At a Glance

 Stay placed on parole order for juvenile lifers

LANSING (AP) — A federal appeals court has issued a stay of a judge’s ruling that could lead to parole for prisoners convicted of murders committed when they were under 18.

State Attorney General Bill Schuette says the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has delayed implementation of U.S. District Judge John Corbett O’Meara’s order that the state start the parole review process for about 360 inmates.

The judge says the prisoners deserve to benefit from a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down mandatory no-parole sentences for teens. Schuette says the decision shouldn’t apply retroactively.

Michigan’s law for first-degree murder imposes a mandatory sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole. It doesn’t include an exception for killers who are under 18.

Man gets jail time for swiping charity jar

PONTIAC (AP) — A man has been sentenced to jail time for stealing a charity collection jar for sick and injured children at a Detroit-area gas station.

Chad Lendon Stewart pleaded guilty to a felony charge of larceny in a building. The 39-year-old from Manitou Beach was sentenced recently in Oakland County Circuit Court to 90 days behind bars.

WHMI-FM in Howell reports Stewart was given credit for 46 days served. He also must serve 18 months of probation, during which he can’t re-enter the Milford gas station he robbed, drink alcohol or go into bars.

A store clerk at the gas station last month reported the theft of a collection jar for the Children’s Miracle Network, which raises money for children’s hospitals and medical research.

Clerkships to address rural lawyer shortage

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) — A partnership of the North Dakota state courts, the bar association and the University of North Dakota law school is looking to address a shortage of lawyers in rural counties with clerkships for law students.

The program funds stipends for three clerkships this summer. Judge Gail Hagerty, who wrote the proposal for the courts and Legislature, said the single attorney in a county may feel like retiring but is unable to do so because it would leave a void in the community.

The American Bar Association has taken up the rural courts issue on a national level. The ABA’s House of Delegates passed a resolution in 2012 urging states to support efforts to address the decline in rural lawyers and “access to justice issues for residents in rural America.”

If the North Dakota program is successful, it could be adopted by state’s attorney offices or private practitioners, Hagerty has said.

Couple jailed in holiday barbecue sauce spat

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania couple remains jailed after police say they fought with each other on Christmas Eve after the woman forgot to bring home barbecue sauce from the store.

State police from Belle Vernon say 42-year-old Tracy Lee Giffin bit her boyfriend, 56-year-old William Edward Balas, on the hand and nose and that he struck her in the eye during the fight. Troopers say both were injured by the time they arrived at the couple’s Denbo home about 11 p.m. Tuesday.

The couple was arraigned early Christmas morning on charges of simple assault and harassment.

 

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