National Roundup

Prosecutor will review charges against AG Kane

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A county prosecutor says she'll review evidence and other material from an investigation that prompted a grand jury to recommend that Pennsylvania's attorney general be charged with perjury and other offenses.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman said Wednesday the review will determine if a more detailed investigation is needed into allegations against Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

The state Supreme Court determined Tuesday that a judge acted properly in appointing the special prosecutor who looked into how secret grand jury material was published by a newspaper last year.

Ferman says her review will include a report by Thomas Carluccio, the special prosecutor, along with "voluminous information" gathered by the grand jury.

Kane denies she broke any law. The grand jury recommended charges of perjury, obstruction, false swearing and official oppression.

New York
Student drank 60-ounce vodka bottle in hazing

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Court papers filed in connection with a New York college student's alcohol-related death reveal he drank a 60-ounce bottle of vodka during what college officials say was the hazing of pledges at an unsanctioned fraternity.

The Times Union of Albany reports that the documents were filed by two students who were expelled from the University at Albany after 19-year-old Trevor Duffy of the Bronx died in November following a night of heavy drinking during a party held by Zeta Beta Tau members at an off-campus home.

The two students want to return to the college. They were among the 24 sanctioned by the university.

The university's investigation concluded Duffy's death was the result of hazing. No one has been arrested. Albany police say their investigation is continuing.

Woman who pos­ed as nurse to get drugs gets prison

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A 30-year-old northwest Iowa woman who posed as a nurse so she could get prescription drugs has been sentenced to prison.

The Sioux City Journal reports that Kayleen Stallman, formerly Kayleen Leedahl, was sentenced on Monday to 10 years in prison. She'd pleaded guilty to three counts of felony obtaining or attempting to obtain a prescription drug by deceit. She also pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts of the same charge.

Police and court documents state she posed as a nurse over nearly four months in 2013 and used a doctor's information to get the medications from a Storm lake pharmacy.

South Carolina
Prosecutor: frat death declared unsolved case

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - The local prosecutor says the September death of a Clemson University fraternity pledge is now classified as unsolved and has been turned over to the sheriff's office unsolved-cases unit.

Solicitor Chrissy Adams released a statement Tuesday, a day after two lawsuits were filed seeking at least $50 million damages in the death of 19-year-old Tucker Hipps.

He fell from a bridge into Lake Hartwell during a Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity run with 29 other students.

Adams' statement says that after extensive interviews, "all students on the run are claiming that they have no knowledge of how Tucker Hipps could have fallen" and no one saw him fall.

She say "law enforcement is at a standstill" and unable to continue without further credible leads.

City to pay $6.5M to man wrongly convicted of murder

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The City of Milwaukee would pay $6.5 million to a man wrongly convicted of a 1995 murder, under a proposed settlement filed Tuesday.

The Milwaukee city attorney filed a proposed resolution asking the Common Council to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Chaunte Ott. Ott spent 13 years in prison before DNA linked the case to a convicted serial killer.

"Lawsuits based on events occurring nearly two decades ago present hurdles that make defending such cases exceptionally difficult," according to a statement released by the city late Tuesday afternoon.

Ott filed his lawsuit after his release in 2009. He claimed that Milwaukee police detectives pressured witnesses into testifying falsely that they had been with Ott during the murder of 16-year-old runaway Jessica Payne. DNA eventually linked the case to convicted Wisconsin serial killer Walter Ellis.

Ellis never was charged with Payne's death, although he ultimately pleaded no contest to killing seven other women around Milwaukee over 21 years and was sentenced to life in prison.

Ott, now 40, won his freedom with the help of the Wisconsin Innocence Project. In 2007, it was learned that DNA taken from the Payne crime scene did not match Ott or the two men who had testified against him, both of whom later recanted. It did match DNA taken from two other murdered women, one of whom Ellis was later convicted of killing.

Ott's lawsuit had been scheduled to go to trial last week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ( ) reported.

"Our client is obviously not going to get back the 13 years that were unjustly taken from him, but we appreciate the city's agreement to provide fair compensation," Ott's attorney, Jon Loevy, said. "Chaunte continues to rebuild his life, working and enjoying time with his family."

In its release, the city noted that similar wrongful conviction cases against other cities have led to jury awards of $2 million per year of imprisonment, and called the $6.5 million "less than half of a potential verdict" for Ott's 13 years, plus legal fees and costs.

Loevy confirmed his law firm would have sought at least $12 million from a jury, but also acknowledged there would have been "considerable risk" for both sides.

Ellis should have submitted a DNA sample to Wisconsin's DNA databank in 2001, but authorities have said Ellis got a fellow inmate already convicted of a sex crime to submit a DNA sample in his name. The disparity was spotted but never fixed, leaving Ellis' DNA out of the state databank.

Published: Thu, Apr 02, 2015