December 23, 2005 in Nation/World

Sleeping in cages ruled to be abuse

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review
 

Norwalk, Ohio A couple who adopted 11 children with a host of health and behavioral problems abused some of the youngsters by making them sleep in wooden cages without pillows or mattresses, a judge ruled Thursday.

The children will remain in foster care until Juvenile Judge Timothy Cardwell holds a hearing on who should get custody.

Their adoptive parents, Michael and Sharen Gravelle, have not been charged with a crime and denied abusing the youngsters. They said they built the cages in 2003 to protect the children from each other and themselves.

Cardwell dismissed allegations that the Gravelles neglected the children, saying there was no evidence the couple failed to feed and clothe the youngsters. But he said that making them sleep in the cages constituted abuse.

The children, ages 1 to 15, have problems such as fetal alcohol syndrome and a disorder that involves eating dirt. The judge said that their psychological, behavioral and health problems became too much for the couple.

Doctor charged in OxyContin case

Coraopolis, Pa. An emergency room doctor was the central figure in a large OxyContin ring, writing hundreds of fraudulent prescriptions and charging up to $2,000 for each one, authorities said Thursday.

Seven others – including two prison guards and two former county employees – were also charged in the case, state Attorney General Tom Corbett said.

Authorities were tipped to the ring after nurses at Aliquippa Community Hospital got suspicious when patients would come to the emergency room asking for treatment, but would leave if Dr. Alan Egleston wasn’t working, the indictment says.

Egleston, 59, no longer works at the hospital. He faces counts of participating in a corrupt organization, dealing in unlawful proceeds and criminal conspiracy, among other charges.

Police officer charged with killing other cops

Pikesville, Md. A police officer was charged with murder Thursday in the shooting deaths of two off-duty Baltimore officers – one of them his former fiancee.

Eugene Victor Perry Jr., 33, was held without bail on two counts of first-degree murder. He surrendered to authorities shortly after the shootings not far from the townhouse where the two were killed.

Perry is an officer with the state Department of General Services, which provides security at state office complexes in Baltimore and Annapolis. He had been engaged to one of the victims, who was killed at the home of a fellow officer, police said.

Perry allegedly arrived at the home of Officer Adam Vazquez, 26, around noon Wednesday and asked to speak with Vazquez. The person who answered the door told him Vazquez was upstairs sleeping, but Perry forced his way inside, according to court documents.

Vazquez and Officer Leslie Holliday, 34, were killed. Both worked the midnight shift, police said.

Holliday’s mother, Bernice Johnson, told the Baltimore Sun that her daughter had been engaged to Perry until last summer but that recently she had been dating Vazquez.


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