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A Box Elder man faces a second trial in a fatal stabbing in Rapid City.

A Pennington County judge last month declared a mistrial in a murder case of Barry Allman after discovering that prosecutors failed to inform the defense in a timely manner that immunity had been granted to several key witnesses.

KOTA-TV reports Judge Matt Brown announced a new trial Friday. Brown called the errors made by the state in the case “grossly negligent, egregious and caused serious inconvenience, burden and cost to the county, the court, court staff, jurors and to Mr. Allman.”

Allman is accused of stabbing Lance Baumgarten in the chest at a Rapid City apartment in August 2020. Allman was arrested a day following the stabbing near Wanblee by Oglala Sioux tribal officers.

A former Waterloo man has been sentenced to 40 years in federal prison for selling heroin to a woman who died of an overdose.

Eric DeAngelo Griggs, 40, was sentenced for the death of a Cedar Falls woman in 2018, the Waterloo Cedar-Falls Courier reported.

In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Court Judge C.J .Williams said Griggs had to know that heroin and other opioids are potentially lethal.

Griggs was found guilty in April of of distribution of heroin resulting in death and use of a telephone and Facebook Messenger to facilitate heroin distribution. The judge also ordered him to pay $16,000 in restitution to the woman’s family.

The judge also found that Griggs obstructed justice by sending a threatening letter to a person he thought was cooperating with investigators, and prosecutors noted he had a several prior convictions for drugs, fraud and other offenses.

Authorities said Griggs sold heroin to the woman on Aug. 31, 2018. She was found dead the next day. An autopsy determined she died of heroin intoxication.

During the hearing, Griggs continued to maintain he is innocent.

A Louisiana man has pleaded guilty in an airline baggage scam that resulted in more than $300,000 in fraudulent claims, federal prosecutors said.

Pernell Anthony Jones, Jr., 31, of Kenner, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud, U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans said in a news release Tuesday. For each count, Jones faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan set sentencing for Feb. 24, 2022.

According to court documents, beginning in 2015, Jones flew on several airlines using false identities. When he arrived at the destination airport, Jones then falsely claimed that his baggage was lost and requested reimbursement to compensate him for his loss.

Through the scheme, Jones submitted more than 180 false claims for lost luggage, requesting over $550,000 in reimbursement, Evans’ office said. In total, the airlines paid over $300,000 in fraudulent claims, authorities said.

On April 7, 2018, Jones was arrested at Dallas Love Airport while trying to go through screening with 36 fake driver’s licenses and 47 credit cards under fictitious names, the news release said.

He was arrested again in March 2020 while trying to pick up a reimbursement check at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Law enforcement later searched his home and found 34 fraudulent driver’s licenses, 21 fake work ID cards and a number of fraudulent airline employee badges with his photograph, prosecutors said.

The Mississippi Court of Appeals has upheld the 2020 conviction of a former pastor on statutory rape and sexual battery involving two 14-year-old girls.

The Rev. Troy Anthony Piccaluga, 52, was convicted March 5, 2020, on the charges and sentenced by Circuit Judge Toni Walker Terrett to 50 years in prison.

Piccaluga appealed the verdict, claiming the trial judge erred by denying his motion to suppress a portion of his recorded interview with law enforcement, by allowing “repeated instances of improper prosecutorial comment,” by allowing the use of a transcript of a recorded telephone call and by permitting a lay witness to give improper opinion testimony.

The judges, in a ruling dated Tuesday, found no reversible error and affirmed the verdict, The Vicksburg Post reported.

“We appreciate the ruling of the court,” District Attorney Ricky Smith said. “We had two young victims who were victimized by Piccaluga and had to wait until today to make sure that the case was finally concluded. They can rest easy now that the case has been affirmed by the court.”

Piccaluga is serving his sentence at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian. His scheduled release date is in September 2069.

Piccaluga, then 48 and former pastor of the Eagle Lake and Redwood United Methodist churches, was arrested March 30, 2018, at his home by Warren County sheriff’s deputies after an investigation into a complaint about a girl between the ages of 14 and 16 having a sexual relationship with an older man. The second victim was discovered during the initial investigation and he was charged with two counts of statutory rape and one count of sexual battery.

At the trial, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on one of the rape counts.

A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal by four Oklahoma inmates to stay their executions scheduled over the next three months, including a planned lethal injection next week that has drawn international attention.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday denied the request to intervene by inmates Julius Jones, Wade Lay, Donald Grant and Gilbert Postelle.

Jen Moreno, an attorney for the four death row inmates, called the ruling “inexplicable.”

“We’re kind of in the process of figuring out what’s next,” Moreno told The Associated Press on Saturday. “Our team is spending this weekend looking over the ruling.”

The court ruled that a federal judge was not wrong in finding that the four were unlikely to succeed on the merits of their claims, including their argument that the use of the sedative midazolam during the execution would likely cause severe pain.

The court also turned aside a claim that requiring the four to select an alternative method of execution would violate their religious beliefs by effectively causing them to assist in their own suicide.

“Appellants are not paying for their religious beliefs with their lives; at most they are forfeiting a delay in execution of a sentence that ... is constitutional,” the court ruling stated.

The four also had argued that a 2011 change in state law violated a constitutional ban on ex post facto laws by changing from a lethal dose of a barbiturate combined with a paralyzing drug, to a broad definition of a deadly amount “of a drug or drugs.”

The ban on ex post facto laws, the court said, prohibits increasing the punishment for a crime after the crime was committed, and that it does not apply in the inmates’ cases.

A southern Indiana man who was sentenced to 65 years in prison last year for killing his wife and dismembering and hiding her body has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to review his sentence.

Judson K. Hoover’s petition to the state’s high court comes after the Indiana Court of Appeals in September upheld the New Albany man’s sentence in the killing of Rebecca Ruth Hoover, citing in part his history of domestic violence, the News and Tribune reported.

Hoover, 51, had pleaded guilty to murder in his 38-year-old wife’s death and was sentenced to the maximum possible sentence.

Rebecca Hoover’s body was found in August 2020 in a storage unit in Louisville, Kentucky.

In his petition filed this month with the state Supreme Court, Hoover’s attorneys argue in part that it was an outlier for the trial court to give him the maximum sentence, given his character before the killing.

“”...Judson’s character is truly revealed by his willingness to plead guilty the same day the murder charge was filed,” the petition read, in part. “This extraordinary act demonstrated that Judson was willing to sacrifice his own freedom for the benefit of his family.”

The high court has not yet filed a decision on whether it will hear Hoover’s case. According to online records from the Indiana Department of Correction, Hoover’s earliest expected prison release date is May 31, 2069.

Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Kanawha County can now access the court system without fear of being in the same room with their assailants.

The pilot program was launched Monday by West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Evan Jenkins.

“It will absolutely save lives,” said Julie Britton Haden, program director of the YWCA Charleston Resolve Family Abuse Program.

Previously, victims of domestic violence had to file petitions for domestic violence protective orders or petitions for personal safety orders in person at magistrate court. Sometimes, respondents try to prevent victims from entering court facilities or follow them to their cars or home after hearings.

Victims can still file initial petitions and attend follow-up hearings at the Kanawha County Judicial Building. But the pilot project gives them the option of going to the REACH (Rape Education, Advocacy, Counseling and Healing) site or to the YWCA Charleston Resolve Family Abuse Program.

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