National Roundup

New Mexico
Deputies: Man uses AK-47 to shoot tires in horse dispute

PAJARITO MESA, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man is facing aggravated assault charges after authorities say he used an AK-47 to shoot out the tires of a man he accused of stealing his horses.

Court records show that David Derringer was arrested Saturday shortly following a bizarre chain of events involving free-ranging horses in a rural area near Albuquerque.

According to a criminal complaint, Derringer spotted two horses he claimed to have owned on the property of Isidro Ruiz. Derringer told Bernalillo County deputies that he cut Ruiz’s fence line and freed his horses.

The complaint says Ruiz returned and tried to block Derringer from leaving. The complaint says that’s when Derringer pulled out his assault rifle and shot out two of Ruiz’s tires.

Illinois
Prosecutor: More indictments possible in police shooting case

CHICAGO (AP) — A Cook County grand jury looking into allegations of a cover up in the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white Chicago police officer is weighing further indictments in the case.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes told a judge Tuesday that several individuals are being looked at and the grand jury is expected to meet at least twice by the end of October.

Police dashcam video shows 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke in 2014 as the teen was walking away from officers with a small knife by his side.

Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Three other officers pleaded not guilty last month to conspiring to cover up what happened.

New Mexico
Sect leader in abuse case refusing to eat

GRANTS, N.M. (AP) — Officials say a leader of a New Mexico paramilitary religious sect facing child sexual abuse charges is refusing to eat.

Court documents filed this week say Deborah Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps has not eaten any food or drank water for at least three days.

A motion filed in the 13th Judicial District Court in Cibola County sought to send Green to a hospital for emergency services. The motion was granted, but Green’s medical condition is not known.

Green recently was indicted on various charges including kidnapping and criminal sexual penetration of a child.

Her indictment came after authorities raided her group’s secluded compound in western New Mexico in connection with a child abuse and child sexual abuse investigation.

Massachusetts
Man convicted in carjackings to appeal death sentence

BOSTON (AP) — A drifter convicted of killing two Massachusetts men in carjackings in 2001 has filed a notice of appeal as he fights to throw out the death sentence he received earlier this year.

The Boston Globe reports Gary Lee Sampson’s lawyers filed the notice Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals. A U.S. District Court judge denied his motion to toss the sentence earlier this month.

Sampson was sentenced for a second time to death for the killing of 19-year-old college student Jonathan Rizzo but was given a life sentence for the killing of 69-year-old retiree Philip McCloskey. Sampson was first condemned to die in 2003.

Sampson’s lawyers have said he was brain damaged when he fatally stabbed Rizzo and McCloskey.

Sampson received a separate life sentence for killing a New Hampshire man.

Pennsylvania
Philadelphia sues Sessions over sanctuary issue

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia is suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions over what officials call “unlawful” immigration restrictions placed on a major federal grant.

In the lawsuit announced Wednesday, the city is asking the court to stop Sessions from adding these conditions to a grant program used to pay police overtime, upgrade equipment and courtroom technology and train officers.

Philadelphia’s so-called “sanctuary” status has made it a frequent target of the attorney general. Sessions said in July that cities and states can only receive Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grants if they allow federal immigration officials to access detention facilities, and that they must provide advance notice when someone in the country illegally is about to be released.

Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco have also sued over the grant conditions.

Pennsylvania
Judge linked to DA facing charges gets disciplined

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A judge that a Pennsylvania prosecutor is accused of texting about cases both were involved with has received a letter of “counsel” from the Judicial Conduct Board.

The letter to Centre County Judge Jonathan Grine says the actions were “serious” but don’t warrant further discipline.

The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court has scheduled a Nov. 29 hearing to consider whether District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller committed professional misconduct in texts about cases with judges and by using a fake Facebook account to monitor defendants and their families.

The letter to Grine, which he signed last week, says he and Miller were in a “support relationship” as his marriage dissolved in 2014 and 2015, when the texts were made.

Parks Miller has said she looks forward to the hearing.

Vermont
Judge rejects plea deal for man charged with drug selling

NEWPORT, Vt. (AP) — A judge has rejected a plea deal recommending up to five years in prison for a Vermont man charged with repeatedly selling heroin, some of it laced with fentanyl.

The Caledonian Record reports supporters of 48-year-old Kenneth Potwin Sr. said he turned to heroin after his wife died suddenly in his arms after surgery two years ago. Potwin was one of dozens arrested on Feb. 14 during the largest drug raid in Newport’s history.

Judge Howard VanBenthuysen sympathized with Potwin over the loss of his wife, but said the depression that followed doesn’t justify the drug sale.

VanBenthuysen said the plea agreement wasn’t enough and set the case for trial.

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