Disney kidnap hoaxer jailed
A Pennsylvania woman who faked her own kidnapping while actually going to Disney World was sentenced on Thursday to more than eight years in prison for swindling her employer and family members out of more than US$600,000. At the sentencing in the US District Court in Philadelphia, Bonnie Sweeten, 40, was ordered to pay more than US$1 million in restitution, in addition to eight years and four months in prison, the US Attorney’s office in Philadelphia said in a statement. In 2009, Sweeten triggered an all-out search by federal and local authorities by making a phony 911 call to say she and her nine-year-old daughter had been kidnapped by two black men in a truck. In reality, prosecutors said, she had taken her daughter to Disney World in Florida.
Swastika brand men jailed
Two men have been sentenced to prison for branding a swastika on the arm of a developmentally disabled Navajo man with a metal coat hanger in April 2010. Federal prosecutors say 27-year-old Paul Beebe and 25-year-old Jesse Sanford entered pleas in July to federal hate crime charges, acknowledging there was enough evidence for a conviction, but not admitting guilt. Beebe was sentenced on Wednesday to eight-and-a-half years in prison followed by three years’ supervised release. Sanford was sentenced to five years in prison followed by three years’ supervised release. A third defendant has yet to be sentenced after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit a federal hate crime.
Artist to bury Boeing 727
A Swiss artist plans to bury an intact Boeing 727 jetliner in the Mojave Desert and build a tunnel to give visitors a chance to see it. Christoph Buchel has applied for a permit that will allow him to bury the 46m long decommissioned airliner. The Bakersfield Californian newspaper reported the project, called Terminal, has already been approved by the local planning department.
Inmate refused to leave
Most people cannot wait to leave jail, but one northern Arizona inmate has been charged with trespassing after refusing to leave the Coconino County lockup. Coconino County sheriff’s Office spokesman Gerry Blair said 44-year-old Martin Batieni Kombate was arrested in Flagstaff last week for trespassing and was scheduled for release on Monday on his own recognizance. However, when detention officers from the sheriff’s office showed up to escort him out, Kombate allegedly said he was not leaving because he couldn’t find his wallet. Blair said that Kombate was disorderly in a jail cell and would not leave, so the police were called and he was arrested.
Father tapes up toddler
A man who bound his 22-month-old daughter with tape and posted the photo on Facebook has pleaded not guilty to aggravated domestic battery and unlawful restraint. A spokesman for the Cook County state attorney’s office in Chicago said 21-year-old Andre Curry entered his plea during a brief hearing on Thursday morning. Curry remains in custody and was scheduled to return to court yesterday for a hearing on his attorney’s motion to reduce his US$100,000 bond. Curry’s attorney has said his client was just trying to be funny with the photograph and that he did not harm his daughter. The child’s mother told WMAQ-TV that Curry was just joking and added that he is a great father.