National Roundup

Rhode Island
Brown probing alleged hazing  in men’s swim and dive team

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Brown University is investigating alleged hazing by the men’s varsity swimming and diving team.

An investigation by The Brown Daily Herald student newspaper found team members engaged in a night of drinking on Oct. 7. The Herald reviewed text messages, photos and recordings of conversations among team members, who described it as a night of “initiation” or “hazing.”

The Herald reported multiple new team members vomited that night, and at later team meetings, captains were captured on audio recordings telling team members to deny any hazing.

A spokesman at the Ivy League school said Wednesday the investigation began Nov. 29 after a media inquiry, but said no students have come forward. He says the school is “deeply troubled,” and says hazing is prohibited by law and the university code of conduct.

Mother of boy who fatally OD’d on cocaine gets probation

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — The mother of a 9-year-old Ohio boy who fatally overdosed on cocaine has received probation instead of prison.

The sentencing Tuesday for 38-year-old Raenell Allen, of Youngstown, on a child endangering charge comes days after her boyfriend, 38-year-old Kevin Gamble, received 4½ years in prison for the death last December of 9-year-old Marcus Lee.

Prosecutors and a defense attorney recommended the sentence as part of a plea deal after Allen agreed to testify against Gamble, if needed.

Gamble pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child endangering in October.

Prosecutors say the cocaine belonged to Gamble, but it remains unclear how Marcus got access to the drugs. Allen told prosecutors that Marcus was autistic and would sometimes put things into his mouth.

New Jersey
Town to pay $650K to settle ticket quota suit

MENDHAM TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey town has agreed to pay $650,000 to settle claims that a police officer was denied a promotion when he refused to target young drivers to meet a ticket quota.

Mendham Township Patrol Officer Robert Wysokowski claimed in a whistleblower lawsuit that a supervisor directed him to pull over cars carrying younger drivers in order to meet department quotas in 2005. Wysokowski said he was reprimanded, given low ratings and denied two promotions after he refused to comply.

The supervisor retired last year after being promoted to police chief. He denied the allegations when Wysokowski filed suit in 2014.

Attorneys for Wysokowski and the township both say the dispute has been resolved.

Wysokowski is still employed as a patrolman.

Man admits to supplying fatal heroin dose to ex-girlfriend

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine man who admitted to giving a former girlfriend a fatal dose of heroin has been sentenced to over a decade in federal prison.

Thirty-five-year-old Mickey Gilley, of West Bath, was sentenced to 14 years in prison Tuesday at U.S. District Court in Portland after pleading guilty over the summer. The Portland Press Herald reports Gilley is accused of supplying heroin and fentanyl to a former girlfriend who he was prohibited from contacting.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the woman died from using the drugs and Gilley failed to contact police and emergency services.

Court records show Gilley was charged with distribution of heroin resulting in death.

Suspects in massive poaching investigation plead not guilty

CENTRALIA, Wash. (AP) — Two of the three newest suspects in a massive poaching investigation out of southwest Washington have pleaded not guilty.

The Chronicle reports Aaron Hendricks, his father-in-law David McLeskey of Woodland and Aaron Hanson are facing charges of first-degree animal cruelty, unlawful hunting of black bear, cougar, bobcat or lynx with dogs and second-degree unlawful hunting of animals.

Hendricks and McLeskey have pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.

Hanson was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

According to court documents, officials uncovered a network of poachers after investigating William Haynes and Erik Martin who are suspected of engaging in illegal hunting activities.

Law enforcement identified Hanson, Hendricks and McLeskey as suspects and co-conspirators in the illegal activities from cellphone evidence.

New York
Courthouse removes exhibit after defense makes complaint

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York federal courthouse has removed a historical exhibit outside the courtroom where a former aide to the governor will be tried in January.

Newsday reports that the Manhattan courthouse removed a display of posters after attorneys for Joseph Percoco and his co-defendants complained that it could prejudice jurors.

The exhibit depicted famous court cases, from terrorists to mobsters to public officials. None ended in acquittal.

It’s been replaced with an exhibit about U.S. Supreme Court justices with ties to New York.

Percoco and his co-defendants have pleaded not guilty in a case that alleges bid-rigging and bribery related to state economic development projects.

Couple charged in deadly Kansas City shooting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A couple has been charged in a deadly shooting last month in Kansas City.

Twenty-four-year-old Caitlyn Riffle, of Independence, and 29-year-old Patrick Powell, of Greenwood, were charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the killing of 52-year-old Rodney Thurber, of Independence. No attorneys are listed for them in online court records.

Court records say witnesses told police a woman visited Thurber at an apartment to retrieve a handgun he had been holding for her. The records say a man identifying himself as the woman’s boyfriend then entered the apartment and shot Thurber.