethal injection drugs it uses.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the state didn’t follow proper procedures when it chose the drugs.

The decision means the state can’t execute anyone until it either appeals the decision to the Indiana Supreme Court or holds public hearings. The court ruling also requires public officials to seek input from the governor’s office and state attorney general before changing lethal injection drugs.

In 2014, the Indiana Department of Corrections unilaterally chose a three-drug process that hadn’t before been used for an execution in the country.

The decision comes at a time when there’ve been multiple botched executions in the past several years across the country.

Missouri
Man charged with killing son and burning body

CALIFORNIA, Mo. (AP) — A central Missouri man has been charged with killing his 1-year-old son and then burning the boy’s body.

Thirty-five-year-old Matthew Hamm was charged Friday with first-degree murder and abandonment of a corpse. He is jailed on $1 million bond. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.

The probable cause statement says authorities found burnt skeletal remains inside Hamm’s Fortuna home and in a burn pit on the property after the child’s mother reported that she suspected Hamm of killing their son.

Hamm initially told authorities that the boy had choked and died. But later he said he struck the child with a mug after the boy spilled a bowl of water. Hamm said he was aggravated that a family member hadn’t showed up to get the toddler.

Nevada
State court’s 1st black female  judge sworn in

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The first black female state court judge in Nevada was among three jurists being honored in a formal swearing-in ceremony Friday in Las Vegas.

Tierra Jones is a former deputy Clark County district attorney who was appointed in April by Gov. Brian Sandoval to an open Clark County District Court seat created by the retirement of Jessie Walsh.

The formal investiture also marks the governor’s appointment of former Las Vegas attorneys Mark Bailus and David Jones.

Tierra Jones worked in the Nye County district attorney’s office before becoming a prosecutor in Clark County in 2013.

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