The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 19, 1996 · Page 7
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 7

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 19, 1996
Page 7
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THE SALINA JOURNAL CRIME SATURDAY. OCTOBER 19. 1996 V NEW YORK SIMPSON CIVIL CASE Philandering ex-con at it again In case of deja vu, ex-attorney is accused of killing latest mistress By LISA M. HAMM Tlie Associated Prr.ts NEW YORK — Every relationship goes through rough spots, but the saga of Burton and Linda Pugach is no mere "stand by your man" story. First he got so mad at her in 1959 when she refused to marry him — because he already had a wife — that he hired thugs to throw lye in her eyes. Then, after he got out of prison 14 years later, the blinded woman married him. Now Pugach. 69, is accused of threatening to kill his latest mistress because she ended their five-year affair — and his long, suffering wife has bailed him out of jail. Pugach told The Associated Press on Friday that making meaningless death threats in a fit of pique is normal behavior in a relationship. "Haven't you ever threatened to kill your husband?" he asked. "Did you mean it? Of course not. "What did I do?" he demanded angrily. "This has been blown out of proportion like I've never seen." Pugach told prosecutors that his wife knew about the affair: "She told me, 'If President Clinton can do it, so can you.' " An angry Linda Pugach, 59, refused to discuss her reasons for supporting the philanderer who blinded her. • • "Did you call Hillary and ask The Associated Press Linda Pugach (left) and an unidentified man with a briefcase leave the Queens House of Detention after posting bond for Pugach's husband, Burton. her how she feels?" she asked, referring to first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. "Why don't you?" On Wednesday, prosecutors charged Pugach with aggravated harassment and sexual abuse, claiming he threatened to kill his mistress after she ended their five-year affair. He faces up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted. The case bears chilling similarities to the one that made Pugach infamous. In the summer of 1959, Linda Riss, then an attractive 23-year- old secretary, spurned Pugach's proposal after learning he was already married. "If I can't have you, no one else will, and when I get finished with you. no one else will want you." threatened Pugach. an influential personal injury- lawyer, according to Riss' testimony. In one of New York's most sensational crimes of passion, he hired three thugs to throw lye in her face. She lost one eye in the attack and was declared legally blind in the other. Pugach was found guilty and unsuccessfully appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. After his release from jail in 1974, he appeared on TV news programs to propose to Riss. That September they were wed. Twenty-two years later, Pugach again became enraged when his 42-year-old mistress, her name blacked out in court papers, dumped him, prosecutors say. In one phone call he vowed, "It's 1959 all over again," court papers say. He also repeated the threat he made to Riss: "If I can't have you, no one else can." The ex-mistress told the New York Post, "I'm fearful. This man has a history." But Pugach was back in his Queens home Thursday night. His 59-year-old wife, wearing large sunglasses and a black leather jacket and pants, had come to the jail accompanied by an unidentified man carrying a briefcase stuffed with $50,000 in bail money. Pugach said he has no plans for a repeat of the 1959 attack. "That happened 37 years ago," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, I've paid my dues and the slate is wiped clean." Black man removed from Simpson jury Postal worker excused from case because of his use of alcohol By LINDA DEUTSCH Tlie Associatrd Prrss SANTA MONICA. Calif. — In an upheaval reminiscent of O.J. Simpson's murder trial, the only black man on the jury in Simpson's civil case was removed Friday because of a drinking problem and replaced with a white man. The move to dismiss the man — who believed Simpson might have been framed by police — came less than a day after the jury was seated. His removal required a brief reopening of jury selection, during which two white jurors were removed and replaced by two whites. By the end of the day, the jury had one less black member than it did a day before. It consisted of nine whites, one black, one person of mixed race and one Hispanic. The only black member is an elderly woman. Superior Court Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki sent the new jury home with a warning to avoid information about the case. ALLEN "There are numerous experts out there that have their fingers in the past case or this case." he said. "They are flooding the media. I don't want you to be affected by any of that." He told the jurors to return for opening statements Wednesday. The families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman are suing Simpson for unspecified damages, claiming he is responsible for their slayings. The only black man on the jury sworn in Thursday. Edgar Allen, was removed after four others in the jury pool told the judge they smelled alcohol on his breath. The judge found him "incapable of and unsuitable for jury service in this case. Because of his use of alcohol he is excused from this case." Allen, a black postal worker retired from the Air Force, acknowledged to reporters: "I'm an alcoholic." But he denied he had been drinking while on jury duty. Allen said he went home Wednesday night and drank gin and beer, which left a smell on his breath the next day. Asked what he planned to do when he got home Friday, he said he planned to have a drink. Allen told attorneys during the questioning phase that he'd been married several times and he is now in an interracial marriage. And he thought Simpson might have been framed by the police. Y INDIANAPOLIS Black man's beating raises racial tensions ;Four officers indicted in ;August fight that led to police chief's resignation ;By The Associated Press ; ^INDIANAPOLIS — Four poiice- 'men were indicted Friday on ! charges pf taking part in a drunk|en, off-duty melee that heightened 'racial tensions in Indianapolis ;and led to the police chiefs resig- i 'V PITTSBURGH nation. A black man who was beaten in the brawl was also charged. Witnesses said the. men — all of them white officers belonging to an elite police unit — emerged from a bar smelling of alcohol Aug. 27, used racial slurs, made lewd remarks to women, and b'eat up and arrested a black man as well as a white man who tried to intervene. The charges against the officers include battery and disorderly con- duct. The two who were charged with felonies were immediately suspended without pay, and Acting Police Chief Robert Allen said he will press for their firing. As many as 50 people witnessed the attack, which strained already poor relations between police and Indianapolis' black community. On Sept. 12, Police Chief Donald Christ stepped down in "the best interest of the department as well as the city," and 17 officers implicated in the case were reassigned to desk jobs as pressure from the black community mounted. Jeff Gordon, the black man who scuffled with the officers, was charged with battery and disorderly conduct. Marion County Prosecutor Scott Newman said Gordon was indicted because he continued fighting even after uniformed police told him he could leave. 12 packs 29* 1820 S. 9th Street Salina, KS * Prices good through October 22nd, 1996 Daily 8:00 am to 10:00 pm Sunday: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm Coroner's remark forces mistrial ; Racially volatile trial in Pennsylvania :takes another twist when coroner ichalleges defendant to testify ! By The Associated Press • PITTSBURGH — A judge in the case of two white j policemen charged in the death of a black motorist j declared a mistrial Friday after the coroner blurted i out improper testimony. i Defense attorneys suggested the coroner did it on ; purpose. Only hours earlier, he had 1 gone on national television and criticized the selection of an all-white i jury in the racially volatile case. | State Judge David Cashman said i he had no choice but to abandon the 10-day-old trial after Dr. Cyril Wecht demanded on the stand that one of pjpe officers explain his actions. Defendants have a constitutional right ,n.ot to testify in their own defense; GAMMAGE ,' Brass 'i Goose Neck ' Floor Lamp ERV$119.95 r CDlTOf A 1 TYTIULfC* This lam P is 9 ceat for " a &rtL,±,lAL, lHI\rn^. directional lighting, (reading. ,-, "' No Payment 'Till 1997! sewing, etc.) Use your good credit here at Augustine's and have up to 36 months to pay. Hurry for this Free layaway up to 90 days, or we accept all major credit cards. ' great value. 7 pc. Roomful 1 for Less! '•- jhe burden on proof is on the prosedution. : ;: : "I am so personally affronted by what he did. ... I j$unk it's almost intentional," said defense attorney rfjiatrick Thomassey. :<The judge'said a new jury will be picked within Swo months in the involuntary manslaughter case. Against suburban Pittsburgh police Lt. Milton Mul- jjiolland and Officer Michael Albert in the death of 31- iyear-old Jonny Gammage. •£ Gammage, a cousin of Pittsburgh Steelers defen- !i;ve end Ray Seals, was pulled over on Oct. 12,1995, *iby police who said he kept tapping his brakes. He Demerged from his Jaguar carrying a cellular phone $hat police said they thought was a gun. Police sub- $ued him by pressing on his back and neck; the pres- $iire killed him. the Allegheny County coroner, had been The Associated Press Dr. Cyril Wecht, coroner of Allegheny County, demanded on the witness stand that one of the officers accused of killing a black motorist explain his actions. one of the prosecution's star witnesses, bolstering the testimony of the coroner who examined Gammage's body and determined he died from pressure on his neck and back. Under cross-examination Thursday, Thomassey, who represents Mulholland, asked Wecht: "You tell me what my client did. Tell me what my client did from A to Z." Wecht replied: "No, it's not for me to tell you what your client did. It's for the client to tell me, the ladies and gentlemen of the jury, what he did, what he was doing there and why he was participating in this." 949 eputy captured ter woman |dUe#inbank j-iy The Associated Press jS^HOUMAi La. - As a teller lay Stead pf a gunshot wound in the Spbby, a deputy sheriff ended a 24- Sfour standoff Friday by peaceful- affi walking- out of a bank with his *e|tranged wife and another j£~Chad Louviere, 84, was still faring his uniform when offi- rs set off a concussion grenade distract him and tackled him as escorted the two hostages out back door. He did not struggle. ',!• touviere's motive for storming lie bank and allegedly shooting teller Thursday was unclear. ..'he dead woman was identified ArgentBank teller Pamela Du- ntis.'a?, the. mother of a 9-year- girl. BOSTONIAN* American Made Waterproof Comfortable Make A Statement. Mon.-Frl. 9-6 Thurs. 9-8 Sat. 9-5:30 llHP» PIT OP. 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