National Roundup

Missouri

Prosecutor: Unruly passenger tried to kill himself

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- An affidavit filed in federal court in St. Louis alleges that an Illinois man tried to open the door of a passenger jet to commit suicide.

Thirty-four-year-old Reynel Alcaide of Burbank, Ill., faces federal charges, including interfering with a flight crew, for the incident on May 8. Alcaide was on a Continental Airlines flight from Houston to Chicago when he allegedly tried to open the jet door. The flight was diverted to St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that during a hearing on Monday, a federal prosecutor said Alcaide had tried to commit suicide before.

A judge postponed a decision on setting bail and ordered a psychiatric exam. Alcaide's attorney, public defender Felicia Jones, asked that he be treated in a hospital rather than a jail.

Pennsylvania

Man charged in booby-trapped home arrest

MATAMORAS, Pa. (AP) -- Police say a man threatening to harm himself had booby-trapped an entrance to his Pennsylvania home with a handgun.

Eastern Pike Regional Police say 46-year-old William Holley was heavily armed when police were called to his Matamoras home last week.

The Pocono Record of Stroudsburg reports police heard a gunshot from inside the home and attempted to enter through a back door but deemed it unsafe. Police entered through a window, and Holley allegedly grabbed a gun. He then was taken into custody.

Authorities later discovered the back door had been rigged with a loaded revolver and flares that would ignite if the door was opened.

Holley is charged with aggravated assault, attempted assault on a police officer and other counts. His attorney declined to comment Tuesday.

Pennsylvania

Woman, Disney settle theme park groping suit

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A Pennsylvania woman who claimed she was groped by Donald Duck during a visit to the Epcot theme park has settled her federal lawsuit against Disney.

Court documents indicate April Magolon settled her lawsuit against the entertainment giant last week. She had sued Walt Disney Parks and Resorts last year claiming a costumed park employee grabbed her breast during a May 2008 visit to the Florida park.

The Upper Darby woman claimed she had nightmares, digestive problems and other permanent injuries. She sought more than $50,000 in compensation plus punitive damages.

Kansas

Woman denies threats against abortion doctor

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas woman accused of violating federal law that protects access to abortion services is accusing the Justice Department of violating her right to free speech and religious freedom.

The contention is included in a court filing Tuesday in the case of Angel Dillard. The government sued Dillard last month, alleging the Valley Center woman sent a threatening letter to Dr. Mila Means. The Justice Department is seeking monetary damages and an injunction keeping Dillard away from the doctor, her clinic and her home.

Dillard contends her letter is constitutionally protected free speech. She claims the government's conduct has violated her right of religious freedom because the injunction it seeks would effectively keep her from attending her church near the clinic. Dillard seeks attorney fees and $5,000 per violation.

Alaska

Man sentenced to 40 years in beating death

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A man who fled the United States for Guatemala has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for beating a man to death outside an Anchorage bar in 2007.

KTUU-TV says Ariel Patrick was sentenced Monday in Superior Court. He was apprehended after a story about him was presented on the television program "America's Most Wanted."

Patrick was convicted of second-degree murder for killing Jamaal Barras, who was beaten with a baseball bat. Another man, David Anderson, has been convicted of the crime as well.

Patrick apologized for his actions on Monday, saying his behavior was due to an unfortunate mix of alcohol and emotion. The judge suspended eight years, leaving 32 to serve.

North Carolina

Courts seek more money for interpreters

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The North Carolina court system is asking for more money for interpretation services, which is the focus of a filing with the U.S. Justice Department by three groups who represent people who don't speak English well enough to function in the judicial system.

A spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of the Courts said the office wasn't aware of the filing Monday. But spokeswoman Sharon Gladwell says the office is seeking additional resources from the Legislature this year.

The Latin American Coalition, the Muslim American Society of Charlotte and the Vietnamese Coalition of Charlotte filed the complaint Monday with the U.S. Department of Justice about the lack of interpretation services in civil courts. Gladwell says it would cost about $1.4 million to expand interpretation services to civil cases.

Pennsylvania

DA wants new slaying trial order reviewed

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A prosecutor says he plans to ask the full state Superior Court to review a decision by three judges to grant a new trial for a Pennsylvania man charged with killing a woman in a park in 2004.

Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio tells The Altoona Mirror he wants the full panel to review the finding that 38-year-old Paul Aaron Ross didn't receive a fair trial when he was convicted in the death of 26-year-old Tina Miller.

Miller's body was found partially submerged and bound with duct tape at Canoe Creek State Park on June 26, 2004, after she was dropped off with Ross.

Three judges determined Friday that Ross' trial attorney wasn't granted enough time to prepare his defense and testimony about Ross' alleged violence was improperly admitted.

Virginia

Attorney loses license over divorce case

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- A Norfolk attorney has been ordered to surrender his law license over misconduct involving his personal divorce case.

A three-judge panel found that Mark Kantro hid $161,000 from his former wife during their divorce.

Kantro's attorney, Allan Zaleski, tells The Virginian-Pilot that he plans to appeal.

The panel found Kantro violated eight rules of conduct and revoked his license. He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement with the state Supreme Court in five years.

Published: Wed, May 18, 2011

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