National Roundup

Student gets 3 years' probation in cybercrime

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A Carnegie Mellon University student who admitted developing and selling malicious software that allowed others to remotely control Google Android smartphones has been sentenced to three years' probation.

A federal judge in Pittsburgh also Monday ordered Morgan Culbertson to perform 300 hours of community service.

He pleaded guilty in 2015 to conspiracy for his role in the malware distribution, which enabled those who bought the software to use the phones' cameras to spy on their owners.

He is one of 12 people living in the United States who were charged by federal prosecutors in the takedown of the cybercriminal marketplace.

The online forum was a place where authorities say computer hackers bought and sold malicious software.

Culbertson is currently on leave from Carnegie Mellon.

Cleveland settles woman's excessive force lawsuit

CLEVELAND (AP) - Attorneys for the family of a mentally ill woman who suffocated while handcuffed by Cleveland police say they've settled an excessive force lawsuit with the city for $2.25 million.

Tanisha Anderson's family said Monday they want the two officers involved in Anderson's death in November 2014 fired and prosecuted. The officers remain on restricted duty as the Ohio Attorney General's Office investigates

A medical examiner ruled 37-year-old Anderson died of positional asphyxiation after being placed on the ground on her stomach.

Anderson's family had called police when she went outside wearing only a nightgown. The lawsuit said she panicked after being placed in the backseat of a cruiser and died while officers held her on the ground while handcuffed.

A Cleveland spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cops: Woman used $1.2M forged check to try to buy house

DILLSBURG, Pa. (AP) - Police say a Pennsylvania woman tried to buy a house by forging a $1.2 million check from a credit union.

Police in Carroll Township, York County, say that happened in January.

Investigators say 49-year-old Katherine Kempson used the internet to copy a business logo from Members First Federal Credit Union to create the $1.2 million check. She's also accused of writing a bad check for $60,000 to a real estate agency as part of the bogus transaction.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Kempson. She faces a preliminary hearing March 20 on forgery and bad check charges.

Police Sgt. David Smith says the credit union's fraud department first raised red flags, prompting police to investigate.

New York
Police: DNA leads to arrest in case of­ strangled jogger

NEW YORK (AP) - DNA evidence, some of it matching what was found beneath the victim's fingernails, led investigators to make an arrest in last summer's strangling of a woman who encountered her killer while on an evening run, police said Sunday.

Chanel Lewis, 20, of Brooklyn, was held without bail after his arraignment on murder charges in the Aug. 2 slaying of 30-year-old Karina Vetrano, whose body was found amid the weeds in a marshy park not far from her Queens home.

"This defendant admitted to attacking the victim, admitted to beating her, to strangling her and dragging her body in the weeds," Queens assistant district attorney Michael Curtis said.

Efforts to contact the Legal Aid attorneys for Lewis were not immediately successful. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

The closely watched case caused fear among women who run alone and baffled investigators, who for months were unable to find anyone who matched the probable suspect's DNA that was found under the victim's fingernails as she fought back. The DNA also was found on her neck and phone.

New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said the break came after police went back through 911 calls and found one reporting a suspicious person in the area near the attack. Investigators interviewed Lewis on Thursday and obtained a DNA sample from him, which Boyce said was tested and linked to DNA found at the scene and on the victim.

"Karina helped us identify this person," Boyce said. "She had the DNA under her nails. She had touch DNA on her back and there was more DNA on her cellphone. So three incidents. That's how we were able to bring this profile up. And that's how we made the link."

The detective said that after Lewis was arrested at the home he shares with his mother on Saturday night, he gave incriminating statements on "each step of the assault." Asked for a more detailed description of Lewis, Boyce declined to comment on the suspect's mental state or social behavior.

Boyce said the encounter that led to Vetrano's death apparently was a chance one, and authorities didn't believe she and Lewis knew each other. Lewis has no prior arrest record, police said.

Asked how they felt about the arrest and the randomness of the crime, the victim's parents, Philip and Cathy Vetrano, reacted with numbness and anger.

"It hasn't really sunk in," Philip said outside his home. "She was unlucky that day."

"We've been in a state of shock for six months and we really don't know what we feel right now," said Cathy, who called Lewis a "savage" and said she was glad he was off the streets.

"The demon must get his justice and we will see to it."

Deputy confesses to stealing pain pills from safe

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say a 23-year veteran of the Seminole County Sheriff's Office has admitted to stealing pain pills from an evidence safe.

The Orlando Sentinel 42-year-old Lt. Jason Bender, of Oviedo, was charged in August with one count of grand theft.

In prosecution records, authorities say Bender told them last year that he became addicted to pills after he had shoulder surgery and said he stole pills from the evidence safe four times.

Bender is expected to be admitted to the county's drug court, which involves a year of drug treatment. If he successfully completes the program, the criminal charge against him would be dropped.

It's unclear whether he'll be stripped of his right to work as a law enforcement officer in Florida. Bender declined to comment to the newspaper.

Published: Tue, Feb 07, 2017