November 10, 2012

New England Dispatches

From news service reports


Police have burden of proof in Greenland shooting suit

Four New Hampshire police officers who are suing the mother of a man who shot them will need to prove Beverly Mutrie provided her son with a gun before their lawsuit can proceed.

The officers were wounded, and Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was killed, while trying to serve a warrant at the home of Cullen Mutrie in April. Authorities said Mutrie then killed a woman in the home before killing himself.

Beverly Mutrie asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit, saying she had no knowledge of criminal activity and that owning the property doesn't make her responsible for the violence.

A hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 19 to allow the officers to present evidence establishing Beverly Mutrie supplied her son with a gun used in the shooting.


Judge agrees to delay trial of mobster 'Whitey' Bulger

A federal judge Friday agreed to delay the murder trial of former mobster James "Whitey" Bulger by three months, rejecting a defense request for eight months.

U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns said he would put off Bulger's trial from March until June. He said jury selection will begin on June 6.

The 83-year-old Bulger, who was hospitalized briefly after complaining of chest pains a few days ago at the prison where he has been awaiting trial, is known as the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang. He's charged with participating in 19 murders. He fled Boston in late 1994 and remained a fugitive on the FBI's Most Wanted list until June 2011, when he was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., with his longtime girlfriend.

Bulger has pleaded not guilty. His attorney has said he will testify at trial about his claim that he was given immunity for his crimes by a federal prosecutor while he was an FBI informant on the Mafia.

Bulger's girlfriend, Catherine Greig, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harbor a fugitive and identity fraud related to their time on the run. She was sentenced to eight years in prison and paid a $150,000 fine.

Prosecutors say Bulger and Greig, who's in her early 60s, posed as married retirees from Chicago and had a stash of more than $800,000 in cash and dozens of weapons in their apartment when they were captured.


Woman admits dognapping from humane society office

A woman has admitted to a dognapping from a Vermont Humane Society office.

Police said Cynthia Poitras of Hoosick, N.Y., was sentenced to a day in jail.

The Springfield humane society said a woman in September expressed an interest in adopting a hound-lab mix named "Gibbs." She was allowed to take him on a walk. A dog walker saw her stuffing Gibbs in her car.

The Rutland Herald reported police put out a bulletin. An officer in Charlestown, N.H., spotted Gibbs the next day. The society said Gibbs was in excellent health and would be listed for adoption again.

Poitras told a woman she had been staying with that the dog was a stray. The woman checked the humane society's Facebook page and saw Gibbs was missing.


Gooseberry, currant plants make unwanted list in N.H.

Gooseberry and currant plants have made it onto New Hampshire's most unwanted list.

The New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands is declaring a moratorium on the planting of both species of plants.

Forestry officials say the so-called "resistant" varieties have consistently turned up infected with the white pine blister rust -- a fungus that threatens white pines.

Officials say the moratorium is effective immediately.


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