Court Roundup

Oregon

Human Services department sued over teen death

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- A $1.5 million lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Human Services accuses the agency of failing to prevent the death of Eugene teenager Jeanette Maples.

The Register Guard reports the lawsuit was filed Lane County Circuit Court by Portland lawyer David Paul on behalf of her estate.

The 15-year-old was starved and beaten to death in 2009. Her mother, Angela McAnulty, is on death row after pleading guilty to aggravated murder. Her stepfather, Richard McAnulty is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to murder by abuse.

The lawsuit says the agency failed to reasonably respond to reports of abuse.

The Oregon attorney general's office will defend the agency.

California

Bank employee pleads guilty to stealing $110K

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A former California central coast bank employee has pleaded guilty to stealing $110,000 from U.S. Bank.

Prosecutors say 25-year-old Brenda Bautista Hurtado, who was an employee at an Arroyo Grande branch, entered the plea to a felony theft count on Monday in Los Angeles federal court.

The San Luis Obispo County Tribune says Hurtado stole nearly $100,000 from the accounts of two customers as well as $10,000 from the bank vault.

Prosecutors say the Arroyo Grande woman used the bank computer system to change the contact information for the accounts of the two customers. She then closed the accounts and took out cashier's checks for the balance.

Hurtado later took the $10,000 from the vault and went to Mexico.

She will be sentenced on Nov. 21.

Ohio

Court upholds death sentence for killer of 2

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence given a Canton man convicted of gunning down two men in a 2006 drug-related killing.

A jury sentenced Edward Lang to death for the killing of Jaron Burditte and sentenced him to life without the possibility of parole for the killing of Burditte's friend, Marnell Cheek.

Court records say Lang and an accomplice had contacted Burditte, a local drug dealer, with plans to rob him.

The court's Wednesday decision overruled objections by Lang that the original indictment did not properly spell out the elements of the death penalty case against him.

The court set a 2013 execution date for Lang but that will likely be delayed by years of federal appeals.

Idaho

Woman charged with embezzling $530K

KETCHUM, Idaho (AP) -- Blaine County officials say a former office manager for a real estate brokerage in central Idaho is charged with embezzling more than $530,000 from the company over a seven-year period.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports 49-year-old Tracy Dalin is charged with eight felonies. The case was investigated for two and a half years.

Jail officials say Dalin voluntarily surrendered at the sheriff's office on Aug. 10 and was released after posting a $10,000 bond. An initial court appearance is set for Sept. 12.

Prosecutors allege Dalin took the money from Sun Land Investments in Bellevue, owner Judy Cash and Cash's friend Ron Farwell from 2002 through 2009.

Dalin's attorney, Neal S. Randall of Idaho Falls, says his client maintains her innocence.

Missouri

Kidnapping added to charges agai n st Shawn Morgan

KENNETT, Mo. (AP) -- A southeast Missouri man accused of killing a 3-year-old girl now faces an additional charge -- kidnapping.

The Kennett Daily Dunklin Democrat reported Wednesday that Dunklin County prosecutor Stephen Sokoloff filed an amended affidavit adding the kidnapping charge against 43-year-old Shawn Morgan of Senath.

Morgan is also accused of first-degree murder in the death of BreeAnn Rodriguez. The Senath girl disappeared Aug. 6 while riding her small pink bike with training wheels in front of her home. Morgan allegedly confessed to killing her after finding her near his backyard above-ground pool. A motive hasn't been disclosed.

Her body was found Aug. 16 a few miles south of Senath.

Morgan appeared in court Tuesday but still does not have an attorney. Another court hearing was set for Sept. 13.

Iowa

Court says daughter can't receive dad's benefits

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A federal appeals court has ruled a West Branch girl conceived through in vitro fertilization after her father's death cannot receive his Social Security benefits.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported that the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday reversed a district court decision that granted the girl her father's Social Security benefits.

The girl's mother, Patti Beeler, filed for the benefits for her daughter in 2003. She was denied benefits because a 19th century state law defines children born out of wedlock as illegitimate and she filed a lawsuit challenging the decision and won.

Bruce Beeler died of Leukemia in 2001. Before undergoing chemotherapy, he preserved a sample to be used for artificial insemination. His daughter was born two years later.

Published: Thu, Sep 1, 2011

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