- - Wednesday, March 28, 2012

FLORIDA

MIAMI A judge has dismissed a murder charge against a man who chased and fatally stabbed a theft suspect, citing the same self-defense law at the center of the Trayvon Martin case.

The “stand your ground” law gives a lot of leeway to use deadly force instead of retreating during a confrontation.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Beth Bloom ruled Tuesday that a bag of stolen car radios Pedro Roteta swung at Greyston Garcia amounted to a lethal threat. Judge Bloom said Mr. Garcia “was well within his rights to pursue the victim and demand the return of his property.”

Mr. Garcia went home instead of calling 911 after the confrontation in January and later hid the knife and sold two of the radios.

A prosecutor told the Miami Herald they would appeal the ruling.

NEW YORK

Partially paralyzed woman kidnapped; couple accused

NEW YORK A New York City couple is accused of kidnapping a partially paralyzed woman and controlling her finances for more than a year.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Tuesday that the 58-year-old victim was found in a locked room that could only be opened from the outside. He says she was malnourished and bleeding from the head.

Mr. Brown says police found her after the woman’s niece called 911 after being unable to contact her aunt for several months.

She was taken to a hospital with broken ribs, a broken arm and dislocated shoulder.

Patrick Donovan and Mae Washington, of Queens, pleaded not guilty to charges including kidnapping, assault and unlawful imprisonment. The victim had been renting a room at the couple’s home.

Mr. Brown said the victim turned over all her income from Social Security and other sources to Ms. Washington because she feared the couple.

He said the victim was held against her will since January 2011.

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