National Roundup

Man who rode horse drunk gets time served deal

BUNNELL, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man accused of riding his horse while intoxicated during a police chase has changed his plea and was sentenced to time served.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports 29-year-old Charles Larkin Cowart pleaded no contest Tuesday to obstructing an officer without violence and interfering with railroad tracks. He originally pleaded not guilty to the Sept. 24 ride through Bunnell, north of Orlando.
Circuit Judge David Walsh also sentenced Cowart to three years of probation. He had been held in the Flagler County Jail on $7,000 bail. Police say Cowart told them he was on his way to this grandmother’
s house. He refused their request to get off the horse and took off. Eventually, the horse became exhausted and Cowart ran. He was arrested a short time later.

Court upholds mom’s conviction in 2001 slaying

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the first-degree murder conviction of a woman serving life in prison for the 2001 fatal shooting of a neighbor in her Iowa home.
The court on Wednesday rejected Tracey Richter’s argument that prosecutors failed to overcome her claim that the shooting of 20-year-old Dustin Wehde was in self-defense.
Richter shot and killed Wehde in her home in the northwestern Iowa town of Early. She maintains that she shot Wehde to protect herself and her three children after Wehde and another man invaded her home.
Prosecutors say the home invasion claim was a hoax, and that Richter killed Wehde as part of a plot to frame her ex-husband.
The court says there was “substantial evidence” from which jurors could conclude the killing wasn’t justified.

Ex-chemist is arraigned in state lab case

WOBURN, Mass. (AP) — A former Massachusetts chemist accused of faking test results at a state drug lab has pleaded not guilty to three counts of obstruction of justice at the first of two scheduled arraignments.
Neither Annie Dookhan nor her lawyer commented after her appearance Wednesday in Middlesex Superior Court.
She is scheduled to be arraigned on two more counts of the same charge later Wednesday in Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham.
She had previously pleaded not guilty to similar charges in Suffolk Superior Court, where she was freed on $10,000 bail.
Middlesex prosecutors agreed to let her go on personal recognizance Wednesday.
Prosecutors allege Dookhan fabricated test results and tampered with drug evidence while testing substances in criminal cases. The scandal threatens to unravel thousands of drug convictions.
Dookhan resigned in March.

Man pleads guilty in elementary classroom fight

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — A north-central Idaho man charged with slapping, kicking and tripping children in his son’s fifth-grade class has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of injury to a child.
The Lewiston Tribune reports Magistrate Stephen L. Calhoun sentenced 35-year-old Byron S. Edwards of Reubens to 90 days in jail on Tuesday. Calhoun suspended a $500 fine and 60 days of the jail sentence. He gave Edwards credit for 19 days served.
Court records say Edwards was at Highland Elementary School in Craigmont on Dec. 17. The substitute teacher told investigators Edwards tripped one student, put another in a headlock for about 10 seconds while dragging the child out of the classroom. Edwards allegedly slapped another child, kicked another student and used profanity.

2nd rapper jailed in anti-police YouTube video

PITTSBURGH (AP) — An 18-year-old Pittsburgh man has been arrested on charges he performed in and posted a violent rap video on YouTube that urges people to kill city police officers.
Online court records don’t list an attorney for Jamal Knox, who was arrested Tuesday by a federal marshals’ fugitive task force. Knox is charged along with 21-year-old Rashee Beasley who was arrested last month and was to have a preliminary hearing on charges related to the video on Wednesday. That hearing has been postponed until March.
The video, pulled from YouTube after police began investigating it in November, praises Richard Poplawski who killed three city officers in April 2009.
The lyrics include the line, “Let’s kill these cops ‘cause they don’t do us no good” and names specific officers who patrol the area where Poplawski lived.

Spokane judge told to revisit restitution ruling

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A state appeals court told Spokane Superior Court Judge Michael Price to reconsider a ruling that said a fraud convict could increase restitution if he paid lower rent, and gave up his cell phone, cable TV and tithing.
Prosecutors had asked Price to increase restitution payments for Theodore N. Saroff, who has been paying off $269,000 at the rate of $50 a month. Saroff formerly operated Spokane Auto Sales and pleaded guilty in 2008 to financial fraud.
The Spokesman-Review reports the judge agreed Saroff could find rent for less than the $1,650 a month he was paying and that he could cut cell phone and cable bills and tithing. Price ruled Saroff should be able to pay $1,250 a month.
The appeals court told the judge Tuesday to reconsider.

Man accused of harassing deputy after BMW towed

HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) — A West St. Paul man is accused of creating a Facebook page to harass a Dakota County sheriff’s deputy who had his BMW towed.
Forty-four-year-old Shawn Amick is charged with felony harassment and stalking. A criminal complaint says Amick set up a Facebook page in the deputy’s name, included personal information and posted “derogatory homosexual and racist comments.”
The complaint says the deputy had previously arrested Amick and twice had his car towed. The Star Tribune reports investigators traced the Facebook account to Amick’s home. Amick says he did not create the Facebook page. His first court appearance is Feb. 25.