National Roundup

Pennsylvania

Lawyers argue former TV anchor's lawsuit

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A lawyer for a white former TV anchor says he wouldn't have lost his career after using a racial epithet at a Philadelphia station if he were black.

Tom Burlington has been working in real estate since losing his job at the local Fox station in 2007.

His lawyer says he apologized after using the N-word during a newsroom discussion about the epithet.

She argued in closing arguments Monday that a double standard protected black co-workers who used the word.

WTXF-TV managers say Burlington continued to use the word as tension built that week.

A federal judge let the lawsuit go to trial after finding that race bias may have played a part in Burlington's exit.

Managers say he wasn't fired and was paid through the end of his contract.

New York

Simon's widow files suit aga­i­nst limosine driver

NEW YORK (AP) - The widow of "60 Minutes" correspondent Bob Simon has sued the driver of a town car that crashed and killed her husband.

The New York Post says Francoise Anne-Marie Simon filed the lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court.

It names the driver, Reshad Abdul Fedahi, the limousine company, Skyline Credit Ride, and its contractor, Travez Transportation.

The suit says Bob Simon "suffered conscious pain" before dying of his injuries. The 73-year-old was killed Feb. 11 when the limo crashed on Manhattan's West Side Highway.

It says the death could have been avoided if Fedahi's employers had not rehired him.

Fedahi had two speeding convictions and nine license revocations.

The Post says Fedahi and Skyline didn't return messages seeking comment. Travez declined to comment.

The suit seeks punitive damages.

New York

Prosecution of charges deferred in hotel gunfire

NEW YORK (AP) - The prosecution of charges in a gunfire incident at the famous Waldorf Astoria hotel is being put on hold while the investigation continues, a spokesman for the Manhattan district attorney said Sunday.

The New York Police Department had said earlier in the day that a man had been arrested after a gun in his pocket went off Saturday night, injuring four people. Another man had also been arrested.

"Prosecution of this case is deferred while the investigation continues into the circumstances surrounding the discharge of the firearm and its removal from the scene," said Patrick Muncie, spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.

Police had said Vladimir Gotlibovsky, 42, was arrested on charges including assault, reckless endangerment, and tampering with physical evidence. Another man, Felix Gotlibovsky, 51, was also arrested, on charges of criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with physical evidence.

Authorities said the Brooklyn men were at the Park Avenue hotel Saturday night as a wedding was taking place. Police did not immediately say whether the two men are related.

Exactly what caused the gun to fire was unclear. Police said the 9mm Ruger was in Vladimir Gotlibovsky's pocket when it went off and hit the floor.

Muncie said Vladimir Gotlibovsky has a permit to possess and carry the weapon.

Police said four people were hit by shrapnel from the bullet or debris such as marble or glass. A 55-year-old woman had a graze wound to the forehead; a 59-year-old man had a fragment wound to his right leg; a 45-year-old woman had fragment wounds to both legs, and a 37-year-old woman had injuries to both legs. All were taken to hospitals where they were treated and released.

Authorities said the weapon was recovered from a different location.

The Waldorf Astoria is one of New York's best-known hotels, and where the president stays during the United Nations General Assembly.

No one answered the phone at a number listed for Vladimir Gotlibovsky. A woman hung up when contacted at a number for Felix Gotlibovsky.

Texas

Appeal lost in death of fem­ale impersonator

HOUSTON (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review an appeal from a Harris County man sent to death row at his request for the strangling of a female impersonator 14 years ago.

Attorneys for 43-year-old Richard Masterson contended his earlier lawyers were deficient and his confession to police about the death of Darin Shane Honeycutt, known by the stage name of Brandi Houston, was improper.

Masterson testified against his attorneys' advice at his 2002 trial, telling a Houston jury the 35-year-old Honeycutt died while the two were having sex. He also testified he'd be a future danger. That's one of the questions jurors deliberate to decide a death sentence.

The justices made no comment in their decision Monday.

Masterson doesn't yet have an execution date.

Missouri

State seeks deat­h for man who killed six

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a 35-year-old man accused in the killing of a couple from Arkansas who is already serving life sentences in six slayings in Illinois.

Prosecutors in Jefferson County south of St. Louis filed notice on June 8 of their intent to press for Nicholas Sheley's execution if he's convicted in the Festus, Missouri, killings of Jill and Tom Estes of Sherwood, Arkansas. Police say the couple was attacked outside a hotel after leaving a graduation party in 2008. Sheley is accused of loading their bodies into a pickup truck belonging to another of his victims and dumping the bodies near a gas station a short distance away.

Sheley is already serving six life sentences at Pontiac Correctional Center for a string of killings that began in his Illinois hometown of Sterling. Four victims whose bodies had been bludgeoned with a hammer were found in a Rock Falls apartment. They ranged in age from 2 years to 29. The other victims were a 65-year-old man whose body was found behind a Galesburg grocery store in northwestern Illinois and a 93-year-old man killed in Sterling.

In February, Sheley was extradited to Missouri that, unlike Illinois, has the death penalty.

His St. Louis-based public defender could not be reached for comment Monday morning. An arraignment is scheduled for July 6.

Published: Tue, Jun 16, 2015

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