The Montgomery Advertiser from Montgomery, Alabama on February 17, 1982 · 14
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The Montgomery Advertiser from Montgomery, Alabama · 14

Montgomery, Alabama
Issue Date:
Wednesday, February 17, 1982
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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1982 14 (tljc .ittonhjomcrg SUwcrtiscr Bessemer official v not called to stand BIRMINGHAM (AP) - In a surprise move, the defense rested Tuesday in the federal trial of five Bessemer law enforcement officers without calling the fifth defendant, Public Safety Commissioner Max Williams, to the stand. The four other defendants testified Monday and Tuesday morning. Williams, three Bessemer vice squad officers and a state liquor agent have been charged with conspiracy in the alleged torture of six young black prisoners. The defendants are white. Early in the afternoon, the prosecution began its rebuttal with the testimony of FBI agent Jane Koshutko, who testified that Sgt. Lamar Cruce fired at her with a blank pistol while she was in the Bessemer vice squad office. She said she was in the office to meet with an informant and had been there about half an hour when Cruce pulled the pistol from the desk, pointed it at her and fired. "Initially, I was terribly frightened," she said. "He chuckled and stated it was a prank, a joke." A former Birmingham police officer, John W. Hand, testified that he had known Cruce and Lt. Douglas Acker, another of the defendants, since 1968 and said he would not believe their testimony. Earlier in the day Acker took the stand in his own defense and said he was innocent of all allegations against him. The prisoners testified they were shocked with cattle prods, beaten and threatened with guns and syringes. Prosecutors charged that officers tortured the prisoners to elicit their confessions, then used the confessions to force them to become informants. Williams was charged with knowing and approving of the officers' methods. 1 Bessemer is located just southwest of Birmingham. 11 Defense attorneys on Tuesday tried to discredit the testimony of a key prosecution witness, Bessemer druggist Jerry Albano. In exchange for immunity from prosecution, Albano has testified he was present when officers abused a prisoner. Acker testified he saw Albano give one of the prisoners, Alfred Washington, money after Acker had questioned Washington. "I told Albano he was stupid because Washington would just use it buy more drugs," Acker told the all-white U.S. District Court jury. Acker also denied that Williams was present during interrogation of witnesses. One prisoner said Williams was present just before he was allegedly tortured by Bessemer officers, but left, saying he did not want to be there when the "prayer meeting" started. Acker admitted there some errors in a report he prepared about the vice squad's interrogation of the six prisoners. Last summer, three of the prisoners filed a $250,000 civil suit against the City of Bessemer. After he learned of the suit, Williams called a meeting with Police Chief Jenda Smith and the vice squad officers. Acker was ordered to prepare a report on the vice squad's activities by the end of that day. Acker said he prepared the report hurriedly and there were some erroneous statements in it. Clark kept drug money in desk, employees say By AMY HERRING South Alabama Bureau DOTHAN Several Houston County Sheriff's department employees testified Tuesday that the sheriff kept large amounts of money earmarked for undercover drug buys in an envelope in his desk drawer. The employees also testified that use of the money was not recorded but that agents or employees noted withdrawals on the back of the envelope. The testimony came during the first day of the veteran Houston County Sheriff A.B. Clark's second theft-of-property charge. The indictment alleges that Clark stole "in excess of $1,000" of county money earmarked for undercover drug buys. Clark was indicted in September by a special Houston County grand jury on counts of using his office for personal gain, forgery, theft of property and receiving stolen property. The grand jury also recommended impeachment. Impeachment charges will be heard after he is tried on the criminal charges. He was acquitted in January on one theft of property charge and was also acquitted of jury tampering in connection with that trial. Two of the department's undercover agents are expected to testify when the circuit court trial resumes at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Circuit Judge Paul Miller, a Russell County judge appointed to hear the case, dismissed the jury of six men and six women at approximately 5:30 p.m. Miller was appointed after Houston County's three circuit judges asked to be dismissed from the case. The jury has been housed overnight at a Dothan motel. f Open Daily 9-9, Sunday 12-6 v 1 x2) CASUALS A Full Sizes tVEQ mots Our Reg. 4.97 Pr. 3 Our Reg. 4.97 Pr. Women's Comfortable Leather-look Scuffs Padded insole, tricot-to-foam lining, split-leather sole. Of polyurethane. St Men's Terry Scuffs At K mart Savings One-band, washable scuffs with terry insole and white shell Kraton sole. r-around the state. FCC decision upheld in Selma station case WASHINGTON (AP) The Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday it had received an opinion from its legal review board upholding a law judge's decision that Central Alabama Broadcasters Inc. may upgrade and move its transmitter facilities for WSLA-TV in Selma. The changes will lead to a dramatic increase in WSLA's service area, and were challenged by WCOV-TV and WKAB-TV in Montgomery. Unlike WSLA, WCOV and WKAB are UHF stations operating on higher frequencies. They alleged the FCC was ignoring its obligation to foster the growth of UHF television by allowing a VHF station to extend its service area into theirs. The review board disagreed, saying the FCC policy does not mean that VHF stations can never improve their facilities. The changes proposed by WSLA are so dramatic in terms of bringing new service to the public that they out-weight UHF considerations, the board concluded. Special education conference slated A special education conference will be held at the Birmingham Hyatt House Thursday through Saturday, featuring speakers and teachers who work with exceptional children. The conference is being sponsored by the Alabama Federation for Counsel of Exceptional Children and Youth, a spokesman said. It will center around teachers and parents who must work daily with exceptional children. Businessman to speak on China's business Nimrod Frazer, chairman of the board of the Frazer Lanier Company, will discuss "Doing Business with the Chinese" at 11 a.m. Friday at Huntingdon College. The free lecture, part of Huntingdon's Cultural Events series, will be in the Forum Room of Delchamps Student Center. Man convicted, gets life for arson Arthur Clyde Barron of Lenny Lane was sentenced to life in prison Friday under the Habitual Offender Act after he was found guilty of setting fire to a mobile home. Barron was convicted of second-degree arson for setting fire to his mother-in-law's Margaret Ann Drive trailer on July 10. According to testimony, Barron and his wife, who was living at the trailer, were having a domestic dispute. The fire was discovered when she returned from the police station where a warrant was signed against him. A Fire Department inspector said the burning window cover was the work of arson and not an accident. Barron was sentenced under the Habitual Offender Act because he had prior convictions of burglary, receiving stolen property, auto theft and grand larceny, and being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. '82 bumper year for oyster harvest DAUPHIN ISLAND (AP) - The Gulf coast fishing industry sings the praises of this year's Alabama oyster harvest even though the bumper crop means lower prices. "This is the best year since I can't remember when," said Doody Peters, president of the South Alabama Seafood Association. A 12-ounce jar of oysters priced near the end of December has fallen from $2.39 to a current $1.99 at one supermarket in Mobile. "I haven't seen this many boats before out working the reefs," said biologist Bill Eckmayer of the Ala bama Marine Resources Laboratory at Dauphin Island. About 85 percent of the oysters In Mississippi Sound were lost in 1979 during Hurricane Frederic, Eckmayer said. The major oyster beds in Alabama are located on 1,500 acres around the new Dauphin Island bridge under construction across Mississippi Sound. Labor to oppose co-employee law By The Associated Press 1 A constitutional amendment prohibiting co-employee suits in Alabama is a threat to workers rights and safety, the head of the Alabama Labor Council said Tuesday. Barney Weeks, president of the AFL-CIO council of labor unions, said his group's executive board voted "overwhelmingly" to oppose the constitutional amendment, which will be the fourth item on the March 2 ballot. The constitutional amendment, if approved by the voters, would prohibit an employee injured on the job from suing his fellow workers, even if injury arose from an employee's negligence. The amendment's definition of "fellow workers" includes plant management and the company. "IT A MB n TII7 m n fl m up I aoir sMew f IT The Cce Off WITH HELP FROM OUR NIE PROGRAM , Advertiser-Journal's Newspaper-ln-Education program can help you design lessons based on the daily occurences of life. Educators using our program tell us that it makes teaching and learning more exciting, challenging and much more relevant to today's generation. Judy Caton, our NIE Coordinator, will be happy to assist you in applying the newspaper in your classroom. She is available to speak with your class on the newspaper production. She will show you how the Teacher's Guide, Activity Cards and other materials can work in your class. BEST OF ALL-IT ONLY COSTS 8' PER NEWSPAPER! ACT NOW! OR PHONE: 262-1611 EXT. 219 FOR MORE DETAILS WRITE TO: JUDY CATON, NIE COORDINATOR THE MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER P.O. BOX 1 000 MONTGOMERY, AL. 36192 NAME ADDRESS CITY STATE SCHOOL ZIP TELEPHONE. SUBJECT FREE PERIOD WATS 1-800-392-5794 mk&i mm&& -iim

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