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Court rulings favorable to the state and the outcome of two executions in three months indicate Ohio could be on track to resume putting inmates to death regularly.

The state executed child killer Ronald Phillips in July and double killer Gary Otte on Wednesday in the state death chamber at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

Witnesses said Phillips did not appear to be distressed. Otte’s chest rose and fell several times over two minutes in a fashion similar to some executions, though the movement appeared to go on longer than in the past.

Otte’s lawyers believe he suffered a phenomenon known as air hunger and plan to continue their challenge of Ohio’s use of a sedative called midazolam.

“My concerns were that he was obstructing, he was suffering air hunger, trying desperately to get air, and there were tears running down his face, which indicated to me that he was feeling pain or sensations,” federal public defender Carol Wright said after Wednesday’s execution.

Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said the procedure “was carried out in compliance with the execution policy and without complication.”

The next and last execution scheduled this year is Nov. 15, when the state plans to put Alva Campbell to death. A jury found Campbell, 69, guilty of killing 18-year-old Charles Dials 20 years ago after Campbell, who was in a wheelchair while feigning paralysis, escaped from a court hearing.

Ohio is scheduled to execute four people next year, including Cleveland R. Jackson, of Lima, and six in 2019. Nine men were executed in 2010, the most since Ohio resumed putting inmates to death in 1999.



Court records show the FBI searched the Capitol office of a former Oklahoma senator in March because a campaign aide allegedly saw child pornography on his computer.

Republican Sen. Ralph Shortey resigned in March after being arrested when police in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore found him in a motel room with a 17-year-old boy he had allegedly hired for sex.

The Oklahoman reports that the FBI seized a CD-ROM and an SD card from Shortey's office the day after his resignation. The newly released court records show that someone contacted Moore police about the alleged pornography after seeing news about Shortey's arrest.

Shortey faces three child pornography counts and one child sex trafficking count. He's pleaded not guilty.



Former England captain Wayne Rooney pleaded guilty to drunk driving on Monday, leading to a court imposing a two-year driving ban and ordering him to perform 100 hours of unpaid community work.

The Everton striker was stopped by police outside Manchester on Sept. 1 while driving someone else's car.

Rooney was three times above the legal limit for driving with alcohol in the body, the hearing at Stockport Magistrates' Court was informed as the 31-year-old player entered his guilty plea.

"Following today's court hearing I want publicly to apologize for my unforgivable lack of judgment in driving while over the legal limit. It was completely wrong," Rooney said in a statement.

"I have already said sorry to my family, my manager and chairman and everyone at Everton FC. Now I want to apologize to all the fans and everyone else who has followed and supported me throughout my career."

A breathalyzer test showed Rooney's alcohol level was 104 micrograms in 100 milliliters of breath. The driving limit in England and Wales is 35 micrograms per 100 milliliters of breath.

Rooney's legal team asked District Judge John Temperley to consider not imposing a community work order because of his ongoing charitable work. However Temperley said he was "not convinced" that imposing a large fine "would have the same effect". Rooney was also told to pay 85 pounds ($115) of prosecution costs and a victim surcharge for the same amount.


A German court has fined three bank customers for failing to help an elderly man who collapsed in a bank branch and later died.

The Essen district court handed the defendants, a woman and two men, fines ranging from 2,400 to 3,600 euros ($2,865 to $4,300).

Police said surveillance camera footage showed four people walking past or over him as he lay on the floor. The fourth person faces separate proceedings.

The 83-year-old man collapsed as he used a banking terminal on a public holiday last October.

Only after about 20 minutes did another customer call emergency services. The man was taken to a hospital but died a few days later.

News agency dpa reported that the defendants testified Monday they had thought he was a sleeping homeless man.


Wyoming generally favors low taxes and coal-fired electricity but one of its largest utilities will need to pay sales tax on pollution-control chemicals at four power plants in the state, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The justices sided with the state Board of Equalization — the panel that oversees state tax disputes — and against Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp.

The case with ties to a previous high court ruling on chemicals used in newspaper printing will likely apply to other power plants in Wyoming but not boost electricity rates for PacifiCorp customers.

"There is no impact to generation costs. The company has been paying the sales tax on these items, so the ruling means simply no change," said PacifiCorp spokesman David Eskelsen.

Board of Equalization officials didn't return messages Thursday seeking comment.

PacifiCorp uses chemicals to remove sulfur dioxide from flue gas at four coal-fired power plants in Wyoming. Wyoming exempts sales tax on ingredients used in manufacturing products.

PacifiCorp claimed the utility shouldn't have to pay sales tax on the chemicals or others used to purify water in the plants' boiler system because it manufactures electricity.

Attorneys for PacifiCorp pointed to a 1980 Wyoming Supreme Court ruling that chemicals used in newspaper printing besides ink were tax-exempt.

The justices on Thursday agreed the utility manufactures electricity — and disagreed with the Board of Equalization on that point. But they pointed out that the Legislature has changed the sales-tax law since 1980.

Under current law, the chemicals used in power plants can't be construed as tax-exempt ingredients used to make electricity, the justices ruled.


Court documents show a Wisconsin chocolate maker and the candy giant Mars Inc. have resolved a trademark dispute.

Mars sued Syovata Edari in federal court in Virginia claiming her Madison chocolate company, CocoVaa Chocolatier, infringed on Mars' CocoaVia brand of nutritional supplements. The case was thrown out by a judge in June because Edari doesn't sell any products in Virginia.

Edari sued Mars in federal court in July after learning that Mars was poised to sue again, this time in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that a one-sentence court filing Wednesday said the two sides had resolved their differences.

Edari says her company will continue to operate under the CocoVaa name. But, neither party wanted to talk about details of the settlement.



The Arizona Supreme Court is letting stand a lower court's ruling that the state's medical marijuana law is constitutional in requiring counties to approve reasonable zoning regulations.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery had appealed a Court of Appeals ruling last December that rejected his argument that the state medical marijuana law is pre-empted by the federal Controlled Substances Act.

That federal law still makes marijuana illegal. The case in the appeal decided by the appeals court started with a legal dispute over whether Maricopa County officials had to approve zoning for a medical marijuana dispensary in Sun City.

Montgomery argued that allowing Arizona's medical marijuana program to stand despite the federal law undermines federalism and the "fundamental principle of the rule of law."


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