Courts - Courts Round Up

Kentucky

Deputy jailer accused of inmate sex in Carter

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- A grand jury has indicted a deputy Carter County jailer on sex charges.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported 43-year-old Keith D. Hollingsworth faces six counts of sexual abuse of a ward.

The indictment accuses Hollingsworth of engaging in sex acts with inmates under his supervision at the jail in Grayson between November 2004 and June 2007, according to a news release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for Eastern Kentucky, James Zerhusen.

A court date has not been set in the case.

Nevada

Woman pleads not guilty in methadone death

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- A Sparks woman has pleaded not guilty to charges that she caused her 3-year-old daughter's death from a methadone overdose in February 2009.

Tracie Schuler awaits an October trial following her arraignment Wednesday in Washoe County District Court on charges of child abuse and/or neglect causing death, and second-degree murder.

Schuler is accused of either intentionally giving her daughter, Jessika Haberle, a fatal dose of methadone, or of negligently leaving the narcotic where the girl had easy access to it and was able to accidentally ingest it.

Authorities say the 43-year- old Schuler is a former heroin addict who has taken prescribed doses of liquid methadone to curb symptoms of heroin withdrawal.

According to court records, Jessika was born addicted to methadone.

West Virginia

Man pleads to tax evasion, admits kickbacks

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A former employee of a West Virginia whitewater rafting company has pleaded guilty to tax evasion that included money from kickbacks.

Carl W. Steward of Asheville, N.C., entered his plea Thursday in U.S. District Court in Charleston. He admitted underreporting his income for the 2000 tax year.

According to court documents, the 59-year-old Steward told a vendor to pay him a commission while he was working as a marketing executive for American-Canadian Expeditions Ltd. He received about $46,000 from the vendor.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Ryan says the total tax loss was between $30,000 and $200,000.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 26. Steward faces up to five years in prison.

Arkansas

Bankrupt grocery wholesale ex-chief admits fraud

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- The former president and CEO of Little Rock-based Affiliated Foods Southwest Inc. has pleaded guilty to a fraud charge.

Fifty-nine-year-old John Mills of Cabot pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Little Rock to the felony charge connected to a check-kiting scheme. Mills says the scheme was an effort to move money and keep Affiliated Foods in business.

Affiliated went out of business last year after filing for bankruptcy.

Mills faces up to 30 years in prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Affiliated Foods was a wholesale cooperative that supplied grocery stores in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

North Dakota

Government wants delay in child porn case

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors are asking to delay the sentencing of a former Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota official who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges.

Robert Scheiring faces at least five years in prison and up to 30 years on charges of distribution and possession of child pornography.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 1.

Prosecutors say they need more time to review a psychological evaluation prepared by Dr. Joseph Plaud. Court documents show that Plaud believes Scheiring does not pose a sexual risk to children.

Scheiring resigned from Blue Cross Blue Shield in May.

South Carolina

Man sentenced to die for killing woman

ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) -- A man has been sentenced to die for killing a woman in South Carolina more than three years ago.

Multiple media outlets reported that an Anderson County jury returned a death sentence for 31-year-old Raymondeze Rivera after more than four hours of deliberation Thursday.

The same jury had earlier convicted Rivera of strangling Kwana Burns in December 2006.

Rivera had been convicted in 2008 of killing Asha Wiley. Wiley was found dead in her apartment two days before Burns was killed.

Rivera is serving a life sentence in Wiley's death.

He apologized to Burns' family Thursday, saying there was nothing left for him to do but take the death penalty.

The death sentence will automatically be appealed to the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Published: Mon, Feb 22, 2010