National Roundup

Busted ­forging ­immigration ­documents to get IDs

MIAMI (AP) — Investigators have arrested more than 20 people as part of a counterfeit ring that forged immigration documents to get real Florida driver licenses.

The Miami Herald reports 47-year-old Valois Nunez Artelis has been charged with masterminding the scheme. He faces trial later this month in federal court.

Prosecutors say Nunez posed as an immigration officer and falsified a document provided by the immigration enforcement agency to immigrants who have a reason to not be deported. It allowed immigrants in the country illegally to apply for driver licenses.

Federal agents arrested more than 20 immigrants who each paid $2,000 for the documents. Two immigrants were convicted this week in Miami and could face deportation.

The Florida Department of Motors Vehicle alerted immigration agents last September about suspicious documents its employees received.

Woman found dead in suitcase identified as NY resident

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) — A woman found dead and bound in a suitcase in a wooded area of Connecticut was identified Thursday as a 24-year-old New York resident who was reported missing last week.

Greenwich, Connecticut, police said the woman was Valerie Reyes, of New Rochelle, New York, who was last seen Jan. 29 and was reported missing the next day after she did not show up for work.

Highway workers found the body Tuesday morning in a wooded section of Greenwich, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from New Rochelle. Officials said Reyes’ hands and feet were bound. Police are calling her death a homicide.

No arrests have been announced.

The chief medical examiner’s office has completed an autopsy but has not yet released the cause and manner of Reyes’ death. Her family was notified of the positive identification of her Wednesday night, police said.

“They are obviously devastated by the loss of Valerie and our heartfelt condolences go out to them,” Greenwich police Capt. Robert Berry said in a statement. “The Greenwich Police Department is dedicated to identifying those responsible for the death of Valerie and ensuring justice for her and her family.”

Greenwich police are working with New Rochelle authorities and other law enforcement agencies and have received numerous tips about the case.

Judge: Man accused in 8 deaths can’t get fair trial at home

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — A judge says a man accused of killing eight people in south Mississippi can’t get a fair trial in his home county.

The Daily Leader of Brook­haven reports Lincoln County Circuit Judge David Strong made the remarks Tuesday during a pretrial hearing for Willie Cory Godbolt.

Strong hasn’t yet ordered the trial be moved or jurors selected from elsewhere.

Strong did rule Tuesday that Godbolt must remain in a jail jumpsuit and shackles for remaining pretrial hearings. Defense lawyer Alison Steiner wanted Strong to let Godbolt wear street clothes.
The judge says Godbolt will be allowed to wear civilian clothes during trial.

Godbolt is accused of killing a Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy, his mother-in-law and six others at three separate houses in May 2017.

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

‘Family values’ tattoo helps identify man accused in rape

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Charging documents say a swastika and “family values” tattoo helped police identify a Missouri man accused of choking, raping and stabbing a woman.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that 26-year-old James Simpson, of Springfield, is jailed on six felony charges, including first-degree rape. No attorney is listed for him in online court records. He’s being held on $250,000 bond.

Charging documents allege Simpson attacked the woman last month after she invited him to her home. The documents say he choked her until she lost consciousness and stabbed her twice in the back, puncturing one of her lungs.

She escaped by crawling out of a window and running to a neighbor’s home for help.

The documents say Simpson was arrested Monday after struggling with officers.

Man who harassed black lawmaker facing gun charge

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A self-described white nationalist, whose alleged harassment of Vermont’s only female black legislator led her to resign, is facing a charge he possessed illegal, large capacity gun magazines.

State Police say 36-year-old Max Misch, of Bennington, was arrested Wednesday after troopers searched his home and found evidence he had purchased large capacity ammunition feeding devices. He’s due in court Thursday.

Last year, the Vermont Legislature passed a law banning large capacity magazines.

Former Democratic State Rep. Kia Morris resigned in September after receiving what she said were racial threats from Misch. Prosecutors said Misch’s actions violated no laws and declined to prosecute.

Last month, Misch attended a news conference held by Morris. Misch, who could not be reached Thursday, described himself as an online troll out of boredom and because “it’s fun.”

Jury votes against ­execution for man who killed wife, son

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A jury has recommended a life-sentence for an Alabama man who killed his wife and 7-year-old son in 2013.

News outlets report a Madison County jury recommended the sentence Wednesday for 39-year-old Stephen Marc Stone. He was found guilty Tuesday of strangling 32-year-old Krista Stone and Zachary Stone.

The only sentencing options for a capital murder conviction are execution or life in prison without the possibility of parole. The jury voted 9-3 for prison.

County District Attorney Rob Broussard says he believes Stone deserves the death penalty. Defense attorney Larry Marsili says the life-sentence isn’t a free pass.

Alabama’s restriction on judge overrides of jury recommendations isn’t retroactive, so the judge in Stone’s case that began before the 2017 ban can still order him to be executed. The judge didn’t schedule his sentencing.


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