Courts Roundup

Arkansas: Lawsuit seeks to collect from Tony Alamo loyalist

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) -- A civil lawsuit filed in Miller County Circuit Court seeks to invalidate deeds on Tony Alamo Christian Ministries properties in an effort to collect a $3 million judgment against ministries member John Kolbek.

The Texarkana Gazette reports the lawsuit filed Monday by former members Seth Calagna and Spencer Ondrisek claims Kolbek transferred the properties -- including the ministry compound in Fouke -- out of his name in an "apparent attempt" to avoid paying the judgment.

Kolbek is a fugitive wanted for beating Calagna in Fort Smith.

Calagna and Ondrisek were each awarded $1.5 million from Kolbek after he failed to respond to their lawsuit that accused him of beating them on Alamo's orders.

Alamo is serving a 175 year prison term after being convicted of taking young girls across state lines for sex.

California: Former LA civil rights lawyer disbarred

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Former civil rights lawyer Stephen Yagman, who specialized in filing brutality and misconduct charges against the Los Angeles Police Department, has been disbarred.

The San Francisco-based California State Bar says on its website that Yagman, who was convicted of tax evasion in 2007, was stripped of his law license on Dec. 22. The Los Angeles Times and California Bar Journal first reported Yagman was disbarred.

Yagman was convicted in federal court of 19 felony counts of tax evasion, bankruptcy fraud and money laundering.

The 66-year-old Yagman, who lives in the Venice area, had been on interim suspension since his conviction.

The State Bar Court's review department says disbarment is warranted because bankruptcy fraud is a felony and involves moral turpitude. Yagman argued the crime didn't constitute moral turpitude.

Tennessee: Former teacher given 25-year term in sex sting

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal court in Greeneville has sentenced a longtime school teacher to prison for 25 years in a child sex sting.

Joseph Wayne Jennings was arrested when he showed up a Morristown motel in June 2009, lured by an Internet exchange with a Knoxville police officer posing as a woman who offered her 8-year-old daughter for sex. Investigators said the 54-year-old former Claiborne County school teacher carried sex toys and a Hannah Montana poster.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer told Jennings on Tuesday he couldn't risk endangering other children by imposing a lesser sentence.

After teaching school for 30 years, Jennings worked as a toy store clerk.

In court, he offered no explanation for his actions.

Illinois: Prosecutors want adult trial for 15-year-old girl

CHICAGO (AP) -- Prosecutors say they plan to ask a Cook County judge for permission to try as an adult a 15-year-old Schaumburg girl accused of beating her 58-year-old neighbor with a hammer last March, sending him into a coma for several weeks and blinding him in one eye.

The girl has been in custody on juvenile charges of attempted murder, armed robbery and aggravated battery.

Assistant Public Defender Jim Martin tells the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald that the decision whether to transfer the case will be made by a Juvenile Court judge.

Prosecutors say the girl was living with her mother and older sister in an apartment building when the assault occurred. She's accused of attacking Rajesh Thakkar (rah-JEESH' THA'-kar) as he was picking up his mail in the building's foyer.

Missouri: State High Court to consider death penalty cases

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Two men who pleaded guilty to killing a Kansas City teenager are urging the Missouri Supreme Court to overturn their death sentences because it was decided by a judge instead of a jury.

The high court was scheduled to hear separate arguments Wednesday on the appeals of Roderick Nunley and Michael Taylor. Both men pleaded guilty to the 1989 killing of 15-year-old Ann Harrison, who was abducted while waiting for a school bus near her home.

Attorneys for Nunley and Taylor contend the men were wrongly sentenced to death by a judge instead of a jury. The Missouri attorney general's office argues the men had waived their rights to jury sentencing.

Pennsylvania: Salt discipline suit settled with day care center

SOUTH CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. (AP) -- Parents of seven children who were allegedly fed pickling salt as punishment at a a southwestern Pennsylvania day care have settled their lawsuit against the center.

The lawsuit had alleged that children ages 3 to 6 were fed the salt as punishment by five former employees at the day care in South Connellsville. Alum pickling salt can cause nausea, vomiting and burns.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review first reported Wednesday that parties for both sides filed papers in Fayette County court last month announcing that the case has been settled.

Anthony Williott, the attorney for the Regional Family YMCA of Laurel Highlands, says the settlement is confidential. The plaintiffs' attorney, Alan Perer, did not immediately return a call.

Oregon: Report: Man has not seen penny of $900K settlement

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A man molested as a child by a Portland, Ore., priest alleges in a lawsuit that he has yet to see any of the $900,000 settlement paid by the Archdiocese of Portland nearly eight years ago.

In the lawsuit filed this week in Multnomah County Circuit Court, the man identified only by initials G.B. alleges that lawyers who represented him managed to claim $877,000, leaving him with no more than $23,000. But the Oregonian reports that the plaintiff hasn't seen a check for any amount.

His new lawyer, Jack Polance, is seeking close to $700,000 plus interest in this court action.

Polance notes that the lawsuit has been filed against G.B.'s second set of attorneys, not the lawyer who initially worked on the case.

Published: Thu, Jan 6, 2011


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