Court Roundup


Lawsuit by Erie's 1st female firefighter scheduled

ERIE, Pa. (AP) -- A judge says a wrongful firing lawsuit filed by Erie's first female firefighter will go to trial in January.

Forty-nine-year-old Mary Wolski sued in 2008. City officials say she was dismissed for setting fire to clothes in a bathtub in December 2006, in her father's vacant home.

The Erie Times-News reports Tuesday that Wolski wants the city to reinstate her and pay her lost wages. She was hired in 1997.

Wolski has acknowledged setting the fire in hopes the smoke would kill her, but says she was battling severe depression. She claims the firing violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The trial is scheduled to begin on January 30, in federal court in Erie.

North Dakota

Man sentenced to 10 years on child porn charge

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- A North Dakota man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on a child pornography charge.

Michael Karolus, of Portland, was charged with possessing materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors. He pleaded guilty in July.

Federal agents began investigating Karolus after receiving a tip about a sexually explicit posting on the Internet site Craigslist.

Authorities say the 28-year-old Karolus had 37 image files and 11 videos depicting child pornography.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson also ordered Karolus to pay $1,000 to an unidentified victim.

New Jersey

Black bear hunt now up to judges

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A New Jersey appeals court on Tuesday heard arguments from opponents of the state's upcoming black bear hunt and the wildlife management policy that allows it.

Animal protection groups argued the hunt kills too many pregnant females and is based on faulty research.

The state says the hunt is needed to keep the black bear population in check.

A decision is expected soon because the six-day hunt is due to start Monday.

The Animal Protection League of New Jersey and The Bear Education Resource Group failed to stop last year's hunt, but a judge allowed their lawsuit to continue.

Hunters killed 592 black bears last year. It was New Jersey's first bear hunt in five years.

Bears have been spotted in 19 of 21 counties this year.


3 arraigned in 81-year-old's shooting death at home

ROCHESTER, Ind. (AP) -- Three men accused of fatally shooting an 81-year-old woman during a break-in at her northern Indiana home have had not guilty pleas entered for them.

A Fulton County judge on Tuesday entered the pleas for 24-year-old Roy Bell of Rochester, 34-year-old Jason Miller of Plymouth and 25-year-old William Scroggs of Delong and ordered that they be appointed public defenders. They were ordered held without bond.

The Fulton County prosecutor filed murder charges against all three for the Nov. 22 death of Wilma Upsall at the rural Rochester home she shared with her daughter and son-in-law.

Prosecutor Rick Brown tells The Rochester Sentinel that all three have acknowledged being inside the home, but all deny shooting Upsall. Brown says he believes they didn't know Upsall was home.


Colorado man sues Topeka-area couple he kidnapped

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas couple is asking a judge to dismiss a breach of contract lawsuit filed by a suburban Denver man who held them hostage while fleeing from authorities.

Jesse Dimmick is serving an 11-year sentence after bursting into Jared and Lindsay Rowley's Topeka-area home in September 2009. He was wanted for questioning in a Colorado man's beating death and a chase had begun in in Geary County.

The couple escaped after Dimmick fell asleep.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Dimmick filed a breach of contract suit in Shawnee County District Court in response to a suit the couple filed in September.

Dimmick contends that he and the couple reached a legally binding, oral contract that they would hide him for an unspecified amount of money. Dimmick wants $235,000.

Published: Wed, Nov 30, 2011