An Air Force sergeant faces 25 years in military prison after pleading guilty to charges he sexually molested girls in Germany and the United States. Officials at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne and Ramstein Air Base in Germany announced Thursday that a military judge sentenced Tech. Sgt. Michael L. Merritt earlier this week in Wyoming. Merritt pleaded guilty to military charges including sexual assault and kidnapping. His guilty pleas cover crimes against four girls, ages 5 to 14, from 2003 through 2013.
Pot edibles face ban
Hash brownies, space cakes and other pot-laced munchies won’t be among the items allowed at Oregon medical marijuana dispensaries, state officials said. The Oregon Health Authority released draft rules late Wednesday for medical-pot dispensaries to follow when they open as early as next week under a new law. Although medical marijuana will be available at the dispensaries, the agency wants to ban sweets containing the drug because they could be attractive to young people.
Utility to pay penalty
One of California’s largest utilities has agreed to pay a $24.5 million penalty for safety violations uncovered after a 2011 windstorm left more than 400,000 customers without lights and a power-line failure electrocuted three family members, state regulators announced Thursday. The proposed decisions by the California Public Utilities Commission staff said Southern California Edison also violated rules by failing to preserve evidence for investigators.
Plotter sent to prison
A man accused of planning shooting attacks at a movie theater and a Walmart has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for first-degree assault and armed criminal action. Blaec Lammers, 21, was sentenced Thursday to 15 years on each charge, with the terms to run concurrently. He was found guilty by a judge in January. A third charge of making a terrorist threat was thrown out. Authorities said Lammers told them he originally planned to open fire on a movie theeater in November 2012. He opted for the Walmart because he could get more ammunition at the store. He was arrested after his mother alerted police that she feared he would attack. No shots were ever fired.
Ricin mailed to rival
A man sent a birthday card laced with the deadly poison ricin to a romantic rival in hopes of winning back his ex-girlfriend, authorities said. Nicholas Helman, 19, was arrested at his home Wednesday on an attempted murder charge and other counts, authorities said. Helman told a Target store co-worker this month that he sent the card to his ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend, investigators said. The co-worker notified police. Nobody was harmed by the ricin, authorities said.
Compiled from wire reports.