National Roundup

Ohio: 3rd trial set to start in bathtub drowning
CINCINNATI (AP) — Jury selection was expected to begin Tuesday for the third trial of an Ohio man accused of drowning his wife in their bathtub.

Ryan Widmer is charged with murdering 24-year-old Sarah Widmer at their home in Hamilton Township north of Cincinnati in 2008.

His 2009 murder conviction was thrown out over juror misconduct, and jurors in his second trial last year failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

Since then, a witness has come forward claiming to have heard Widmer confess to killing his wife. A judge allowed the witness to remain unidentified until the trial. Prosecutors had argued that revealing the identity could endanger the witness.

A judge has prohibited attorneys and prosecutors in the case from commenting outside of court.

New Mexico: Man sues neighbor over dog damaging bumper
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A northern New Mexico man is suing his neighbors, contending their dog caused $2,000 in damages by tearing off part of the rear bumper of a Volvo parked in his yard.

An attorney for Richard Lienau of Pecos filed the lawsuit earlier this month in state District Court on behalf of Lienau and the owner of the Volvo, seeking damages and an injunction against Steve and Jerica Griego, the dog’s owners.

Lienau describes the dog as weighing about 75 pounds, although he wasn’t certain of the breed.

He also contends it damaged another vehicle in the area, menaced neighbors and killed one neighbor’s dog.

Christina Griego, Steve’s wife and Jerica’s mother, says she thinks Lienau is mistaken.

She says the family’s two dogs are small and not aggressive.

Nebraska: Woman gets 20 years for slaying in Valentine
VALENTINE, Neb. (AP) — A 22-year-old Valentine woman has been given 20 years in prison for manslaughter.

Martina Menard (meh-NAHRD’) had been charged with second-degree murder, accused of killing 34-year-old Shannon Castaway on March 9.

Court records say Menard pleaded no contest after prosecutors lowered the charge and dropped another. Valentine radio station KVSH says Menard was sentenced on Friday.

An arrest affidavit says Menard told officers that she stabbed Castaway with a paring knife and hit her in the face with a bat.

Menard told officers that she cleaned up the blood, took a shower and went to a friend’s house for a haircut.

The documents didn’t say what led up to the violence.

Wisconsin: U.S. judge sets visa trial for Bosnian Serb
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Bosnian Serb is set to stand trial next month in federal court in Milwaukee on charges he hid his role in a civilian massacre to get to the United States.

Prosecutors believe long-haul trucker Mladjen Cvijanovic (muh-LAH’-jen svee-YAH’-noh-vich) lied on his 2002 application for refugee status by failing to disclose he served in a police unit that helped round up fleeing Muslim civilians during the 1995 invasion of Srebrenica. About 8,000 men and boys were killed.

U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Callahan has scheduled Cvijanovic’s trial to begin Feb. 28. Earlier this month Callahan decided to restrict Cvijanovic’s work travel to Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Michigan.

Idaho: Lawmakers begin revamp of rape-by-fraud law
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Lawmakers have begun what they hope is the quick process of closing a loophole in Idaho’s rape laws that helped two men evade felony charges last year.

Idaho’s existing rape-by-fraud statute covers only a woman tricked into believing the man she’s having sex with is her husband.

But two southwestern Idaho men avoided charges following an incident last July in which a woman was duped into having sex with her boyfriend’s friend.

Because the woman wasn’t married to either of the men who tricked her, a 4th District Court judge ruled they couldn’t be charged with rape and the aiding and abetting of a rape.

Texas: Family of Mexican boy killed by border agent sues
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The family of a 15-year-old Ciudad Juarez boy shot dead by a U.S. border agent in what federal officials called a rock-throwing confrontation last June has filed a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit against the U.S. government.

The lawsuit filed Monday in a U.S. District Court in El Paso accuses the government, particularly the Border Patrol and a patrol agent, of violating the civil rights of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca by fatally shooting him.

Federal arrest records obtained by The Associated Press shortly after the June 7 shooting showed the boy had been arrested at least four times since 2008 and twice in the same week in February 2009 on suspicion of smuggling illegal immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border. However, he was never charged with a crime.

Georgia: Lottery ticket ownership disputed
WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (AP) — A day laborer who says a lottery ticket belongs to him and not his employer is suing to try to recover the $750,000 proceeds, while he faces legal charges stemming from the dispute.

Jose Antonio Cua-Toc of Bonaire has been jailed since Nov. 27 on a terroristic threats charge. A police report says the 25-year-old Cua-Toc is accused of repeatedly threatening Erick Cervantes of Warner Robins and his family if they didn’t give him some of the winnings.

The lawsuit says Cervantes took Cua-Toc to Macon to cash the ticket but wound up with the proceeds.

An attorney representing Cervantes says the employer is the rightful holder of the ticket.

A judge has issued a restraining order on spending the proceeds of the ticket while the dispute is decided.

California: Officer charged in shooting had anger issues
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California Highway Patrol officer charged with fatally shooting her husband is being sued by his stepson, who claims Tomiekia Johnson failed to attend assigned anger management classes.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that Marcus Lemons’ teenage son, DeMarco Lemons, sued Johnson last year for wrongful death after the 2009 shooting.

Johnson has pleaded not guilty to shooting her 31-year-old husband while off-duty and says she was acting in self-defense.

Homicide detectives arrested her last week after a lengthy investigation.


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