National Roundup

Suspected robber picked wrong victim: Judo champion

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police say a would-be robber is in custody after picking the wrong guy to victimize — a Judo champion.

WDAF-TV reports that 36-year-old Josh Henges was in the Midtown area Monday night when someone came up from behind, grabbed his shoulder and tried to rob him. Henges has traveled around the world competing in Judo events and training others. He’s a former member of the national Judo team.

Henges turned to see a gun pointed directly at him. He took the suspect to the ground, pinned him, and called police.

Henges says he forgives the 20-year-old suspect and he’s glad he didn’t permanently injure him.

The suspect faces one count of attempted robbery. The gun turned out to be a BB gun.

Budd set to be 1st Black female chief of state Supreme Court

BOSTON (AP) — Justice Kimberly Budd was nominated to be chief of the state’s highest court by Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday.

Budd, who has been on the Supreme Judicial Court for four years, would be the first Black woman to serve as chief justice if she is confirmed. She would replace Chief Justice Ralph Gants, who died last month.

Baker described her as a well-respected and dedicated judge “who treats everyone with dignity.” The Republican governor said Budd is the right person to lead the court as it faces unprecedented challenges brought on by the the coronavirus pandemic.

“Her resume speaks for itself, but above all its her selflessness character and integrity that stuck out to me since the first time I met her,” Baker told reporters.

Her nomination needs to be approved by the Governor’s Council.

Budd, a former federal prosecutor, has served on the high court since 2016. She had previously served as an judge on the Massachusetts Superior Court. Earlier in her career, she prosecuted cases in the major crimes and drug units as an assistant U.S. attorney before going on to work in the general counsel’s office at Harvard University.

Budd said the nomination was an honor but said the occasion was “bittersweet” because of the death of Gants, who she called a “mentor and friend.”

“If confirmed, I promise that I will give my very best effort as the chief of the oldest continuously running appellate court in the Western Hemisphere,” she said.

The Boston Bar Association praised the governor’s pick of Budd as chief.

“Justice Budd’s career, including her 11 years on the bench, demonstrates her extraordinary legal acumen, her deep commitment to justice for all, and the careful attention she gives to every case that comes before her -- all of which will serve her well in leading a court whose decisions affect the lives of all of us in so many ways,” the association’s president, Martin Murphy, said in an emailed statement.

Gun-wielding couple seek prosecutor’s removal

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis couple facing felony charges for waving guns at racial injustice protesters who marched near their home asked a judge on Wednesday to remove the city’s top prosecutor from the case.

A grand jury earlier this month indicted Mark McCloskey, 63, and Patricia McCloskey, 61, on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and tampering with evidence.

The effort to disqualify Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat, contends that her prosecution is politically motivated. The McCloskeys’ attorney, Joel Schwartz, cites emails referencing the case that were sent to potential donors ahead of Gardner’s primary election victory in August.

Gardner’s office responded that the “fundraising emails establish her interest was only in pushing back against Republican attacks on her and her prosecutorial authority — which have nothing to do with the defendants.”
At issue was a protest on June 28, when a few hundred marchers veered onto the private street near the the McCloskeys’ $1.15 million home in St. Louis’ posh Central West End area.

Mark McCloskey emerged with an AR-15 rifle and his wife displayed a semiautomatic handgun. The confrontation was captured on cellphone video.

No shots were fired, but Gardner filed the weapons charge, alleging the McCloskeys’ actions risked creating violence during what she deemed an otherwise peaceful protest.

The McCloskeys contend they were simply defending their home, as allowed by law. They also contend that the demonstration was anything but peaceful given the protesters broke through an iron gate and appeared threatening. Protest organizers say the marchers were not threatening and didn’t break the gate.

The McCloskeys have since become celebrities in conservative circles. They’ve been in frequent contact with Republican President Donald Trump, Schwartz said earlier this month. They spoke on video at the opening night of the Republican National Convention.

Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has said he will pardon the McCloskeys if they are convicted.

Gang member who says he beat up R. Kelly sentenced

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A convicted gang member who said he beat up jailed R&B singer R. Kelly in a Chicago cell in August has been sentenced to life in prison for a racketeering conviction that involved two 1999 murders.

A federal judge in Hammond, Indiana, sentenced Jeremiah Farmer, 39, on Tuesday during a hearing in which Farmer represented himself and appeared combative, at times raising his voice and frequently interrupting the judge.

Farmer, a Latin King street gang member, had faced a mandatory life sentence following his conviction last year on conspiracy to commit racketeering activity in a drug-related case that involved the killings of Marion Lowry, 74, and Harvey Siegers, 67.

Lowry and Siegers were beaten to death in June 1999 with a hammer at their Hammond business, Calumet Auto Rebuilders — a business where an indictment stated that employees “had repeatedly had conflicts with members of the Latin Kings,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

Farmer made headlines by claiming in court records that he attacked Kelly on Aug. 26 in downtown Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center — a federal detention center — because he wanted to shed light on wrongdoing by the government in his own criminal case.

Kelly, 53, faces several dozen counts of state and federal sexual misconduct charges in Illinois, Minnesota and New York, from sexual assault to heading a racketeering scheme aimed at supplying him with girls.