National Roundup

Ohio
State’s high court won’t hear appeal in baby death case

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal by a former high school cheerleader charged with killing and burying her newborn baby.

Lawyers for Brooke Skylar Richardson appealed to the high court after a lower court ruled doctors can testify in the Warren County case. Ohio’s Supreme Court on Wednesday declined jurisdiction.

Richardson’s attorneys wanted prosecutors barred from presenting testimony from an obstetrics-gynecology practice’s staff, citing physician-patient privilege.

The lower court’s ruling last year said the public interest in detecting crimes to protect society outweighed doctor-patient privilege in this case.

Prosecutors said the now 19-year-old Richardson buried the full-term baby shortly after giving birth in May 2017.

Richardson, of Carlisle, has pleaded not guilty to charges including aggravated murder.

A message seeking comment was left for her attorney.

Delaware
Unpaid restaurant bill leads to bow-and-arrow barricade

SEAFORD, Del. (AP) — Police in Delaware say a man who skipped out on a restaurant bill barricaded himself in a nearby hotel, armed with a hunting-style bow and arrow.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports Seaford police responding to Grotto’s Pizza on Tuesday quickly arrested a female suspect, 24-year-old Summer Bueso-Shinn. But 28-year-old Schuyler Sutton had fled to a Days Inn, where police received reports of him walking the hallways with a bow and arrow.

When officers tried to contact him in his room, he refused to come out for several hours, before eventually surrendering.

In addition to the theft charge, Sutton is wanted out of Montgomery County, Maryland, for first-degree burglary. He’s also accused of slapping a server’s rear end as he left the restaurant.

It’s unclear if they have lawyers.

Kentucky
Principal charged with not reporting sex abuse

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky high school principal is facing criminal charges after police say he didn’t report a student’s allegations of sex abuse to police.

McCracken County Sheriff Matt Carter announced the charges Wednesday, saying deputies investigated only after the student complained directly to his office a week ago. The student accused a volunteer fishing coach of touching him inappropriately.

The Paducah Sun reports authorities say McCracken County High School principal Michael Ceglinski is charged with official misconduct and failure to report child abuse. Ceglinski’s attorney called the charges “nonsensical and illogical.”

Volunteer fishing coach John Parks was charged with sex abuse and using an electronic communications system to solicit a minor. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Parks has an attorney.

Illinois
Defense asks for July 1 trial in ­Chinese ­scholar case

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Attorneys for a man accused of kidnapping and killing a University of Illinois scholar from China say they could be ready for a trial to begin July 1.

A judge already denied a request from Brendt Christensen’s attorneys to delay proceedings until October, but said he would be open to a reasonable proposal. The trial was originally scheduled for September 2017.

Prosecutors are trying to prove Christensen kidnapped and killed 26-year-old Yingying Zhang in 2017.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Christensen’s attorneys said they needed more time to find a psychiatrist. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that defense attorneys say they’ve found a new psychiatrist who could be prepared by July 1.

Prosecutors have until Friday to respond. A Monday hearing is scheduled to discuss the trial date.

Connecticut
Judge: Prison ­gerrymandering lawsuit to move forward

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A federal judge says a lawsuit that seeks to change the way Connecticut counts prisoners when drawing up legislative districts can move forward.

Senior U.S. District Judge Warren Eginton, in a ruling dated Feb. 15, denied the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the NAACP last June.

The civil rights organization argues it is unfair that inmates are included in the population counts of the areas where they’re imprisoned rather than their home districts.

It argues that urban legislative districts, with larger minority populations, often lose out because there is essentially an undercount in their communities.

The say that violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amend­ment of the U.S. Constitution.

The organization is hoping the Connecticut lawsuit can serve as a national template.

Idaho
Federal judge won’t order return of ­disputed plants for now
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has declined to order the release of more than 6,700 pounds plants that an Oregon company says is hemp but the Idaho State Police claims is marijuana.
The plants — and a semitrailer that contained them — were seized by the Idaho State Police last month near Boise. Idaho State Police said the truck contained a “green, leafy substance” containing THC and said they believed it to be the largest marijuana bust in the agency’s known history. They arrested the driver on suspicion of felony drug trafficking.
But the driver’s employer, the Portland, Oregon-based Big Sky Scientific LLC, sued the state and said the plants were hemp. The company asked Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush to order the state to release the plants, which the company intended to use to make products worth $1.3 million. The company says the plants are legal under the new federal farm bill and they are currently deteriorating and losing value.
But Bush said in his ruling that he’s not convinced the plants were produced in accordance with the federal law because Oregon ­doesn’t yet have a federally approved hemp production plan. He says that means he can’t order it returned at this point in the lawsuit.
Big Sky Scientific LLC’s attorney, Elijah Watkins of the Boise law firm Stoel Rives, says the plants in the truck were previously tested several times and proven to be hemp. The Idaho State Police sent the plants for independent testing, but has refused to release the results publicly because they remain part of an investigation.
The test results were also filed with the court under seal.
 

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