National Roundup

Hermit suspected in some 1,000 burglaries caught

ROME, Maine (AP) — Authorities say a man who lived like a hermit for decades in the woods of central Maine and may be responsible for more than 1,000 burglaries has been captured.
Police say 47-year-old Christopher Knight was arrested last week while stealing food from a camp in Rome.
Authorities on Tuesday found the campsite where they believed Knight — known as the North Pond Hermit — has lived for 27 years.
Sgt. Terry Hughes of the Maine Warden Service, who arrested Knight last Thursday as he left the camp with $280 worth of food, tells the Morning Sentinel that Knight told him he was the second human being he has spoken to since 1986.
Knight is being held on $5,000 bail at the Kennebec County jail on charges of burglary and theft.

NYC woman gets 5 years for prostitution

BOSTON (AP) — A New York City woman has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for bringing women from out of state to Massachusetts to work as prostitutes.
Hong Wei was also sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boston to five years of probation upon release on charges including forced labor and harboring aliens.
Prosecutors say the 37-year-old Wei, who went by the name “Ms. Chen,” was part of a group of people who advertised in newspapers for Asian women to work as prostitutes in brothels around Massachusetts.
Authorities say many of the women were living in the U.S. illegally and some were forced to work in the brothels.

Mom makes case for new trial in death of children

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) — A Mathews mother who stabbed her two children to death returned to Lafourche Parish on Monday, requesting through her attorney that the jurors who convicted her be questioned about possible misconduct.
The Courier reports state District Judge Jerome Barbera of Thibodaux denied Amy Hebert’s request.
Hebert was sentenced to life in prison in 2009 after jurors bypassed a death sentence but found her guilty of the Aug. 20, 2007, murders of Camille, 9, and Braxton, 7. The former teacher’s aide at Lockport Lower Elementary School claimed a voice told her to kill her children.
She is serving two life sentences at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel.
Both of her appeals, to the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal and the state Supreme Court, were denied.

Ex-Maine trooper convicted of sex crime appeals

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A former Maine state trooper convicted of sexually touching a young girl is appealing to the state’s highest court.
A lawyer for ex-trooper Gregory Vrooman of Nobleboro said Tuesday before the Supreme Judicial Court that jurors shouldn’t have been told his client watched erotic images on his home and work computers because they were unrelated to the charges.
The 47-year-old Vrooman was convicted in July and sentenced to serve 21 months.
The Kennebec Journal reports that Vrooman’s lawyer said images of “sexually provocative actions by young girls” were not illegal, and distracted jurors from appropriately assessing the credibility of the alleged victim, a 12-year-old girl.
Prosecutors say viewing the images showed Vrooman’s state of mind.

North Dakota
Women plead guilty to beating man with canes

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Two North Dakota women accused of beating a man with his walking canes and stealing his money have pleaded guilty to assault charges.
Brittany Lafountain, of Belcourt, and Shamra Campbell, of Minot, are charged in federal court with assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
Authorities say the 23-year-old Lafountain and 45-year-old Campbell assaulted the man on Aug. 2 at his residence in Belcourt. The victim was hospitalized for his injuries.
The assault charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors have agreed to drop robbery charges.
Sentencing is scheduled for Campbell on June 10 and Lafountain on June 24.

North Dakota
Attorney general wants fund for abortion fight

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is asking for a $400,000 budget increase to defend any lawsuits that arise from new legislation that gives North Dakota the strictest abortion laws in the country.
The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the request Wednesday.
Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed three abortion bills last month that would make North Dakota the most restrictive state in the nation for the procedure, including a measure that would ban abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, when a fetal heartbeat can first be detected.
Dalrymple has urged lawmakers to set aside funding for a legal fight promised by abortion-rights advocates.

Sheriffs consider lawsuit over state’s gun laws

DENVER (AP) — More than half of Colorado sheriffs are considering a legal challenge to the state’s recently passed gun restrictions.
According to the Denver Post, 37 of the state’s 62 elected sheriffs are prepared to sue in an effort to overturn laws that now prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines holding more than 15 rounds and require background checks for all private gun sales.
Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said Tuesday some sheriffs oppose legal action, and an association that lobbies for sheriffs has decided not to take part.

Attorney: License data accessed some 700 times

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The attorney for a former police union lawyer in Minnesota says his client’s private driver’s license information was accessed more than 700 times.
It could be the largest privacy breach so far in the Department of Public Safety driver’s license database case.
An attorney for Brooke Bass says in the past eight years, more than 100 entities in Minnesota, mostly law enforcement agencies, accessed her private license information. Bass spent six years as a lawyer for Law Enforcement Labor Services, the state’s largest police union.s