Court Roundup

New York

Man gets 30 years in prison in X-ray weapon plot

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A New York industrial mechanic convicted of attempting to produce a mobile X-ray device intended to kill Muslims has been sentenced in federal court to 30 years in prison.

Fifty-two-year-old Glendon Scott Crawford, of Galway, also was ordered Monday by Judge Gary L. Sharpe to undergo a lifetime of supervised release after serving the sentence.

Crawford was convicted of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and distributing information about weapons of mass destruction.

Crawford and co-defendant Eric Feight worked for General Electric in Schenectady. Prosecutors say the two conspired to design and build the device, which was to be set off remotely and would have exposed targets to deadly radiation.

Feight pleaded guilty to lesser charges a year ago and was sentenced to eight years in prison.


Life sentence sought in murder of U.S. woman

ROME (AP) - A prosecutor in Florence has asked for conviction and a life sentence for a Senegalese man accused of murdering an American woman in her apartment.

Ashley Olsen, 35, was found dead in her flat in January 2016. An autopsy found that she had been strangled and suffered skull fractures.

The Italian news agency said Prosecutor Giovanni Solinas on Monday asked the court to convict and impose Italy's harshest criminal punishment for defendant Cheik Tidiane Diaw.

A verdict could come on Thursday.

Prosecutors said surveillance video along the route showed Diaw and Olsen, a native of Summer Haven, Florida, walking together toward her apartment.

Police arrested Diaw after finding traces of his DNA on a condom and cigarette butt in the apartment. He denied strangling Olsen.


Man gets life in prison in Grants Pass killings

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - A homeless man has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to killing a retired couple during a burglary north of Grants Pass.

Brian Killian, 30, will have no chance for parole. Prosecutors would have sought the death penalty if the case had gone to trial, the Daily Courier reported.

Killian entered the home of Jerry and Joann Jackson on June 15, 2015. He fought with the 75-year-old man before grabbing a 12-inch knife and stabbing him to death.

Joann Jackson, 73, fled into the laundry room after checking on the commotion and seeing the knife-wielding intruder. Killian stabbed the woman repeatedly and killed one of the couple's two labradoodle dogs.

Killian burglarized the house and took Joann's Chrysler PT Cruiser. He tried to break into a neighbor's house, but the family prevented him from entering.

Once Killian drove off, the neighbors recognized the PT Cruiser and checked on the couple. They found the bodies and called police.

Killian was captured after driving against traffic along Interstate 5 and losing control of the car. He tried to carjack another motorist, but was subdued.

Abandoned by his parents as an adolescent, Killian had had a criminal record before the killings. He had served more than six years in prison for pepper spraying and robbing a pizza delivery driver and was on conditional release from jail for stealing a car in 2014.

Killian also pleaded guilty Friday to a car theft that stemmed from an incident several days before the murders.

Terry Thomason, a former friend of Killian's, testified he tried help him get off drugs and get a job. He told the court that Killian had taken his Mercedes-Benz and abandoned it somewhere near Merlin, where it was in the possession of some of Killian's meth-addicted friends.

Thomason decided to steal his car back from them, bringing a shotgun to help achieve the goal. Thomason said he regrets Killian wasn't there.

"I wish you had been at the end of my shotgun that day," Thomason told Killian in court. "I would have gladly served prison time in order for these people to not have to be here today and deal with the pain you've brought on their family."

Relatives of the Jacksons attended the hearing, either in person or by phone.

"I'm sitting in my house holding my mom's ashes," Joann's daughter, Lisa O'Grey, said from California. "It's all I have left of her aside from her dog, the one Brian wasn't able to find and practice his knife skills on."

Jerry and Joann had dated in high school in California but went their separate ways - marrying and having children with others - before reuniting later in life. Jerry was a drummer, yachtsman and tropical bird enthusiast. Joann loved animals and was active in social clubs.

Killian apologized to the relatives: "And if you ever want to talk to me, for some sort of closure, I'll be available."


Lawsuit accuses transit security of ogling passengers

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A lawsuit against a San Diego County transit district says male security officers used security cameras to ogle female passengers.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Noel Buckhanon filed the suit against North County Transit District in San Diego County Superior Court on Oct. 31. Court records say Buckhanon began working as an NCTD code enforcement officer in August 2014.

Buckhanon's suit says her colleagues used surveillance cameras' zoom functions to focus on female passengers' bodies and refused to help women they did not consider "cute."

According to the lawsuit, Buckhanon was discriminated and retaliated against and is on medical leave as a result.

NCTD officials on Friday declined to comment on the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for the district says it is committed to the public's safety and security.


Man convicted of stabbing wife 44 times, killing her

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A March 16 sentencing date has been set for a Minot man convicted of killing his ex-wife a year ago by stabbing her 44 times in the neck, face and chest.

Jurors deliberated for only about an hour before finding 30-year-old Richie Wilder Jr. guilty of murder in the November 2015 death of 30-year-old Angila Wilder. The verdict came Friday, after a weeklong trial.

Richie Wilder had maintained that he had been framed. He could face life in prison.

Published: Tue, Dec 20, 2016