National Roundup

Washington

Settlement reached in ACLU lawsuit against CIA interrogation 
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union against two psychologists involved in designing the CIA’s harsh interrogation program used in the war on terror.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed Thursday.
Trial had been scheduled for Sept. 5 in federal court in Spokane, Washington.
Attorneys for the ACLU called it a historic victory, saying this is the first time the CIA has been held accountable for torturing suspects in the war on terror.
The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of three former detainees.
The defendants were James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen, who were under contract with the federal government following the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
The lawsuit claims the psychologists designed, implemented, and personally administered an experimental torture program.
 
Alaska
Judges hear appeal of militia leader’s sentence 
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — An advocate for gun rights and the anti-government sovereign citizen ideology in Fairbanks was convicted in 2012 on nine felonies, including conspiracy to commit the murder of federal officials.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports a panel of federal appeals court judges Wednesday discussed the possibility of throwing out a solicitation to commit murder conviction for former militia leader Schaeffer Cox.
Cox, who was sentenced to serve nearly 26 years in prison, says he believed a team of federal assassins from Aurora, Colorado, had been dispatched to kill him and instructed his security team to be prepared to kill the agents if the agents tried to kill him. No such “assassins” existed, although at this time, two FBI informants had spent months following Cox and recording their conversations with him.
 
Nebraska
Judge sentences couple caught with $2.4 million in drug money 
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A federal judge in Nebraska has sentenced a Chicago couple arrested last year in a major drug bust.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports that 66-year-old Michael Melchior was sentenced Wednesday to five years in federal prison, and 64-year-old Peggy Brennan received three years of probation.
Melchior and Brennan were arrested in what authorities have described as Lancaster County’s largest drug-cash seizure. Authorities confiscated more than $2.4 million from an RV during a traffic stop along Interstate 80 in Lincoln, plus nearly $607,000 and 10 pounds of marijuana in Chicago.
Melchior pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana, and Brennan pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony for failing to report her knowledge of what Melchior was doing.
 
North Dakota
Another suspect apprehended in lottery scam  
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Authorities have caught another suspect in a Jamaican lottery scam that bilked mostly elderly Americans out of millions of dollars.
Akil Gray is among 15 suspects charged in U.S. District Court in North Dakota with conspiracy, fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors say he was recently apprehended in Jamaica after being on the run more than a year.
Authorities say at least 90 people lost a total of more than $5.7 million to the scam, including a North Dakota woman who lost her life savings.
The man who authorities say masterminded the scheme pleaded guilty to conspiracy last month. Another suspect is scheduled to plead guilty in October.
Nine suspects who have pleaded not guilty are awaiting trial. Another suspect is still in Jamaica awaiting extradition, and two others remain fugitives.
 
Louisiana
Police: Couple passed out in hospital, face drug charges 
BOGALUSA, La. (AP) — Police say a Louisiana hospital patient and his wife were found unconscious with needles still in their arms and now face drug charges.
Bogalusa police said in a Facebook post the couple was discovered passed out by Our Lady of Angles Hospital staff. A nurse told officers she entered the room and found them with tourniquets also on their arms.
Police say a search of the man’s hospital room uncovered assorted pills, including ones identified as Oxycodone and Percocet. Police also found a measuring cup, a spoon and baggies of suspected heroin and brown crystallized substance.
Both the unnamed husband and his wife, 34-year-old Jamie Pilarczyk, face various possession counts.
Pilarczyk was arrested and booked. Her husband will be arrested after release from the hospital. It’s unclear if they have attorneys.
 
Montana
Man charged with trying to kill county deputy 
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A 61-year-old Oregon man who was shot by a Montana sheriff’s deputy is charged with trying to kill the deputy during a pursuit in southwestern Montana.
Mark William Collins was charged Wednesday with attempted deliberate homicide for driving a van toward a Powell County deputy on Aug. 4. He faces four other felony charges.
Collins made an initial court appearance in Missoula after being released from the hospital. He is jailed in Deer Lodge with his bail set at $250,000.
Officers and witnesses said Collins drove the wrong way on the interstate, ran a vehicle off the road, rammed a patrol car and tried to ram another vehicle from behind prior to being shot while driving his van toward Deputy John Micu. Collins was shot in the shoulder and mouth.
 
Virginia 
Man has outburst in courtroom during conviction 
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia man had to be temporarily removed from a courtroom when he cursed at a prosecutor and spoke over the judge during proceedings in which he was found guilty in a fatal shooting.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports 25-year-old Akeem Darnado Young was convicted Wednesday on first-degree murder. Young interrupted remarks by a Henrico prosecutor saying “I didn’t do this,” and “this ain’t no trial” after the judge warned about the disruption.
He’s accused of killing 20-year-old Andrew Duncan during an argument Sept. 23 near Richmond Raceway.
Jurors recommended Young serve 30 years in prison for the slaying, and also a 3-year sentence for an additional felony firearm charge. He’ll be formally sentenced Nov. 29.
 

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