National Roundup

Washington, D.C.

Court: Tribe can't sue in dual courts

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court says the Tohono O'Odham Nation cannot press its lawsuit claiming mismanagement of tribal resources in both U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

The tribe sued in both courts in December 2006, complaining the government mismanaged its reservation lands, mineral resources and income.

The Court of Federal Claims threw the lawsuit out, saying it did not have jurisdiction and the lawsuits were too similar. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reinstated the lawsuit, however.

The high court ruled Tuesday in a 7-1 vote to throw the lawsuit out again. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented, and Justice Elena Kagan did not participate because she was involved with the case as solicitor general.

The case is United States v Tohono O'Odham Nation, 09-846.

Kansas

Hearing for man accused of trying to kill children

LIBERAL, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas man suspected of trying to kill his three children has a hearing scheduled May 5 in Seward County District Court.

The case against Irineo Garcia of Liberal stalled in December when he was ordered to undergo an evaluation at Larned State Hospital.

Garcia is charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder after his children, ages 5, 6 and 7, were injured at their home last October. They have recovered from their wounds. Garcia also allegedly tried to kill himself.

The Hutchinson News reports Tuesday that the evaluation's results were reported to the court in early April, but the results were not available. The evaluation will determine if Garcia is competent to stand trial.

Garcia is being held on the Seward County Jail on $1 million bond.

Pennsylvania

U.S. court grants new sentencing for Mumia Abu-Jamal

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A U.S. appeals court is awarding death-row activist Mumia Abu-Jamal a new sentencing hearing in the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer.

Tuesday's ruling is the latest in the former Black Panther's long-running legal saga.

The 58-year-old Mumia's first-degree murder conviction stands in the fatal shooting of Officer Daniel Faulkner.

But the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is upholding its earlier ruling that the death-penalty instructions to the jury were unclear at Mumia's 1982 trial.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year ordered the court to review that decision.

The three-judge panel is standing by its decision after hearing a new round of legal arguments.

Arkansas

Hearing unneeded, use briefs, Vance lawyer says

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- A lawyer for the man convicted of killing Little Rock television anchor Anne Pressly says briefs already filed in an appeal of his conviction provide enough information for the state Supreme Court to decide the case and that no oral arguments should be necessary.

Thirty-year-old Curtis Vance is appealing his capital murder and rape conviction for the October 2008 death of the KATV anchor in her Little Rock home. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Tuesday that Janice Vaughn of the Arkansas Public Defender Commission has asked the Supreme Court to cancel oral arguments set for next month in Vance's appeal of his conviction and life sentence.

Vaughn's petition also cites family medical issues and her workload. The petition said the Arkansas attorney general's office doesn't object to the cancellation.

Nebraska

$30M settlement OK'd in case against Neb. broker

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- More than 200 investors who claim they were defrauded by a pair of Nebraska City brokers will share $30 million in a settlement with one of them.

The settlement was approved late Monday in a class-action lawsuit brought by former clients of Rebecca Engle and Brian Schuster in federal court.

Engle has pleaded guilty to two counts of securities fraud in a separate criminal case, and Schuster is scheduled to stand trial next month on eight counts. Several lawsuits and arbitration claims have been filed against them and their former employers accusing Engle and Schuster of improperly selling risky investments.

The $30 million settlement is between the investors and Schuster, a former Nebraska football player.

Minnesota

St. Jude Medical gets $2.3B in trade secrets case

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- St. Jude Medical Inc. said Tuesday a Los Angeles jury awarded it $2.3 billion in a lawsuit against a former employee of its heart device business and a Chinese company he founded.

The company had said Yongning Zou stole trade secrets from the Pacesetter cardiac rhythm device unit, and tried to use those secrets to set up his own company, Nervicon Co. St. Jude said the jury returned a $1.47 billion judgment against Zou and an $868 million judgment against Nervicon on Friday.

St. Jude said the court had issued an injunction against Zou and Nervicon to prevent them from using or disclosing any trade secrets or confidential or proprietary information from St. Jude. The injunction was issued in November.

St. Jude is one of the world's largest medical device companies, and products like pacemakers and implantable heart defibrillators bring in more than half its revenue. The company reported $3.05 billion in cardiac rhythm device sales in 2010.

Arizona

Border activist gets 65 years on top of death

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A woman convicted of first-degree murder faces an additional 65 years in the deaths of a 9-year-old Arivaca (ayr-uh-VAH'-kuh) girl and the girl's father.

The Arizona Daily Star reports Pima County Superior Court Judge John Leonardo sentenced 43-year-old Shawna Forde in the May 2009 deaths of 29-year-old Raul Junior Flores and Brisenia Flores.

Forde was convicted in February of two counts of first-degree murder and was later sentenced to die.

Forde was also convicted of the attempted first-degree murder of Flores' wife and five burglary, aggravated-assault and armed-robbery counts.

Leonardo imposed 10 or 15 years on each of those counts and ran all but one of them consecutive to each other and consecutive to the death sentence.

Published: Wed, Apr 27, 2011

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