National Roundup

 New Jersey

New trial denied in schoolyard slaying of three 
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A judge has rejected an attempt by a man to overturn his conviction of killing three friends in a Newark, New Jersey, schoolyard.
Jose Carranza claimed he was an innocent bystander on the night of the 2007 shooting. He also claimed his attorney coerced him not to testify and failed to conduct any pre-trial investigations.
The judge found Carranza’s testimony was not credible.
Essex County assistant prosecutor Romesh Sukhdeo tells NJ Advance Media Carranza was not believable.
Carranza is serving a 155-year prison sentence for felony murder and armed robbery. He was among six men found guilty in the case.
The three victims and a fourth who survived a gunshot to the head were enrolled or about to enroll at Delaware State University.
New York
Court: Woman can keep $10K ring from ex-beau 
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A judge has ruled that a Long Island woman who broke up with her boyfriend can keep the $10,000 ring he gave her because he never proposed to her.
The judge said Debbie Lopez of Valley Stream, New York, wasn’t bound by a law requiring women to return engagement rings because it was “given as a gift and not in contemplation of marriage.”
The New York Post says the ruling was made Oct. 14.
The attorney for Joseph Robert Torres, of Yonkers, said in court papers that her client was “stunned” by the ruling. She said Torres asked Lopez to marry him and she said “absolutely.”
New York
Court backs EMI over Ellington music royalties 
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s highest court has refused to reinstate the lawsuit by Duke Ellington’s heirs against music publisher EMI.
The late pianist, bandleader and composer wrote “It Don’t Mean a Thing” and other big band hits.
The heirs have been seeking half the royalties from foreign sales of his music. Their 2010 suit alleges breach of the 1961 standard songwriter royalty contract. Ellington signed the deal with Mills Music, predecessor of EMI, now part of global Sony/ATV Music.
The contract calls for an even split of net revenue.
EMI deducts 50 percent commissions to foreign subpublishers, which it now owns, before splitting the rest with the heirs.
The heirs challenged that practice, but the Court of Appeals says the publisher can keep doing it.
Los Angeles
Ice cream truck hits, kills boy;  driver attacked 
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say a 7-year-old boy riding a motorized bike was hit and killed by an ice cream truck in South Los Angeles and residents then attacked the driver.
Officer Nuria Venegas, a Los Angeles police spokeswoman, says the truck hit the child shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday, and he later died at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
Police say the child had been riding alongside the truck, and the collision was an accident.
Venegas says a crowd then attacked the ice cream truck driver, but he only received bruises.
The driver told police bricks were thrown at his truck and someone threatened him with a knife.
The identities of the boy and driver haven’t been released. It’s unclear who attacked the driver.
Police say the driver will not be charged.
Judge tosses second lawsuit over circumcision 
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A judge is dismissing a second lawsuit filed by an Alabama man who says his penis was amputated during a botched circumcision.
A judge in Birmingham issued an order Wednesday throwing out the lawsuit filed by Johnny Lee Banks Jr. and his wife against a hospital and doctors he says injured him.
It’s the second lawsuit Banks has filed in the incident. Circuit Judge Jim Hughey dismissed Banks’ original lawsuit in August. Hughey ruled it wasn’t specific enough under Alabama’s malpractice law.
Hughey’s ruling on the second lawsuit cites similar reasons. But he left the door open for a third lawsuit.
Banks says he awoke from what should have been a routine circumcision to realize his penis was gone.
The hospital and doctors deny any wrongdoing. Court documents show Banks has numerous health problems.
Man leads police to pregnant    girlfriend’s body 
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A central Ohio man beat his pregnant girlfriend with a baseball bat, strangled her and buried her before leading police to the woman’s body days later, authorities said.
Twenty-two-year-old Jacob Ferrero killed his girlfriend Samantha Greenlee on Oct. 8, according to police. The Columbus Dispatch reports the 22-year-old Greenlee was three months pregnant with Ferrero’s child.
Ferrero told police he beat and strangled Greenlee, then buried her and burned the apartment they shared two days later. He confessed his involvement in the fire and Greenlee’s killing late Tuesday night, and led police to her body near a church southeast of Columbus early Wednesday.
Ferrero was arrested and charged with murder and aggravated arson. 
Ferrero initially told police the apartment fire started when a dog kicked a candle over. Officials then began questioning him when Greenlee’s mother discovered on Oct. 14 that the couple’s apartment had burned and Greenlee’s car was still parked there.
Greenlee’s family told the newspaper the couple’s relationship was troubled, but that Greenlee was trying to make it work with Ferrero because of the baby.
Trial for teen accused of killing 6-year-old girl 
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — Kitsap County prosecutors expect the trial to proceed for a 17-year-old boy accused of killing a 6-year-old Bremerton girl.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kelly Montgomery said Wednesday that lawyers for Gabriel Gaeta are expected to agree he is competent to stand trial.
The Kitsap Sun  reports Gaeta retains the right to say he is not guilty by reason of insanity at the time of the crime.
Gaeta is expected to plead not guilty to aggravated rape and murder charges at an Oct. 31 court hearing. If convicted he would be sentenced to life in prison.
Gaeta was arrested Aug. 9, nearly a week after Jenise Wright disappeared in the east Bremerton neighborhood. Her body was found in a muddy bog near her home.


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