April 25, 2013
Oregon Juror Jailed For
Texting During Trial
Salem, OR (AP) A judge in Oregon noticed an unexpected glow on a juror’s chest while the courtroom lights were dimmed during video evidence in an armed-robbery trial.
The juror, it seemed, was texting.
Marion County Circuit Judge Dennis Graves cleared the courtroom and excused all jurors except 26-year-old Benjamin Kohler.
According to a news release from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Kohler had no explanation for his actions.
Jurors in Oregon are given explicit instructions at the outset of each trial not to use cellphones in court.
Graves held Kohler in contempt, and Kohler spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday in the county jail. He was released Wednesday night.
Neither the nature of the text message nor its recipient was disclosed.
Kohler did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Thursday.
An alternate juror took his place. Sheriff’s spokesman Don Thomson said the trial ended Thursday with the defendant found guilty.
Fund Set Up To Repay
Maine Hermit's Victims
Augusta, ME (AP) The attorney for a Maine man who lived in the woods as a hermit for 27 years has established a fund to repay people who think they were victims of burglaries at their cottages by the recluse.
Christopher Knight, known as the North Pond Hermit, may have committed as many as 1,000 burglaries over the years for food, clothing, camping and cooking gear and other supplies that allowed him to live at a camp in the woods of the rural town of Rome, police have said.
Knight, who is 47, was arrested earlier this month while allegedly breaking into a camp for people with special needs to steal food. He is being held on $25,000 bail.
Knight’s lawyer, Walter McKee, told the Kennebec Journal the account will pay for “what will be the substantial restitution he will owe for what he took.”
“Chris very much wants to make things right,” McKee told the Augusta newspaper via email. People who want to contribute to the fund can send donations to McKee at his Augusta law firm.
Lillie Cogswell of Wimberley, Texas, whose camp on Little North Pond was burglarized, said that her family “the monetary issue is not an overriding issue” and that there should be consequences for Knight’s behavior.
District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said following Knight’s initial court appearance Tuesday that she expects he will be charged in connection with 15 to 20 burglaries that were reported to police in recent years.
Woman Meets Circus Tiger In Bathroom
Salina, KS (AP) A central Kansas woman likely won’t remember her first circus for the clowns or performances it’ll be the tiger in the bathroom.
The big cat had escaped briefly after its turn in the ring Saturday at the Isis Shrine Circus in Salina. Staff members blocked off the concourses at the Bicentennial Center as the tiger wandered into the bathroom, where one of the doors was blockaded.
About that time, Salina resident Jenna Krehbiel decided she needed to use the restroom. When she walked in the door that hadn’t been blocked off, she found a tiger standing about 2 feet away, The Salina Journal reported.
“You don’t expect to go in a bathroom door, have it shut behind you and see a tiger walking toward you,” Krehbiel said.
Chris Bird, manager at the Bicentennial Center, said the bathroom was only 25 feet long.
“Once she saw the tiger, I’m sure she knew to go the other way,” Bird said. “Overall, it was a scary, surreal moment. I am glad no one was hurt or injured.”
The tiger was captured within minutes and returned to its enclosure.
Krehbiel, a social worker, said she didn’t scream or run because she is trained to stay calm.
“Looking back, it was a scary ordeal,” she said. “At the time, I was thinking I just needed to get out.”
Krehbiel said her 3-year-old daughter had a different reaction.
“My daughter wanted to know if it had washed its hands,” Krehbiel said. “That was her only concern. I think that shows the thoughts of children and that they wouldn’t have known there was danger.”
Dead Animal ‘Revenge’ Is Common In This Community
Brookville, PA (AP) Police in one western Pennsylvania town are investigating a case of bar kill: a groundhog and a grouse, both dead, tossed into a tavern by unsatisfied customers.
The (Dubois) Courier-Express reports that the animals were tossed into Bill’s Bar hours apart Sunday in Brookville, about 70 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Brookville police Chief Ken Dworek tells The Associated Press that the suspects are an underage man who was refused service at the bar and another who was turned away because of “an alcohol problem.”
The chief says such use of animals is a fairly common problem in Brookville. He says, for example, “a guy will get in an argument and put a dead squirrel on his girlfriend’s doorknob, that kind of thing.”
Man Finds Love Love Years After It Was Lost In Divorce
Butte, MT (AP) A Great Falls man who lost his macaw in a divorce more than five years ago has been reunited with the bird, thanks to an observant friend.
Mike Taylor picked up the 25-year-old bird he calls “Love Love” at Montana’s Parrot & Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Butte on Sunday.
Taylor said his wife sold the bird after a nasty divorce. “I’ve been kind of looking for him the whole time,” he said.
A friend of Taylor’s, Steven Campbell, recently spotted the bird during a visit to the sanctuary.
It took some time for Campbell to convince Taylor. Then Taylor had to convince sanctuary founder Lori McAlexander. But she said he knew things about the bird that only a previous owner could have known, like it was blind in one eye, said “love love” and liked to play peek-a-boo.
The bird was surrendered to the sanctuary a couple of years ago after it bit a woman so hard she required medical attention, McAlexander said.
“I don’t even handle him because he will bite me,” she said.
Love Love appeared to recognize Taylor right away.
“Hangs upside down already, let me grab his beak, does his peeky-boo, likes to tuck his head,” said Taylor, who called the reunion “very heart touching.”
“He’s himself again already, he really is. I mean, he (didn’t) forget.”
Taylor also got the bird’s original cage back after searching on Craigslist. A woman who obtained the contents of his ex-wife’s storage unit agreed to give him the cage back at no charge.
“It’s kind of weird how he’s getting his bird and the cage,” McAlexander said.
Taylor said he initially got the bird at a Salt Lake City sanctuary after it was rescued from a woman who reportedly beat it with a broom. Macaws can live up to 50 years, according to the San Diego Zoo.