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California

Sentence upheld for boy convicted of killing father

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) § A state appeals court has upheld the sentence of a boy convicted of murdering his father at their Berkeley home when he was just 15.

The First District Court of Appeal said on Tuesday that a judge was correct to sentence the boy to 50 years to life in the June 2008 shooting of 40-year-old Charles Faison.

He will be released when he turns 25 because he was tried as a juvenile.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the court rejected a defense argument that confinement wouldn't help the boy in its 3-0 ruling.

Faison was shot in the head in his bedroom. Authorities say they found gunshot residue on the boy's clothing.

His name was not released because he was tried as a juvenile.

Massachusetts

Man gets year in jail for motor vehicle homicide

DUDLEY, Mass. (AP) § A Massachusetts man convicted of two counts of motor vehicle homicide for an accident that killed a Texas couple has been resentenced to a year in jail.

Geoffrey Wahome (WAH'-home) accepted the sentence in district court on Tuesday.

Wahome was originally sentenced in June to 60 days for the August 2009 accident that took the lives of 81-year-old Robert Farner and 77-year-old Chloe Farner of Cottonwood Shores, Texas. But a judge revoked the sentence after learning that Wahome had lied about his status as a college student.

Police say Wahome's car strayed into the breakdown lane on Interstate 395 in Webster, where the Farners had pulled over to change a flat tire.

Police say Wahome's fatigue contributed to the crash as he drove home to Lowell from New Jersey.

Pennsylvania

Police: Man with HIV fathered child with girl

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) § Authorities in northern Pennsylvania say an HIV-positive man is in custody after he fathered a child with a 14-year-old girl.

Police in Williamsport arrested 49-year-old Lawrence Newman on Tuesday and charged him with statutory sexual assault and related offenses.

A police affidavit says authorities received a letter about the relationship last month. Chief Lycoming County Detective William Weber says Newman and the girl initially claimed the child had been fathered by a teen from New Jersey, but later acknowledged having a sexual relationship.

According to court papers, Newman told police he tested positive for HIV several years ago.

Newman is being held on $20,000 bail. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Weber says the child is being cared for by family members.

Arkansas

Jailed evangelist Tony Alamo wants new trial granted

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) § Convicted evangelist Tony Alamo says the government failed to prove that he moved young girls across state lines for sex and is asking for a new trial.

A lawyer for Alamo argued before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday that there was not enough evidence to uphold his client's convictions.

The 76-year-old Alamo is serving a 175-year sentence after being convicted last year of 10 counts. He was accused of using the young girls as "wives," and prosecutors argue that when the girls traveled to and from Arkansas, it was so Alamo could sustain his sexual relationship with them.

Alamo's lawyer asked the court to at least grant Alamo a new sentencing hearing, claiming the judge was biased.

The court will rule at a later time.

New York

Lawyer admits stealing $2.7M from clients

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) § Authorities say a personal-injury lawyer has admitted to bilking more than $2.5 million from his clients to pay for construction of his suburban Buffalo home.

The Buffalo News reports that Erie County prosecutors say 53-year-old Kenneth Bernas pleaded guilty Tuesday in state Supreme Court to 33 felony counts after admitting he stole $2.7 million from 23 clients and two loan agencies.

Authorities say Bernas stole the money to cover the cost of a $2 million home he built just south of Buffalo.

Officials say Bernas built the house in the style of a Buffalo mansion owned by a strip club owner. Prosecutors say Bernas will have to repay the money he stole from his victims.

North Dakota

Court upholds $12,000 bank

overdraft fee

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) § North Dakota's Supreme Court says a bank acted reasonably when it charged a customer almost $12,000 in overdraft fees.

Lynette Cavett of Enderlin said the fees were "unconscionable." But a judge ruled the Quality Bank of Fingal disclosed the fees and Cavett paid them for four years without complaining. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling Tuesday.

Court records say Cavett challenged the fees when the bank sued her in November 2008 to foreclose on her hog farming operation and collect a $76,000 debt.

Court records say from January 2004 until June 2008, Cavett was charged 842 overdraft fees. They varied according to the overdraft amount. The bank charged $100 a day for carrying an overdraft greater than $10,000.

Published: Thu, Sep 23, 2010