National Roundup

Ohio
Judge orders man who knocked over ­toilet to shovel manure

PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A judge known for unique sentences has ordered a man who knocked over a port-a-potty to clean manure out of animal pens at a county fairgrounds in Ohio.

Judge Michael Cicconetti recently suspended most of a 120-day jail sentence for 18-year-old Bayley Toth, who pleaded guilty and was convicted of criminal mischief, in favor of the creative punishment of cleaning up waste from animals at Lake County’s fairgrounds.

The Municipal Court judge compared Toth’s actions to those of an animal, saying “you act like an animal, you’re going to take care of animals.”

Authorities say the Paines­ville man spent a night with friends knocking over objects, including a port-a-potty, at a park.

Court officials say Toth defended himself in the case.

Maine
Man indicted on multiple charges in police cruiser theft

WINDHAM, Maine (AP) — A Maine man who allegedly escaped from police by stealing a cruiser and then leading officers on a high-speed chase has been indicted on a dozen charges.

Twenty-three-year-old Tyler Tibbetts faces multiple charges, including escape and criminal speed, following his indictment from his actions on May 11.

Police in Dexter say he was put in the back seat of a police SUV with his hands restrained in handcuffs behind his back. They say he contorted himself through a small opening to the driver’s seat and drove off.

The Morning Sentinel reports he was taken into custody following a crash. He suffered serious injuries.

Tibbetts is currently serving a 16-month sentence for violating probation at the Maine Correctional Institute in Windham.

Iowa
Mom convicted in girl’s ­antidepressant overdose death

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A western Iowa woman who authorities say gave unprescribed antidepressants to her 8-year-old daughter has been found guilty of child endangerment causing death.

A judge who handed down his verdict Monday to Misty Frazier, of Glenwood. Sentencing is set for Aug. 23.

The judge found Frazier not guilty of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and of a prescription drug violation.

Prosecutors say an autopsy showed the girl, Kathleen Tafta, died in October 2016 of an overdose of the antidepressant amitriptyline, commonly sold under the brand name Elavil.

Police say the child did not have a prescription for that medication.

California
State lawmaker sued for blocking critics’ Twitter feeds

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Two California residents are suing a state senator for blocking them from a social media account in a case similar to a successful lawsuit that barred President Trump from blocking critics on his Twitter account.

Suzanne Rummel and Marlene Burkitt sued Democratic Sen. Richard Pan of Sacramento alleging that barring them from his Twitter account violates their First Amendment free speech rights.

Pan is a physician and both women’s accounts show they oppose his efforts to promote universal vaccinations of children.

Burkitt says in the lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Sacramento that she was blocked after using Pan’s Twitter site to discuss his efforts “to reduce medical freedom, parental decision-making rights, and other issues.”

Pan’s spokeswoman, Shannan Velayas, said she couldn’t comment.

“This is the first we’re hearing about it,” she said. “We haven’t been served.”

Pan personally uses his Twitter account several times a day, according to the lawsuit, which calls it “his most active, consistent, and interactive form of communication.”

It is unconstitutional for Pan to block dissenting viewpoints, says the lawsuit, which asks for the women to be restored and for unspecified damages, fees and costs.

“These social media venues are modern day public forums, and our rights to express ourselves and to petition our government must be protected,” said attorney Marian Tone, who filed the lawsuit.

Trump is appealing a federal judge’s ruling in May that blocking people from the @realDonaldTrump account violates the First Amendment. That ruling is the most prominent of several lawsuits finding that people have a right to engage with politicians who use their accounts as public forums to conduct official business.

The president regularly uses his account to announce news, denounce opponents and brag about his administration’s accomplishments. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University argued he cannot then block people with dissenting political views.

In Pan’s case, both women have anti-vaccine messages on their Twitter pages and refer to Pan’s postings including one in which he discusses a law he co-sponsored in 2015 that requires medical justification for a child to skip immunization.

It appears Burkitt last tweeted at Pan in May 2016, and called him a “coward.” In another Tweet, she accused Pan and other lawmakers of being “bought” and not caring if people’s children die.

Rummel, meanwhile, has tweeted at Pan as recently as June. She has shared memes about Pan receiving donations from pharmaceutical companies as well as a cartoon depicting Pan vaccinating a skeleton and a photo of him painted like “the Joker” from “Batman” and holding a giant syringe.

Pan’s critics have created their own hashtag identifier, #blocked byPan.


Mississippi
Ex-nurse ­convicted of manslaughter in diabetic inmate death

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — A former Mississippi jail nurse has been convicted of manslaughter in the death of a diabetic inmate who went a week without insulin.

The Sun Herald reports a Warren County judge sentenced Carmon Sue Brannan on Monday to 15 years in prison.

Brannon testified she thought 28-year-old William Joel Dixon of Lucedale was undergoing drug withdrawal the week before his death in 2014 in the George County jail.

Her trial followed a mistrial earlier this year.

During closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Cherie Wade said when jailers asked Brannan to check on Dixon, she glanced into his cell and said, “I don’t have time for him.”

Dixon had been arrested on DUI, drug and child endangerment charges after police found him passed out in a car with two children inside.

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