National Roundup

Woman used pen to stab boyfriend, pleads guilty

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A northeast Ohio woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend after yelling at him for eating all of the salsa has pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Ronnie Buckner told officers 50-year-old Phyllis Jefferson yelled at him in March at his apartment for finishing off the salsa. Buckner said Jefferson then picked up a pen and jammed it in the left side of his pelvis.

The 61-year-old Buckner said he tried to catch a television that Jefferson had knocked over when she grabbed a small kitchen knife and stabbed him in the stomach.

Jefferson's attorney, however, says the stabbing happened because she just learned her boyfriend was a registered sex offender. reports Jefferson pleaded guilty to aggravated assault on Monday. She'll be sentenced later.

Pastor says wife had no enemies

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indianapolis pastor whose pregnant wife was shot to death in their home says she "didn't have an enemy in the world" and the slaying has left him confused and angry.

Davey Blackburn spoke about his wife in a nationally televised interview Tuesday on ABC's Good Morning America.

Twenty-eight-year-old Amanda Blackburn was shot in the head during the Nov. 10 attack and died the next day. She was 13 weeks pregnant. The Blackburns have a 15-month-old son, who was upstairs in a crib at the time of the attack.

Police released photos Monday showing a possible suspect walking in the neighborhood. They were taken from a home surveillance video.

Blackburn says his wife devoted her life to helping others. He says the family is devastated and trying to move forward.

Judge grants request to drop murder appeal

SUNBURY, Pa. (AP) - A judge has granted a newlywed husband's request to drop his bid to have his guilty plea withdrawn after admitting he helped kill a Pennsylvania man who was lured through a Craigslist ad.

A judge approved 24-year-old Elytte Barbour's request on Monday after talking with him.

Barbour and his 20-year-old wife, Miranda, are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.

His attorney had argued his client should have pleaded guilty but mentally ill in the November 2013 stabbing death of 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara.

Miranda Barbour admitted she arranged a meeting with LaFerrara in a parking lot. She drove him into Sunbury and repeatedly stabbed him as her husband restrained him with a piece of cable around his neck.

Judge: 2008 Boston cop exam discriminated

BOSTON (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that the Boston police department discriminated against minorities by using a promotional exam that favored white candidates.

U.S. District Judge William Young wrote in his decision released Monday that the multiple choice test focused on a candidate's ability to read and interpret material, but skipped critical skills and abilities, including reasoning and judgment.

Young wrote that the 2008 test "had a racially disparate impact and was not sufficiently job-related."

A lawyer for the 10 plaintiffs, who filed the suit in 2012, says he will be seeking promotions and monetary damages for his clients.

A police spokesman says the department is reviewing the decision and has not yet decided whether to appeal, but that Commissioner William Evans is committed to "diversifying the ranks."

New York
NYC reaches settlement over inmate death

NEW YORK (AP) - The family of a mentally ill jail inmate who died after swallowing toxic detergent has reached a $3.8 million settlement with New York City.

The Daily News reports that Jason Echevarria's family members agreed to settle their lawsuit over Echevarria's 2012 death at the Rikers Island jail complex.

Echevarria died after swallowing a detergent ball he had been given for cleanup.

Former Rikers Capt. Terrence Pendergrass was sentenced to a five-year prison term in June for denying Echevarria the medical care that could have saved his life.

Echevarria was being held in a unit of Rikers dedicated to the mentally ill.

The Echevarrias' lawyer, Joshua Kelner, calls the settlement "an acknowledgment of the seriousness of what occurred."

A city law department spokesman says the settlement "brings closure."

Man sentenced for dismembering boyfriend's body

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man who killed and dismembered his boyfriend, leaving the head near the Hollywood sign, has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

City News Service says 40-year-old Gabriel Campos-Martinez was sentenced Monday by a judge who urged him to explain why he committed the murder. Campos-Martinez earlier declined to make a statement.

Authorities say Campos-Martinez lived with Hervey Medellin (med-eh-YEEN') before he strangled the retired airline ticketing agent in December of 2011.

Medellin's head and other body parts were scattered near a hiking trail in Griffith Park near the Hollywood sign. A dog being walked found the head a month after the killing. Authorities later found hands and feet.

Campos-Martinez was arrested last year in Texas.

Judge shot in Austin intends to return to bench

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A Texas judge who was wounded in a shooting outside her home two weeks ago "has every intention" of returning to the bench.

Judge Julie Kocurek's family released a statement Monday through representative Bill Rhea. It also said she intends to run for re-election to the 390th District Court.

The Austin American Statesman reports that the statement says Kocurek remained hospitalized in stable condition Monday, after being treated for an infection.

Kocurek was shot in the driveway of her Austin home Nov. 6. A person of interest in her attack remains jailed in Harris County on an unrelated murder charge.

The family's statement said the judge "looks forward to personally thanking all of those who have encouraged her and her family during this time."

Published: Wed, Nov 18, 2015