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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Seven defendants accused in a pre-arranged funeral scam have been offered plea deals that would allow them to avoid potential life sentences.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch outlined the plea offers on Friday. The deal would require five to 10 years in prison in exchange for guilty pleas. The case is being handled in federal court in St. Louis.
U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan cited the high cost of trials that could last three months.
Prosecutors say now-defunct National Prearranged Services Inc. operated like a Ponzi scheme before it was shut down in 2008. Customers were allegedly bilked of up to $600 million.
One former employee, 69-year-old Sharon Nekol Province, pleaded guilty earlier this month. Sentencing is November 7th.]]>
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A bankrupt St. Louis-based coal company's push to significantly cut thousands of retirees' health care and pension benefits is in the hands of a judge.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kathy Surratt-States has until May 29 to decide the matter that last week was argued before her by attorneys for Patriot Coal Corp. and the United Mine Workers of America union. It's not clear how soon any ruling may come.
Patriot's proposed benefits cuts have been the most contentious aspect of its bankruptcy case since the Peabody Energy Corp. spinoff filed for Chapter 11 protection last summer. The company says it would have to spend $1.6 billion to cover retirees' health care costs, and that if that didn't change it might risk liquidation.
The union considers the cuts immoral, drastic and unfair.
A St. Louis man convicted of brutally beating to death his 2-year-old son will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The reasons may be unknown--an alcohol fueled rage or bipolar disorder--but a jury has made sure 32 Aaron Lucy of south city will never hurt another child.
He was found guilty of first-degree murder and four felony counts of child abuse, evidence tampering and armed criminal action in the death of his son, Kyle Lucy. He has no chance for parole.
The boy's mother,30-year-old Amanda Newman, told the St Louis Post Dispatch she was satisfied with the life sentence because she believes it will keep Lucy away from their daughter, Abby, who is now 7.
Prosecutors said Lucy beat Kyle to death the day after Christmas 2010 while the family was at a holiday play.
Authorities said Lacy left bruises and scrapes on almost every part of the toddler's body and caused two skull fractures and a fatal brain injury. Blood was found throughout the apartment, including on the back of a picture frame, a broken drawer an overturned television that had been thrown across the floor.
Lucy's mother argued he should be in a mental hospital rather than prison.