Trial Delayed in Plot to Kill Saudi Envoy

The trial of Mansour J. Arbabsiar, an Iranian-American man accused of plotting to kill a Saudi ambassador, has been delayed, a federal judge said on Thursday, adding that he was concerned that the case was moving too slowly.

“I want this case to go to trial,” said the judge, John F. Keenan, of Federal District Court in Manhattan. “All that seems to happen here is every time I come to court somebody wants to adjourn it.”

Judge Keenan announced that the trial, which was originally to begin in October, would start on Jan. 7.

Mr. Arbabsiar, a former used car salesman from Texas, has been charged with participating in a plot organized by the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that was said to have involved hiring members of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States.

Judge Keenan said in February that he wanted the proceedings to move swiftly and he set a trial date of Oct. 22. Although Mr. Arbabsiar was arrested on Sept. 29, 2011, at Kennedy International Airport, he did not appear before a judge or speak with a lawyer for almost two weeks, until Oct. 11.

Prosecutors and the defense have signaled that Mr. Arbabsiar’s mental state while undergoing 12 days of interrogation will be important in the case, with experts from each side weighing in.

Prosecutors said Mr. Arbabsiar had confessed to participating in the plot while “knowingly and voluntarily” waiving his rights to remain silent, to consult with a lawyer and to be quickly taken before a judge.

But Mr. Arbabsiar’s lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, said she planned to ask for a hearing to examine whether Mr. Arbabsiar had freely consented to speak without a lawyer by his side. Last month she asked Judge Keenan to order the suppression of statements Mr. Arbarbsiar made during interrogation, citing the opinion of experts who said that he was suffering from serious mental illness.

In court on Thursday Judge Keenan said prosecutors had written a letter asking for an adjournment of that hearing, scheduled for Sept. 6, so their experts could meet with the defendant.

Judge Keenan suggested that the hearing be held on Oct. 9. But Ms. Shroff said that schedule would be a problem because the government had given her new evidence on Wednesday night — a dense 21-page report that appeared to be from an unidentified doctor or a psychologist — that would most likely require the interpretation of yet another expert.

“It’s a document that I cannot possibly understand,” she said, adding that the prosecution might also find the document difficult to comprehend.

After examining the document for a few minutes, Judge Keenan asked an assistant United States attorney, Glen Kopp, who had written it. Mr. Kopp replied that it had been written by Dr. Susan Brandon.

Officials would not provide any information about Dr. Brandon.

The Web site of the American Psychology-Law Society provides a link to a page for a 2012 meeting that identified a conference speaker, Susan E. Brandon, as chief of research for the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, an interagency group created through an executive order, and said she had also been connected to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Defense.

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Man Fatally Shot at a Harlem Inn

A hotel guest was shot and killed inside his room at the Harlem Bed and Breakfast early Thursday, the police said.

Responding to a 911 call at about 1 a.m., officers arrived at the brownstone inn, in the heart of Harlem’s cultural and historic section on West 120th Street, and found a 23-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his neck. The victim was taken to Harlem Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead. At the time of the shooting, both the victim and the suspected gunman, along with a female witness, were together in the room. The suspect fled the scene. Investigators have yet to determine a motive, the police said.

Scott Kinder, an innkeeper at Harlem Bed and Breakfast, did not immediately return a phone call Thursday morning.

Mary Graft, 18, who was visiting from Virginia with her family, was staying on the first floor of the bed-and-breakfast near a stairwell that leads down to the basement level, where the shooting is said to have occurred.

Her family heard arguing around midnight. “We heard talking,” she said. “It sounded like a bunch of people having a good time. Then later there was the screaming and then someone said ‘Oh my God, what happened?’”

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A Clerk With a Heart

Dear Diary:

When I moved into Manhattan from Long Island in 2004, I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles office on 34th Street to update my license to reflect my new address. I had sported a beard at the time and thought I wore it well.

After the photo was taken and processed, a motor vehicle agent with very long nails was looking at the photo on her screen, tapping her fingers and shaking her head in bewilderment. Looking up at me, she said I had better come around to her desk.

To my horror, I looked like Rasputin after the third assassination attempt had failed; definitely a mug shot candidate for “wanted” in several states.

“All I’m saying is if I looked like that, I’d want someone to tell me” she declared, “and this is what we’re going to do.” Passing her long fingernails over the keyboard, she said, “I’m going to hit ‘delete,’ and you and I are going to pretend we never saw that.”

And with that executive decision, my head shot taken 10 years earlier in 1994 was reinstated onto my license, where it remains to this day.

Read all recent entries and our updated submissions guidelines. Reach us via e-mail: [email protected] or telephone: (212) 556-1333. Follow @NYTMetro on Twitter using the hashtag #MetDiary.

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Another Trial Is Scheduled for Man Charged in 2008 Killing of Psychologist

A man accused of murdering a psychologist in her Upper East Side office in 2008 is set to face trial next year, after his lawyers said Wednesday that they would not challenge a finding that he was mentally fit. A 2010 attempt to try the man, David Tarloff, ended in a mistrial after he became psychotic during jury selection.

Assessments of Mr. Tarloff, 44, have varied since he was charged with fatally stabbing Kathryn Faughey on Feb. 12, 2008.

But state psychiatrists determined in June that he was mentally healthy enough to participate in his own defense. On Wednesday, after his lawyers said they would not challenge the finding, Justice Edward J. McLaughlin of State Supreme Court in Manhattan scheduled Mr. Tarloff’s trial for Jan. 7, 2013.

As he has done repeatedly over the years, Mr. Tarloff interrupted the hearing with occasional outbursts, and he suggested that the district attorney’s office would not prosecute him if they knew his true history.

“Since I was 20, I’ve been having hallucinations about God and the devil,” he blurted out.

One of his lawyers, Bryan Konoski, told the judge that Mr. Tarloff had deteriorated since he was transferred from Bellevue Hospital Center to Rikers Island in June. Evan Krutoy, the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case, told Justice McLaughlin that he would work to see Mr. Tarloff returned to the hospital.

Mr. Tarloff’s legal team plans to pursue a defense that he was not guilty by reason of insanity, which they said would result in his being held, probably for the rest of his life, in a psychiatric facility instead of a prison.

Two of Dr. Faughey’s brothers, Michael and Owen Faughey, attended the hearing. They said later that they hoped Mr. Tarloff would be returned to Bellevue to receive enough medical attention to be ready for trial.

“We just want to make sure that he stays fit and stands trial and we can get this behind us once and for all,” Michael Faughey said.

A version of this article appeared in print on 08/16/2012, on page A21 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Another Trial Is Scheduled for Man Charged in ’08 Killing of Psychologist.

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What Stands on Two Legs, Isn’t Pink but Is Still a Flamingo?

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Still Pulling for a Wildflower’s Survival

Eight years ago, a preservation battle raged on Staten Island over an inconspicuous plant called Torrey’s mountain mint. It was known to grow in fewer than 20 locations on the planet, and one of them was a site on the island’s southwest edge where a developer planned to build a shopping center called Bricktown Centre at Charleston.

The plant itself was at the edge of the site and would survive the bulldozer, but its advocates argued that it would be isolated and therefore further imperiled by the construction.

The plant’s defenders lost the battle; Bricktown Centre now sprouts a Target and a Home Depot. But the little patch of Torrey’s mountain mint has survived, too.

Marielle Anzelone, a former botanist for the city who also wrote the “Spring Time” and “Autumn Unfolds” series for City Room, has an Op-Ed piece in Wednesday’s Times about it. Read her article.

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Off-Duty Detective Charged With Assaulting Officer and Resisting Arrest

An off-duty city police detective assaulted a police officer who was trying to arrest him on drunken-driving charges in Upper Manhattan early Monday, the police said.

The detective, Harold Thomas, 49, was driving a Cadillac Escalade at Dyckman and Staff Streets in Inwood just after midnight when he was pulled over because his car resembled one that the police were looking for in connection with another matter, the police said.

The vehicle was the wrong one, but officers noticed that its driver, Detective Thomas, was “acting belligerently, apparently because he was inebriated,” a police spokesman said.

When an officer tried to arrest Detective Thomas, he resisted and assaulted the officer, though he did not inflict serious injuries, the police said. Detective Thomas is accused of drunken driving, obstructing governmental administration and refusing to take a breath test, in addition to assault and resisting arrest. He has been suspended without pay.

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Mother of Queens 2-Year-Old Charged in His Murder

Updated, 12:29 p.m. | The mother of a 2-year-old Queens boy was arrested Monday on charges of murdering him, the police said. The boy, Izayah Hall, was found strangled Friday evening inside his family’s apartment at 155-14 Jewel Avenue in the Pomonok public-housing complex, the police said.

His mother, Afriyie Gaspard, 29, is to be charged with manslaughter and murder, the police said.

After Izayah’s death, his five siblings were placed in the care of the city’s child welfare agency, the Administration for Children’s Services, the agency said. It would not immediately say whether it had a history of contact with the family prior to Izayah’s death.

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Dispute Derails Plan to Revive H&H Bagels

H&H bagels are not bound for Fulton Street after all: negotiations to revive the iconic brand in a new location in Lower Manhattan has fallen through, both sides said.

On Friday, a lawyer for Randy Narod, the Long Island schmear-slinger who planned to open the new location at 125 Fulton Street, wrote in a letter to the lawyer for the H&H founder Helmer Toro that Mr. Narod had “agreed to immediately cease any intended use and registration” of the bagel chain’s vaunted name.

Mr. Toro had informed Mr. Narod that he would not be a part of Mr. Narod’s plans, a reversal of course from developments in July, when Mr. Toro and Mr. Narod had discussed a partnership in the new location.

The store would have combined Mr. Toro’s bagels and menu items from Mr. Narod’s Long Island Bagel Café chain, Mr. Narod said at the time.

But by the end of the month, Mr. Toro said in an interview, he had decided he no longer wanted to do business with Mr. Narod, citing what he called Mr. Narod’s “shady” behavior.

Chief among Mr. Toro’s complaints, he said, was Mr. Narod’s decision to register the name “Original H&H Bagels,” a slight variation on the name of Mr. Toro’s stores, with the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office in May without telling Mr. Toro.

Mr. Toro said he was also upset that Mr. Narod told media outlets that Mr. Toro had agreed to become a consultant at the new location before any agreement had been finalized.

Mr. Narod, reached by phone on Friday, confirmed that Mr. Toro will not be a part of the Fulton Street restaurant. But notwithstanding the letter from his lawyer to Mr. Toro’s, Mr. Narod said he “cannot disclose” whether his new store would be called H&H Bagels.

“I don’t know what’s going on with my lawyers and his lawyers,” he said.

Scott Fisher, Mr. Narod’s lawyer, did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Toro said that he now planned to resume discussions with two other investors interested in opening an H&H Bagels store elsewhere in the city. He would not say how close he was to reaching an agreement with either potential investor.

New York City has been without an H&H location since the Midtown factory closed earlier this year after several years of financial problems.

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