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American Scene: Siblings get 35 years for bank robbery

- The Washington Times - Monday, December 17, 2012

VALDOSTA | Three Florida siblings involved in a cross-country crime spree were sentenced by a federal judge Monday to more than 35 years in prison.

Senior Judge Hugh Lawson sentenced Ryan Dougherty, Lee Grace Dougherty and Dylan Dougherty Stanley to identical sentences for their role in the August 2011 robbery of a South Georgia bank. Their spree began in Florida and ended in a shootout in Colorado.

Judge Lawson went beyond normal sentencing guidelines, saying that even though the trio was young and impulsive, the "escapade" could not be condoned.

Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26, and Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, did not voice opposition to the sentence, but Ryan Dougherty, 21, called the judge's decision rash and "not in line with the crimes I've committed."

Before the sentences were announced, the three siblings apologized to the employees at the Valdosta bank where the robbery took place. Dylan Dougherty Stanley acknowledged that it was a "scary situation" for them.

Judge Lawson sentenced each sibling to 35 years and 8 months, and to five years of supervised release after their prison sentences. He said that with good conduct they could get out of prison after 30 years.

OKLAHOMA

Rifle found during search of teen's home

OKLAHOMA CITY | A small-caliber rifle and notes about a possible attack on a northeast Oklahoma high school were found at the home of a teenager accused of plotting to shoot classmates and detonate bombs, police said Monday.

Sammie Eaglebear Chavez, 18, lived at home with his mother in Bartlesville, about 50 miles north of Tulsa. He was arrested early Friday morning and has been charged with a felony count of planning to perform an act of violence.

Investigators still are sifting through possible evidence recovered during Friday's search to determine how serious the threat was, said Bartlesville Police Capt. Jay Hastings.

"Part of the factor is whether the person is capable of carrying out the threat. Do they have weapons? In this case, it's just something he's communicated, but then he's also written some notes about it, so that makes it a little more serious," Capt. Hastings said. He didn't elaborate on what the notes said or who owned the rifle.

MASSACHUSETTS

More charges for chemist in drug-lab scandal

BOSTON | A Massachusetts chemist accused of deliberately faking test results on drug samples in criminal cases was indicted Monday on 27 charges, state Attorney General Martha Coakley said.

Annie Dookhan, 35, of Franklin, was indicted by a grand jury on 17 counts of obstruction of justice, eight counts of tampering with evidence, perjury and pretending to hold a college degree.

"We allege that Annie Dookhan tampered with drug evidence and fabricated test results on multiple occasions," Ms. Coakley said. "Her alleged actions have sent ripple effects throughout the criminal justice system."

Ms. Dookhan is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Suffolk Superior Court.

Her alleged misconduct led state police to shut down a state lab used by police departments to test drugs in criminal cases.

Since the lab was closed in August, judges have released about 200 defendants from prison and put their cases on hold while their attorneys challenge their convictions. Many more cases could be affected because authorities have said Ms. Dookhan tested more than 60,000 samples involving 34,000 defendants during her nine years at the lab.

IOWA

115-year-old woman dies, was world's oldest person

DES MOINES | A 115-year-old Iowa woman has died less than two weeks after inheriting the title of world's oldest person, her family said Monday.

Dina Manfredini, who lived at the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston, died Monday morning, according to her granddaughter Lori Logli. Ms. Logli would not elaborate on her grandmother's cause of death, but she said Ms. Manfredini had been suffering from a fever.

Guinness World Records confirmed Ms. Manfredini inherited the title of world's oldest living person less than two weeks ago. Besse Cooper of Georgia previously held the title at age 116.

NEW YORK

Woman gets life in prison in family killings

WHITE PLAINS | A woman from Florida, convicted of orchestrating the fatal beatings of her millionaire husband and his elderly mother, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday.

Narcy Novack, 56, of Fort Lauderdale was not in the federal courtroom to hear the sentence. She waived her right to appear, just as she did when the verdict was delivered in June.

Her brother and co-defendant, Cristobal Veliz of Brooklyn, was also sentenced to life in prison.

They were convicted of hiring hit men to carry out the 2009 beating deaths of Ben Novack Jr., 53, in New York and Bernice Novack, 86, in Florida. Ben Novack was the son of the man who built the Fontainebleau hotel in Miami Beach.

OHIO

Condemned obese killer's life spared by governor

COLUMBUS | The governor on Monday sidestepped a decision about whether a condemned inmate was too fat to be humanely executed by sparing the prisoner on the grounds that he had poor legal representation.

Gov. John Kasich's decision to grant clemency to Ronald Post mirrored the recommendation of mercy by the state parole board, which said it didn't doubt Post's guilt, but said there were too many problems with how he was represented 30 years ago.

Post, who weighs 450 pounds, never raised the issue of his size with the board. And Mr. Kaisch, who commuted Post's sentence to life with no chance of parole, didn't mention Post's obesity claim in his statement. Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said the governor didn't consider Post's obesity claim.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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