- The Washington Times - Friday, October 16, 2009

CALIFORNIA

Eight arrested in illegals case

LOS ANGELES | Eight people have been arrested in Southern California for allegedly smuggling hundreds of illegal immigrants into the United States.

Federal agents served arrest warrants Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in Los Angeles and in Imperial County. They arrested seven Californians and a Mexican national named in a federal grand jury indictment. A ninth person is being sought.

Authorities contend the suspects charged up to $4,500 to smuggle people from Mexico into the U.S. in trucks and hidden vehicle compartments.

The ring, believed to have ties to a Los Angeles-area street gang, allegedly smuggled more than 200 people a year. It’s also suspected of methamphetamine trafficking.

Some of those arrested could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

CONNECTICUT

Letterman blackmail warrants released

NORWALK | A Connecticut judge said information in search warrants should be released in the case of a newsman accused of trying to blackmail David Letterman.

Norwalk Superior Court Judge Bruce Hudock ruled Thursday that the documents can be released, but only after information is removed that identifies witnesses and what prosecutors call “victims by association.”

Authorities obtained the warrants to search the home and car of CBS News producer Robert J. Halderman. He has pleaded not guilty to trying to extort $2 million from the late-night TV host in return for keeping some of the comedian’s sexual affairs quiet.

Prosecutors said releasing the warrants could subject witnesses to media scrutiny and hurt the prosecution.

LOUISIANA

Interracial couple denied nuptial license

HAMMOND | A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children of the union.

Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, said it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

Mr. Bardwell told the Daily Star of Hammond that he was not a racist.

“I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house,” he said. “My main concern is for the children.”

Mr. Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He said he came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society.

NEW YORK

Lawmaker partially acquitted of attack

NEW YORK | State Sen. Hiram Monserrate has been acquitted of a felony charge of second-degree assault for slashing his girlfriend’s face in a jealous rage.

That means the Queens Democrat won’t automatically lose his Senate seat.

He was found guilty on a misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault for injuring Karla Giraldo while forcibly dragging her by the arm from the apartment. Senators could consider passing a resolution to either censure or expel him as a result of that conviction.

Mr. Monserrate claimed the incident was an accident, and so did Miss Giraldo.

NORTH CAROLINA

20 inmates serving life to be released

RALEIGH | State officials are scheduled to release 20 inmates who were sentenced under an old law that defines a life sentence as lasting 80 years.

The state’s appeals court and Supreme Court agreed with one convicted murderer who argued his life sentence was complete, with credit for good behavior.

The law was passed in 1974 and applies to inmates sentenced under it, but is no longer in effect.

Gov. Bev Perdue opposes releasing the violent offenders early and said she is talking with attorneys to determine whether there is a way to prevent them from going free.

State officials said the 20 inmates have been denied parole multiple times and seven of them were initially sentenced to death.

WASHINGTON

Assault charged in autism case

PROSSER | A 76-year-old man in Washington state faces a misdemeanor assault charge after he was accused of hitting an autistic boy in a library.

The case against Frank Teverbaugh, who appeared in Benton County District Court on Wednesday, was continued until December to give his lawyer more time.

The Tri-City Herald reports that Mr. Teverbaugh is accused of striking the 7-year-old boy who was having a “meltdown” in the Richmond library on Aug. 14. The boy was kicking and screaming as his mother and caretaker were trying to take him outside.

The mother said Mr. Teverbaugh backhanded her son, giving him a bloody nose, then hit him a second time on the back.

The retired coach said he did not hit the boy in the face, but only tried to swat the boy on the rear after the boy struck him first.

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