National Roundup


Man gets 28 year sentence in his friend’s killing 
KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana man who pleaded guilty to killing a friend and stuffing his body inside an unplugged freezer has been sentenced to 28 years in prison.
Walter Logan was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to reckless homicide in the 2012 death of 29-year-old Alex Shipp.
Howard Circuit Court Judge Lynn Murray said the 53-year-old Logan showed “depraved indifference toward the victim” and his relatives by hiding Shipp’s body in a freezer in his Kokomo home
The Kokomo Tribune reports that Murray ordered Logan to pay more than $1,800 in restitution for Shipp’s funeral expenses.
Logan told investigators that after a fight he bound Shipp’s hands and feet and placed duct tape over his nose and mouth, then fell asleep. When he awoke, he said Shipp appeared to be dead.
Tribe to argue sovereignty in legal-fee demand 
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Cherokee Nation will argue that tribal sovereignty makes it immune from a request for $1 million in legal fees in a custody battle over a 4-year-old girl, according to a tribal assistant attorney general.
Attorneys representing Matt and Melanie Capobianco of South Carolina filed the request in Oklahoma courts for legal fees in the custody dispute over 4-year-old Veronica. The Capobiancos have custody after Veronica’s biological father, Dusten Brown, dropped all legal proceedings.
The request sought the fees from Brown and his tribe, the Cherokee Nation. The moved shocked Cherokee officials, said Cherokee Nation Assistant Attorney General Chrissi Nimmo, who led the tribe’s effort to keep Veronica with her Cherokee family.
“It seems to be a warning to fathers and to tribes,” Nimmo said. “’Don’t fight for your children, or we will ruin you financially.’?”
Veronica had been the subject of court battles since she was born to a non-Cherokee mother, who put the girl up for adoption. The Capobiancos had been lined up to receive custody since 2009.
In September, Brown handed Veronica over to the Capobiancos after the Oklahoma Supreme Court lifted an emergency stay keeping the girl in Oklahoma.
“We’re extremely disappointed,” Nimmo said. “We believed all parties when they said they would make an effort to move on and heal.”
But an attorney for the Capobiancos, Lori Alvino McGill, told the Tulsa World that the request for fees was appropriate. The legal team worked pro bono and didn’t charge the Capobiancos for their services, she said.
“Attorneys are entitled to get their fees and expenses associated with successfully enforcing a custody order,” she said. “So the Capobiancos’ attorneys can seek their fees/expenses associated with having to chase Brown around to enforce the South Carolina orders.”
The Browns have not commented on the request for fees.
Man accused in officer attack loses attorney 
MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A Muncie man who allegedly attacked two police officers after his car was pulled over following a fight outside a nightclub has lost his defense attorney.
Michael J. “Mick” Alexander abruptly withdrew Wednesday as attorney for 32-year-old Bryan William Modglin, who faces attempted murder and other charges in the September attack that ended when one of the officers Modglin allegedly attacked shot him two times.
The Star Press reports Delaware County’s chief trial deputy had filed documents asking that Alexander be disqualified from the case. His motion alleged that the officer who shot Modglin, Officer Shane Finnegan, had sought legal advice from Alexander the day after the shooting.
Alexander apologized to a Delaware Circuit Court judge Wednesday, telling him he had forgotten that he’d spoken to Finnegan.
Man convicted in 2012 grocery store shooting 
OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) — A man who claimed self-defense for shooting a man in a fight at a Clackamas grocery store was found guilty Wednesday of second-degree assault.
Sixty-seven-year-old Jerry Thomas Harryman faces a prison term of nearly six years when he is sentenced next week in Clackamas County Circuit Court.
The Oregonian reports Harryman had a license to legally carry a concealed handgun. He says the other man was the aggressor in a fight that broke out in August 2012 in a crowded checkout line. During the struggle, Harryman pulled out his gun and shot him in the leg.
Harryman’s lawyer said he was defending himself.
Prosecutor Bryan Brock says the use of deadly force was unreasonable and unjustified for the threat Harryman faced.
New York
Lawyer seeks po­thole records in deadly crash 
NEW YORK (AP) — The attorney for a teenage driver accused of mowing down a 4-year-old girl while fleeing police is seeking pothole repair records for the site of the accident.
Franklin Reyes is charged with manslaughter, fleeing police and unlicensed driving in the June accident.
The 17-year-old’s attorney told a judge Wednesday he wasn’t ready for trial because he’s seeking the pothole records. He says Reyes lost control of his car when he hit a pothole.
The out-of-control SUV pinned little Ariel Russo against the gate of a closed restaurant. Her grandmother was struck as the vehicle backed up.
The girl’s family has filed a lawsuit against Reyes.
The next court hearing is Dec. 18.
New Hampshire
Man fights denial of “COPSLIE” auto vanity plate 
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man argued to the state’s highest court on Thursday that denying him a vanity license plate that reads “COPSLIE” violates his free speech rights.
David Montenegro of Farmington has the backing of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union in his appeal of the Department of Motor Vehicles’ 2010 decision.
DMV officials told Montenegro that administrative rules prohibit vanity plates that a reasonable person would find offensive. A trial court agreed and refused to order DMV to give him the plate.
Montenegro argued to the justices of the Supreme Court that the rule is unconstitutionally vague. He says license plates constitute a public forum but lawyers for the state disagree.