October 2011 Archives

Muffler cost 35 years, life

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A Maine man was sentenced Friday to 35 years in prison for murdering his wife.
49-year-old Michael Littlefield pleaded guilty to killing his wife, Debbie Littlefield, because she had nagged him about buying a muffler for his truck.
There was no history of domestic violence, WBAI Maine reports, but they did have some financial issues.
Apologizing during his sentencing, Littlefield said he has no recollection of shooting his wife, reported the Bangor Daily News.
"[It's] something we'll suffer for the rest of our lives," said Littlefield.
They had been married for 30 years.

Cook benched, simmering

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Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook is facing felony domestic assault charges for allegedly attacking and attempting to strangle his girlfriend last Saturday.
According to the Star Tribune, Cook became upset because she had spoken with an ex-boyfriend.
When police arrived, they found the woman sitting on the living room floor. She had a bloody nose, marks on her neck, and a hemorrhaging in one eye, USA Today reports Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman as saying.
Cook was released on $40,000 bail, but is suspended without pay from the Vikings until further notice.
He may also face punishment from the NFL, including fines and a probationary period, reports the Star Tribune.

Ferret death brings felony charges

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A Minneapolis man was arrested and is facing felony animal cruelty charges after allegedly drowning his girlfriend's pet ferret.
According to the Star Tribune, Thomas James hart, 23, had been at the bar with his girlfriend and another female friend, but returned home upset that the two were having a "girls' night." When the women returned home, the girlfriend discovered her ferret dead, its head wet but body dry.
City Pages reports that Hart told his girlfriend, "Yeah, I killed the ferret."
Hart is also alleged to have pulled a knife on the two women, who fled the apartment and called the police.
Police arrived to find Hart hiding under a piece of plywood and the ferrets body behind a dumpster, the Star Tribune reports.
According to Kare 11, Hart was released on Friday from Hennepin County jail.

Assange awaiting extradition judgment

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London's High Court will rule Wednesday whether Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will be extradited back to Sweden on allegations of sexual assault.
For Assange, who has been living under strict monitoring by the police for the last 11 months, Wednesday's verdict could make him a free man again.
Regardless of the verdict, The Guardian reports, either side will likely ask to appeal to the London Supreme Court.
According to Fox News, Assange claims he would not be tried fairly in Sweden--where he has not been formally charged with a crime--and that his return there could result in his extradition to America over Wikileaks' publishing of classified American documents.
Assange is being represented by human rights attorney Gareth Pierce, according to The Guardian.

Horn honking "free speech," Supreme Court says

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Even if it is annoying, honking your horn is free speech, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
"I've been in tears all morning," Helen Immelt told the Seattle Times. "I'm very, very thankful for the decision."
In 2006, Immelt was arrested after she honked her car horn for nearly 10 minutes at a neighbor she believed had complained to their homeowners' association about her keeping chickens, which is prohibited in the community.
Her honking also violated a Snohomish County noise ordinance, which, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, led to her conviction in district court and a sentence of 10 days in jail.
With lawyer John Tollefsen, she brought the case all the way to the Supreme Court, who ruled 6-3 in her favor that her right to free speech had been violated.
"Horn honking does constitute protected speech," the Seattle Times reported the Justices as writing, "regardless of whether it would constitute protected speech in Immelt's particular case.

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