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The U.S. has gathered intelligence that shows some Russian officials have become concerned that Russian forces in the ravaged port city of Mariupol are carrying out grievous abuses. That's according to a U.S official familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive findings. The Russian officials are concerned that the abuses will backfire and further inspire Mariupol residents to resist the Russian occupation. The U.S. official said Russian officials, who were not identified, also fear that troops' abuse will undercut Russia’s claim that they’ve liberated the Russian-speaking city. According to the intelligence finding, the abuses include beating and electrocuting city officials and robbing homes.

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Gov. Ned Lamont has given the go-ahead to increase state oversight of West Haven’s finances. He said Tuesday there has been an “obvious lack of fiscal controls” in the city, which has been under the microscope after a former state representative and others were accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of the community’s COVID-19 relief funds. The Democrat approved recommendations recently made by the state’s Municipality Accountability Review Board of MARB to upgrade the city from a Tier III to a Tier IV municipality. MARB will now have the power to approve budgets, contracts, labor agreements and other matters.

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A man charged with killing two South Carolina sisters 12 years ago but who disappeared out of the legal system after he was found incompetent to stand trial has been arrested in Colorado. An attorney for the sisters' family, Lori Murray, says 43-year-Joseph Brand was taken into custody Thursday. A South Carolina sheriff's statement confirmed the arrest, saying Brand was taken into custody in Pueblo, Colorado. Court records show Brand was found incompetent to stand trial on two murder charges in 2012 and sent off to a state hospital for treatment. If his mental condition improved, he was supposed to return to jail and await trial. Instead, Brand showed up free in Kingstree months ago.

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A teenage cousin of Amir Locke has pleaded guilty to a murder that prompted police to conduct the no-knock warrant that led to Locke's killing in February. Mekhi Camden Speed, who is now 18, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder while committing a felony — namely aggravated robbery. A count of intentional second-degree murder will be dismissed. During the court hearing over Zoom, Speed, who was 17 at the time, said he doesn't remember pulling the trigger as he and others were trying to rob Otis Elder of drugs. But he admitted he aided and abetted the crime. He will be transferred to the Department of Corrections while he awaits sentencing, which is set for July.

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When police were called to deal with a teenager in the throes of a mental health crisis, everything went wrong. Cedric “C.J.” Lofton had had a troubled life, and his final hours were horrendous — he was dragged from the porch of his foster home, taken to a juvenile facility instead of a mental hospital, and shackled face down until he lost consciousness. No one has been charged in C.J.'s death; the prosecutor in the case raised questions about nearly everyone involved in C.J.’s care, from the juvenile workers to the foster care system, and said this death never should have happened.

Police say the manager of a casino at a central Las Vegas strip mall was killed Wednesday evening when run over by a man who was fleeing after snatching a purse from a patron. Lt. Ray Spencer said the manager confronted the purse-snatcher after he went outside and that the manager retreated and went behind the man's vehicle when he pulled a gun. Spencer said the robber then put the vehicle in reverse, ran over the manager and drove off. No immediate arrest was made and Spencer said police were trying to identify the robber. The casino manager's identity was not released. 

Police say the manager of a casino at a central Las Vegas strip mall was killed Wednesday evening when run over by a man who was fleeing after snatching a purse from a patron. Lt. Ray Spencer said the manager confronted the purse-snatcher after he went outside and that the manager retreated and went behind the man's vehicle when he pulled a gun. Spencer said the robber then put the vehicle in reverse, ran over the manager and drove off. No immediate arrest was made and Spencer said police were trying to identify the robber. The casino manager's identity was not released. 

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An adviser to the Mariupol mayor says Russian forces have blocked all evacuation routes out of the city. The adviser, Petro Andriushchenko, said Wednesday that there were few apartment buildings fit to live in after the weeks of bombardment and very little food or drinking water. He says some residents who have remained in the city are cooperating with the Russian occupying forces in exchange for food. Meanwhile, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says Ukraine has offered to release Russian prisoners of war if Russia will allow the badly injured fighters to be evacuated from the Mariupol steel plant. Russian forces have surrounded the plant, the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in the southern port city.

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The rapper Casanova has pleaded guilty to charges in a gang-related federal racketeering case that accused him of drug dealing and robbery. The performer, whose legal name is Caswell Senior, was charged in a 2020 indictment against more than a dozen other members of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation gang. Federal prosecutors in New York City said Wednesday that the 35-year-old Senior admitted to participating in offenses including a robbery in New York City and to conspiring to traffic marijuana. His lawyer credited him for taking responsibility for the crimes.

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A Richmond man has pleaded guilty to bank robbery charges in a case that tested the constitutionality of broad search warrants that use Google location history to find people who were near crime scenes. Okello Chatrie pleaded guilty Monday to armed robbery and use of a firearm in the 2019 robbery. Chatrie’s lawyers argued the use of a “geofence warrant” to identify people near the robbery scene violated their constitutional protection against unreasonable searches. A judge ruled the warrant violated the Constitution by gathering the location history of people without having any evidence they had anything to do with the robbery. But the judge did not suppress evidence seized from the warrant, finding that the detective who applied for it acted in good faith.

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The family of two sisters killed in their tiny South Carolina town in 2010 wants to know why the man who confessed to their slayings has suddenly shown back up in the community. Court records show 43-year-old Joseph Brand was found incompetent to stand trial on two murder charges in 2012 and sent off to a state hospital to get treatment. If his mental condition improved, he was supposed to return to jail and await trial. Instead, Brand showed up free in Kingstree a few months ago. His charges are no longer listed in public records. 

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A woman who reportedly stole a police vehicle after the man she was with engaged in a shootout with Hobbs police in February has been arrested. Police looking for 28-year-old  Janessa Perez went to a Hobbs home Friday afternoon and saw her peeking out the back door. Officers surrounded the house and she surrendered. Officers have been looking for Perez since Feb. 23. That's when a man in a vehicle police thought was stranded ran away and exchanged gunfire with officers. The man was killed and an officer was wounded. Perez escaped in a police vehicle, crashed it and had been on the run ever since.

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A man who pleaded guilty to a series of Southern California robberies and attacks that killed five men and injured seven others has been given multiple life sentences. Ramon Escobar also was sentenced Friday in Los Angeles for killing his aunt and uncle in Texas just a week before he fled to California. Prosecutors say over the course of about two weeks in September 2018, Escobar bludgeoned sleeping men on the beach in Santa Monica or the streets of Los Angeles, mostly because they irritated him or to steal their money. All but one victim was homeless. 

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Authorities say a retired sheriff’s deputy posed as a guest at two Phoenix-area weddings to steal boxes of cards containing thousands of dollars, and is under investigation in a series of similar crimes. Chandler police say 54-year-old Landon Earl Rankin was arrested Wednesday in two thefts at private venues in April. Police say the two stolen boxes of wedding cards each contained between $3,000 and $6,000. The Pinal County Sheriff's office says Rankin retired as a deputy in 2015. Court records didn’t list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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A New York City judge’s son who stormed the U.S. Capitol wearing a furry “caveman” costume has been sentenced to eight months in prison. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg also sentenced 35-year-old Aaron Mostofsky to one year of supervised release and ordered him to perform 200 hours of community service. Mostofsky was dressed in a furry costume during the riot on Jan. 6, 2021. He told a friend that the costume expressed his belief that “even a caveman” would know that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. Prosecutors say Mostofsky was among the first to breach the Capitol building after pushing against a police barrier that officers were trying to move.

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An Air Force staff sergeant facing allegations of making violent, antigovernment statements online before stealing ammunition from Fairchild Air Force Base has pleaded not guilty to additional crimes in federal court in Spokane. John I. Sanger is one of six servicemembers named in an indictment handed down this week by a federal grand jury. They are charged with crimes including theft of government property, possession of stolen ammunition and possession of an unregistered firearm. The Spokesman-Review reported the other defendants are Staff Sgt. Eric Eagleton, Shawn Robson, Nathan Richards, Jonah Pierce and Austin Limacher. Attorneys for the defendants either declined comment or did not return requests for comment.

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A Chicago man who was pardoned after spending more than seven years in prison for an armed robbery he didn’t commit has reached a $7.5 million settlement with a northern Indiana city and former police officers. Keith Cooper’s attorney said Wednesday that it's the largest wrongful conviction settlement in Indiana history. An Elkhart city spokeswoman says the city hopes it “brings to a conclusion the obvious injustice that has been rendered to Mr. Cooper.” Cooper was pardoned in February 2017 by Gov. Eric Holcomb, who said he believed Cooper had been wrongly convicted in a 1996 armed robbery in Elkhart during which a teenager was shot. A judge later expunged Cooper's conviction.

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North Carolina’s intermediate appeals court have ordered new trials for two men convicted separately of first-degree murder. One Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday that Tevin Demetrius Vann was entitled to a new trial involving the 2016 death of Ashley McLean in Wilmington. The court says the trial judge erred when he declined to provide deliberating jurors the chance to review trial testimony, particularly of the defendant. Another panel ordered a new trial for Travis Davenport. He was convicted in the 2016 death of Mike Griffin in Martin County. At issue was admitted evidence about Davenport’s prior incarceration, gang involvement and tattoos.

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Authorities are searching for an “extremely dangerous” murder suspect who escaped from an Alabama jail and the official they now believe may have helped him to escape. Thirty-eight-year-old inmate Casey Cole White was scheduled for trial next month on a capital murder charge. Vicky White, the assistant director of corrections at the Lauderdale County jail, told co-workers she was taking the inmate to the courthouse for a mental health evaluation. But authorities later determined that no such evaluation was scheduled. The Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said Monday that they had issued an arrest warrant for Vicky White on charges of permitting or allowing an escape. 

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A federal jury in Alaska has convicted a prison Nazi gang leader who goes by the name of Filthy Fuhrer and four others in the grisly death of a member they claimed stole from them. Michael Staton was killed near Wasilla in 2017 after members of the 1488 gang removed his gang tattoo from his rib cage with a hot knife after he was beaten and tortured. He was then taken into the woods where he was shot in the head and his body burned. Fuhrer and the others were convicted of racketeering, murder, kidnapping and assault charges. Sentencing is scheduled for October.

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Legislation is heading to Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk that attempts to make it more challenging to steal and sell catalytic converters in Connecticut. In general, the bill that unanimously cleared the House of Representatives on Monday prohibits motor vehicle recyclers from accepting a catalytic converter unless it’s attached to a vehicle. They’re also prevented from selling or transferring the converter unless a stock number is added it and they’re required to create a written record of the converters they sell or transfer. Lawmakers say they're hearing reports in their districts about stolen converters. They contain precious metals.

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A former Weather Underground radical who served more than two decades behind bars for her role in a fatal 1981 armored truck robbery has died at age 78. Kathy Boudin died of cancer Sunday surrounded by family. She had lived in New York City since her release from prison in 2003. Boudin had expressed remorse for the infamous Brink's robbery, in which a guard and two police officers were killed north of New York City. Boudin kept a low profile after her release and continued to work on behalf of inmates and former inmates. Her death was confirmed by Chesa Boudin, her son and San Francisco's district attorney.

Authorities say three men have been arrested for allegedly stealing more than 10,000 gallons of fuel from Las Vegas gas stations. According to court records, Raidel Amador Blanco, Luis Gomez Medero and Javier Ramos Gomez each are facing charges of theft and conspiracy. Las Vegas Metro Police say the three men allegedly altered their trucks and the sensors at a gas pump to steal about 9,900 gallons of diesel fuel from a Chevron station on April 7. An employee called police to report that the station was short about 1,500 gallons of fuel in the past 24 hours and also found security footage that showed two trucks parked at the pump for hours. Authorities say the losses totaled more than $8,000.

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Two men have pleaded guilty for their roles in an organized retail theft ring that stole about $1 million from stores across California. Authorities said Friday that the group stole high-end jewelry from multiple JCPenney and Sam’s Clubs stores in nine counties. The thieves broke in at night, unlike the prominent smash-and-grab robberies in California and elsewhere last year. The prosecutions come as critics including state lawmakers say the state should do more to combat retail theft. But a state Assembly committee this week defeated a bill supported by retailers that would have toughened a 2014 ballot measure that lowered penalties for thefts, among other crimes.

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A Michigan police officer who shot Patrick Lyoya in the back of the head had no complaints of excessive force against him, according to his personnel file. The file contains much praise for traffic stops that turned up drugs, guns and people wanted for crimes. Christopher Schurr's file was released to The Associated Press by the Grand Rapids police department. It’s possible that complaints against Schurr are no longer in his file. The police union's contract allows expungement of certain records if conditions are met. Schurr is being investigated for killing Lyoya, a Black man, on April 4 after a traffic stop and intense physical struggle. 

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