National Roundup

Virginia

Soldier's supporters rally at WikiLeaks grand jury

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- Supporters of an Army private accused of supplying classified documents to the WikiLeaks website are rallying on his behalf as a federal grand jury meets in northern Virginia to investigate the matter.

David House is a founding member of the Bradley Manning Support Network. He has been subpoenaed to testify Wednesday morning at the federal courthouse in Alexandria. The grand jury is considering a criminal case into the leaks of classified documents to WikiLeaks.

Manning's supporters say the grand jury's subpoenas amount to harassment and persecution of people who support government transparency.

Prosecutors have complained in court papers that WikiLeaks supporters have delayed the investigation by refusing to cooperate with routine requests.

Manning is being held at Fort Leavenworth while the military conducts its investigation.

Idaho

Appeals court up holds ruling in te en shooting case

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- The Idaho Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling denying a Bellevue man a new trial for shooting two teenagers in 2004.

The justices ruled last week in the case of 54-year-old David Santistevan, who is serving a 35-year prison term for shooting 15-year-old Tyrel Peak and 19-year-old Marshall Hooten seven years ago.

Last year, 5th District Judge Robert J. Elgee dismissed a petition claiming Santistevan did not receive a fair trial and suffered from ineffective legal counsel during his trial.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the appellate justices ruled the claims were without merit.

During the trial, prosecutors said Santistevan shot the teens in an alley behind a bar in Bellevue and was ultimately convicted of two counts of attempted second-degree murder.

Rhode Island

Drugs, firearms probe nets 18 arrests

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) -- A two-year crackdown on drugs and illegal firearms trafficking has resulted in 18 arrests by federal and Rhode Island authorities.

The investigation and arrests were announced on Wednesday in Woonsocket, the epicenter of the operation. Federal, state and local authorities say they launched the probe after two drug-related killing in 2008. The homicides remain unsolved.

Authorities say the most recent suspect to be arrested is Robert O. Robinson. The 29-year-old Woonsocket man was taken into custody Friday on narcotics charges. Officials say he is already on supervised release for a crack cocaine distribution conviction.

Eleven federal suspects have already been convicted. The investigation resulted in two cases in state court. Investigators also seized 37 illegal firearms and substantial amounts of crack cocaine, pot and other drugs.

Louisiana

Judge: BellSouth owes city of New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A judge says BellSouth owes the city of New Orleans millions of dollars for rights-of-way granted by the city for telephone service.

What the final payment will be wasn't entirely clear in U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon's order. Fallon said BellSouth, now part of AT&T, owes the city more than $5.1 million for rights of way granted since 2007. However, he also said the utility is entitled to a credit against that amount for discounted phone service it has provided the city. The corporation is to file documents on the calculation of the discount soon, under Fallon's order.

Fallon's June 6 order was the latest development in a lawsuit that was filed by the city in 2009. The complex case involves various agreements, disputes, settlements and ordinances dating back to the late 19th century, including an 1879 ordinance adopting an agreement with the New Orleans Telephonic Exchange, described by the court as a BellSouth predecessor.

The judge rejected various arguments by BellSouth, including the contention that having to pay the fee put the company at a competitive disadvantage.

"Over the lengthy course of its use of these rights-of-way, BellSouth has at times paid more and less as compared to the damages required here, the amount of which has had no prohibitive effect on its provision of services," Faldon wrote.

It was unclear whether the corporation would appeal.

"Although the Judge has ruled in AT&T's favor on many of the legal issues, we are concerned with some aspects of his decisions and are continuing to evaluate our legal options," AT&T spokeswoman Kim Allen said in an email statement.

South Carolina

Teacher charged with corrupting students arrested

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) -- A Spartanburg County teacher charged last year with corrupting students at parties with alcohol, drugs and sex has been arrested for violating conditions of her release.

The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reported Wednesday that 43-year-old Sarah Jane Lindsay of Boiling Springs was jailed on a home detention violation.

The kindergarten teacher at Boiling Springs Elementary resigned after she was charged in September with nine counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and criminal sexual conduct with a minor between 11 and 14 years old.

Authorities say Lindsay had been wearing an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet and was allowed to leave home with permission. Lindsay was arrested after she couldn't give authorities documentation of where she went May 24.

Lindsay will stay in jail until she goes to court.

Colorado

4 prisoners convicted of killing inmate

DENVER (AP) -- A federal jury in Denver has found four Florence prison inmates guilty in the beating death of an inmate.

Authorities say Pablo Zuniga-Garcia was killed because the other inmates thought he was a snitch on gang members, according to the Denver Post.

The 33-year-old man was serving a 54-month sentence in the Federal Correctional Institution for an illegal-immigration conviction when he was beaten to death in his cell in 2008.

Jose Augustin Pluma, Juan Martin Ruelas, Mark Rosalez and Justin Hernandez were convicted Tuesday. They will be sentenced Aug. 25 in U.S. District Court in Denver.

Published: Thu, Jun 16, 2011

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