Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cosmetic Class Action Settlement

Did you buy any cosmetics during the period of May 29, 1994 through July 16, 2003? If you did, you may be eligible to receive free products. As part of a class action settlement, $175 million worth of free cosmetics products will be distributed to people who are eligible (check website for eligibility). It should begin sometime in January 2009 but it will only be while supplies last, on a first come, first served basis, and no rain checks will be issued. Go to the following website Cosmetic Settlement for the details.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Former Ill. Police Sergeant Found Guilty of 4 Rapes

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- A jury found a former Bloomington police sergeant guilty Wednesday of brutally raping four women and stalking a fifth after a trial in which he was described as both driven by pornography-fueled fantasies and a man arrested on flimsy evidence.
Jurors deliberated over parts of three days in Bloomington before convicting Jeff Pelo on 35 counts, including 25 of aggravated sexual assault.
The six men and six women reached their decision despite a lack of DNA or similar forensic evidence linking Pelo directly to the rapes, said prosecutor Mark Messman, who added he was pleased for the victims.
"There was no smoking gun; (but) there were several very strong pieces of evidence," he said.
Messman said he would expect jurors had varying reasons for finding Pelo guilty.
"I wouldn't be surprised if you polled the jurors...if you got 12 different responses, or three or four different responses," he said.
Defense attorney Michael Rosenblat said he likely would appeal. He plans to file motions arguing Circuit Judge Robert Freitag shouldn't have let jurors view pornographic images found on Pelo's home computer, and should have let Rosenblat call an expert witness to testify about the reliability of eyewitness identification of suspects.
"I believed before opening statements and I believe today that Jeff is not guilty," Rosenblat said.
Pelo, 43, pleaded not guilty to all 37 counts originally facing him; two charges were dropped during trial.
He has been jailed since his June 2006 arrest, unable to afford the $100,000 he'd have to pay to make his $1 million bail.
Pelo was charged in the rapes of four women between 2002 and 2005 and the stalking of a fifth woman.
The case was long delayed, in part by Pelo's attorneys. His first withdrew from the trial because of health problems, and the two who took his place withdrew after several months because Pelo couldn't afford them.
At trial, prosecutor Mark Messman portrayed Pelo as a man driven on the one hand to rape by violent, pornography-fueled fantasies, and on the other by a desire to be his victims' boyfriend. At least one of the women described her attacker as gentle and polite.
Investigators found numerous images of violent pornography - some depicting forced sex at gunpoint - on Pelo's home computer.
"He has some fantasy, as messed up as it sounds, that they're going to like him," Messman told jurors during his closing arguments.
Rosenblat countered that whatever taste Pelo might have for pornography was irrelevant.
The defense attorney seized on discrepancies offered by the victims, particularly one woman's description of an attacker as young as his early 20s.
"The descriptions of these attacks vary widely," the attorney told jurors. "They differ because different people committed these attacks."
Pelo is scheduled to be sentenced August 12.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Police in NC may have been warned before killing

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina authorities say they are are investigating whether police were warned that a woman with five dead spouses was trying to hire a hit man to kill one of her husbands.
Authorities reopened the cold case last year, and last month, charged 76-year-old Betty Neumar with one count of solicitation of murder in the July 1986 death of Al Gentry.
Detectives say Neumar tried to hire several people to kill Gentry. Lead detective Scott Williams says that police are looking into the possibility that one of those would-be hit men went to police before Gentry's death, but no one took him seriously.
Neumar has been married five times since the 1950s, but each union ended with the death of her husband. Investigators are urging police elsewhere to look into those deaths.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mow your lawn... or risk jail time in Canton, Ohio

Homeowners, in Canton, Ohio who don't mow their grass in the northeast Ohio city of Canton now face stiffer penalties - including possible jail time.
The city council unanimously passed a law Monday that makes a second high-grass violation a fourth-degree misdemeanor carrying a fine of up to $250 and as many as 30 days in jail.
The previous law only made the first violation a minor misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $150 but no jail time. The new law is to take effect in 30 days.
"This is the type of action we need to take in order to clean up our neighborhoods and our city," Mayor William J. Healy II said.
The laws are an effort to reduce the roughly $250,000 the city spends to cut about 2,000 private lots each year and to address public complaints, Councilman Greg Hawk has said


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