Court Roundup

Colorado

12-year-old boy faces 9 charges in parents' deaths

BURLINGTON, Colo. (AP) -- Documents released Monday in the case of a 12-year-old Colorado boy accused of fatally shooting his parents and wounding two siblings show prosecutors filed nine charges against him, including two counts of first-degree murder.

The documents released by a judge at the request of prosecutors also offer new details from investigators alleging the boy tried to hurt his 5-year-old sister with a knife and stabbed and shot his 9-year-old brother. The Denver Post and KUSA-TV report that the documents were released after a closed court hearing.

Police said they found the bodies of Charles and Marilyn Long on March 1 after somebody called 911 to report a shooting at their Burlington home, about 140 miles east of Denver and near the Kansas state line.

Prosecutors have not decided whether to charge the boy as an adult.

The case remained under a gag order, which prevents officials from discussing the case. The ruling by a Kit Carson County judge, however, will allow for some aspects of the case to be public, including the charges filed and hearing dates.

The court documents outlining the charges -- and the details of what investigators said happened -- had been sealed until Monday.

KUSA-TV reported that 13th Judicial District Attorney Bob Watson said he decided to release information to address rumors.

"Between the social networking, Facebook, Twitter, various blog sites, the information is out there pretty quick and quite often that information is absolutely wrong," Watson said. The case "is a matter of important public concern," he added.

The boy's siblings were expected to recover from their injuries.

The Longs, both in their early 50s, had seven children; four are grown and no longer live at home.

Marilyn Long homeschooled the children and ran the children's ministry at the local Evangelical Free Church. Her husband served as a church elder and was a snack delivery driver.

The couple was buried Friday.

Colorado

Fed court: Man can sue Sec ret Service agents

DENVER (AP) -- A Colorado man can sue two Secret Service agents who arrested him after he touched former Vice President Dick Cheney on the arm in 2006 and told him his Iraq War policies were "disgusting," a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The ruling means Steven Howards can try to subpoena Cheney to testify about the incident, said David Lane, Howards' attorney.

"I fully intend on deposing the former vice president," Lane told The Associated Press.

Lane has been trying for years to subpoena Cheney, but his motion has been delayed as judges weighed the question of whether the Secret Service agents were immune in the case. He has said he wants to subpoena the former vice president because he's "the best eyewitness to the case."

A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Howards can sue agents Virgil D. "Gus" Reichle Jr., and Dan Doyle on First Amendment grounds. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech. But the court ruled that two other agents named in the lawsuit are immune in the case.

The judges ruled that the four agents are immune on Howards' Fourth Amendment claim against them of unreasonable search and seizure.

Howards was arrested after he approached Cheney at a mall in Beaver Creek, a resort town about two hours west of Denver. The agents alleged that Howards' contact with Cheney constituted assault but a local prosecutor later dropped the case.

Sean R. Gallagher, the attorney for Reichle and Doyle, said they are considering whether to appeal or go to trial. Other courts handling similar cases have ruled that Secret Service agents should have immunity, he said.

The two other agents in the case, Daniel McLaughlin and Adam Daniels, were granted immunity on the First Amendment claim because the court ruled they were relying on information from their two colleagues, Lane said. Reichle and Doyle were the agents that took Howards into custody.

Gallagher said the agents had reason to arrest Howards because he approached Cheney from behind and "struck him on the shoulder." Howards has maintained he touched Cheney lightly, but Gallagher alleges that Howards continued to loiter in the area and later became profane when the Secret Service approached him.

New York

Peeved mom sues, says presc hool is 'one big playroom'

NEW YORK (AP) -- A New York City mother who says her daughter's private preschool promised top-notch education but turned out to be "just one big playroom" is suing to get the $19,000-a-year tuition back.

Nicole Imprescia's lawsuit says Manhattan's York Avenue Preschool pledged to prepare her 4-year-old daughter to take tests for elite elementary schools and provide a curriculum tailored by age. But she says her daughter was "dumped with 2-year-olds" and still learning about shapes and colors rather than the more advanced skills she expected. She sued on Friday.

A school lawyer said Monday it was the first such complaint in the school's roughly 20-year history and parents sign contracts saying tuition is nonrefundable.

California

Ex-policeman pleads no contest to GPS tracking

WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) -- A former Costa Mesa police officer has pleaded no contest to using GPS tracking to keep tabs on a girlfriend.

Westminster court records showed Monday that 31-year-old Aaron Paul Parsons entered the plea to misdemeanor unlawful use of an electronic device.

The police department-issued GPS tracking device was attached to the car of a 32-year-old woman he dated last year. Prosecutors say the woman became suspicious after they unexpectedly ran into each other several times.

The woman checked her car and found the device.

City News Service says Parsons, who faced up to six months in jail if convicted at trial, has been ordered to contribute to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund.

Tennessee

Man says burning cross in front yard wasn't about race

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Sentencing has been reset for a man convicted of violating the civil rights of another man by burning a cross in his yard.

Steven Dewayne Archer of Heiskell appeared on Monday before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Phillips in Knoxville. A jury convicted him last year of violating the rights of Billy Woodruff.

Archers' niece, who is white, and Woodruff, who is black, lived at a home in Anderson County where a large cross was burned in 2008.

Defense attorney James A.H. Bell told the court the issue for Archer wasn't Woodruff's race, but his character.

The judge said the jury rejected that argument at trial. Sentencing was reset for Friday on a request that Archer be allowed to report to prison on his own.

Maine

Woman gets 20 years for child pornography

BANGOR, Maine (AP) -- A 33-year-old Maine woman is going to prison for 20 years after being convicted of performing sex acts on a 2-year-old child while a man in the United Kingdom watched live via a webcam.

Julie Carr of Mars Hill pleaded guilty last month after admitting in federal court she sent four videos to a man in the United Kingdom.

She was sentenced Monday in federal court in Bangor.

The Bangor Daily News reports U.S. District Judge John Woodcock said the sentence was meant to protect people who can't protect themselves.

Police discovered the videos, which were recorded, in June 2009 while investigating another child pornography case. The videos were traced to Maine and Carr was arrested two days later.

Indiana

Court to decide if prosecutor can handle 3rd trial

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The Indiana Court of Appeals will decide whether a prosecutor who handled the second murder trial of a former Indiana state trooper accused of killing his wife and their two children will also handle the man's third trial.

The court agreed to hear David Camm's appeal Friday.

A Warrick County special judge in January rejected Camm's bid to remove Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson from his upcoming trial.

Camm's attorneys argued that a book deal Henderson signed in 2009 created a conflict of interest.

Henderson says the book deal ended when the Indiana Supreme Court overturned Camm's conviction for the second time in the September 2000 killings of his wife and the couple's two young children.

Illinois

Family drops wrongful death lawsuit -- for now

WATERLOO, Ill. (AP) -- Attorneys have dropped a wrongful-death lawsuit against a southwestern Illinois man accused of strangling his wife and their two sons but plan to re-file it after the man's trial scheduled to begin next month.

Jack Carey represents the family of Sheri Coleman, and he tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that fellow attorneys in the case believe the best legal strategy is to hold off on the lawsuit until after Christopher Coleman's Monroe County trial.

Carey says he plans to name as a co-defendant the ministry organization where Coleman worked as a security chief.

Coleman has pleaded not guilty in the May 2009 killings of his family at their Columbia home.

Carey has claimed the ministry knew or should have known that Coleman was a threat to his family.

Published: Wed, Mar 16, 2011

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