National Roundup

DA: Shooting of  murder suspect was justified

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A district attorney ruled Monday that state police acted properly a year ago when they shot and killed a man they suspected of murdering a state trooper in a rural area of central Pennsylvania.

Huntingdon County District Attorney David Smith issued his decision in the Dec. 31 death in Hesston of 32-year-old Jason Robison.

The two-page report said troopers searching for Robison found him inside a camper not far from where Trooper Landon Weaver had been killed.

Smith said the investigators retreated and secured the area, and a short time later, Robison appeared at the camper door, holding a pistol.

“Troopers at the scene ordered Robison numerous times to drop his gun, which he refused to do,” Smith wrote. “Robison moved as if to advance from the camper while still holding the pistol in his hand. After Robison began to move, members of the state police fired shots at Robison, who was struck in the head, torso, arms and legs.”

A .32-caliber Beretta pistol was recovered beside Robison’s body. It contained eight live rounds, and there were two other bullets in the pocket of his jacket.

The prosecutor deemed the killing as justified and said authorities will not the release the names of troopers involved.

Investigators said earlier this year they recovered 22 spent rounds from the scene, none that matched Robison’s gun.

Weaver had gone to Robison’s home to investigate an alleged violation of a protective order for texting his ex-girlfriend.

Robison’s mother, Sherry Lou Robison, told investigators her son pulled a handgun out of his pants and walked toward the trooper. She then heard a popping sound and saw Weaver fall to the floor, bleeding.

Weaver, 23, had been with the state police for about a year. He had been married about six months before his murder.

Freezer holding pet dogs’ remains stolen from vet

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Officials say the remains of two dogs awaiting cremation were stolen along with a freezer from a veterinarian’s office in Florida.

According to a Bradenton Herald report , video surveillance showed a man driving away from the Bradenton Veterinary Hospital last week with its outdoor freezer in the back of his pickup truck.

Office manager Kathy Richardson said she hoped the remains of two dogs awaiting cremation in that freezer would be returned. Staff searched garbage cans and dumpsters in the area, but they did not find the carcasses.

Richardson said the dogs’ owners were distraught to learn that the remains of their pets had been stolen.

Man fleeing police crashed while checking for directions

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee prosecutors say a man who led police on a high-speed chased told arresting officers he crashed his minivan because he became distracted checking his cellphone for directions.

The Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office said in a criminal complaint released Friday that 20-year-old Logan Michael Brandenburg made the comment unsolicited while he was being transported from a hospital to the county jail.

Prosecutors say Brandenburg told officers he had smoked marijuana and was on probation so a “fight or flight mentality kicked in” when a West Allis police officer attempted to pull him over on Nov. 19.

Authorities say the chase reached speeds of 100 mph and involved four different police departments before Brandenburg’s minivan jumped a curb and plunged down an embankment.

Brandenburg is charged with two felonies.

Getaway car ran out of gas after armed robbery

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (AP) — Police say a getaway car ran out of gas after an armed robbery near Atlanta, leading to the speedy arrest of two suspects.

Gwinnett County police Cpl. Michele Pihera says 18-year-old Najee Logan and 21-year-old Justin Larry were charged with armed robbery after their arrest early Tuesday after officers found the car on empty.

Pihera’s statement says the victim surrendered a wallet to two men at gunpoint in a grocery store parking lot about 1 a.m. Tuesday in a greater Atlanta suburb. Police say officers found the car about 15 minutes later with Logan and Larry inside.

Both men were jailed, and police didn’t say if they have lawyers.

Report: No alternatives in fatal Seattle police shooting

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police report says two officers had no alternatives when they fatally shot a woman who pulled a knife on them.

The Seattle Times reports the Force Review Board report provides detail of the findings that led to the board’s unanimous vote Nov. 14 that determined the controversial shooting of Charleena Lyles to be reasonable and necessary. The report found that Tasers, batons and pepper spray weren’t an option.

The report also was submitted to U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, who asked for it as he weighs the city’s request to find it in full compliance with a 2012 federal consent decree requiring the Police Department to adopt reforms to address excessive force and biased policing.

Lyles, a 30-year-old African-American mother of four, was shot seven times by two white officers June 18 after she called 911 to report a burglary.

Police said Lyles suddenly threatened the officers with one or two knives.

Wrongfully convicted man pursues appeal

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming man who spent nearly 24 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit is trying again to win financial compensation from the government.

Sixty-seven-year-old Andrew Johnson was exonerated and freed in 2013 based on DNA testing.

His lawyer, Robert Schuster, said Friday that he is asking the Denver federal appeals court to re-consider the dismissal of Johnson’s lawsuit seeking compensation from the city of Cheyenne.

Johnson claims police withheld information that led to his conviction.

In July a federal judge dismissed the suit on procedural grounds, including that he had made the same claim in previous legal actions. However, Schuster says they were filed when Johnson was a prisoner without the benefit of an exoneration or a lawyer.