Compelling Explanations 

Being the first licensed male prostitute in Nevada (and thus the U.S.), explained "Markus" in a January interview for Details magazine, is to him "a civil rights thing." "It's just the same as when Rosa Parks decided to sit at the front (of the bus) instead of the back."

Lame: Ex-convict John Stephens told a Floyd County (Ind.) judge in December that he had a full-time job and intended to turn his life around, but had slipped when he tried to rob the Your Community Bank. "If I hadn't been watching the news and seeing (other successful) bank robberies," he said, he wouldn't have been tempted. He said he was especially impressed by one serial robber, who had made it look easy by vaulting over banks' counters.

In Kansas City, Mo., in December, the mother of Charles Irving tried to protect her 27-year-old son from a charge of being a felon in possession of a gun. She told police (without success) that he had needed the gun to protect her from vampires.

Rod Jetton, a former speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives and creator of Common Sense Conservative Consulting, LLC, was charged with felony assault in December after visiting a woman in her home in Sikeston, apparently for a sexual encounter. The woman later charged that Jetton punched her in the head and choked her into unconsciousness as his idea of foreplay, but Jetton said the "assault" was consensual, in that she was to utter a pre-arranged "safe word (phrase)" if things got too rough and that he would have immediately stopped. Jetton told police that the woman never spoke the agreed-on phrase "green balloons."

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