Court Round Up

Washington: State settles with inmate shackled during childbirth
SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington state Department of Corrections has settled for more than $100,000 with a former inmate who says she was shackled while she gave birth in 2007.

Casandra Brawley will receive $125,000 from the state to settle the lawsuit, which alleges Brawley was restrained as she gave birth to her son in a hospital in 2007.

Brawley was serving time for drug possession, possession of stolen property and theft.

Cases like Brawley’s prompted the state Legislature to pass legislation banning the shackling of female prisoners during childbirth.

Brawley’s attorney says her client is pleased she is being compensated for what she endured.

Corrections officials say the department is committed to improving conditions for mothers who are incarcerated.

Georgia: Probation for man in road rage stabbing case
ATLANTA (AP) — A plumber who was facing life in prison on a murder charge stemming from a 2007 road rage case will instead spend only a year on probation.

Thirty-eight-year-old Zakar Yasharahla pleaded guilty this week to a misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson sentenced him Monday.

He also got 250 hours of community service.

Witnesses told police Yasharahla stabbed 23-year-old Tony Newberry several times with a knife after he got out of the Jeep he was riding in with his wife and daughter.

Defense attorney Noah Pines said Yasharahla was defending himself against someone who appeared to be intoxicated.

A lawsuit filed by Newberry’s family against Yasharahla and Roto-Rooter, his former employer, is still pending in Fulton County.

Kansas: Son of slaying suspect to testify by remote TV

LYNDON, Kan. (AP) — An Osage County judge has ruled that a boy who was the only survivor during a rampage that left four family members dead will testify against his father next month via remote television.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the judge ruled Wednesday that 11-year-old Sean Kahler will not have to be in court when he testifies June 22-23 in the preliminary hearing for his father, James Kraig Kahler.

The elder Kahler is charged with capital murder in the deaths of his wife, two daughters and his wife’s grandmother Nov. 28 at the grandmother’s home home in Burlingame.

Sean Kahler was able to flee uninjured from the home.

Kahler is the former director of the Water & Light Department in Columbia, Mo. His wife had filed for divorce in January 2009.

Kentucky: Former judge loses law license in vote fraud case
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The law license of a former judge from eastern Kentucky has been suspended in the wake of his conviction in a vote fraud case.

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday barred R. Cletus Maricle of Manchester from practicing law pending further order of the court. A federal jury convicted Maricle in March on five counts related to a vote fraud scheme in Clay County.

Seven other people were also found guilty in what prosecutors called a conspiracy to buy and steal votes to gain power, jobs and contracts.

Sentencing for Maricle and his co-defendants is set for August.

Vermont: Feds say man plotted from jail, threatened girl

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Vermont man awaiting trial for the rape and killing of his 12-year-old niece plotted from his jail cell after being arrested, at one point soliciting a friend to send an e-mail message threatening to have a 9-year-old girl killed.

In a new court filing, they say Michael Jacques planned a series of communications that were intended to portray they came from a sex ring police have discredited as a fabrication. According to the filing, Jacques solicited a friend in Arizona to send the e-mails for him, but the friend cooperated with authorities and the plan was thwarted.

The 43-year-old man is facing the federal death penalty if convicted of the June 2008 kidnap, sexual assault and killing of Brooke Bennett.

West Virginia: Man admits threatening prospective jurors
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A man who admitted threatening prospective jurors faces up to five years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says 33-year-old Daniel Lee Hall pleaded guilty Wednesday to mailing threatening letters in March 2009 to people on a list of prospective jurors for his trial on unspecified state charges.

Prosecutors say several people who received the letters refused to appear for jury duty. Hall’s trial had to be rescheduled.

Hall is scheduled to be sentenced on the federal charges on Aug. 31.