Man charged with murder after hospitalized victim dies

EVANSVILLE (AP) — An Evansville man accused of beating another man unconscious now faces a murder charge following the victim's death.

Thirty-three-year-old Demarco Thomas was arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge April 26 after Patrick Bryant was found unconscious and gasping for air in an Evansville apartment.

The Evansville Courier & Press reports Bryant died last week after spending a month hospitalized in critical condition with serious head and face injuries.

Bryant's death prompted Vanderburgh County prosecutors to file murder, aggravated battery and other felony charges against Thomas.

A judge entered a not guilty plea on May 29 on behalf of Thomas, whose next hearing in the case is set for Aug. 12.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday for Thomas' public defender.

Hospital managers agree to $3.6M settlement in kickback suit

CLARKSVILLE (AP) — The management companies overseeing a southern Indiana hospital that closed in April have agreed to pay $3.6 million to settle a lawsuit alleging false claims and illegal financial arrangements.

The News and Tribune reports that Rialto Capital Management, LLC, and its former associate, RL BB-IN KRE, LLC, agreed Monday to a settlement with the federal government.

The companies were accused of violating anti-kickback laws. The lawsuit alleges they provided loans to two doctors who had high referral rates to Kentuckiana Medical Center, then declined to collect on the doctors' loans in exchange for the continued referrals.

The hospital, in Clarksville is just north of Louisville, Kentucky, struggled financially and closed in April after 10 years in operation.

Lafayette man sentenced to 120 years for killing in-laws

LAFAYETTE (AP) — A Lafayette man has been sentenced to 120 years in prison for killing his mother-in-law and brother-in-law at the time.

A jury convicted Franco Navarrete on Jan. 11 of two counts of murder and a firearm enhancement in the fatal shootings of 67-year-old Catalina Campuzano Lujano and 38-year-old Gustavao Sanchez Campuzano in August 2017.

The Journal and Courier reports Misael Sanchez Campuzano said in a statement to the court through an interpreter that the deaths of his mother and brother destroyed his family.

Tippecanoe Superior Court Judge Randy Williams said Navarrete's action in calling police after the slayings showed some form of remorse.

Court upholds bribery conviction for ex-sheriff

HAMMOND (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld bribery and two wire fraud convictions for a former northwestern Indiana sheriff.

The Post-Tribune reports the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Wednesday also vacated convictions for former Lake County Sheriff John Buncich on three wire fraud counts. Federal prosecutors conceded last year that there wasn't enough evidence to convict him on those three counts.

The appeals judges said U.S. District Court Judge James Moody should resentence Buncich.

The four-term sheriff was convicted in August 2017 on five counts of wire fraud and one count of bribery alleging he was paid bribes in exchange for awarding lucrative towing work. The 73-year-old Buncich is serving a 15-year sentence.

Indianapolis police arrest 24 following cellphones thefts

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Police in Indianapolis say they've arrested 24 people following a string of robberies in the city where cellphones were taken.

The police department said in announcing the arrests that the group of suspects faces a total of 31 felony charges and 11 misdemeanors. The investigation is ongoing.

Word of the arrests comes after police officials, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force and the Indianapolis mayor's office met Wednesday to discuss efforts to curb cellphone thefts. They were joined by others including security teams from cellphone providers Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and MetroPCS.

Officials say cellphone businesses are working to strengthen security measures to discourage theft and are committed to working with law enforcement on investigations.

After several failed attempts, bag of nuts lures cockatoo

MILLERSBURG (AP) — A northern Indiana man frustrated in trying to coax his spooked pet cockatoo down from trees finally got the bird back with a bag of nuts.

Scott Reinhart of Millersburg was at a gas station around 5 p.m. Monday when a loud noise caused his dog in the car to bark, and the cockatoo named Cheeto flew out a window. The Goshen News reports Reinhart found him in a tree across the street.

On Tuesday, a tree service and firefighters tried to help, but each time someone got close to Cheeto, he'd fly to another tree. Reinhart tried playing bird calls from his phone and brought his other parrot to try to lure Cheeto.

Finally, Tuesday evening, Reinhart brought a bag of nuts, and Cheeto flew to him right away.

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