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CENTRAL ISLIP/Montauk man charged with 1992 killing of sailor

A Montauk man accused of killing a sailor in 1992 in South Carolina is fighting extradition.

Thomas Solheim, handcuffed and in a wheelchair, was arraigned Thursday afternoon in First District Court in Central Islip where Judge Stephen Behar ordered him held without bail. Solheim is being charged with murder, Behar said.

Solheim, 53, of Essex Street, was arrested Tuesday night on a warrant from Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents and Suffolk Cold Case Squad, Suffolk Det. Sgt. Thomas Groneman said yesterday.

The victim, James Alan Horton, then 22 and serving in the Navy, was sexually assaulted, struck in the head with a blunt object, shot in the chest and then left facedown in a ditch in about 4 feet of water, authorities said.

On Wednesday, Solheim was represented by a legal aid attorney who announced that Solheim wanted to fight being transferred to authorities in South Carolina.

Following the announcement, prosecutors said they plan to present a warrant for Solheim to be extradited at his next court appearance, which is set for July 29.

Solheim's counsel asked that he be placed on suicide watch. She also asked for medical attention for Solheim who she said suffers from seizures. In court, Behar said Solheim will undergo mental health screening.

- YAMICHE ALCINDOR


CENTRAL ISLIP/Man pleads not guilty to arms, drug charges

A Central Islip man charged with running a gun-trafficking ring out of his home pleaded not guilty Thursday to weapons and drug charges.

Carlos Garcia, 47, was one of three men involved in a scheme to buy semiautomatic weapons in Florida and resell them on Long Island, according to an indictment handed up last Friday by a Suffolk County grand jury.

Garcia also was charged with selling cocaine.

Garcia pleaded not guilty to first-degree criminal sale of a firearm, fourth-degree conspiracy and criminal sale of a controlled substance. County Court Judge Gerard Asher ordered Garcia held on $1 million bond or $500,000 cash bail and set his next court date for Aug. 23.

Two other men, Santos Garcia, 39, of Huntington Station, and Romel Garcia, 43, of Spring Hill, Fla., also were named in the indictment. Santos Garcia is due in court July 23 to answer charges of third-degree criminal sale of a firearm.

Romel Garcia, Carlos Garcia's brother, faces weapons and assault charges in Hernando County, Fla., where he is being held. It is not clear whether the brothers are related to Santos Garcia, prosecutors have said.

- CHAU LAM


PORT WASHINGTON/Woman gets 1 year in jail for bilking Medicaid

A Port Washington woman accused, along with her daughters, of bilking more than $105,000 from Medicaid, was sentenced Thursday in Hempstead to one year in jail, according to the state attorney general's office.

Georgette Nashed, 48, of Port Washington, illegally billed Medicaid for services she said were provided to her parents in their Port Washington home. Nashed also signed time sheets indicating that daughters, Christine, 25, and Darlene, 23, provided the care, the attorney general's office said.

During some of the time that Nashed said her daughters were caring for her parents, the young women were vacationing, the attorney general's office said. At other times, they were working in Manhattan or out-of-state.

Georgette Nashed pleaded guilty April 7 to fourth-degree grand larceny. Darlene Nashed, who pleaded guilty to petty larceny, was sentenced in June to 10 days in jail and 3 years' probation. Christine Nashed pleaded guilty to misdemeanor petty larceny charges on April 7 and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 29.

The family paid restitution of $105,768 to the Medicaid program, officials said.

- CHAU LAM

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