Court Roundup


Man sentenced to life for slayings of 5

BROOKVILLE, Ind. (AP) -- A southeastern Indiana man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting five people during an apparent drug dispute has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A Franklin Circuit Court judge sentenced 46-year-old David Ison during a Wednesday morning hearing in Brookville. The Glenwood man was sentenced after he unexpectedly changed his plea to guilty last month.

Ison was charged with the September slayings of 50-year-old Roy Napier; Napier's estranged 47-year-old wife, Angela; their children, 23-year-old Melissa Napier and 18-year-old Jacob Napier; and 43-year-old neighbor Henry X. Smith.

Their bodies were found inside and outside Roy Napier's mobile home in rural Laurel, about 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

Prosecutors say Ison was upset that Roy Napier had raised the price of oxycodone pills he was selling.

New Jersey

Jury rules man cheated co-workers in lottery

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) -- A jury in New Jersey on Wednesday found a man had cheated five co-workers out of their share of a $38.5 million lottery jackpot.

The men worked at a construction company in Elizabeth and began a lottery pool in 2007.

Americo Lopes claimed the winning numbers for the Nov. 10, 2009 jackpot were on a personal ticket and not the ticket that he had bought for the pool. The eight-member jury disagreed.

The Star-Ledger of Newark reports Lopes walked out of court saying in Portuguese that he was robbed.

One of his co-workers told the newspaper he had to buy a present for his granddaughter, who was born yesterday.

It's not clear how much money the men will get.


Prison ordered in investment fraud case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Canadian man who posed as an international entrepreneur has been sentenced to nearly 4 years in prison for defrauding a Marshfield woman and others.

Prosecutors say the woman twice wired $50,000 to Salvatore Gualtieri in 2008 to invest. But, when she emailed him to check on her investment, he failed to respond.

The 51-year-old Mississauga, Ontario man is also accused of defrauding two others, who live out of state, of more than $2 million. He was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Madison to 3 years and 10 months in prison.

The Marshfield News-Herald says Gualitieri was also prosecuted for fraud in Canada in 2007 and ordered to pay $710,000 in restitution.


60-year prison sentence reinstated in fraud case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Louisiana Supreme Court has reinstated a 60-year prison sentence for a former Alabama state legislator who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $250,000 from Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans after they paid him for modular homes he never delivered.

The court ruled Tuesday that District Judge Darryl Derbigny didn't abuse his discretion in sentencing 63-year-old John Colvin, of Rainbow City, Ala.

Last year, a state appeals court vacated Colvin's sentence as excessive. At the time of Colvin's sentencing, a spokesman for Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said it was one of the longest prison sentences for contractor fraud in Louisiana history.

Colvin's victims included elderly residents whose homes were demolished by the 2005 storm. Prosecutors said he never delivered any of the modular homes he sold.


Former tugboat crewman wins lawsuit over Katrina

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) -- A former towboat crew member has won a $4.3 million judgment on claims that he suffered post-traumatic stress syndrome after being forced by his then-employer to stay on his vessel during Hurricane Katrina.

The (Alton) Telegraph reports that U.S. District Judge David Herndon has sided with 53-year-old Tyree Webb of Clarksville, Tenn., and ruled against TECO Barge Line Inc. of Metropolis. The two-day bench trial was last September in East St. Louis.

Tyree Webb was an engineer on the Anita M. towboat on the Mississippi River during the 2005 hurricane.

Crew members testified they feared for their lives during Katrina and called home to say goodbye.

Herndon noted the vessel wasn't designed to protect crew members from a hurricane's force.

The company hasn't returned a message seeking comment.


Father sues district over son's school suspension

ROGERS, Ark. (AP) -- A northwest Arkansas father has sued the Rogers School District, challenging the one-day suspension his 5-year-old son received for using a curse word at school.

Ken Swindle filed the lawsuit Tuesday against the Rogers School District and Anita Turner, the principal of Northside Elementary School. Swindle, an attorney, says he learned earlier Tuesday that his son had been suspended for using the profane word.

Swindle tells the Benton County Daily Record the school overreacted and that his son didn't understand the meaning of the word. He says he's concerned the suspension will leave a "permanent mark" on the boy's school records.

He's asking a judge to require the district's school board to hold a full hearing on the suspension.

The district could not be reached for comment early Wednesday.

Published: Thu, Mar 15, 2012