Woman suspected of stealing trooper’s car

Woman suspected of stealing trooper’s car

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A woman suspected of stealing an Alaska State Troopers patrol car that held her handcuffed husband in the back seat was arrested on suspicion of theft and other charges.

Troopers acting on a tip found Amber Watford, 28, of Big Lake, and Joshua Watford, 38, at a home in Wasilla on Thursday.

An officer had arrested Joshua Watford on Wednesday after receiving a tip that he was in a Big Lake pawn shop. He had been convicted of driving under the influence but had failed to attend court-ordered classes, said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.

After Watford had been placed in the back of a patrol car, a passing motorist stopped and began speaking to the arresting officer. While the officer was distracted, troopers said, Amber Watford got behind the wheel of the patrol car and took off.

Troopers recovered the patrol car an hour later. It had not been damaged. Nothing was missing from the car, including the handcuffs that had been on Joshua Watford’s wrists, Peters said.

216-YEAR SENTENCED DEEMED ‘EXCESSIVE’

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania appeals court has overturned a drug dealer’s prison sentence of up to 216 years, calling it “excessive.”

A Blair County senior judge had imposed the 104 1/2- to 216-year sentence four years ago on 43-year-old Gene Carter, of Philadelphia. Carter had been convicted of running a major heroin ring while serving time in a halfway house for a drug conviction.

The judge imposed mandatory sentences for 16 separate crimes Carter committed, then ran them consecutively.

Although the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld those convictions, the court ordered Carter must be resentenced.

The court cited a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision that determined juries, not judges, must decide whether mandatory sentences are warranted. It also called Carter’s sentence “manifestly unreasonable and excessive.”

OWNER OF WAYWARD CHICKEN COMES FORWARD

SAN FRANCISCO — The owner of a wayward chicken that fouled up traffic at the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge last week reclaimed his bird Tuesday afternoon.

Former Oakland mayoral candidate Ken Houston said he was taking two of his chickens to donate them to a nearby school garden last Wednesday, when he stopped his pickup truck at the Oakland Army Base, near the toll plaza, to check on a work project.

That’s when he realized the cardboard box carrying his chickens in the back of his truck was empty.

“I look around, look around, look around and then I leave,” said the 50-year-old Houston.

When Houston’s assistant called with the news that the wayward chicken was on the news, he said he was worried he’d get in trouble with transportation officials.

One small brown chicken was eventually captured by the California Highway Patrol, as well as news cameras and people with their cellphones at the ready. The agency later posted a photo of the “felonious fowl” in custody on its Twitter account. The second chicken was never found.

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