Lawsuit seeks Medicaid help for transgender people

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of transgender people in New York who want Medicaid to cover what they consider lifesaving health treatments.

The federal lawsuit was filed Thursday against the state health commissioner. It seeks class-action status on behalf of an estimated 8,000 or more people seeking hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery.

A similar lawsuit was thrown out in 2008. The Legal Aid Society and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project are challenging the state on new legal grounds.

Among other things, they say scientific evidence now conclusively proves that the procedures and treatments are safe and effective.

The state previously had cited serious complications from the surgeries and danger from lifelong administration of estrogen.


Man charged with killing felon who abused daughter

A judge refused Thursday to reduce the bond amount for an Alabama man charged with murder in the gunshot killing of the sex offender convicted of abusing the man’s daughter.

Cullman County Circuit Judge Gregory Nicholas ruled after a hearing that a lower court judge presiding in the murder case must consider the bond before he can intervene.

The Associated Press isn’t using the suspect’s name to protect his daughter’s identity since she is a sexual abuse victim.

The man is charged with murder in the shooting death of Raymond Earl Brooks, 59, on June 8. He also is charged with attempted murder. Police say moments before the Brooks’ shooting, the man fired at a stepdaughter’s boyfriend, James Criscoe, outside a crowded store.

Relatives and other supporters have praised the man’s actions as justified and even heroic by claiming he killed Brooks to protect his daughter who was abused. In court, some backers wore blue T-shirts that read “A father’s love is like no other” on the front.


Three plead guilty to assault on man who struck boy

Three men pleaded guilty Thursday to assault in a mob attack on a motorist who accidentally struck a boy with his pickup truck in Detroit, capping a week of plea deals involving all five defendants in a case that raised questions about race and impulsive violence.

Prosecutors dropped attempted murder charges as part of the deals entered in Wayne County court. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison, although the sentences likely will be much lower.

Steve Utash, a 54-year-old tree trimmer from Macomb County, was severely beaten after he quickly got out of his pickup to check on the 10-year-old boy who had darted in front of his vehicle April 2.

—From news service reports