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Nevada

Boyd Gaming su es domain owner ov er Stardust name

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. has filed a trademark lawsuit against the owner of a website domain name, saying he is infringing on the company's Stardust brand.

The Las Vegas Sun reported Thursday that Boyd filed a complaint in federal court in Las Vegas against Hans Martin Pollack of Austria. Pollack did not immediately return a message from the newspaper seeking comment.

Boyd says Pollack owns stardustgaming.com and stardustgaming.net and is using a similar fonts as the old Stardust casino that once stood in Las Vegas.

Boyd is trying to gain control of the website names if it wins its lawsuit.

California

5 charged in $37 M heist at tech firm

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) -- Five men have been charged in a $37 million armed heist at a technology firm that authorities called the largest computer chip robbery ever in the San Francisco Bay area -- one of the nation's tech hotspots.

The men were arrested after as many as 15 people armed with rifles and handguns and wearing gloves and masks stormed a loading dock at Unigen Corp. on Feb. 27.

The robbers tied up several employees and locked them in a room before spending a half-hour loading flash memory chips into a truck, said Michael Sterner, director of the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, a task force that investigated the case.

"This is the largest seizure and recovery of computer chips that we are aware of in the Bay Area, if not in California," Sterner said.

Other suspects were still being sought. Authorities declined to say what led them to the five men who were arrested, or provide information about the additional suspects.

Most of the chips were later found inside a small storage garage, although investigators said some ended up in Asia.

Defendants Jesus Meraz Jr., 25, Dylan Catayas Lee, 32, Rolando McKay Secreto, 38, and Leonard Abriam, 31, all of San Jose; and Pierre Ramos, 28, of Union City face charges that include armed robbery, false imprisonment and burglary, authorities said Wednesday.

They also face an enhancement known as excessive taking, which reflects the value of the components taken, said Sterner.

The defendants were arrested over a 10-day span that ended on April 7. They were being held without bail and were expected to be assigned attorneys and enter pleas on Friday during a court appearance.

All five face the possibility of life in prison if convicted of all charges, prosecutors said.

The California Attorney General's Office is prosecuting the case.

Indiana

Jury convicts ex-Marine in IU professor slaying

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- An ex-Marine who admitted killing a gay Indiana University professor two days after they had a sexual encounter has been convicted of murder by a jury that found the slaying was intentional and not committed in the heat of anger.

Monroe County jurors found Michael Griffin guilty of murder late Thursday night after 12 hours of deliberations. The 27-year-old faces a prison sentence of 45 to 65 years in Don Belton's slaying.

The Herald-Times reports that Griffin admitted to jurors that he killed Belton in December 2009 by stabbing him 22 times with a knife that had a 10-inch-long, double-edged blade.

Griffin had claimed Belton, an assistant English professor, had raped him on Dec. 25, 2009, after a day of heavy drinking at Belton's Bloomington home. He said he killed Belton two days later in a rage when he confronted him about the alleged assault and Belton insisted the sex was consensual and that he must have enjoyed it since he didn't resist.

Griffin's girlfriend testified Tuesday that she saw the men have sex after the trio spent the day drinking at Belton's Bloomington home.

Jurors had the option of finding Griffin guilty of murder -- an intentional killing -- or the less-serious offense of voluntary manslaughter, killing someone in the sudden heat of emotion.

Deputy prosecutor Darcie Winkle said in Thursday's closing arguments that Griffin had 32 hours to decide what to do about the sexual encounter. She told jurors that he went to Belton's house to kill him, and then carried out the plan.

"He killed Don because he was humiliated about what happened," Winkle said. "Actions speak louder than words. It's crystal clear what the defendant's intent was."

Public defender David Collins told jurors in his closing arguments that Griffin snapped when Belton was flippant about Griffin's claim that Belton sexually assaulted him on Christmas Day 2009.

"He went to Don Belton's to get some understanding of what happened Christmas night," Collins told the jury. "He was met with a smirk ... he wanted to hear it was not OK."

Griffin also testified that he didn't remember stabbing Belton, whose body was found by a friend on the kitchen floor of his home the next day.

Griffin, who was awarded the Purple Heart after being injured in the Iraq war, said he had considered Belton a friend only and that he had not wanted to have sex with him. He testified Wednesday that Belton "overextended his bounds. He sexually assaulted me, whatever you want to call it. Rape."

Massachusetts

Salem man gets 3 years for faking own death

SALEM, Mass. (AP) -- A Salem man who faked his own death to beat several court cases has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Michael Rosen was sentenced Thursday in Salem Superior Court after pleading guilty to forgery charges.

Authorities say the 43-year-old Rosen walked into court in July pretending to be his brother and handed a clerk a death certificate showing that he had died of "cardio-respiratory" arrest and was buried in Temple "Isreal" Cemetery.

It worked -- at first -- as a judge dismissed Rosen's cases.

Rosen's probation officer became suspicious because he had recently seen Rosen in good health.

Rosen had made the fake death certificate on a computer using a real one as a template.

The Salem News reports that Rosen's lawyer blamed the incident on mental health issues.

Published: Mon, Apr 18, 2011

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