- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 7, 2009

LOUISIANA

Protesters arrested at closed churches

NEW ORLEANS | Police on Tuesday cleared out two New Orleans Catholic churches occupied by former parishioners opposed to the archdiocese’s decision to close them, breaking down a door at one.

Two protesters were arrested and at least two more were issued citations, police said.

“It’s our property. It’s our church. It belongs to the Archdiocese of New Orleans,” said the Very Rev. Michael Jacques, a member of the archdiocese’s Council of Deans.

Officers forced open the door at Our Lady of Good Counsel in the city’s Uptown neighborhood, arresting two people occupying the building, and issued one of the summons to a protester occupying St. Henry’s, also in Uptown.

Parishioners calling themselves the Friends of Our Lady of Good Counsel had occupied their church since October, when the archdiocese closed it and several others in an economic move to consolidate parishes after Hurricane Katrina and shifting populations of Catholics in the area.

MICHIGAN

Ex-mayoral aide gets 120 days in jail

DETROIT | The former top aide and ex-lover of disgraced ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick followed her old boss to jail Tuesday, the last step in a criminal case that shook up Detroit politics for a year after romantic text messages between the pair made headlines.

Christine Beatty, once an influential figure at Detroit City Hall, waved goodbye to loved ones as she was ushered from a courtroom to begin a 120-day jail stay for obstruction of justice. She will serve her term in Wayne County jail, where Kilpatrick has been serving an identical sentence since late October.

Beatty and Kilpatrick, both 38, were charged with lying about their affair under oath during a 2007 civil trial on claims that two police officers were punished for investigating purported wrongdoing in the mayor’s inner circle.

NEW JERSEY

Baby’s body disposed with hospital’s trash

JERSEY CITY | Police searched garbage dumps in New Jersey and Pennsylvania on Tuesday for the body of a baby apparently thrown out with the trash at a Jersey City hospital sometime in the past two weeks.

“It’s like they treated my son like he’s nothing,” said Kalynn Moore, the 26-year-old mother. “It hurts so bad.”

Mrs. Moore gave birth to Bashere Davon Moyd Jr. at Christ Hospital on Dec. 21, about a month before her due date. Her cousin, Nicia Royster, said she went with a nurse that day to place the corpse into the hospital’s morgue.

Hospital officials went to Mrs. Moore’s Jersey City home on Jan. 2 and told her that a funeral home had come to pick up the remains, but they could not be found.

Police say the body was discarded in the trash, but they do not know when. The hospital has not officially said the baby was thrown in the trash, but didn’t dispute the police statement.

NEW YORK

Official charged in WTC tower work

NEW YORK | A construction official overbilled the government more than $1 million on supplies that were never delivered for work on a condemned skyscraper across from ground zero, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Robert Chiarappa, 45, was awaiting arraignment on grand larceny charges related to his work for John Galt Corp. on the former Deutsche Bank tower.

Evidence of the theft was uncovered during the investigation of a 2007 fire in the derelict tower that killed two firefighters, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said.

Mr. Chiarappa was the purchasing agent for the company, which was fired from the building-cleanup job and later indicted on manslaughter charges for the fire.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Man pleads not guilty in Halloween killing

COLUMBIA | A South Carolina ex-convict accused of answering a knock at his door on Halloween night by spraying the front of his house with bullets and killing a 12-year-old trick-or-treater pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a federal weapons charge.

Quentin Lamar Patrick is accused of killing T.J. Darrisaw, who died in a hail of at least 29 bullets. Patrick, 22, entered his plea during an arraignment on a charge of being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition, an offense connected to two guns found in his Sumter home.

Patrick, who has three prior convictions for crack-cocaine distribution, emptied an AK-47 into his front door, walls and windows when he heard someone knock and saw people wearing masks standing on his stoop, police have said.

TEXAS

Court upholds Skilling’s convictions

HOUSTON | A federal appeals court Tuesday upheld former Enron Corp. Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling’s convictions for his role in the energy giant’s collapse, but vacated his 24-year prison term and ordered that he be resentenced.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans denied Skilling’s request to overturn his convictions. Skilling argued his conviction was invalid because of what his lawyers argued were incorrect legal theory, faulty jury instructions, a biased jury and prosecutorial misconduct, including accusations of witness intimidation and withholding evidence.

While denying those arguments, the judges agreed U.S. District Judge Sim Lake erred by applying guidelines that resulted in a prison term of 24 years and four months, and ordered that Skilling be resentenced.

Skilling is serving his time, the harshest punishment doled out in Enron’s scandalous collapse, in a federal prison in Minnesota.

He was convicted in May 2006 on 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy, insider trading and lying to auditors for his role in the collapse of Houston-based Enron, once the nation’s seventh-largest company.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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