National Roundup

Virginia
Police say hoagie hurler hauled in on assault charge

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - Police have given a New Jersey man special recognition for sandwich throwing: They locked him up.

The Fairfax City Police Department in Virginia says in a news release that 32-year-old Jonathan M. Magnes of Morristown was drunk when he threw a sandwich at a 50-year-old man at a Fairfax pizza restaurant and then drove away.

Authorities say the victim, who was not injured, tailed Magnes before officers arrived and pulled over the suspect. It's not clear what led to the dispute between the men.

Magnes was charged Sunday evening with assault and battery, driving under the influence of alcohol and refusal of a blood and breath test.

It's not immediately clear whether Magnes has an attorney, and a telephone listing for him could not immediately be found.

Missouri
Woman accused in buttocks injection death

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - Prosecutors in Missouri have accused a Texas woman of causing the death of another woman with an illegal cosmetic injection into the victim's buttocks.

St. Louis County prosecutors charged 44-year-old Nitica Deonte Lee of Dallas with first-degree involuntary manslaughter, alleging she recklessly caused Daysha Phillips' death in July by injecting her with a silicone substance.

Authorities said 22-year-old Phillips of Florissant, Missouri, died four days after the procedure at a hotel in Edmundson, a tiny St. Louis suburb abutting Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Online court records do not show if Lee has an attorney.

A judge has set Lee's bond at $200,000 cash.

Virginia
Trial delayed for man accused of killing sisters

BEDFORD, Va. (AP) - A Virginia judge has delayed the trial of a convicted sex offender charged with killing two sisters who disappeared from a Maryland mall in 1975.

Media outlets report that 58-year-old Lloyd Lee Michael Welch Jr.'s lawyers requested the delay at a hearing on Tuesday in Bedford County Circuit Court.

Welch's trial on felony first-degree murder charges was set to begin Nov. 24. Judge James Updike rescheduled the trial to begin March 15, 2016.

Bedford Commonwealth's Attorney Randy Krantz said he had no objection to the change.

Welch is charged in connection with the disappearance of 12-year-old Sheila Lyon and 10-year-old Katharine Lyon. The sisters were walking from their house to the Wheaton Plaza Mall. The girls never came home, and no bodies were found.

Florida
Attorney: Mosque threats outside client's character

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The attorney for a Florida man accused of threatening to firebomb a mosque says his client has no criminal record or history of violence.

Bryant Camareno says the accusations against 43-year-old Martin Alan Schnitzler of Seminole are "outside of his character."

According to court documents, Schnitzler left a voicemail Friday for the Islamic Center of Pinellas County in the hours after the attacks in Paris, threatening to firebomb it and "shoot whoever is there." FBI investigators deemed the threats not credible.

Camareno tells The Tampa Tribune that Schnitzler wants to reach out to "people of the Islamic faith, to show that's not who he is."

Camareno also says that "it remains to be seen that what he is accused of saying rises to the level of a crime."

Ohio
Man guilty of killing pregnant wife in 1985

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A northeast Ohio jury has convicted a 53-year-old man in the killing of his pregnant wife more than three decades after her death.

Scott Purk was found guilty Tuesday of murder and tampering with evidence.

Prosecutors say Purk put a belt around Margaret Purk's neck and strangled her in March 1985 before trying to make it look like she hanged herself in their Akron apartment. The death was originally ruled a suicide. His wife was nine months pregnant and the baby didn't survive.

Defense attorney Don Hicks had argued that prosecutors didn't present enough evidence and that Margaret Purk showed signs of suicide before her death.

He's currently serving a 28-year prison term for burning down two homes in 2009.

He will be sentenced on Nov. 24.

Oregon
Ex-retirement centers CEO gets 15 years for fraud

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The former head of an Oregon-based chain of retirement centers was sentenced by a federal judge on Tuesday to 15 years in prison for defrauding investors of about $130 million.

Prosecutors said Jon Harder operated what amounted to a Ponzi scheme, raising money from unsuspecting investors and banks during the collapse of his Sunwest Management chain of more than 300 assisted-living centers.

Harder pleaded guilty in January to mail fraud and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity.

U.S. District Judge Michael Simon on Tuesday gave prosecutors the sentence they sought: 15 years. Harder's attorneys had asked for five years.

Salem-based Sunwest was hemorrhaging cash in early 2006, but Harder led investors, including many retirees, to believe it was thriving.

He went on a buying spree to hide company losses, acquiring more than 100 assisted-living centers at a rate of one a week.

Prosecutors said Harder defrauded more than 1,000 investors between 2006 and 2008, and did so while living a lavish lifestyle.

In a letter to Judge Simon, Harder apologized for the "carnage and problems" he caused.

"I know I was reckless by growing so quickly, and in using other people's money to do so, but I never intended to harm anyone," he wrote. "I wanted everyone connected with Sunwest to succeed."

The company went through a reorganization after Harder stepped aside in 2009. A private equity company bought most of the holdings, and investors eventually got some money back.

In a separate case, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit in 2009 that accused Harder of committing securities fraud. The SEC sought up to $190 million in civil penalties, but a judge struck down the attempt.

Published: Thu, Nov 19, 2015

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