Court Digest

Everett man, 84, accused of killing his missing tenant

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — An 84-year-old Everett-area man is suspected of fatally shooting one of his tenants, who remains missing, authorities said.

Lloyd Richmond was booked into Snohomish County Jail Friday for investigation of murder and assault, The Daily Herald reported.

The presumed victim is a 49-year-old Everett man who was last heard from on Aug. 28, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said. His name wasn’t released.

Neighbors reported hearing an argument between Richmond and a tenant on Aug. 28 before hearing gunshots, the sheriff’s office said. Investigators believe Richmond later moved the body from the home.

A neighbor reportedly saw Richmond get a gray tarp, “wrap something” in the driveway and load it into the bed of his Dodge pickup, according to court papers. The neighbor later saw Richmond spread some type of “litter or absorbent” to cover up a red stain on the driveway, documents said.

The next day the neighbor saw Richmond move the item from the bed of his Dodge into another vehicle and then left for hours, documents said.

A Snohomish County sheriff’s detective later went to Richmond’s house and got permission from another tenant to collect a sample from the red stain in Richmond’s driveway. Its contents tested positive for blood, court papers say.

The woman told detectives that she overheard the argument between Richmond and another tenant and hadn’t seen the tenant since, documents said. She said Richmond told her later he wanted the missing man to move out of the home and paid him $1,000 to leave, court papers said.

Defense attorney Samantha Sommerman argued there was no probable cause to hold Richmond in jail.

“There’s no body, there’s no weapon, there’s no eyewitness,” Sommerman said in court Tuesday. “The point of probable cause hearings like this is that when you don’t have basic elements that point to the charge of murder, then you don’t have probable cause to hold someone.”

Richmond’s bail was set at $1 million.

The investigation is ongoing.

AG trying to revive lawsuit over Confederate monument

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama attorney general’s office is trying to revive its lawsuit over the removal of a Confederate monument from outside the county courthouse in the city of Huntsville.

The state claimed in court documents that a judge shouldn’t have dismissed the suit just because someone anonymously paid a $25,000 fine that was owed by Madison County for removing the statue nearly a year ago, WHNT-TV reported.

Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office contends the county should be required to pay the penalty itself. A judge has scheduled a hearing for Friday afternoon on the state’s bid to reinstate the lawsuit.

The state sued the county last year seeking a $25,000 penalty that’s mandated under a state law that makes it illegal to remove or alter monuments. Legislators passed the law in 2017 amid a national movement to take down memorials honoring the Confederacy.

Madison County asked a judge to end the state’s suit after someone deposited $25,000 into a court account to pay the fine on Aug. 27. The county says the money isn’t from taxpayers or Madison County, but it hasn’t said where the funding came from.

Circuit Judge Claude Hundley dismissed the suit, but the state argues it needs to know who paid the fine to end the case. It also says the judge still needs to rule on its claim that Madison County broke the law when it moved the monument.

Erected in 1905 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the monument went up outside the Madison County Courthouse at a time when Confederate descendants were trying to portray the South’s cause in the Civil War as noble rather than linked to slavery. The statue was moved to a city-owned cemetery.

Demonstrators sought the removal of the Huntsville statue and other numerous Confederate statues around the nation last year amid nationwide protests against racial injustice following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
Those efforts to take down statues honoring Southern figures from the Civil War continued Wednesday as work crews hoisted an enormous statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee off its giant pedestal in Virginia’s capital city of Richmond, cheered on by a crowd.

Ex-officer accused of taking $50K from police union

CLERMONT, Fla. (AP) — A former police officer has been arrested on felony charges, accused of stealing nearly $50,000 from a police union while he was its president, officials said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in an email that former Clermont officer Jeremy Kevitt obtained an ATM card in 2014 and used it to spend money from the Clermont Police Officers Union bank accounts without approval.

Investigators said Kevitt spent some $30,000 from an account funded by monthly payroll deposits from police officers and another $20,000 from an account set up to help pay medical bills for an injured police officer, the agency said.
Money in that account was generated rom donations and fundraising events.

Officials discovered the theft last November when they received an overdraft notice about one of the bank accounts, a department news release said. He was arrested Friday.

When police confronted Kevitt, he “was defensive and complained that he did not have to help managing the account,” investigators said.

Kevitt then told them that all of the transactions were authorized and that he didn’t keep receipts. When officials reviewed the accounts, authorities said, they found transactions that appeared to be personal.

Kevitt said a $100 supermarket purchase was spent on buying Thanksgiving dinners for the “less fortunate,” and a $200 ATM cash withdrawal was given to a food bank, according to officials. When officials inquired about a $112 bill at an Indian restaurant, he ended the meeting, the agency said.

Kevitt was placed on administrative leave during an internal investigation, but submitted his resignition notice in March and left in April before the investigation was completed, the report said.

He was arrested Friday on felony charges of grand theft and organized fraud. Court records did not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Clermont police Chief Charles Broadway said in a statement that Kevitt’s actions “do not reflect the integrity, commitment and professionalism of the men and women of the Clermont Police Department.”

Teen driver facing charges in crash that killed two

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy is facing vehicular homicide charges in Ramsey County after authorities say he crashed a stolen car and killed two friends while fleeing from police.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the boys who died in Friday’s crash in Maplewood as 15-year-old Alyjah Thomas and 14-year-old Marcoz Paramo. The teens were students at North High School in North St. Paul.

Ramsey County sheriff’s officials say the driver has a “significant” history of auto theft and also faces charges of fleeing from law enforcement and criminal vehicular operation.

Paramo’s mother said she doesn’t want the driver held responsible for her son’s death, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

“I know he had made some bad choices and he should take responsibility for that,” Tanya Gile said Tuesday of the driver. “It’s not his fault that they crashed. They were all friends. I blame the sheriffs and the police that pursued that chase for my son’s death.”

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, however, said the responsibility falls solely on the driver.

Friday was the third straight day that North St. Paul police spotted the same stolen car.

Each time, an officer followed the car but called off a pursuit because someone behind the wheel was driving recklessly. But Friday’s chase ended when the teen crashed the car in a residential yard in Maplewood.

New York
Court of Appeals to hear Orioles-Nats TV dispute

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the long-running dispute between the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals over television rights fees.

The court, the highest in the state, on Sept. 2 granted the the Orioles’ motion for permission to appeal.

MASN was established in March 2005 after the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington and became the Nationals, moving into what had been Baltimore’s exclusive broadcast territory since 1972. The Orioles have a controlling interest in the network.

MASN paid the Nationals for 2012-16 what the Orioles proposed: $197.5 million. Washington argued it should be paid $475 million.

An arbitration panel of baseball executives — Pittsburgh Pirates President Frank Coonelly, Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg and New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon — heard the case in 2012 and ruled in 2014 that the Nationals were owed $298.1 million.

The Orioles appealed, and that decision was thrown out by a New York Supreme Court justice, who ruled a law firm representing the Nationals was conflicted because it had worked for clubs of executives on the panel. The appellate division sent the case back to baseball to be heard by a reconstituted Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee.

A second panel of baseball executives — Milwaukee Brewers chairman Mark Attanasio, Seattle Mariners President Kevin Mather and Toronto Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro — ordered a slightly lower payment of $296.8 million.
That decision confirmed in August 2019 by New York Supreme Court Justice Joel M. Cohen.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the First Department unanimously affirmed Cohen’s decison last October, ruling the Orioles failed to establish evident partiality in the second arbitration panel. The First Department’s decision was by Justices Dianne T. Renwick, Cynthia S. Kern, Saliann Scarpulla and Martin Shulman.

“The Court of Appeals’ decision to hear the Orioles’ and MASN’s appeal recognizes that this dispute implicates the key legal protections afforded to arbitral parties,” Jonathan Schiller, a lawyer for the Orioles and MASN, said in a statement Tuesday. “The Orioles and MASN look forward to presenting their case to the Court of Appeals, and to finally having this dispute decided before a fair, objective, neutral arbitral body, as the law requires.”

Stephen Neuwirth, a lawyer for the Nationals, did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Judge Michael J. Garcia did not take part in the Court of Appeals decision to allow an appeal.

Capitol rioter pleads guilty to assaulting police

BOISE, Idaho. (AP) — An Idaho man pleaded guilty Tuesday to assaulting police in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Duke Edward Wilson pleaded guilty Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers or employees; and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, The Idaho Statesman reported.

The 67-year-old Nampa resident originally faced several felonies. Wilson admitted to hitting at least one U.S. Capitol officer with his fist, as well as hitting at least one officer with a pole, court documents show.

Charging documents included photos of Wilson wearing a baseball cap that read “CNN Fake News” and his face covered in pepper spray during the insurrection. The documents also refer to videos that show Wilson grabbing a PVC pipe and jabbing police officers with it before tossing it.

Wilson was pictured while attempting to push past a wall of police as he and other supporters of former President Donald Trump worked to gain access to the U.S. Capitol. Investigators said Wilson helped other rioters pull a shield away from police and push two officers to the ground.

The deadly siege happened the day Congress was certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory over Trump. Rioters destroyed Capitol property and caused the evacuation of the Senate chamber, temporarily delaying the certification of the election results.

In April, Wilson was arrested by Salt Lake City, Utah-based FBI agents.

On Tuesday, Senior District Judge Royce Lamberth told Wilson that while entering guilty pleas may have been difficult, they were a step forward. His next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 22.

The criminal counts carry a maximum of more than 28 years in prison. Wilson could also face fines of up to $500,000. He remains free pending sentencing.

Five Idaho residents have been arrested and charged in connection with the the Capitol riot. Wilson is the second to plead guilty. Ada County resident Josiah Colt — photographed jumping onto the floor of the U.S. Senate during the attack — pleaded guilty to obstructing an official proceeding in July and agreed to cooperate with federal investigators.

More than 570 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 170 charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Five officers who were at the Capitol that day have died, four of them by suicide.

The investigation remains ongoing.