National Roundup

 North Dakota

Man accused in ND gun incident pleads not guilty 
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Tioga man accused of threatening three people with a gun at a Bismarck hotel and pointing the weapon at police has pleaded not guilty.
Colton Wooten, 23, faces felony charges of terrorizing and reckless endangerment, as well as misdemeanor weapons charges. He could face more than 30 years in prison if convicted on all of the counts.
Wooten was arrested last month after a police officer shot at him but missed. The Bismarck Tribune reports a security camera from a nearby bank recorded the incident.
Bismarck Police Detective Matthew Fullerton testified in court Monday that Wooten met two men at a Bismarck bar and insisted on giving them a ride to their motel room around 1 a.m. on May 10. Fullerton said the men later told police they saw Wooten take a handgun from the vehicle and put it in his waistband before following them into their hotel room.
Fullerton said the men did not know why Wooten took the gun with him into the room. They told officers they felt scared and told two other occupants in the room that Wooten was armed.
Once inside the room, the men said Wooten was acting erratically. Fullerton said he was saying something to one of the men who did not speak English. He pointed a gun at him and two other men in the hotel room, according to court documents.
The man responded with the only English phrase he knew “no problems” and put his hands in the air, Fullerton said. One of the men called 911 from the bathroom.
Officers responded within minutes. Fullerton said Lt. Nolan Canright saw Wooten fleeing. Canright and another officer pursued him.
Wooten is accused of raising his gun and pointing it at the officers. Canright fired four times at Wooten, while retreating, according to the affidavit. Wooten was not hit.
Fullerton said there were bystanders in the area at the time.
Officers searched the area, and Wooten was found hiding under a vehicle in a nearby parking lot, Fullerton said.
The officers found a loaded gun near the bank where the altercation with police took place, Fullerton said.
Trial in death of pizza delivery driver postponed 
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A state district judge has postponed until next summer the death penalty trial of a 38-year-old Kaplan man accused of killing a pizza delivery driver four years ago.
The Advocate reports Aaron Orlando Richards was scheduled to stand trial July 7 on a first-degree murder charge. Richards is accused of stabbing Timothy Falgout to death in March 2010 as the Pizza Hut driver was making a delivery to a home in Lafayette Parish.
If found guilty, Richards faces the death penalty or life in prison.
Judge Edward Broussard postponed the trial because of a delay in getting government money to pay to retest DNA found at the crime scene. Initial DNA tests implicated Richards.
Broussard set the new trial for July 6, 2015.
Last year, through defense attorney Harold Register, Richards requested money from the Lafayette Parish Public Defender’s Office to pay for a DNA expert to re-examine the evidence.
Paul Marx, who heads the Parish Public Defender’s Office, testified Monday that money in local and state indigent defender agencies ran dry in 2013 and jammed up the request-for-money pipeline.
Marx said the money for the DNA test should become available this summer. He said the expert could be hired by the time the District Attorney’s Office hands over the evidence.
The trial delay rankled Assistant District Attorney Cynthia Simon, who said the first-degree murder trial date originally was set in March 2013. She said Register had plenty of time to apply for expert witness money.
Register countered that there was a reason he and Richards waited before deciding to request DNA retest money. “We made the decision as we got more into the case,” he said.
Richards is accused of killing Falgout with the help of Marcus Joseph Feast. Feast is awaiting trial on charges of principal to first-degree murder and unauthorized use of an access card.
Feast’s trial date has not been set, according to the Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court’s Office.
Simon told Broussard that she would not offer to reduce Richards’ first-degree murder charge to second-degree — which carries the same life-in-prison sentence Richards is serving now — unless the longtime felon agrees to plead and forgo a trial.
Juror in Glendale officer murder trial dismissed 
PHOENIX (AP) — A juror in the trial of an Arizona man accused of shooting a police officer during a routine 2007 traffic stop has been dismissed.
The Arizona Republic reports Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joseph Kreamer relieved the juror from duty on Monday.
Kreamer says a court aide informed him that the juror was heard telling a friend he believed 40-year-old Bryan Wayne Hulsey was “definitely guilty.”
Kreamer says he questioned the juror, who admitted telling a friend he was a juror on the case.
Jurors are prohibited from identifying what trial on which they are serving.
Hulsey is charged with fatally shooting Glendale police officer Anthony Holly in February 2007.
Trial proceedings began June 9 and resumed Tuesday.
DA: Employee let tea partiers into courthouse 
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — An investigation shows a county employee let three tea party members into the Hinds County Courthouse after everyone went home election night, according to District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.
Smith would not identify the employee involved. Smith said his investigation is almost complete.
A staffer for state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s U.S. Senate campaign and two other McDaniel supporters were locked inside the county courthouse the night of the June 3 primary election night. McDaniel, incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran and a third candidate were vying for the Republican Party nomination. Cochran and McDaniel are in a June 24 runoff.
Scott Brewster, Janis Lane and Rob Chambers were found inside the courthouse. They reportedly entered sometime shortly after 2 a.m. and, after realizing they were locked in, called for help.
Brewster is McDaniel’s campaign coalition coordinator, Lane is president of the board of the Central Mississippi Tea Party and Chambers is a consultant with the Mississippi Baptist Christian Action Commission.
Noel Fritsch, spokesman for McDaniel, has said the three went to check on why some precincts hadn’t been counted.