National Roundup

Florida
Police: Man stole ambulance after getting out of hospital

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man needed a ride home when he was released from the hospital. So police say he stole an ambulance.

But the ambulance had a GPS tracking device, so it was easily found on Sunday. Now 25-year-old Michael Paul is staying at the Broward County Jail, charged with grand theft and driving without a valid license.

Broward Sheriff's spokeswoman Joy Oglesby tells news outlets Paul told arresting deputies that he stole the ambulance because he needed a car. She says he took the red ambulance as paramedics were checking another patient into the emergency room at Broward Health North in Deerfield Beach on Sunday.

Deputies tracked down the ambulance within 30 minutes about nine miles from the hospital in Deerfield beach.

Ohio
AG: Issue easing drug crime penalties would worsen crisis

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Republican candidate for Ohio governor says a November ballot issue aimed at reducing sentences for many drug crimes would make the state's drug epidemic much worse.

Attorney General Mike DeWine said Monday that Issue 1 could erase the progress Ohio has made against the deadly opioid crisis.

The constitutional amendment would reduce felony offenses for buying and using a host of drugs, including fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and LSD, to misdemeanor offenses.

Jail time couldn't be imposed until the third offense.

DeWine Democratic opponent, Richard Cordray, backs Issue 1.

Cordray says drug dealers need to serve long prison sentences, but he says Ohio should do more to get low-level drug offenders substance abuse treatment instead of putting them in prison.

Utah
Judge rules against ­polygamous firm in child labor case

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A judge on Monday sided with the U.S. Department of Labor against a company with ties to a polygamous sect on the Utah-Arizona border, finding the company changed its name in a bid to defy an order to stop using child labor.

U.S. District Judge David Nuffer said evidence showed Paragon Contractors Corp. changed its name to Par 2 Contractors and hired underage workers for construction jobs in 2015 and 2016.

Paragon was ordered in 2007 to never employ children. Par 2 used a similar workforce, location, managers and methods as Paragon, Nuffer said.

He ordered the executives who ran Paragon and Par 2 to put $50,000 in a fund to train staff on child labor laws. He said they must send his ruling, which found them in contempt of the 2007 order, to any contractors or companies they've worked with in past decades. They must also pay legal fees to the U.S. Department of Labor, Nuffer said.

Nuffer wrote that the companies' "continued exploitation of child labor for their own competitive advantage" has prevented the Department of Labor from upholding child labor laws.

Jeff Matura, an attorney for Par 2, said the company doesn't agree with the decision but respects the ruling. He said the company is deciding whether to appeal.

Matura argued during a hearing in February that the two companies are separate legal entities with distinct owners.

Rick Sutherland, an attorney representing Paragon and executive Brian Jessop, declined comment. He said he hasn't discussed with his clients whether they will appeal.

The ruling is the latest development in a child labor case that dates to 2007. Paragon was previously ordered to pay $200,000 for back wages to children who picked pecans for long hours in the cold during a 2012 harvest.

Paragon appealed that ruling, but it was upheld by a U.S. appeals court in March.

Texas
Family sues FBI agent in shooting death of hostage

HOUSTON (AP) - The family of a kidnapped man who was fatally shot during a rescue mission in Houston is suing the FBI agent who killed him.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the lawsuit filed by Ulises Valladares' family alleges illegal search and seizure, and wrongful death.

An FBI spokeswoman says the shooting is under review.

Law enforcement raided a Houston residence Jan. 25, about a day after the 47-year-old Valladares was taken for ransom by men claiming to be part of a Mexican cartel.

Houston police say an FBI agent, who has not been named, was attempting to enter the unlit home when someone grabbed his rifle. Police say the agent couldn't see who it was and shot Valladares.

The family's attorney disputes the account, saying Valladares was bound at the time.

Connecticut
Man appealing conviction for attempt to hire hit man

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man sentenced to 15 years in prison after he was convicted of attempted murder for trying to hire a hit man to kill his wife is appealing to the state Supreme Court.

The Stamford Advocate reports that an attorney for 42-year-old Daniel Buzzeo argues his client did not take the steps necessary to be convicted of attempted murder.

Buzzeo met with an undercover police officer posing as a hit man in 2011 to discuss a plan to kill his wife.

His attorney argues a "substantial step" must be taken for an attempted murder charge, and Buzzeo had no money at the time and simply talking about the hit does not qualify as a "substantial step."

Prosecutors argue that offering money to a hit man constitutes a substantial step.

Ohio
Woman who fled with children after slaying arrested

CLEVELAND (AP) - An Ohio woman who authorities say fatally shot the father of her two children and then fled with them has been arrested and the children found unharmed at a relative's home in Cleveland.

Cleveland police say 28-year-old Arriel Bryant was arrested Tuesday morning in the slaying of 30-year-old Richard Kelley. Police say Bryant shot Kelley multiple times during an argument at his home Monday night.

An Amber Alert was issued after Bryant fled with the children, ages 4 and 8.

Bryant was charged Tuesday with aggravated murder. Court records don't indicate whether she has an attorney.

Published: Wed, Sep 12, 2018

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