National Roundup

Utah

Couple sues moving company for hiring felons

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Murray couple are suing a moving company, claiming it did not conduct background checks on two employees who stole from them during a January move.

The Deseret News reports the couple's 3rd District Court lawsuit, filed Wednesday, contends the men were convicted of assault, robbery and drug charges.

The lawsuit alleges the couple contacted Two Men and a Truck International when they realized their possessions were missing after unpacking, but the moving company said the employees denied wrongdoing and they couldn't do anything about it.

The company based in Lansing, Mich., declined to comment.

The lawsuit claims the men stole several items, including pain medication and a first edition of the book "Where the Wild Things Are," which was signed by its author, Maurice Sendak, and valued at $35,750.

North Carolina

Parents of slain Cary mom look for justice

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A Canadian couple has unanswered questions about their former son-in-law, who goes on trial this week in Raleigh in the death of their daughter, Nancy Rentz Cooper.

Donna and Garry Rentz appeared on NBC's "Today" show Monday and said they wondered why Bradley Cooper never called them after his wife disappeared July 12, 2008. Her body was found two days later in a drainage ditch near the couple's home in Cary.

Opening statements in the first-degree murder trial are expected to take place in Wake County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Donna Rentz said Nancy told her she wanted to return home to Canada, and that Bradley Cooper had confiscated her passport shortly before her death.

Rentz says she would like to know if he did that and why.

Montana

Suspended sentence for man shot in drug case

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) -- A man who was shot four times and badly injured while trying to steal cocaine has been given a five-year suspended sentence.

The Daily Inter Lake reports 27-year-old Bryan Keith Schloss was sentenced Thursday by District Judge Ted Lympus in Kalispell. Schloss pleaded guilty in January to accountability to criminal possession of dangerous drugs while an attempted robbery charge was dismissed.

Prosecutors say Schloss and another man planned to steal cocaine from 23-year-old David Palumbo on Dec. 5, 2009. Court records say Schloss had a 9 mm pistol, but the gun jammed.

Palumbo fled on foot after shooting Schloss. Bo Hanger dropped Schloss off at the hospital. He has nearly $1 million in medical bills.

Palumbo has been sentenced to 10 years in prison while Hanger is still awaiting trial.

Illinois

Counterfeiter sentenced to 27 months prison

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) -- A southwestern Illinois man accused of using a printer to turn bleached $5 bills into $100 bills has been ordered to spend two years and three months in federal prison.

A U.S. District Court judge in East St. Louis also fined 25-year-old Raphael Solomon of Chester $1,000 and ordered him to pay $1,500 in restitution.

Solomon pleaded guilty in November to one count of manufacturing counterfeit currency.

Authorities say Solomon bought a printer in December 2009 and used it to make the bogus $100 bills he then passed in various Randolph County-area stores.

The felony charge had carried a possible 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Georgia

Top court finds state owns disputed island

ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia's top court has ruled that an island in the Altamaha River belongs to the state and not the family that claims to own it.

The Georgia Supreme Court's unanimous decision on Monday found that the land belongs to state authorities and not the family of Richard Rozier, who claimed his father bought the island in a tax sale.

Georgia officials filed a motion in 2007 claiming that the property, known as "Dick's Island," belonged to the state. They argued that islands located in navigable rivers that aren't deeded to an individual should be considered state-owned.

But Rozier's family claimed that the land had only recently become an island due to a change in the river's direction.

The court, however, concluded there was no evidence to back Rozier's claim.

Alabama

Football coach's molestation trial rescheduled

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- An Alabama high school football coach's trial on federal child molestation charges has been rescheduled to April 11.

Dwight Bowling is being held without bond in Mississippi's Lafayette County. He faces federal charges and state charges in two Mississippi counties. The charges include fondling, sexual battery and child exploitation. He has pleaded not guilty.

Bowling, the former head football coach at Smithville High School in Monroe County, Miss., is on administrative leave from his post as football coach at Sulligent High School in Sulligent, Ala.

His attorney has asked for a new trial date, saying in court records that she was in plea negotiations with federal and state prosecutors.

Bowling's trial was scheduled for Monday in federal court in Greenville.

New York

NY family of inmate gets $725,000

NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York family of an inmate who died after someone spiked his coffee with hair remover has been awarded $725,000.

According to the Daily News, Court of Claims Judge Terry Jane Ruderman ruled last week that Rodney Williams did not receive medical aid for three hours even though he repeatedly told guards that someone had poisoned him.

The 20-year-old car thief from Babylon, N.Y. was three weeks away from being released from the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in 2003 when he died.

The judge said had Williams received prompt medical care, he would have had a significant chance of survival.

State officials say guards reacted properly to Williams' symptoms.

No one has been charged in the poisoning.

Published: Tue, Mar 8, 2011