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Paul D. Cramm

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St. Louis Man Officially Cleared of Conviction in 1982 Murder

A St. Louis man who served 29 years of a 95-year prison sentence for a brutal 1982 slaying is officially a free man after a three-member state appeals court panel upheld a lower court’s decision that led to his release from prison last month. George Allen, 56, was convicted in 1983 of raping and killing 31-year-old Mary Bell in her St. Louis apartment. Prosecutors used a confession Allen gave to make their case, but Allen’s defense contended the confession by their client, who suffers from schizophrenia, was coerced. Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green issued a scathing, 75-page ruling last… Read More →

More Details Emerge in Jovan Belcher Murder/Suicide Case

Less than two months ago, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher sent a foreboding text message to a secret girlfriend, expressing turmoil and frustration with his longtime girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins. In the message, Belcher said he “would shoot” Perkins “if she didn’t leave him alone,” according to police reports obtained by The Star. At the time, the secret girlfriend thought Belcher was joking. But on Dec. 1, Belcher emptied his .40-caliber handgun into Perkins, 22, killing her after they argued in the home they shared in the 5400 block of Crysler Avenue. He then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and killed himself with… Read More →

Convictions tossed, Missouri inmate gains freedom

By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER The Associated Press An inmate imprisoned nearly three decades for a rape and murder conviction walked free Wednesday after a judge ruled that St. Louis police hid or destroyed evidence while misleading the mentally ill man into a false confession. Wearing loose, donated clothes and appearing frail, George Allen Jr., 56, grinned as he hugged friends, family and supporters after a brief hearing before Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green. “I have spent 30 years in prison as an innocent man, but I never gave up hope,” Allen said, reading from a prepared statement. “I knew… Read More →

Drug Company Blocks Orders of Drug for Lethal Injection

Another manufacturer blocks drug for execution use, clouding Missouri’s plans By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER The Associated Press COLUMBIA — A manufacturer of the anesthetic blamed for Michael Jackson’s overdose death says it won’t allow the drug to be sold for use in executions. Drugmaker Fresenius Kabi USA is one of two domestic suppliers of propofol, which has been singled out as a lethal injection alternative amid a drug shortage that has forced several states to revise their execution protocols. Missouri this year said it would become the first state to use propofol as an execution drug. Fresenius Kabi confirmed to… Read More →

Chillicothe Murder Conviction on Appeal for the 3rd time

Inmate pleads his case again in 1990 Chillicothe killing Missouri high court hears what could be final appeal in 1990 Chillicothe killing. By TONY RIZZO The Kansas City Star In a case defying final resolution for more than two decades, the Missouri Supreme Court on Thursday heard what could be a convicted killer’s last chance at freedom. It’s a case that has seen an adolescent mature into middle age behind bars while his family — and the loved ones of the woman he’s twice been convicted of killing — witness a grueling legal state of limbo. Long jailed for the… Read More →

Kansas Considers Legalization of Medical Marijuana

By JAMES A. FUSSELL The Kansas City Star Every two weeks Greg T. of Independence drives downtown to the city’s underbelly to buy an eighth of an ounce of pot. He’s smoked marijuana for 37 years. He says it’s the only thing that eases the agony of his Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks his intestinal tract. A devout Christian and former Boy Scout, the 54-year-old father of two loves his country. But for decades, he said, that country has forced him to become a criminal to survive. Greg, who asked that his last name not be used because… Read More →

LSU police make arrest in bomb threat

LSU officials say they’d made an arrest after a phone-in bomb threat led to the evacuation of thousands of people from the campus on Monday. LSU Police Capt. Corey Lalonde said university police arrested a male early Wednesday. He said the suspect is not an LSU student and is not affiliated with the university. Police have not released the suspect’s name, age or other details. Authorities said he will be charged with communicating false information of a planned bombing. The university received a bomb-threat call on Monday morning, setting into motion the evacuation of thousands of workers and students. A… Read More →

Jury focuses on alleged plot in Ohio Amish trial

Jurors deciding whether a breakaway Amish group in Ohio committed hate crimes in beard- and hair-cutting attacks are zeroing in on the conspiracy charge. The federal jury in Cleveland federal began a fourth day of deliberations Wednesday in the trial of 16 Amish. Jurors promptly asked the judge if a conspiracy could involve just some of the defendants. Judge Dan Aaron Polster told the jury that a conspiracy wouldn’t necessarily need to involve all nine victims or all 16 defendants. The government calls the attacks hate crimes based on religious difference. The defense says it was an internal church dispute… Read More →

$1M bail for LA-area man over death threat posts

A former Yale University student remained jailed on $1 million bail, an amount normally reserved for murder or other crimes that could result in life sentences, after authorities say he made online death threats to children. Eric Yee, a 21-year-old who recently withdrew from the Ivy League university, posted on ESPN’s website that he was watching children and wouldn’t mind killing them, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said Tuesday. Yee was taken into custody Monday at his parents’ home, which is on a street that overlooks two schools in Santa Clarita, Calif. Several guns were found there. Sheriff’s Lt. Steve… Read More →

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