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POSTED September 17, 2012 8:58 p.m.

MAN SAYS HE GOT DEATH THREATS OVER ABANDONED DOG: DENVER (AP) — A man who left his dog to die on a Colorado mountain said he received death threats, even though he has paid vet bills and agreed to turn over the dog to one of the rescuers.

Anthony Ortolani said Sunday he is giving the German shepherd mix to one of the people who climbed Mount Bierstadt to rescue Missy after the animal spent eight days on her own last month.

Another hiker spotted the injured dog, volunteers coordinated a rescue effort through a climbing website. Rescuers found the dog bloodied and close to death on a ridge.

Ortolani is charged with animal cruelty for leaving the dog behind on a mountain climbing trip. His lawyer, Jennifer Edwards, said her client hopes to make a plea deal.

Ortolani said he was forced to leave the dog on the mountain after the animal got injured. He said he and a friend tried to carry the 112-pound animal for more than two hours over rocky terrain, but he worried for his safety and had to abandon her.

OHIO MOM CHARGED WITH THEFT FROM OVERSEAS SOLDIER: MASSILLON, Ohio (AP) — A woman accused of stealing her son's income tax refunds while he served with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan was arrested in a stolen car, authorities said Monday.

Jennifer Fletcher is suspected of withdrawing about $16,000 from her son's account from March 2010 until April 2011 and forging his signature to cash checks in his name, apparently after agreeing to file her son's taxes while he was away, police said.

The 42-year-old Fletcher also is suspected of depositing more than $1,200 from his tax refunds into her account, said Lawrence Township Police Chief Mark Brink.

Fletcher's daughter-in-law reported the alleged theft in May, and police filed warrants for Fletcher's arrest in July.

Brink said Fletcher admitted to detectives that she used her son's money.

"She used more than just the tax returns," Brink said. "She used some of the money that was put into his account through the military."

Fletcher used the money to make house payments, pay electric and telephone bills and buy pizza, Brink said.

WASHINGTON STATE MAN GETS 6 MONTHS FOR BEATING DOG: TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state man who beat a neighbor's dog with a hatchet after luring it with treats has been sentenced to six months in jail.

The Pierce County prosecutor's office says 55-year-old Ricky Knowles was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty in July to first-degree animal cruelty.

Prosecutors say Orting police were called after neighbors saw the Pierce County man beat the dog in March. They say police found the dog — Kona — in Knowles' garage tied to a pole, bleeding from severe wounds to his head and neck. They say animal control officers had to cut a piece of wire from around the dog's neck

INMATE SEEKING SEX CHANGE ELIGIBLE FOR LEGAL FEES: BOSTON (AP) — A convicted murderer in Massachusetts who won the right to get a state-funded sex change is also eligible to have legal fees — expected to top $500,000 — paid as well, a federal judge ruled.

In a landmark decision, U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf earlier this month ordered the state Department of Correction to provide sex-reassignment surgery to Michelle Kosilek. Wolf found that prison officials had violated Kosilek's Eighth Amendment right to protection against cruel and unusual punishment, and that the surgery is the "only adequate treatment" for Kosilek's gender-identity disorder.

Wolf has now found that Kosilek is also entitled to legal fees.

BLACK BEAR JUMPED ON TENT, MAULED MAN IN MONTANA: HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A man who was mauled by a black bear in Montana told state wildlife officials that the bear jumped on his tent, tore through the fabric and attacked him.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks investigator Brian Sommers called it a predatory attack.

Agency employees shot and killed the 5-year-old male bear Friday afternoon about 70 yards from the campsite.

A necropsy found items in the bear's stomach that were consistent with food at the camp, including plastic bags and dried pasta.

Sommers says blood on the bear's claws has been swabbed and will be tested to confirm a tie to the man who was mauled at about 7:30 a.m. Friday in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. He stopped the attack with pepper spray.

NC MAN ONCE ON DEATH ROW CHARGED IN WIFE'S SLAYING: CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Joseph Green Brown refused to run from his troubled past. He'd tell audiences he was only hours from being executed on Florida's death row. He'd talk about how an appeals court overturned his rape and murder convictions in 1986 and how he walked out of prison a free man — with a goal of ending the death penalty.

Now Brown is back in jail, this time facing first-degree murder charges in the death of the woman he married 20 years ago, Mamie Caldwell Brown of Charlotte.

 

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