National Roundup

 Oklahoma

Church sued for publishing baptism news 
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A former Muslim who converted to Christianity is suing a Tulsa church, alleging that its leaders endangered his life by publishing his baptism announcement online.
 
Identified as John Doe in court records, the man is a native of Syria who lives in Oklahoma. According to the lawsuit filed this week against First Presbyterian Church and its pastor, James Miller, the man was allegedly attacked on a trip to Syria after the church published a notice of his baptism online.

“In mid-January 2013, plaintiff was confronted by radical Muslims in Damascus, Syria, who told plaintiff that they had read of his Christian conversion on the Internet and that they were aware he had converted from Islam,” the lawsuit states.
“Although plaintiff denied that he had converted to Christianity, his accusers were undeterred. ... When plaintiff was unable to convince them, his accusers kidnapped him, bound him and blindfolded him and informed him that they were going to carry out his death sentence resulting from his conversion from Islam.”

The lawsuit alleged that the man was able to escape after several days of captivity.

“We understand the skepticism toward the claim but his injuries and all the allegations are well documented,” said the man’s attorney, Keith Ward.

The lawsuit alleges negligence, breach of contract and outrage and seeks damages exceeding $75,000.

The church declined to discuss specifics about the case in a statement to the Tulsa World.

“The lawsuit is brought by a person who received the Sacrament of Baptism before the congregation during a regular Sunday service at First Church,” the statement said. “As the facts and truth of these events are revealed during the judicial process, it will become clear that First Church followed its normal procedures in baptizing this person and the claims made in the suit are not proper.”
 
New York
Cops: Teens lure­d kids, beat th­em, videotaped it 
HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities in an upstate New York village say they’ve charged seven teenagers with luring other teens to places where they beat them and videotaped the attacks.

Police in Hudson Falls said Monday they investigated three attacks in May involving different groups of teens.

Officials say most of the suspects are 14 or 15 years old and have been charged in juvenile court with conspiracy to commit assault. Two 17-year-old girls were charged with child endangerment and will be prosecuted as adults.

The attacks occurred at a home, outside a convenience store and at the high school in Hudson Falls, 45 miles north of Albany.

Police say two victims suffered bumps and bruises and a third suffered a concussion.

Maine
Mapping company says it will appeal $6.2 million fine 
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine-based DeLorme Publishing is digging in for a fight against a $6.2 million fine levied against it in an ongoing patent dispute.
 
The Portland Press Herald reports DeLorme’s CEO says the firm believes it’s done nothing wrong and will appeal. The mapping company received the fine from the International Trade Commission on June 10 for violating a consent order related to a patent infringement case brought by a Virginia company.

The fine concerns DeLorme’s line of hand-held satellite communication devices, which CEO Michael Heffron says accounts for half the company’s roughly $20 million annual revenue.
Yarmouth, Maine-based DeLorme employs 75 people. BriarTek of Virginia claims DeLorme is infringing on its patent by manufacturing two-way satellite communication devices. DeLorme officials claim BriarTek’s patent is invalid. The case is in court.
 
Mississippi
Man: Life without parole sentence unconstitutional 
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear arguments from a man that his 1998 sentence to life without parole for the death of child is unconstitutional.

Glen Conley Jr.’s was convicted in Pike County of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1998. Prosecutors say Conley drowned a 3-year-old child at Percy Quin State Park in 1994.

Conley argues a life without parole sentence was unconstitutional because that option didn’t exist in Mississippi’s capital murder law when the crime for which he was convicted occurred in May 1994.

Life without parole became an option in the capital murder statute in July 1994. The courts have ruled inmates who were indicted for crimes that occurred before that date were not subject to the penalty.
 
Louisiana
Lawsuit claims jailer misconduct in inmate death 
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The family of an Orleans Parish inmate who died after a jailhouse fight has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The lawsuit alleges that deputies used pepper spray on 40-year-old Willie Lee after he complained about chest pains and trouble breathing. It also alleges that the deputies beat and kicked him before his death in March.
Attorneys Allen Davis and Dallon Bush II say the lawsuit filed May 23 for Lee’s mother and daughter is based on several sources, including a letter from another inmate to Lee’s family.
That letter says jail staff did not call paramedics until more than an hour after Lee collapsed, according to Nola.comThe Times-Picayune, which was provided a copy on condition that it not report the inmate’s name.
The letter is a “complete fabrication” and the jail has video that “completely contradicts these allegations,” said Gusman spokesman Phil Stelly.
There is “no evidence that pepper spray was deployed,” he said. Stelly did not answer questions about whether any inmates or employees faced disciplinary actions or a criminal investigation in connection with the incident.
The news organization said it requested copies of video recordings, reports and photos in the case but had not received a response by Friday afternoon.
The lawsuit, still in an early stage, does not contain any documentation supporting the claims.
The Lee family seeks unspecified damages.
“It’s not about no money — it’s about justice,” said Lee’s mother, Margie Lee Hullitt. “No money at all can bring him back. He was killed in there.”

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