National Roundup

New Mexico

Man gets 180 days for cursing at judge

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) -- A northwest New Mexico man will be sitting in jail for the next six months after telling a judge what he thinks of her in some rather unflattering terms.

The Farmington Daily Times reports Milo Bitsuie was sentenced to 180 days after he cursed at Magistrate Judge Carla Vescovi-Dial.

Bitsuie was already in jail and was appearing in court for two preliminary hearings. Court records show he faces two counts of fourth-degree felony battery on a peace officer for two separate incidents that occurred Dec. 13 and 16.

Bitsuie's attorney Russell Frost says Thursday's incident is probably an indication there is something more going on with him and further evaluation may reveal an explanation.

Frost raised the issue of competency after a second outburst. Vescovi-Dial continued both battery cases pending the outcome of a competency hearing.


Muslim bakery attorney set to lose law license

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The attorney for former Your Black Muslim Bakery head Yusuf Bey IV is expected to be suspended from practicing law after acknowledging that she smuggled documents for Bey.

Under a deal with the State Bar Court, 65-year-old Lorna Patton Brown would have to serve at least six months of a two-year suspension. The settlement was reported on Thursday by the Chauncey Bailey Project, a group of journalists who investigated reporter Chauncey Bailey's death.

Bey was convicted in June of murdering Bailey.

According to the bar court, Brown thought the sealed envelope she was smuggling out of jail for Bey during his trial contained an intimate card for his wife. But it actually was a letter from Bey instructing his wife to destroy evidence.

The deal between Brown and the bar court still requires approval from the California Supreme Court.


Prosecutor says she got Facebook threat

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A prosecutor in southwestern Kentucky says a woman facing charges sent her a threatening message on Facebook.

Christian County Commonwealth's Attorney Lynn Pryor says the message, from a 25-year-old woman in Clarksville, Tenn., didn't contain a specific threat. Pryor told The Kentucky New Era she reported the message to Hopkinsville police.

Pryor says the woman whose name was attached to the message has three warrants for failing to appear in court and has not shown up for court hearings in about six months. Hopkinsville police withheld the woman's name.

Pryor says the woman told her to "leave me" alone before "I do something to all you people." The sender told Pryor to interpret the message however she liked.

The woman is not facing any charges for violent crimes.


State high court says corporations don't need PACs

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- The Iowa Supreme Court has issued a decision clarifying the regulations covering corporations that spend money to support or oppose candidates for office.

The court on Friday ruled that corporations do not have to form political action committees that separate political funds from their general treasuries. But they do have to disclose their spending as "independent expenditure committees."

The decision upholds the current practice of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, so it might not have that much impact. But it deals a setback to a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of Iowa's campaign finance rules filed by Iowa Right to Life.

The anti-abortion group had argued that it would be regulated as a PAC and an independent expenditure committee, which would be too burdensome and chill its speech.


State settles claims police ignored threats

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The city of New Orleans has agreed to pay $25,000 to settle a federal lawsuit that accused police of ignoring a woman's complaint that her ex-husband threatened her two weeks before he killed her and a friend, said a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

The deal reached early last week resolves a suit filed on behalf of Cierra Williams, whose 40-year-old mother, Marilyn Green, was gunned down in April 2009.

"No amount of money can substitute the love and affection of her mother," said Marion Floyd, one of Williams' lawyers.

Green's ex-husband, Jackie Green, was convicted of killing her and a friend, Lionel Nelson, at her New Orleans home.

Fifteen days earlier, Jackie Green allegedly threatened to kill his ex-wife during a telephone call and tried to run her off the road as she drove home. Officers didn't take any action when Marilyn Green, her daughter and another relative drove to a police station and reported the incident, the suit says.

The officers didn't write a report or even create a customary item number for their complaint, according to Williams' lawyers.

"Marilyn Green and her friend's murder were both terrible and tragic," the suit says. "However, even more dreadful and appalling is that their murders, especially for Marilyn, came after a clear, direct and unmistakably loud warning."


Student accused of choking officer lists defenses

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- The University of Iowa student charged with attempting to murder an Iowa City police sergeant after a routine stop in November could argue defenses of intoxication or self-defense if his case goes to trial.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that 20-year-old Branden Plummer's attorney listed those possible defenses in a court filing last week.

Police say Plummer attacked Sgt. Brian Krei after he was stopped for walking through traffic in downtown Iowa City. Plummer is accused of choking Krei and then slamming the officer's head into a concrete sidewalk before fleeing the scene.

Plummer is free after posting a $100,000 bond. In addition to attempted murder, he also faces a charge of willful injury.

Plummer has pleaded not guilty to the offenses. Trial is scheduled Feb. 21.

Published: Tue, Jan 3, 2012