Region digest 10/25/03

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Judge reviewing school's lawsuit against buyer

Litigation over a contract between a Jefferson City developer and the school district remains in court as the judge reviews both sides' arguments.

Ray Bax of RMB Inc.'s Bax Construction had offered to buy the Louis J. Schultz building at 101 S. Pacific in January 2002 for $2 million. The state was seeking bids to house three state departments in the city, and Bax planned turn to the school into offices. However, when Bax lost the bid he wanted out of the contract.

Both sides appeared before Circuit Court Judge William Syler Friday in a Perry County courtroom to argue on a motion for summary judgment. Syler said he will take the case under advisement but has not set the next court date for the case.

The school district is suing for the $2 million he promised, as well as damages for attorney's fees and interest.

Cape man faces sexual assault, knife charges

Cape Girardeau police responded Wednesday to a disturbance in the 600 block of South Ellis Street, where a woman reported having been raped and threatened with a knife.

Christopher J. Hager, 18, of Cape Girardeau was later charged with sexual assault and unlawful use of a weapon. He remains in custody at the Cape Girardeau County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

The woman and another person at the residence told officer Chris Muench that Hager had threatened them with the knife but that they were not cut.

The woman said Hager forced her to have sex earlier in the evening, according to Muench's probable-cause statement. Hager told police the sex was consensual. He admitted to having the knife during the argument but said he wasn't serious about using it.

Two killed in boat crash on Lake of the Ozarks

LAURIE, Mo. -- Two Lebanon, Mo., residents were killed and another injured early Friday when their boat hit a sea wall in Triangle Cove on the Lake of the Ozarks.

The Missouri State Water Patrol said Hollen Mott, 40, and Susan Hough, 35, were killed and David Brackett, 36, broke his ankle and suffered head injuries in the crash.

The patrol said Mott was driving the boat at a high rate of speed when it hit the sea wall at 1:15 a.m.

Former law firm worker sentenced for fraud

ST. LOUIS -- A former employee of the Bryan Cave law firm was sentenced Friday to 2 1/2 years in prison for a scheme defrauding the firm of $1.6 million, U.S. Attorney Ray Gruender said.

Kelly L. Mullins, 46, of Bridgeton was also ordered to pay back all of the money. She is not eligible for parole, Gruender said.

Mullins, a bill collector for the firm from May 1996 through June 2002, set up a fake collection agency and funneled payments to it, authorities said. She pleaded guilty in July to one count of wire fraud and four counts relating to false information in her federal income tax returns.

Columbia court employee resigns after guilty plea

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- A data-entry worker for the Columbia Municipal Court has resigned after pleading guilty to stealing from her previous employer, the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Randee Rae Larkin, 24, who resigned Thursday, pleaded guilty earlier this month to stealing $2,536 from the revenue department's Division of Motor Vehicle and Drivers Licensing in Columbia.

Boone County Associate Judge Jodie Asel sentenced Larkin to two years unsupervised probation and ordered her to repay the money she stole.

According to court records, Larkin accepted a total of $2,536 in payments over three different dates, but later voided the transactions. A cashier report showed that the money was not deposited.

Larkin began working part time for the city in May 1998 and switched to full time after she left her state job in July 2002. She is not suspected of stealing from the city, though her duties included the occasional handling of money.

-- From staff, wire reports

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