State briefs 7/22/05

Friday, July 22, 2005

Man dies after diving from cliff at quarry

PERRY, Mo. -- A man died after diving 80 feet from a cliff into a water-filled rock quarry. Allan Darnell, 42, of Hannibal, was diving with friends Wednesday at Central Stone Rock Quarry near Perry, Mo. Water Patrol Sgt. Ralph Bledsoe said Darnell apparently jumped in too soon after a friend, and the two bumped heads. Darnell went under the water and did not resurface. The body was recovered about two hours later.

ACLU backs lesbian seeking to be foster parent

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The American Civil Liberties Union has asked a court to overturn the state Department of Social Services' decision to deny a woman's application for a foster parent license because she is a lesbian. At issue is an unwritten state policy that prevents people who are openly gay from becoming foster parents.

Former St. Louis executive sentenced for mail fraud

ST. LOUIS -- The former executive for a St. Louis area company was sentenced Friday to 3 1/2 years in prison for a scheme to defraud pharmaceutical manufacturers, U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said. Richard Drury, 55, was convicted on four felony counts of mail fraud. In addition to the jail time, he was ordered to pay restitution of $726,900.

Judge refuses to toss priest's sodomy charge

ST. LOUIS -- Three years after being charged with sodomizing a teenage boy in the late 1970s, a St. Louis Catholic priest may be heading to court. Circuit Judge Donald McCullin refused to dismiss the felony count of forcible sodomy against the Rev. Thomas Graham. The charge has led to pleadings all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court on whether the statute of limitations bars a charge filed so late. The case is seen by prosecutors as a test to see how well the sodomy charge can be used to convict child molesters decades after their alleged crimes. Standard child molestation laws require charges to be filed relatively quickly.

-- From wire reports

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