State Roundup

Prison next for man in financial scam sentencing

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A former General Motors electrician has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for a financial scam that involved millions of dollars and more than 3,000 investors in 33 countries.
Greg McKnight of Swartz Creek took in $72 million. The government says his investors are out by more than $45 million. McKnight got his sentence Monday in Flint federal court.
The 53-year-old McKnight had no formal investment training in currencies or commodities. Authorities say he promised “outlandishly high interest rates” and suggested that investments were safe. McKnight used $2.2 million for his own use.
Defense attorney Ed Wishnow says McKnight has expressed remorse to his investors, especially in public to members of Swartz Creek Church of Christ. McKnight was arrested in 2008.

Washington Twp.
Parent upset over school nut ban loses lawsuit

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Macomb County parent who sued because of her displeasure with a school ban on nuts has lost her case at the Michigan appeals court.
Kathleen Liebau accused the Romeo school district of violating her daughter’s rights after officials adopted a ban on nut products at Hevel Elementary School in 2010. The policy was in response to another student’s life-threatening allergy.
Liebau claimed the peanut ban deprived her daughter of her nutritional needs. The policy apparently was so controversial that some parents sent their kids to school with peanut products and appeared in the cafeteria to prevent enforcement.
Liebau’s lawsuit was dismissed by a Macomb County judge, and the state appeals court last week affirmed that decision.

Detention officer acquitted in jail assault allegation

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A 54-year-old Lansing jail detention officer has been acquitted of an assault charge involving a 14-year-old inmate.
The Lansing State Journal reports a 54A District Court jury on Tuesday returned the verdict in the case of David Gladstone.
Defense lawyer Brett Naumcheff told The Associated Press on Wednesday it’s his office’s policy not to comment to media.
Gladstone is a 20-year police department employee. He was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery after a March 8 incident involving the teen inside a cell.
Gladstone remains on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Tekonsha Twp.
Murder spree figure critically hurt in crash

TEKONSHA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A woman who was one of two teenage participants in a killing spree that left 11 people dead 55 years ago and became the basis of the movie “Badlands” starring Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen has been critically injured in a crash, western Michigan authorities said Tuesday.
Caril Ann Clair, 70, of Stryker, Ohio, was critically hurt and her 81-year-old husband killed late Monday in a single-vehicle crash on northbound Interstate 69 in Calhoun County, the sheriff’s department said. It said Frederick. A. Clair was at the wheel of the SUV when it went off the road and overturned.
Caril Clair was taken to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. The hospital said it could not provide information on her Tuesday night.
As a 14-year-old, then-Caril Fugate and her 19-year-old boyfriend, Charlie Starkweather, went on a killing spree in Nebraska and Wyoming in 1957-58 that claimed the lives of Fugate’s mother, stepfather, 2-year-old sister and eight others. Starkweather was executed, while Fugate left prison in 1976.
The killings began in late 1957 with the death of 21-year-old gas station attendant Robert Colvert, who was robbed, abducted and shot to death. His body was left on a Nebraska country road.
Two months later, Lincoln, Neb.-area authorities found the bodies of Marion Bartlett, 57; and his 35-year-old wife, Velda, in an outbuilding. Their 2-year-old daughter, Betty Jean, had been clubbed to death with the butt of a gun and her body stuffed in a cardboard box. Missing were Velda Bartlett’s 14-year-old daughter by a previous marriage, Caril Fugate, and her boyfriend, Starkweather.
A fictionalized account of the killing spree was told in “Badlands,” released in 1973. Bruce Springsteen sang about Starkweather and Miss Fugate on his “Nebraska” album.