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News of the Weird

What's in a Name?

Unfortunately named Johna Martinez-Meth, 46, of Clearlake, California, was sentenced on Feb. 21 for involuntary manslaughter stemming from a delivery she made to Adrian Sepulveda, an inmate at California Medical Facility in Vacaville, in May 2018. Sepulveda, who died on May 28, 2018, was serving a life sentence for second-degree murder when Martinez-Meth visited him; an autopsy showed that shortly after her visit, Sepulveda had swallowed multiple balloons filled with methamphetamine, Fox News reported. A subsequent search of Martinez-Meth's home uncovered meth and balloons. She pleaded guilty to the charges and will serve two years.

Legal Shenanigans

San Juan County (Washington) Sheriff Ron Krebs is on the hot seat after Superior Court Judge Kathryn Loring accidentally discovered a disturbing video. On Jan. 31, Loring was sitting at the desk of the court administrator when she noticed video from a courthouse camera on the computer screen. As she watched, the camera panned and zoomed in on the jury box and counsel tables—settling on Juror No. 3's notes and a legal pad belonging to Public Defender Colleen Kenimond—right in the middle of a misdemeanor assault and trespassing trial for Lopez Island resident Dustin Schible. According to the Seattle Times, Loring alerted Superior Court Judge Donald Eaton to the video, and Eaton dismissed the charges against Schible, citing government misconduct. Krebs, who controls the cameras, said he was concerned about the defendant, who had threatened to stab a Lopez Island grocer. He claimed he didn't pass on anything he saw with the camera, and County Prosecutor Randall Gaylord said no one in his office received any information from Krebs. "We are independently elected officials," Gaylord said, distancing himself from Krebs.

The Continuing Crisis

Attorneys in Maryville, Tennessee, are debating the merits of a felony case brought against Howard Matthew Webb, 31, after he—proceed with caution here—dipped his testicles in a takeout container of salsa that his companion was delivering along with Mexican food. As the two ferried the food on Jan. 12, Webb took his boys for a swim while he recorded the act, and the driver laughed and said, "This is what you get when you give an 89-cent tip for an almost 30-minute drive." Webb is heard saying, "Oh, oh, it feels so good." The video made it to Facebook, and Webb was arrested on Feb. 22 for "adulteration of foods, liquids or pharmaceuticals," a Class C felony. But three local attorneys told the Knoxville News Sentinel that they don't think the charge holds up. "It's doubtful under these facts, no matter how outrageous, that this criminal offense could be proven," said attorney Gregory P. Isaacs. "It appears salsa man may have committed an act for which the legislature has not yet contemplated the absurdity of."

Bright Ideas

The long, harsh winter must be getting to folks in Muskego, Wisconsin, to wit: Police were called to a home on Feb. 22 after "a big teddy bear" was reported to be at a neighbor's front door. As it turned out, the human-sized panda—not native to the Badger State—was a 48-year-old man who had been asked to check on the dogs and thought it would be funny to prank his neighbors through their security system. "I knew my neighbors had cameras, and I thought I was going to make the ordinary extraordinary and dress up in the panda suit," the unnamed man told CBS 58. Apparently he has also picked his daughter up at school and met her at the bus stop in the suit (pandas are her favorite animal).

Neighbors of Michal Prasek, 33, of Zdechov, Czech Republic, were rightly concerned about the animals living on his property. In 2016, Prasek bought a full-grown lion, and two years later added a lioness, for breeding purposes. He built enclosures for them, defying government regulations, and would not allow authorities onto his property to investigate. BBC News reported on March 5 that Prasek's project had met a tragic end: He was discovered by his father in the lion's cage, mauled to death. The father said the cage had been locked from the inside. Police who were called to the scene killed the two lions in order to reach Prasek's body. Presumably grasping for a silver lining, Zdechov Mayor Tomas Kocourek commented: "Today's incident will perhaps finally help to resolve this long-term problem." Cold, dude.

Judith Streng and her son, Rod, traveled to Iceland in February, where they visited Diamond Beach, in Jokulsarlon. The tourist attraction features huge chunks of ice that have broken off a nearby glacier. The Texas grandma saw other visitors having their pictures taken on a beached iceberg that was shaped like a throne, so she climbed aboard for her turn. That's when a "sneaker wave" swept in and took Streng out into the lagoon. "A very large wave came in and kind of made the throne kind of rock," she told ABC News. Streng was rescued by a boater, Randy Lacount of Florida, who happened to be nearby when she drifted away from shore. "You know I always wanted to be queen," Streng said. "That was my chance."

Least Competent Criminal

In the category of Unnecessarily Calling Attention to Your Criminal Self, Trinidad J. Garcia, 26, of Forest Lake, Minnesota, wins the gold. On March 1, as Garcia motored his BMW north on snow-slick I-35, police say he fired a stolen gun, without provocation, into the passenger door of a pickup truck that was passing him on the left. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported he then veered into the median ditch. Luckily for him, a state trooper was close by and stopped. Garcia, who had stuffed the loaded gun in his front pocket, was arrested; in his car, officers found a shoebox with $11,481 in cash. He was charged with second-degree assault, drive-by shooting and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Recurring Theme

Mark Anthony Jones, 46, of Marion, Indiana, is probably in the market for a nice holster after his experience on Feb. 28. Jones told police he was walking along a riverside trail in Marion early that morning when his firearm began to slip from his waistband. As he reached to adjust it, the gun discharged and, according to the police report, "The bullet entered just above his penis and exited his scrotum." WISH-TV reported that Jones did not have a license for the Hi-Point 9mm weapon. Grant County prosecutors were considering whether to charge him with any crimes.

Drinkin' and Shootin'

Ah, the pregnant possibilities of combining alcohol and firearms. In Warren County, Virginia, Mariah Smith, 38, of Arlington, and another woman were enjoying a quiet horse ride through a cemetery in Middletown on the evening of March 2, reported NBC4. But when they were asked to remove their horses from the cemetery grounds, Smith fired her .38 Smith and Wesson pistol, according to Warren County sheriff's officers who responded to a call there. Deputies found the women nearby and charged Smith with three firearms charges, including possessing a concealed firearm while under the influence.

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