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WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Officials at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have discovered a $3.4 million theft by an employee who died in a December car accident.

School leaders told The Boston Globe an internal investigation found that for five years financial analyst Leo Villani siphoned funds from payments intended for the state Medicaid insurance program. It may be the biggest theft by a state employee in more than a decade.

Officials at the Worcester (WUS'-tur) school say Villani made $46,000 a year, but drove a Porsche, collected Salvador Dali paintings and built a large home in Uxbridge. They say he claimed he inherited money.

The school has dismissed one supervisor and disciplined several other workers in response to the theft. It also has called in an outside auditor.

Published in National News
Sunday, 15 September 2013 09:53

Flooding in New Mexico turns fatal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say flooding has claimed a life in New Mexico.

State police say the body of a man was found yesterday in a partially submerged vehicle in Ash Canyon, about 150 miles from Albuquerque.

The death is the first related to massive flooding in New Mexico following record rains last week.

Gov. Susana Martinez issued a state of emergency on Friday to open up recovery funding for local communities hit hard by the flooding.

Published in National News
Friday, 13 September 2013 15:15

Sikeston man charged in shooting death of wife

SIKESTON, Mo. (AP) - A southeast Missouri man is charged in the shooting death of his wife.

Sikeston police say in a news release that Stevie C. Lott was charged Thursday after his wife was found dead in their home.

Lott faces charges of second-degree murder, armed criminal action, being a felon in possession of a firearm, endangering the welfare of a child and leaving the scene of a shooting.

Capt. Jim McMillen says police found the body of 26-year-old Nyketia Lott with a gunshot wound to the head after being called to the home early Thursday. The Southeast Missourian reports that no one else was in the home when police arrived.

Stevie Lott was found and arrested about two hours after his wife's body was found.

 

Published in Local News
Friday, 13 September 2013 15:14

Woman charged for fatal drunk driving accident

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A 21-year-old St. Louis County woman is facing criminal charges for allegedly driving drunk when the car she was driving struck and killed her boyfriend.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Rachel Collier of Overland is charged with involuntary manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.

The accident on April 28 killed 26-year-old Desmond Edwards. Police say the couple had been drinking and arguing inside the car. Court documents indicate that when Edwards got out, Collier moved to the driver's seat, started the car and began driving.

She told police that she was going too fast and didn't see Edwards when she hit him.

Collier is jailed on $75,000 bond.

 

Published in Local News

The reward for information on who burned a dog that was found last month is higher.

Zeus was a pit bull. He was found with third-degree burns on over three-quarters of his body. Veterinarians determined his injuries were so severe that they were forced to euthanize him. The Humane Society has increased the reward from $2,500 to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Zeus' owner reported the dog missing from his Jennings home. Authorities found the dog badly burned in a neighbor's back yard.

Earlier this summer, a St. Louis woman was charged with felony animal abuse for setting a dog on fire and bragging about it on Facebook. That dog also died. 

 

Published in Local News

Highway 94 was closed in both directions between H and Church Rd. for several hours while the Missouri Highway Patrol investigated a fatal accident.

A man attending to some yard work in St. Charles County was killed this morning after being hit by a car that spun off the roadway. The accident happened shortly after 7:30 on Highway 94 at Church Road. The Highway Patrol says the car spun off the roadway, hit an embankment and flipped over several times, striking the victim. He died at the scene. The driver was injured and transported to the hospital.  Authorities did not say what caused the driver to lose control.

No charges have been filed and the names of the victim and driver have not been released.

Published in Local News

The suspect in a fatal carjacking has pleaded guilty to killing an 85-year-old grandmother.

21-year-old DaQuan Barnes will get a 60-year-sentence for the murder instead of life in prison under an agreement with prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Barnes and two accomplices, identified as 39-year-old LaTosha Cunningham and 30-year-old DeMarcus Barnes, waited for Yoko Cullen outside of a Collinsville bingo hall in May of 2011. Barnes force her into the trunk of her car, drove to east St. Louis, and set the vehicle on fire.

Investigators say Cullen was alive as the vehicle burned. 

 

 

 

Published in Local News

STEELVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri murder case will hinge on claims of self-defense and whether a property owner had the right to shoot a canoer who may have intruded on his land.

James Crocker had grown weary of the people encroaching on his property along the Meramec River. A nasty confrontation in July ended when Crocker allegedly shot and killed Paul Dart Jr., who was on a canoe trip.

Defense attorney Michael Bert says Crocker is covered by the state's castle doctrine, which allows the use of deadly force to protect property. Bert says Crocker also felt his life was in danger.

Prosecutors cited witnesses who said Crocker flew into a rage and opened fire after a man relieved himself near his yard. He has been charged with second-degree murder.

 

Published in Local News

It was a deadly holiday weekend on Missouri roadways.

The Missouri Highway Patrol says seven people died over Labor Day weekend, including two in St. Louis. Two deaths in the metro area were motorcyclists in town for the Ride of the Century, including Michael Evans. Evans was attempting to pass a car stopped at a light when he clipped the side-view mirror and ran into a pole.

Troopers investigated 248 crashes that resulted in the deaths and 112 injuries. A bright spot, the number of drunk-driving arrests was down from last year--119 this year, 147 in 2012.

Published in Local News

Police have a man in custody connected to the murder of a woman and her unborn baby.

Hazelwood officers found Denitra Jones dead in her apartment on Monday morning. Investigators say Jones had recently discovered she was pregnant. The coroner ruled Jones' death a homicide. After an investigation, officers presented their case against Michael Collins. Prosecutors issued charges against him including two counts of murder in the first degree.

Collins is held on a half-million dollar bond.

 
Published in Local News

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