National Roundup


Federal charges filed against 2 sheriff’s deputies 
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Two suspended Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies with ties to convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein now face federal criminal conspiracy charges.
Federal prosecutors filed charges Friday in Fort Lauderdale against 48-year-old Lt. David Benjamin and 47-year-old detective Jeff Poole. They’re accused of abusing their law enforcement powers to help Rothstein, who is serving a 50-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to orchestrating the scam that involved investments in nonexistent legal settlements.
According to court documents, Poole faces up to 10 years in prison for conspiring to violate civil rights, while Benjamin could be sentenced to five years for extortion and civil rights violations. Both charges carry fines of up to $250,000.
Both deputies have been serving suspensions with pay since current Sheriff Scott Israel took office last year.
McDonald’s sued o­v­er service dog confrontation 
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis man with muscular dystrophy is suing the owner of a McDonald’s restaurant as well as the corporation, saying he was the victim of discrimination because he and his service dog were kicked out of the establishment.
Robert Mingo, 52, who uses a wheelchair, is seeking unspecified damages as a result of his treatment at the Minneapolis franchise. Mingo’s lawsuit says he was kicked out of the McDonald’s last May after a manager demanded documentation that his service dog was legitimate. The Border Collie-Springer Spaniel mix named Max helps Mingo with daily activities, including opening and closing doors, picking up laundry and removing clothing, the lawsuit said.
Mingo also wants employees to be educated about the federal Disabilities Act.
“The best thing that could come out of this,” Mingo told the Star Tribune “is that all McDonald’s employees are required to undergo sensitivity training concerning people with disabilities.”
Mingo said he also visited the same restaurant in August 2012 and was told at the counter that the dog prevented him from being served. And when he rolled up to the drive-through, he was also told he could not be served, according to the lawsuit. Once back inside, Mingo finally was allowed to buy food but was told not to return.
The lawsuit filed in federal court names franchise owner Tim Baylor and the McDonald’s corporation.

State High Court agrees to hear sentence appeal 
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court plans to hear an appeal from a man who claims a 115-year prison sentence imposed when he was 15 years old violates his constitutional rights.
Brandon Moore was tried as an adult and convicted by a jury in the 2001 armed kidnapping, robbery and gang rape of a 21-year-old woman. He drew the sentence from Mahoning County Judge R. Scott Krichbaum in 2008.
Moore, now 28, claims a definite sentence that exceeds his life expectancy for crimes he committed as a juvenile violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
The state’s high court agreed to hear the case this week after a 2-1 decision of the 7th District Court of Appeals in December left the sentence intact, The (Youngstown) Vindicator reported.
Krichbaum imposed that sentence at Moore’s second resentencing after appeals of previous sentences.
Moore’s attorneys wrote that his prison term is the longest they know of for an Ohio juvenile offender.
Ralph M. Rivera, an assistant Mahoning County prosecutor, had urged the high court to decline to hear the case.
“This case does not involve any substantial constitutional questions and is of no public interest,” Rivera wrote.

New Mexico
Murder trial delayed amid   finger-pointing 
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An Espanola woman’s murder trial in the 2012 killing of her uncle in Chimayo has been delayed amid finger-pointing over who’s to blame for late disclosures of evidence.
Rhiannon Montoya was to go on trial Monday in the killing of 64-year-old Rudy Montoya, but a District Court judge in Santa Fe on Thursday postponed it until June 2.
Defense attorney Thomson Lloyd complained that the prosecution didn’t disclose new witnesses and evidence until as recently as this week.
Lloyd said the evidence included a recording of a law enforcement interview.
Prosecutor Peter Valencia blamed some of the delays on the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office, but sheriff’s office spokesman Jake Arnold said the prosecutor was trying to obscure his mismanagement of the case.
Girl, 15, gets 6 years for assault on disabled boy 
LEONARDTOWN, Md. (AP) — A St. Mary’s County judge has sentenced a 15-year-old girl to a maximum of six years in a juvenile detention center for assaulting a boy with diminished mental capacity.
The Washington Post reports that the judge on Thursday rejected a request to avoid jail from the girl who pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and displaying an obscene photograph of a boy. Judge Michael Stamm called the abuse “horrific” and said she poses a danger to the community.
Authorities say she and a 17-year-old girl charged as an adult coerced the boy into sexual acts and made video recordings of the abuse. Police say the boy’s parents tell investigators the boy is autistic. The older girl is undergoing psychological examinations before a hearing on transferring her case to juvenile court.
Prosecutors seek more than 3 years for Brown 
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors want former District of Columbia Councilmember Michael Brown, who has pleaded guilty to accepting bribes, to serve more than three years in prison.
The Washington Post reports that court documents filed Thursday ahead of Brown’s sentencing next month portray Brown as “driven by greed, entitlement, and self-interest.” Brown pleaded guilty last year to accepting $55,000 from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen and later acknowledged taking more than $100,000 from a donor.
In a separate filing, Brown’s attorneys ask for a lighter sentence — less than prosecutors’ suggested 43 months and the 37-month minimum — because of his council service and cooperation in an investigation that led to businessman Jeffrey Thompson’s plea. But prosecutors say he wasn’t wholly forthcoming and doesn’t deserve a lighter sentence.