Court Roundup

South Carolina

Man gets 15 years for voluntary manslaughter

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) § A man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty in the shooting death of another man two years ago.

The Greenville News reported 53-year-old Wyatt Earl Harper was sentenced after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter Tuesday in the 2008 shooting death of Bernard Oglesby of Anderson County.

Prosecutor Lucas Marchant says Oglesby had asked gone to a house in Greenville County to ask Harper to loan him money to buy drugs. Marchant says Harper was fed up with Oglesby and shot him.

Harper originally had been charged with murder before agreeing to the plea deal.


Teacher's aide gets hard labor for sex crime

LEESVILLE, La. (AP) § A female teacher's aide who admitted having sex with a 15-year-old student has been sentenced to seven years at hard labor, with four years of that suspended.

Kendra Hoffpauir pleaded guilty in Vernon Parish to two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile and one of carnal knowledge. She also had been charged on four counts of contributing to juvenile delinquency, a third count of carnal knowledge, and one of oral sexual battery.

The Leesville Daily Leader reports that District Judge Jim Mitchell sentenced her last week, setting the three sentences to run simultaneously. He also fined her $1,000 on each charge.

Hoffpauir worked for Vernon Middle School when she was arrested. Some charges involved students at Leesville Junior High, where she had worked earlier.

North Carolina

Prisoner who sued over pepper spray gets $10K

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) § A North Carolina prisoner who said correction officers repeatedly pepper-sprayed him has received a $10,000 settlement for his federal lawsuit against the state.

State officials deny liability in the settlement with inmate Bill Rayburn.

Rayburn says officers at Lanesboro Correctional Institution near Polkton sprayed him four times last year after he asked to be moved away from a prisoner who threatened him. Rayburn says those officers then refused to let him wash off the burning chemical.

The state Correction Department found the employees involved had violated the department's use-of-force policy. State officials have replaced a top administrator at the Anson County prison and disciplined six other prison employees.


Two firefighters

settle harassment suit for $846,000

WESTBROOK, Maine (AP) § Two female firefighters in Westbrook, Maine, who had sued the city for failing to address their complaints of sexual harassment would receive about $846,000 in settlement agreements.

The Portland Press Herald reports Lisa Theberge and Kathy Rogers, who sued the city in 2009, have agreed to drop the lawsuit in exchange for the settlement, which includes back pay, damages and attorney fees.

Their complaints of sexual harassment by fellow firefighters also led to the dismissal of several top officials in the fire department. A consultant was hired to train firefighters in harassment prevention.

Under terms of the agreements, Theberge would receive $368,708, and Rogers would receive $477,639.


Outlaws member pleads guilty

to conspiracy

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) § A former Outlaws motorcycle club enforcer pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges stemming from the shooting of a rival Hell's Angels club member in central Maine.

Michael "Madman" Pedini, 39, of Madison pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to two racketeering-related charges that carry a maximum penalty of 23 years between them.

Prosecutors said Pedini and fellow Outlaws member Thomas "Tomcat" Mayne ambushed and tried to kill a Hell's Angels member outside a Hell's Angels clubhouse in Canaan last October. The Hell's Angels member was seriously injured, but survived. Mayne died later in a shootout with federal authorities.

The attempted hit was ordered by the Outlaws' national president as payback for an earlier violent assault by Hell's Angels members on Outlaws' members in Connecticut, according to court documents.

Mayne and Pedini were among 27 Outlaws' club members nationwide named in a federal indictment in June charging them with racketeering, drug trafficking, firearms violations and other offenses. Mayne was killed in a gun battle with federal agents who were attempting to arrest him at his Old Orchard Beach home.

As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend that the judge find that Pedini has accepted responsibility for his offenses, which could reduce his sentence.

A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

Published: Thu, Sep 9, 2010