National Roundup

Florida
Teen to be resentenced in slayings

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) - The man who killed two British tourists in 2011 will get a new hearing that could spare him his original sentence of life in prison.

The Herald-Tribune reports the Florida Second District Court of Appeal released an opinion overturning the sentence of Shawn Tyson. The court did uphold Tyson's convictions.

Tyson was 16 when he fatally shot 25-year-old James Cooper and 24-year-old James Kouzaris when they wandered into north Sarasota after a night of drinking downtown, a crime that attracted extensive media coverage in Britain.

Tyson was found guilty of first-degree murder in both deaths and sentenced to life in prison.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that juveniles cannot automatically be given life in prison without parole for homicide offenses because it's cruel and unusual punishment.

Idaho
Missing woman found confused in childhood town

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - An Idaho woman who disappeared last week has been found, disoriented but alive, in the small Mississippi town where her father was once a minister in the 1960s.

Cynthia Adams, a 52-year-old Boise woman, was reported missing on Tuesday when she didn't return from a doctor's appointment. She has told police she didn't know how she got to Mississippi.

Stan Niccolls of the Boise Police Department said Adams apparently made three cash withdrawals, one in Idaho and two in Wyoming. On Saturday, she appeared at the door of a home in Clara, Mississippi.

Wayne County, Mississippi, sheriff's deputy Michael Patton said Adams is lucky the same people lived at the house as in the 1960s.

Adams' husband told the Idaho Statesman newspaper he had no reason to believe Cynthia would simply disappear. The couple hadn't fought, and though she had health problems, she didn't have issues with her memory.

On Thursday, she was officially a missing person. On Friday, there was no update. But when Tina Brewer opened the Clara Grocery on Saturday morning, in walked Adams.

"She told us that she had got in at 1 o'clock in the morning and slept in her truck the night before," Brewer said. "She looked like somebody who'd been up all night. It was kinda strange."

She started listing names, Brewer said, and though Brewer didn't know the people she was talking about, older men in the store did.

"She kinda knew everybody they knew, she'd say first names and they'd say last names," Brewer said.

She asked for the McCarty girls. One man asked her, do you mean Bug?

She did indeed mean Bug, who married and became Elizabeth Singleton and who grew up with her given name, Elizabeth McCarty.

Clara is on the Pine Belt on the edge of the DeSoto National Forest, 20 miles west of the Alabama state line. Singleton lives in a house deep in the woods outside of town, and Adams showed up there on Saturday.

"She told me, these are the only clothes I've got," Singleton said. "I said, well, honey, come on in."

Adams gave her the story in fits and starts. She couldn't remember her family in Idaho, but she did remember the people she grew up with. So Singleton turned to Facebook, where she found old classmates from Adams' Mississippi days.

Adams told Singleton she slept in the parking lot of her father's church on Friday night. The pastor's home used to be on the same property, along with a small religious school.

"She kept saying, 'My home is gone and the school is burned,'" Singleton said. "I didn't understand. I asked her, were you in a tornado?"

Then she went to Adams' Facebook page and saw the notices about her missing. She called police.

Police reached her husband, who told the Idaho Statesman he planned to fly in as soon as he could.

Singleton is still reeling from Adams' surprise visit.

"It was really crazy," Singleton said. "I'm hoping she'll get help. She's welcome to drop back by."

Pennsylvania
FBI invented a defendant to catch a judge

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - To catch a Philadelphia municipal judge they suspected of corruption, FBI agents invented a defendant - complete with a staged arrest and court appearances.

Court documents from Judge Joseph Waters Jr.'s guilty plea Wednesday to federal mail and wire fraud charges include details of the bogus arrest of a man named David Khoury for illegally carrying an unloaded Glock .40-caliber pistol during a 2012 traffic stop, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

According to the documents, an unnamed campaign donor asked Waters to help Khoury, describing him as a cousin of a business associate.

Waters then called a fellow judge who was scheduled to hear the case. According to Waters' plea document, he identified Khoury as a friend and asked the judge hearing the case to help him.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers who worked briefly on Khoury's case barely remembered the man, and were not in on the FBI's secret.

"As I understand it, none of it was real. This whole sting was orchestrated," Waters' attorney, Michael Engle, said.

The police report on the Khoury arrest said that the arresting officer, John Snyder, pulled Khoury over in May 2012 for driving erratically on a busy stretch of Torresdale Avenue in Philadelphia.

"When I approached the window, I asked him for his information," Snyder testified later at a hearing in the case. "I noticed a black handgun on the floor mat area. I asked if he had a license to carry. He said 'no.'"

The fake 40-year-old defendant was charged with carrying a firearm without a license, a felony. He told officers that he did not know his address and had no phone. He told probation officers he was from Louisville, Kentucky, and gave a Social Security number that appeared to have been issued in Texas in 1988. His black SUV had Virginia plates.

It remains unclear whether Snyder knew the Khoury case was a sting. He declined comment on it last week to the Inquirer.

Ultimately, the judge hearing the case reduced the charge to a misdemeanor. The charges were ultimately dropped when the fake defendant failed to appear for trial and court staff had no address on file.

All that remains of Khoury's case is a manila court file on an office shelf in the Philadelphia courts building. On it is a single green sticky note that reads, "Withdrawn - FBI."

Published: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

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