Archive for Thursday, February 27, 2003


February 27, 2003



Judge duct tapes defendant's mouth

A Texas judge in Lubbock ordered a defendant's mouth to be taped shut after the man kept interrupting his lawyer and the judge during an aggravated assault trial.

For about 20 minutes Tuesday, Carl Wiley, 36, ignored pleas from state District Judge Jim Bob Darnell and his own mother to keep quiet during a hearing outside the jury's presence.

Finally, Darnell ordered bailiffs to seal Wiley's mouth with duct tape.

"He was being very disruptive and he was trying to fire his second court-appointed attorney, and I informed him that when the attorney is appointed by the court, only the court can fire the attorney," Darnell said.

"Mr. Wiley continued to interrupt him," Darnell said, referring to attorney Steve Hamilton, "so the court duct-taped his mouth until the jury came in. Then I had him removed from the courtroom."

Wiley was convicted later Tuesday for ramming his vehicle into his estranged wife's car. She was not injured.


Dad in the doghouse as part of plea deal

A man accused of punishing his stepson by forcing him to sleep in a doghouse agreed to the same punishment in a plea deal.

Curtis Robin Sr. of Vidor agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a choice of punishments -- 30 days in jail or 30 nights inside a doghouse.

He was indicted by an Orange County grand jury in August 2001 on charges of injury to a child. He faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Orange County prosecutors said Robin allegedly whipped his 11-year-old stepson with a car antenna and made him sleep in a doghouse for several days and possibly weeks. He also forced the boy to chop wood for hours, they said.

Prosecutors said he also would receive eight years' probation and be required to pay a $1,000 fine.

The deal still requires a judge's approval. Robin is scheduled to be sentenced March 13.

Washington, D.C.

AT&T; picked to run national no-call registry

Federal regulators have chosen a division of AT&T; Corp. to build and operate a national do-not-call list intended to help people block unwanted telemarketing calls.

The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday awarded a $3.5 million contract to AT&T; Government Solutions based in Vienna, Va., agency spokeswoman Cathy MacFarlane said.

Consumers can start signing up for the free service this summer, the FTC says, and the registry should be working by September. People would enroll through the Internet or a toll-free number and would need to renew their registration every five years.

Telemarketers would have to check the list every three months to determine who does not want to be called. Those who call listed people could be fined up to $11,000 for each violation. Consumers would be able to file complaints by phone or online to an automated system.


Father charged in cough syrup deaths

A father was charged with child abuse in the deaths of his two young children for allegedly giving them lethal doses of adult cough syrup.

Robert "Raffie" Henderson, 29, of Aurora, gave the youngsters cherry-flavored cough syrup after they complained of being sick the morning of Aug. 8, authorities said. The children were found dead in their beds several hours later by their mother.

It was unclear whether police believed Henderson intentionally gave overdoses to the children, Robert "Killian," 5, and Rhapsody, 4. Prosecutors would not comment on the specifics of the case.

Henderson was charged with assault and child abuse resulting in death.

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