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Today's Date: U.S. Attorney News Feed
Telemarketing Firm Official Pleads Guilty
Court Feed News | 2006/11/18 03:15

WASHINGTON (USDOJ) – Shaun Hansen, former co-owner of Idaho-based telemarketing firm Mylo Enterprises, pleaded guilty today in federal court in New Hampshire for his involvement in a scheme to jam several New Hampshire telephone lines by placing nearly 1000 hang-up calls on Election Day, 2002, the Department of Justice announced today.

Hansen, 34, was charged in a two-count indictment on March 8, 2006. He pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiring to commit interstate telephone harassment and one count of making repeated and continuous interstate phone calls with intent to harass. Chief Judge Steven J. McAuliffe set sentencing for February 20, 2007 at 10:30 a.m. Hansen will face a maximum of seven years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

Hansen admitted that he was contacted by others involved in the scheme and asked to assist in making harassing phone calls to five telephone numbers associated with the New Hampshire Democratic Party and one number associated with the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association on Election Day, November 5, 2002. Hansen agreed that, in return for $2,500, employees of Mylo Enterprises would place repeated hang-up calls to those numbers on that day. At Hansen’s direction, employees of Mylo Enterprises in Idaho placed several hundred hang-up calls to those New Hampshire telephone numbers on that morning before the scheme was discontinued.

Hansen was the fourth individual charged in the Department’s investigation. Allen Raymond, former president of a Virginia communications consulting company, and Charles McGee, former Executive Director of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit telephone harassment. McGee was sentenced to seven months in prison and Raymond was sentenced to three months. James Tobin, former New England Regional Chairman of the Republican National Committee, was convicted after a December 2005 jury trial on for conspiring to commit, and aiding and abetting the commission of, interstate telephone harassment. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

The prosecutions have been led by Andrew Levchuk, Senior Counsel, and Lily Chinn, Trial Attorney, with the Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section, and by Nicholas Marsh, Trial Attorney with the Public Integrity Section. The investigation was conducted by Bedford Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Hampshire State Attorney General’s Office.

Robin Sheen
Staff Reporter



US Soldier Pleads Guilty to Rape and Murder in Iraq
Court Feed News | 2006/11/15 18:45

Spc. James P. Barker, one of four soldiers accused of raping an Iraqi girl last spring and killing her and her family pleaded guilty Wednesday. Spc. Barker agreed to the plea to avoid the death penalty and will testify against the other three soldiers.

In a series of alleged attacks on civilians, the murders in the village of Mahmoudiya, which is about 20 miles south of Baghdad, were among the worst of abuses by the military in Iraq.


Of the other three soldiers implicated, the alleged leader
former Army private Steve Green, 21, pleaded not guilty last week to charges including murder and sexual assault. Green was discharged from the army before the allegations were known and it is still unclear if the prosecutors will pursue the death penalty for Green as he was discharged for a “personality disorder.”  The two remaining soldiers implicated still face the death penalty if convicted.


The details of the alleged murders and rape accuse the four of raping the girl and burning her body, and killing the girl’s family (her parents and a 6 year old sister) at a nearby checkpoint.

Breaking Legal News.com
Robin Sheen
Staff Writer



Supreme Court - US Citizen Facing Iraqi Death Penalty
Court Feed News | 2006/11/14 20:05

US Citizen, Mohammad Munaf was denied in his request for a temporary injunction to postpone his transfer to Iraqi custody where he is facing the death penalty for his participation in the 2005 kidnapping and detention of three Romanian journalists for 55 days. Munaf argued that as a US Citizen, the Iraqi trial violated his rights to due process and protection. As an American  Munaf argued that he was never confronted with the evidence brought against him and was prevented from presenting his own evidence. However, the US Supreme Court denied his application for a injunction because Munaf was "in the the custody of a multinational entity and not the United States."

Munaf does not face an immediate transfer as the Court's decision is still pending reconsideration. In October the US District Court for the District of Columbia denied an emergency motion declaration to prevent the US military from surrendering Munaf to Iraqi officials to face the death penalty, saying the court lacked jurisdiction to hear Munaf's appeal. Munaf has been in the custody of the Mulit-National Force- Iraq since last year.


Breaking Legal News.com
Brandon Smith
Staff Writer



Malawi Judge to Rule On Madonna's Maternal Fitness
Court Feed News | 2006/11/13 23:03

The Malawi Human Rights Commission is seeking permission from Malawi's High Court to be a party to the assessment of Madonna's parental fitness in her attempt to adopt David Banda, a Malawi toddler, given up for adoption by his still living father. Says Justin Dzonzi, attorney and chairman of the coalition known as the Human Rights Consultative Committee, told journalists after a 1 1/2-hour closed hearing Monday, "Basically what we are asking the court is that we want to be joined as a party to the assessment because we have a lot of legal issues we want to raise." Dzonzi's committee has petitioned the court to make sure no Malawian laws were broken and to allow the committee to help assess Madonna's maternal fitness.

Though the coalition and child advocacy group claims that it is not their intention to stop the adoption, only to ensure that Malawi law is respected and upheld, it has been noted by Donzi that Malawi's current adoption laws are archaic and irregular, routinely allowing foreigners to adopt. "Over 1,000 Malawian children are being adopted illegally every year and yet the laws says international adoption are not permissible," said Dzonzi. "There is no system to monitor how these adopted children are being treated, wherever they are."

Madonna's Malawian lawyer Alan Chinula told journalists as far as Madonna was concerned, all Malawian adoption laws were followed. "If the laws are archaic it's not the Ritchie's fault," Chinula said. Madonna has said she met all the country's requirements. Chinula said apart from complying with Malawian laws, the Ritchie's were complying with adoption laws in Britain.

A High Court judge granted Madonna and her British filmmaker husband, Guy Ritchie, interim custody of David on Oct. 12, pending a decision on permanent adoption after an 18-to-24 months assessment period. Though Malawi regulations stipulate that the assessment period be spent in Malawi, Madonna was allowed to take the boy to her London home.

"We want to use the Madonna case to make sure that the rights of children in Malawi are effectively protected," said Dzonzi.

Said Penstone Kilembe, director of child welfare development, "We will work with child welfare officers in the county where the Ritchies are staying,"

David Banda's father, has said the human rights group's lawsuit threatens his son's future, but child advocacy groups have said the lack of clarity in Malawi when it comes to foreign adoptions could be exploited by child traffickers or pedophiles. Banda placed his son in the orphanage a month after his 28 year old wife died from complications during child birth. Yohane Banda expressed his concern, "As David's father I consented. I see no reason why I should change my mind now," said the 32-year-old farmer. He appealed to the advocacy group to "to back off and leave my son alone."

The singer discovered David at the orphanage after visiting to promote Raising Malawi - a charity she set up to assist orphans in the southern African country where largely due to AIDS, an estimated 2 million children have lost one or both parents and hundreds are adopted by foreigners every year.

Malawi's Department of Gender and Child Welfare Development said a team of Malawian child welfare officers would fly to London to make the first assessment in May 2007 and one more assessment will be done by December 2007 before a report is filed on the suitability of the Ritchies as adoptive parents. The couple has two other children, Lourdes, 10, and Rocco, six.

Malawi's High Court said Monday it will rule in one week's time whether a coalition of Malawian human rights and child advocacy groups should help decide whether pop star Madonna is fit to adopt a motherless Malawian toddler.

Justice Andrew Nyirenda adjourned the case after hearing arguments from the 67-member coalition that includes the state-run Malawi Human Rights Commission. His ruling was likely to have far-reaching consequences.

The judge said he would rule Nov. 20 on whether to admit the coalition as a party in the adoption proceedings.

Breaking Legal News.com
Sheryl Jones
Staff Writer



CA - Death Penalty Jury Instructions Upheld
Court Feed News | 2006/11/13 17:52

The US Supreme Court on Monday upheld California's "catch-all" jury instruction for death penalty cases, ruling that the instructions provide adequate opportunity for jurors to weigh evidence that favors the defendant. In a 5-4 decision in Ayers v. Belamontes, the Court reinstated Belamontes' conviction for first degree murder in the killing of a 19 year old woman during a burglary. Belamontes had appealed his death penalty sentence, arguing that the jury instructions did not require the jury to consider all mitigating factors, including his probable future conduct in prison. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated the sentence and California prosecutors appealed to have his sentence reinstated.



Sex Offender Ordered to Wear "Sex Offender" T-shirt
Court Feed News | 2006/11/06 17:50

Delaware Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden ordered a man who twice exposed himself to a 10-year-old girl at his workplace to wear a T-shirt with the words: "I am a registered sex offender" in bold letters, a prosecutor said.

Russell Teeter, 69, who pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent exposure, also was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Deputy Attorney General Donald Roberts said Teeter had at least 10 prior convictions dating back to 1976 for exposing himself to children and had been diagnosed as a compulsive exhibitionist. Roberts requested the unusual T-shirt punishment because he was concerned about Teeter exposing himself to children at the gardening business he runs with his wife. "This is a unique way to let his customers know that he is a sex offender," Roberts told Reuters.

Teeter, will have to wear the T-shirt at work for 22 months after he gets out of jail. He has 30 days to appeal the sentence. Teeter's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Breaking legal News.com
Robin Sheen
Staff Writer



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