- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 9, 2006


Ex-mayor to serve sentence in Miami

ATLANTA — Former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell will serve his 2-year sentence for tax evasion at a minimum-security federal prison camp in Miami, a judge’s aide said yesterday.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons made the decision, said Rick Goss, courtroom deputy to U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story.

On Thursday, Judge Story rejected Campbell’s request to remain free pending appeal of his conviction and ordered him to start serving his sentence. Mr. Goss said at that time that Campbell must report Aug. 21. The date has not changed, Mr. Goss said yesterday.

In his decision denying Campbell’s request, Judge Story wrote that Campbell “has not shown the existence of a substantial question likely to result in reversal, a new trial, or a reduction in his sentence.”


Ill candidate suspends campaign

HONOLULU — Republican Jerry Coffee suspended his primary campaign for the U.S. Senate because of health reasons, his son Jerry Coffee Jr. said.

The younger man told reporters at state Republican Party headquarters Monday night that his 72-year-old father underwent heart surgery earlier in the day in Texas.

Jerry Coffee Jr. said it was unlikely that his father would campaign even if he makes a swift recovery.

Mr. Coffee’s name will remain on the ballot of the Sept. 23 primary, along with five other Republicans hoping to unseat Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, Hawaii Democrat.


Church sued for abusers’ names

CHICAGO — The family of a man murdered by a pedophile priest filed a lawsuit yesterday against the Roman Catholic Church demanding that it disclose the names of all of its U.S. clergy accused of sexual abuse.

The lawsuit was filed in Wisconsin’s St. Croix County, where a judge last year ruled that Dan O’Connell was murdered by the Rev. Ryan Erickson. The civil lawsuit calls for the disclosure of the names of all accused clergy in the U.S. church but seeks no monetary damages.

A St. Croix county judge ruled in October that Father Erickson, a 31-year-old parish priest in Hudson, Wis., likely murdered funeral director Mr. O’Connell and his intern James Ellison out of fear that Mr. O’Connell was about to expose his past sexual abuse. Father Erickson hanged himself after being questioned by police.

The lawsuit, which names all 194 U.S. bishops as defendants, said church authorities were aware of Father Erickson’s violent past and erratic behavior.


Attorney’s drinking forces mistrial

LAS VEGAS — A judge ordered a blood alcohol test for a defense attorney who was slurring his words, then declared a mistrial after declaring him too tipsy to argue a kidnapping case.

“I don’t think you can tell a straight story because you are intoxicated,” the judge told Joseph Caramango as she declared a mistrial for his client.

Mr. Caramango acknowledged in court that he was drinking the previous night, but maintained he was not drunk. If convicted, his client faces life in prison.

Clark County District Judge Michelle Leavitt ordered Mr. Caramango to take a breath alcohol test in court Thursday, then told him that it showed he had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.07 percent. Nevada’s legal blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.08 percent.

Judge Leavitt did not hold Mr. Caramango in contempt of court, and it was not clear whether he would face discipline by the State Bar Association.


Court weakens shield for charities

TRENTON — A state law protecting nonprofit organizations from negligence lawsuits does not apply to all sex-abuse cases, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

The ruling allows John W. Hardwicke Jr. to continue his lawsuit against the American Boychoir School in Princeton. Mr. Hardwicke says he was molested repeatedly by the school’s music director and three other employees from 1969 to 1971, when he attended the school.

In its 5-1 ruling, the court reasoned that the state’s Charitable Immunity Act protects charities from negligence claims only, not from claims that are based on “willful, wanton or grossly negligent conduct.”

Mr. Hardwicke fought for the right to sue the school, contending that a state law protecting nonprofits from negligence lawsuits doesn’t apply to sex-abuse cases.


Fugitive surrenders after decade on run

NEW YORK — After evading authorities for nearly a decade, a fugitive featured almost a dozen times on “America’s Most Wanted” walked into a police precinct and surrendered, saying it was “the right thing to do.”

Chaka Raysor, 37, has been profiled at least 11 times on “America’s Most Wanted” and was pegged as one of the show’s “Dirty Dozen,” a roster of the fugitives most sought by the show’s host, John Walsh.

“I missed my life, and I missed my kids,” Raysor said Monday after leaving Federal District Court in Brooklyn, where he pleaded not guilty to murder, drug trafficking and racketeering charges filed against him in September 1996.

Raysor turned himself in at the 79th Precinct on Sunday evening, said Detective John Sweeney, a police spokesman.


State executes triple murderer

LUCASVILLE — A man who said he worshipped Satan and enjoyed killing three persons, stabbing and beating them and stomping on them with steel-toed boots, was executed yesterday.

Darrell Ferguson, 28, who had asked for the death penalty and chose not to pursue appeals, died by injection at 10:21 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.

Ferguson was the second inmate executed using the state’s new lethal-injection protocol, adopted after an execution in May was delayed while prison staff struggled to find a usable vein on that inmate, who asked them to find another way to kill him.


Police chase truckfull of doughnuts

RICHLAND — When someone stole a truck full of doughnuts, police sprang into action.

An all-points bulletin was issued moments after the theft of the Viera’s Bakery van was reported early Friday in Kennewick.

A Benton County sheriff’s deputy quickly spotted the truck. After a chase at 30 mph to 35 mph, Richland police stopped the truck and arrested the driver, Steve Swoboda, 19, on investigation of auto theft and felony escape.

Still intact was the entire load of glazed, sugar and cream doughnuts, as well as some apple fritters.

The truck was taken while the driver, Gilberto Gonzales, left the engine running during a stop.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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