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Top 5: ‘They’ll never have another Christmas together’

Despite the short week last week, The Daily Record’s reporters packed a lot of news into just a few days. Our most-viewed stories included a verdict of a major murder trial, a Newsmakers profile of the University of Baltimore’s law school dean and a story about our Leadership in Law event.

1. Westminster businessman sentenced to 15 months

A Westminster businessman who conspired to steal more than $1 million from the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau over the course of a decade has been sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Wendell “Sonny” Jackson, 60, who was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake, also got three years’ probation and must pay $1.14 million in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.

2. Neurologist sues Hopkins for $25.5M

The neurologist who established the Johns Hopkins Transverse Myelitis Center is suing the university for $25.5 million, claiming it continues to accuse him of unethical behavior despite “overwhelming factual evidence” to the contrary.

Dr. Douglas Kerr, who left Hopkins this year for a private biotech firm in Massachusetts, seeks $500,000 for breach of contract and $5 million each for defamation, interference with contractual relations and three other intentional torts.

3. Tetso sentenced to 18 years for wife’s murder in ‘no-body’ case

A Baltimore County Circuit Court judge handed down an 18-year prison term to Dennis Tetso Tuesday in the death of his wife, Tracey Gardner-Tetso, who has not been seen or heard from since March 6, 2005.

Tetso was convicted of second-degree murder last month and faced a maximum of 30 years in prison, although sentencing guidelines called for a term between 10 and 18 years.

4. 24 take honors for Leadership in Law

U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey won The Daily Record’s top Leadership in Law award for 2010, honoring her decades of work in public service.

“As all of you know, none of us truly do it alone,” Gauvey said, lavishing praise on the team that surrounds her for taking on her “harebrained ideas.” She gave special mention to her daughter, G-K Gauvey-Kern, and judicial assistant Donna Cowan, both of whom accompanied her to Friday’s ceremony at the BWI Hilton.

5. Phillip J. Closius: Cheerleader and change agent

Philip J. Closius has a reputation of being direct, even blunt. Mention it to him and he quickly gives two responses: “I’m too old.” (He just turned 60.) “Life’s too short.”

Ask him if his manner has ever been a detriment to his career, and the dean of the University of Baltimore School of Law takes only a few seconds longer to respond.