National Roundup

Massachusetts
Woman pleads guilty to stealing about $2.7M from employer

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts woman has pleaded guilty to stealing about $2.7 million from her former employer.

Federal prosecutors say 57-year-old Debra Mulloy, of Milford, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to aggravated identity theft and wire fraud.

Prosecutors say while overseeing the Boston company’s bookkeeping and accounting functions from 2012 through 2016, she used a company-issued credit card in the name of another employee to make about $2.4 million in unauthorized purchases of luxury items including jewelry and furs. She then resold some of those items at consignment shops.

She also had about $300,000 worth of company checks issued to her, which she primarily used to pay personal credit card bills.

Authorities did not disclose the name of the company.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 9.

Illinois
Judge accused of bringing gun into Chicago ­courthouse

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge is charged with carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited area after he was caught on video dropping a gun in a Chicago courthouse.

A spokesman for Chief Judge Timothy Evans’ office says Cook County Circuit Judge Joseph Claps has been reassigned to “nonjudicial duties,” pending a review.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment Wednesday from Claps.

The sheriff’s department says the 70-year-old Claps was in the lobby of the Leighton Criminal Court Building on July 3, when a handgun fell from the jacket draped over Claps’ arm. Surveillance video shows the judge retrieving the gun and putting it in his pants pocket.

The department says only on-duty law enforcement officers may carry guns in the courthouse.

Claps is scheduled for a court appearance next week.

Louisiana
Texas professors seek to revive campus carry law ­challenge

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Attorneys for three University of Texas professors were set to ask a federal appeals court Wednesday to revive their lawsuit against a law allowing people with concealed-handgun licenses to carry weapons on public campuses.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans was hearing the arguments.

According to court filings, the professors believe the presence of guns in their classrooms could discourage open academic discussion.

Last year, a federal judge in Texas dismissed the suit. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said they offered “no concrete evidence” to substantiate such concerns.

Yeakel said that, because they failed to clearly show they were harmed by the law, they had no legal standing to pursue the suit.

Attorneys for the professors — Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter — said Yeakel was wrong to dismiss the suit. In court briefs they said he had not given them sufficient opportunity to present evidence. They also said national studies and the views of national professional organizations, including the American Association of University Professors, attest to the harm guns in a classroom can do to academic freedom.

Attorneys for the state of Texas said Yeakel was correct to dismiss the suit, saying the professors’ fear “is subjective and completely dependent on the acts of third parties.”

There was no indication when the appellate judges would rule.

Utah
Prosecutors to seek death penalty in ­toddler’s death

OGDEN, Utah (AP) — Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a Utah couple accused of taunting their malnourished 3-year-old daughter with food before she died.

The state filed the notice Tuesday in the case of 25-year-old Miller Costello and 23-year-old Brenda Emile.

The Ogden couple is accused of recording cellphone videos of themselves taunting Angelina Costello as her condition worsened before her July 2017 death.

Both have pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder charges.

Emile’s attorney Martin Gravis has also argued there was no definitive evidence to suggest she caused the girl’s death. A judge, though, disagreed and pointed to an allegation that Emile used makeup to conceal the girl’s burns, bruises and cuts.

If the couple is convicted, prosecutors would push for capital punishment in a separate sentencing hearing.

Oregon
Man sentenced to prison after 2011 kit linked him to rape

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 64-year-old man has been sentenced to more than 30 years in prison after a sexual assault kit linking him to a 2011 rape emerged from the backlog.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday that Curtis Clint Williams is the first defendant in Multnomah County to be found guilty by jury since police and prosecutors have started working on clearing the backlog of thousands of untested sexual assault kits.

Williams was accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in 2011 after meeting her near a TriMet ticket machine. The woman told police Williams invited her to his apartment where he raped her.

Her sexual assault examination kit was tested in 2011 and the DNA on the kit matched Williams.

Williams is scheduled to go to trial for a second attack later this month.

Ohio
Mom, girlfriend sentenced in 5-year-old girl’s beating death

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio mother who failed to stop her girlfriend from beating to death her 5-year-old daughter and then waited hours to seek help has received a long prison sentence along with the girlfriend.

Cleveland.com reports the mother, 27-year-old Tequila Crump, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Tuesday after an all-female jury convicted her of reckless homicide last month in the March 2017 death of Ta’Naejah McCloud.

The girlfriend, 38-year-old Ursula Owens, was sentenced to 25 years after the same jury convicted her of murder and other charges.

Neither woman spoke at sentencing. Their attorneys say appeals are planned.

Prosecutors say Owens beat Ta’Naejah after she wet herself. Owens’ son testified he heard his mother body slamming the girl. Prosecutors say Crump waited 11 hours before calling 911 after the beating.


 

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