Courts & Crime

FBI has investigated DesignLine over used parts, attorney says

The FBI has investigated Charlotte-based bus maker DesignLine in the past year over allegations related to used parts on new buses, an attorney representing creditors of the bankrupt company told the Observer on Friday. | 11/16/13 16:22:27 By - Rick Rothacker

SeaWorld death by killer whale could result in more federal oversight

The case of the killer whale that dragged a SeaWorld trainer to her death seemed to divide a top appeals court Tuesday. | 11/12/13 16:04:01 By - By Michael Doyle

SeaWorld appeals penalty, restrictions imposed after trainer’s death

Represented by a high-powered attorney with a famous pedigree, SeaWorld is challenging a federal penalty imposed following the February 2010 death of trainer Dawn Brancheau. More than a monetary fine is on the line. The veteran trainer died after being dragged underwater by a bull orca based at SeaWorld’s Orlando, Fla., facility. | 11/08/13 18:34:02 By - By Michael Doyle

Impatient Congress presses ahead on military sexual-assault law

In what seems like a case of ready-fire-aim, Congress is rewriting military sexual-assault laws and policies without waiting for the recommendations of an expert panel that lawmakers themselves once deemed necessary. | 11/07/13 21:54:00 By - By Michael Doyle

Foreign Service officer pleads guilty in visa fraud-bribery scandal

A Foreign Service official accused of selling hundreds of visas to residents of Vietnam pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of conspiracy, bribery and money laundering. | 11/06/13 17:07:16 By - By Vera Bergengruen

Does Supreme Court case have a prayer? Stay tuned

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida wants the Senate to keep praying before lawmakers get down to business. Texas legislators, too, want their daily prayers. And in an unexpected pew-sharing, the Obama administration has joined conservative state and federal lawmakers in urging the Supreme Court to tolerate prayers during government meetings. | 11/03/13 07:03:15 By - By Michael Doyle

Senators probe oversights in background checks tied to Washington Navy Yard shooting

Members of a Senate committee investigating the Washington Navy Yard mass shooting found numerous problems in the process of granting government clearances, including the one received by gunman Aaron Alexis. | 10/31/13 17:51:22 By - By Kendall Helblig

Kidnappings soar in Mexico, with police often among the perpetrators

Even amid an unprecedented rash of kidnappings in Mexico, the snatching of John Jairo Guzman stood out. | 10/31/13 14:57:16 By - By Tim Johnson

NCAA argues against Paterno family claims; no ruling yet in sanctions case

The 7-year-old son of a former Nittany Lion made a startling discovery about his dad’s playing days at Penn State two weekends ago. The boy accompanied his dad to Penn State’s game against Michigan, and at Beaver Stadium, he paged through the program to find when his dad played under coach Joe Paterno. As the boy was dismayed to find, there were a bunch of zeroes in the win column, as the victories were wiped out as part of the NCAA’s sanctions against the university. | 10/29/13 16:40:24 By - Mike Dawson

Alaska National Guard unit being investigated for allegations of sexual misconduct

Current and former members of the Alaska National Guard say there’s serious sexual misconduct within the ranks and an investigation of recruiters accused of rape is now underway. | 10/27/13 06:36:19 By - By Sean Cockerham

U.S. use of extradition to nab Russian suspects draws Moscow’s anger

A little known extradition case in Costa Rica is shedding light on Russia’s practice of vigorously defending its citizens arrested overseas and threatened with extradition to the United States on organized crime charges. | 10/25/13 17:38:41 By - By Tim Johnson

‘Toxic tush’ illegal butt doctor in Miami pleads guilty, will serve 1 year in prison

A Miami Gardens transgender woman who drew national headlines for reportedly injecting Fix-a-Flat, Super Glue and mineral oil into the rear ends of women during illegal cosmetic surgeries will serve one year in prison. | 10/24/13 15:23:12 By - David Ovalle

Can Guantanamo detainees challenge confinement conditions?

Federal judges are trying to determine whether they can hear legal actions filed by Guantanamo detainees over conditions of confinement, including force-feeding. | 10/18/13 17:22:21 By - By Michael Doyle

Sandusky fallout costs Penn State more than $50 million

The money Penn State has spent in legal and consulting fees for the Jerry Sandusky scandal has topped $50 million. | 10/15/13 13:32:23 By - Matt Carroll

Facebook slaying autopsy reveals defensive wounds, point-blank gunshots

Newly released medical evidence suggests that the South Miami woman killed by her husband — who then posted a photo of her corpse on Facebook — may have been on her knees trying to shield her face as he repeatedly shot her at point-blank range. | 10/11/13 12:35:03 By - David Ovalle

Cloud over Chandra Levy murder witness raises doubts

The Chandra Levy murder mystery now revolves around a Fresno, Calif.-based federal prosecutor and a former gang member he once put away. | 10/09/13 18:31:37 By - By Michael Doyle

Eastern Kentucky lawyer earned millions in fees through disability 'scheme,' investigators say

An Eastern Kentucky lawyer has earned $22.7 million in attorney's fees from the Social Security Administration since 2001, in part through a lucrative "scheme" to defraud the agency's disability benefits programs, a U.S. Senate committee said in a report released Monday. | 10/07/13 19:47:56 By - John Cheves

Six Flags denies liability in fatal roller coaster accident

Six Flags Over Texas denied liability in the July accident of a Dallas woman who fell to her death from the Texas Giant roller coaster, saying in a court filing that it complied with inspections and maintenance procedures recommended by the German company that designed and built the ride. | 10/07/13 19:26:08 By - Sandra Baker

Driver in car chase near Capitol dead after shooting

A woman was killed and two federal law enforcement officers were injured Thursday after a wild car chase through the streets of downtown Washington left lawmakers, tourists and congressional staff briefly trapped inside a tense, locked-down Capitol. | 10/03/13 20:36:40 By - By David Lightman and William Douglas

Families urge stronger restrictions on painkillers

Steve Rummler was a financial planner and musician who was about to marry his high school sweetheart when his addiction to pain medication prescribed for a back injury led him to a fatal overdose. | 10/01/13 20:10:29 By - By Sarah Sexton

Mother of slain California prison guard says jails need help

Prison inmates killed Terry Rivera’s son, a correctional officer at U.S. Penitentiary Atwater. | 10/01/13 15:11:08 By - By Michael Doyle

N.C. voter law intentionally discriminates, Holder says

The U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s controversial voter ID law is the Obama administration’s latest forceful response to a Supreme Court decision that critics say gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act. | 10/01/13 03:30:37 By - By Franco Ordonez

‘A lot of red flags’ in background of alleged Navy Yard shooter, Hagel says

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel acknowledged Wednesday that there were “a lot of red flags” in the past of alleged Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, and he ordered top-to-bottom reviews of background checks for security clearances and procedures for gaining access to U.S. military facilities worldwide. | 09/18/13 19:38:12 By - By James Rosen and Lindsay Wise

Alleged Navy Yard shooter fell through porous security check system

Gaps in how the military conducts background checks enabled the shooter in Monday’s deadly Washington Navy Yard rampage to obtain a high-level security clearance and gain access to protected installations, despite a history of disciplinary problems in the Navy and run-ins with police. | 09/17/13 21:55:43 By - By James Rosen, Greg Gordon and Lindsay Wise

Aaron Alexis’ characteristics mirrored those of mass shooters

What are the factors that motivate a mass shooter? Washington Navy Yard shooting suspect Aaron Alexis had several characteristics common among mass killers, experts say: aggression, difficulties on the job, paranoia and anger problems. Alexis reportedly went on a rampage Monday, killing 12 people in a commando-style attack at the Navy Yard, where he was beginning work as a civilian contractor. | 09/17/13 19:38:12 By - By Maria Recio

Alleged D.C. gunman reportedly heard voices, had checkered past

A day after a bloody rampage at the Washington Navy Yard left 13 dead in the nation’s capital, troubling new details emerged Tuesday about the psychological state of alleged gunman Aaron Alexis and why his life appeared to have suddenly unraveled. | 09/17/13 19:38:12 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Navy Yard alleged gunman purchased shotgun legally in Virginia

A day after a shooting rampage that left 13 dead in the nation’s capital, the FBI said Tuesday afternoon that alleged gunman Aaron Alexis was armed only with a shotgun purchased legally in Virginia when he entered the Navy Yard’s Building 197 and began firing. | 09/17/13 14:46:38 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Security at Navy Yard weak, surveillance expert says

The Washington Navy Yard, a former shipyard where Monday’s fatal shootings occurred, has a history of weak security with past reports citing poor entrance controls, video dead spots, inadequate lighting, malfunctioning alarms and other problems. | 09/16/13 19:38:12 By -

13 dead in D.C. Navy Yard shooting rampage; suspected gunman a contractor

A mass shooting Monday morning at the Washington Navy Yard left at least 13 people dead, including a suspected gunman, who police said was a contractor with valid military identification who apparently drove onto the base. | 09/16/13 19:38:12 By - By Kevin G. Hall and Marisa Taylor

Suit filed against Six Flags in Texas Giant death

The family of a Dallas woman killed in July after being thrown off the Texas Giant ride has filed suit against Six Flags, alleging the amusement park was negligent in not having an adequate restraint system in place despite past fatalities at other parks. | 09/10/13 19:05:40 By - Deanna Boyd

'Shake-and-bake' meth making has a dangerous side

It is called “shake and bake,” a mobile method for making methamphetamine that is sweeping across the South and Midwest. A more appropriate name might be “ticking time bomb” because of its explosive nature. | 09/09/13 13:16:03 By - Domingo Ramirez Jr

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Robert Bales sentenced to life without parole in slaying of Afghans

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales received a life sentence without the possibility parole on Friday for his single-handed massacre of 16 Afghan civilians in March 2012. | 08/23/13 14:42:42 By - Adam Ashton

Manning sentenced to 35 years in WikiLeaks case

An Army judge on Wednesday sentenced Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in a military prison for orchestrating the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history. | 08/21/13 15:07:21 By - by Michael Doyle

FBI agent reaffirms claims of job discrimination

The top FBI agent in Washington state says job discrimination against her has continued in the nearly two years since she first sued the bureau. | 08/21/13 05:48:59 By - By Michael Doyle

Fort Worth police add tiny cameras to officers’ gear

Police hope a small piece of high-tech equipment will deliver big results as it records officers’ interactions with the public. | 08/15/13 11:50:40 By - Bill Miller

N.C. agrees to $12 million settlement for two wrongly imprisoned men

North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation and its insurers have agreed to pay $12.475 million to two innocent men who spent a total of 31 years behind bars. | 08/13/13 12:44:40 By - Joseph Neff and Mandy Locke

Mike McQueary testifies Paterno told him Penn State botched handling of Sandusky sex abuse

Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno said Old Main “screwed it up” in handling child sexual abuse allegations in 2001 against his long-time assistant Jerry Sandusky, according to testimony Monday from Mike McQueary in Harrisburg. | 07/29/13 15:46:44 By - Matt Carroll

Juror: Trayvon played 'huge role' in own death

Martin “played a huge role in his death,” one of the six jurors who acquitted George Zimmerman in the killing of the Miami Gardens teen said in an interview that aired Tuesday night. | 07/17/13 13:41:38 By - Kathleen McGrory

KC police avert ‘suicide by cop’ by using bean bags

The man wearing green camouflage had a knife and wanted police to shoot him dead. Instead, Kansas City officers shot him with bean bags and shocked him with a stun gun late Monday before taking him down with their hands. | 07/17/13 12:51:31 By - Christine Vendel

Former Penn State administrators to have day in court July 29

Nine months after being indicted, three former Penn State administrators charged with obstruction of justice and perjury in the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse case finally have a court date for a preliminary hearing. | 07/09/13 18:08:03 By - Mike Dawson

Former Penn State President Spanier wants ‘unconstitutional’ travel restrictions lifted

The bail conditions holding back Graham Spanier from traveling abroad are “unconstitutional,” a lawyer for the former Penn State president said in a court motion asking a judge to lift the restrictions. | 07/01/13 19:08:13 By - Mike Dawson

Hells Angels president cries as he pleads for mercy in federal court

At first, the Hells Angels biker appeared defiant as he was led into a courtroom at the Matthew J. Perry Federal Courthouse in Columbia. Within 30 minutes, however, 50-year-old Mark 'Lightning' Baker was crying as he begged U.S. District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie to have mercy on him. | 06/20/13 13:18:37 By - Noelle Phillips

Socialite claims she was attacked by 10 prostitutes at Miami hotel

Times must be tough for Miami's South Beach hookers. So tough, apparently, that they’ve now allegedly taken to beating down their competition — or at least that’s what a South Jersey woman claims in a civil lawsuit filed against the W Hotel. | 06/03/13 14:57:37 By - Juile K. Brown

Manning court martial trial starts Monday

Amid secrecy and spectacle, the long-awaited court-martial trial of WikiLeaks linchpin Bradley E. Manning starts Monday. | 06/02/13 08:47:35 By - By Michael Doyle

Women workers at Florida prison win class-action status in sexual harassment case

Dozens of female staffers say they regularly confront groping, rape threats, public masturbation and other serious sexual harassment while overseeing inmates at the large federal prison complex in Coleman, Fla. | 05/30/13 06:13:33 By - By Michael Doyle

Witness in Chandra Levy murder case was government informer

The key witness in the trial of the man convicted of killing former intern Chandra Levy had a previously undisclosed history as a government snitch, a court hearing revealed Tuesday. | 05/22/13 06:43:16 By - By Michael Doyle

State police: 'Too early to know' about charges in death of 2-year-old who was shot by brother, 5

Kentucky State Police said Wednesday it is too early to say whether charges will be filed in the case of a 5-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister. | 05/01/13 18:24:11 By - Greg Kocher

Sheriff says intruder intended to attack California girl

Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz vowed Monday evening that he and his officers will hunt down and capture the man suspected of killing 8-year-old Leila Fowler in her home over the weekend. | 04/30/13 14:06:12 By - Kevin Valine

Zombie game at Kentucky's Transylvania University leads to possible gang threat

A Transylvania University student wearing a red bandanna thought it was a joke when three men told him he was in the wrong territory and threatened to shoot him Sunday night, police said. | 04/30/13 11:48:07 By - Josh Kegley

Police dogs a big help in small towns

A decade ago, police dogs were seen as four-legged indulgences that took too big a bite out of the budget for most small-town departments to consider. | 04/29/13 13:09:09 By - Matha Quillin

‘Queen-pin’ pleads guilty in Miami drug-trafficking case tied to Mexico, Colombia

Sandra Avila Beltran, the dark-haired Mexican beauty dubbed the “Queen of the Pacific,” has pleaded guilty to a drug-trafficking charge in Miami, closing the curtain on the once celebrity-like role of the reputed cocaine smuggler. | 04/24/13 12:44:16 By - Jay Weaver

Prosecutors drop charges against ricin suspect; agents search another home

Federal prosecutors abruptly dropped charges Tuesday against a Mississippi man accused last week of sending letters laced with poisonous ricin to President Barack Obama and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, even as authorities promptly searched the home of another apparent suspect. | 04/23/13 23:53:43 By - By Greg Gordon

California sheriff: 'Fusion parties' becoming deadly trend

Huge underground parties that draw teenagers and young adults are turning increasingly dangerous and deadly, with two people killed and three others wounded in shootings in the last month, Madera County Sheriff John Anderson said Monday. | 04/23/13 12:51:12 By - Pablo Lopez

Bombing manhunt ends, suspect in custody, as Boston breathes sigh of relief

The search for the Boston Marathon bombers ended Friday night to the sound of flash-bang grenades and neighborhood cheers as the second of two Chechen brothers was cornered, captured and taken away in an ambulance. | 04/19/13 19:44:09 By - By Michael Doyle, Lesley Clark, James Rosen and Erika Bolstad

Senate moves closer to compromise on gun background checks

Nearly four months after the shooting deaths of 20 schoolchildren and six others in Connecticut, the Senate moved closer Wednesday to a vote on a package of gun-related legislation, in a turnaround for supporters of new gun restrictions whose efforts have faltered in recent weeks. | 04/11/13 07:06:57 By - By Curtis Tate

Official: Aryan Brotherhood plays substantial role in Texas' Tarrant County crime

FORT WORTH -- A Texas prison gang known for extreme violence and illegal drug dealings has deep roots in Tarrant County, a local drug official said Tuesday. Investigators have explored possible connections between the group and the killing of prosecutors in Kaufman County, according to news reports. But they aren't talking about it, and regardless of whether there's any link, the Texas criminal justice system will be dealing with the Aryan group for quite a while to come. | 04/03/13 13:18:18 By - Domingo Ramirez Jr.

Search warrant: Texas DA, wife shot multiple times

KAUFMAN -- Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife both were shot multiple times inside their home near Forney, according to a search warrant affidavit filed by the Texas Rangers and released Monday.

The McLellands were killed two months after Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, 57, was gunned down while walking to work at the county courthouse. Investigators have declined to link the two shootings, although County Judge Bruce Wood said Monday that he believes they are related. | 04/02/13 08:11:08 By - By Bill Hanna

‘Today’ show interview: Jerry Sandusky maintains innocence

In jailhouse interviews broadcast Monday, convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky laughed off the notion he was sexually abusing a young boy in a Penn State locker room in 2001, saying sex is “the last thing” he would think of about the incident that led to the firing of longtime coach Joe Paterno | 03/25/13 12:50:24 By - Mike Dawson

Fresno's car thieves passing skills to next generation

Fresno police are reporting a disturbing trend in the city's long-running war against car thieves: Imprisoned criminals are getting out quickly and teaching their skills to younger gang members. | 03/22/13 13:16:00 By - Jim Guy

Penn State releases confidential copy of Freeh contract; cost for investigation $8 million

Penn State on Monday released the confidential paperwork authorizing Louis Freeh’s law firm to undertake the investigation that ended up accusing former leaders of concealing abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky. | 03/12/13 13:01:52 By - Mike Dawson

Jerry Sandusky's lawyers outline appeal plans

Attorneys for Jerry Sandusky outlined plans for future appeals of his child sex abuse conviction in a court document filed Monday. | 03/12/13 07:23:16 By - Matt Carroll

Sandusky attorneys outline plans for appeal

Attorneys for Jerry Sandusky outlined plans for future appeals of his child sex abuse conviction in a court document filed Monday. | 03/11/13 16:33:46 By - Matt Carroll

Former UNC football player Austin says he got $2,000 from Georgia agent

Marvin Austin, the former UNC football player whose tweets launched an NCAA probe that resulted in sanctions, told special agents that he received several thousand dollars in cash from an agent while he was a student, according to warrants unsealed in Wake County Superior Court on Monday. | 03/11/13 10:57:22 By - Anne Blythe

Penn State sues insurance company, says it failed to cover Sandusky victims’ claims

Penn State is suing one of its insurance providers, claiming the company failed to cover the university against claims by 30 men who have come forward saying Jerry Sandusky abused them. | 03/05/13 19:15:27 By - Matt Carroll

Alleged prostitute recants story about sex with Sen. Menendez

A woman who allegedly appeared in a video in which she claimed to have been paid for sex with Sen. Bob Menendez is now saying the video was a setup. | 03/04/13 22:12:43 By - EZRA FIESER

Miami imam convicted of Taliban-related terror charges

A Miami imam was found guilty Monday on four terror-related charges. For two months, federal prosecutors portrayed Miami imam Hafiz Khan in the worst possible light: terrorist sympathizer, Taliban supporter and pathological liar. | 03/04/13 12:56:36 By - Jay Weaver

Kansas City Star special: Sins of the Father

This 12-gauge Remington Wingmaster was one elusive weapon. It disappeared from the police property room, took a side trip to a local gun shop, then somehow landed right back in police hands. They just didn’t know it. This remains an odd and troubling provenance for the weapon used in Kansas City’s most enduring murder mystery, the July 15, 1970, killing of Leon Jordan. He was one of the most dynamic and complex politicians the city ever produced. | 03/04/13 12:42:40 By - Mike McGraw

Handguns, not assault weapons, are responsible for most N.C. gun deaths

In the wake of gun massacres in Colorado and Connecticut, President Barack Obama has urged Congress to pass a series of gun control laws that include background checks for all gun sales and a ban on the assault-style weapons used in the shootings. | 03/04/13 07:19:11 By - Thomasi McDonald

Pastors across Florida county unite to fight black-on-black crime

Before families in Miami’s black communities bury loved ones killed by violent shootings, they call a pastor. The pastors console grief-stricken mothers and fathers. And on the day of the funeral, usually a Saturday, they look into the tear-streaked faces of mourners and deliver a eulogy that touches on the value of life. | 03/01/13 14:04:50 By - Nadege Green

UNC student who spoke out on rape is accused of intimidation

Weeks after filing a federal complaint against UNC-Chapel Hill for its handling of sexual assault cases, a student faces an honor court trial herself, accused of “intimidating behavior” against a fellow student she says raped her. | 02/27/13 12:55:44 By - Jane Stancill

One dead in shooting near Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina

Officials at Coastal Carolina University confirmed early Wednesday that one student was killed in a shooting near the campus Tuesday evening. | 02/27/13 12:10:23 By - Brad Dickerson

Who should pay to defend Larry Craig’s bathroom antics?

A federal judge this week will confront the surprisingly important fallout from former Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig’s 2007 bathroom arrest. | 02/26/13 06:39:19 By - By Michael Doyle

Levy prosecutors sat on key information, defense claims

The case against the man convicted of killing former intern Chandra Levy is “drastically undercut” by information that prosecutors kept to themselves “for the better part of a year,” according to defense attorneys, who now say they will seek a new trial. | 02/20/13 06:26:05 By - By Michael Doyle

Confessed serial killer Israel Keyes had razor in cell despite extra restrictions

Alaska Department of Corrections staff mistakenly gave a razor to Israel Keyes, a self-confessed serial killer who used the blade to commit suicide last year in an Anchorage jail cell, the department said Wednesday. | 02/14/13 07:00:25 By - Casey Grove and Lisa Demer

Geralyn Graham gets 55 years in Florida's Rilya Wilson foster child abuse case

Even as she was about to face justice for kidnapping and child abuse, Geralyn Graham insisted she never harmed foster child Rilya Wilson. | 02/12/13 13:11:42 By - David Ovalle

Miami U.S. attorney issues warning and crackdown on ID theft, tax-refund fraud

Guard your identity with your life, warns South Florida’s top law enforcement official. U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer says the double whammy of ID theft and tax-refund scams are the “new Medicare fraud,” picking the pockets of hard-working people and the federal government every year for billions of dollars. | 02/06/13 14:48:24 By - Jay Weaver

Baltimore man found guilty in Phylicia Barnes murder trial

A jury has found a Baltimore man guilty of second-degree murder in the 2010 death of Phylicia Barnes, the Monroe teenager whose disappearance and subsequent missing persons case sparked national headlines. | 02/06/13 13:08:56 By - Franco Ordoñez

Ex-aide to Sen. Bob Menendez could benefit from contract tied to donor under FBI scrutiny

A former aide to Sen. Bob Menendez might benefit from a major overseas port deal that’s supported by the powerful Democrat and is tied to a South Florida donor whose offices were raided last week by the FBI. | 02/06/13 07:06:59 By - Marc Caputo

Miami Gardens fights ‘no snitching’ code after string of murders

The Sunday school teachers at New Beginning Missionary Baptist Church in Miami Gardens are well-versed in Biblical tales such as the Good Samaritan or Noah’s Ark. But this year, a police officer will preach to the youngest members of the flock, telling them about a contemporary version of the Golden Rule: to respect their neighbors and their neighborhood, and to report wrongdoing rather than uphold the informal no-snitching code. | 02/05/13 13:37:24 By - Nadege Green and Janey Tate

Alleged killer of retired Navy SEAL Chris Kyle had been in mental hospital

A Lancaster man accused of fatally shooting retired Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend at a gun range Saturday had previously threatened to kill himself and others and had twice been taken to a psychiatric hospital for mental health evaluations, according to documents obtained Monday by the Star-Telegram. | 02/05/13 07:35:23 By - Domingo Ramirez Jr.

Jury begins weighing Phylicia Barnes murder case

In closing arguments Monday, defense attorneys criticized the prosecution’s case against Michael Johnson, arguing that it had presented no physical evidence to prove he killed Monroe teenager Phylicia Barnes. | 02/05/13 07:19:51 By - Franco Ordoñez

Trail of Sen. Bob Menendez investigation leads to dead end in Dominican Republic

The shadowy tipster who made explosive allegations involving U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic named names. He gave descriptions of the women, and in some cases, phone numbers and addresses. | 02/04/13 07:06:13 By - Kathleen McGrory and Melissa Sanchez

Statistics sometimes lost in emotional debate over gun control

Despite the rhetoric from both sides over the need for stricter gun control regulations – and the fear instilled by a rash of random shootings in public places nationwide – statistics show relatively few people will fall victim to violent, firearm-related crimes committed by strangers, according to a new study by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. | 02/04/13 03:00:00 By - David Wren

Father of Phylicia Barnes endures accused killer's trial

The father of slain Monroe teenager Phylicia Barnes says sitting through the salacious trial of the man accused of murdering her has been challenging. | 02/01/13 13:08:22 By - Franco Ordoñez

Judge: No new trial for Jerry Sandusky

The judge in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case has denied the convicted pedophile’s request for a new trial. | 01/31/13 07:26:35 By - Matt Carroll

Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing accused of operating 'massive pyramid scheme'

Lexington-based Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing has operated a "massive pyramid scheme" involving more than 100,000 people, Kentucky and federal officials allege in a lawsuit against the company. | 01/28/13 14:12:47 By - Linda B. Blackford

FBI looking into sale of lot in Mississippi

The FBI appears to be looking into a land transaction in the Gulf Hills subdivision of west Jackson County in Biloxi involving Bill Walker, the former head of the Department of Marine Resources; his son, Scott Walker; and the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain. | 01/20/13 08:43:00 By - Karen Nelson

Trayvon Martin's mother on 'Stand Your Ground': 'We need to get rid of the law'

Flanked by lawmakers, the mother of Trayvon Martin fought back tears Tuesday as she called for the repeal of the Stand Your Ground law, which she believes has been used as a shield by the man who shot her son. | 01/17/13 07:13:22 By - Toluse Olorunnipa

Trayvon Martin's mother calls for end to 'Stand Your Ground' law in Florida

The mother of Trayon Martin, along with state lawmakers, plan to hold a news conference on Wednesday morning to decry the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law and demand that the Florida Legislature repeal it. | 01/16/13 07:01:26 By -

At least 2 killed, 1 injured in shooting at Kentucky community college

Two people were killed and one teen was critically injured in a parking lot shooting at Hazard (Kentucky) Community and Technical College just before 6 p.m. Tuesday. | 01/15/13 19:26:39 By - Karla Ward

Baltimore gun violence summit concludes with recommendations

The Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. concluded Tuesday with a series of wide-ranging, research-based recommendations to curb gun violence that will go to members of Congress and the Obama administration for consideration. | 01/15/13 18:25:02 By - Tony Pugh

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales due in court Thursday for arraignment

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is scheduled to appear in court Thursday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for an arraignment on charges that he murdered 16 Afghan civilians and wounded six more in March. | 01/15/13 14:00:18 By - Adam Ashton

Penn State challenging McQueary whistleblower suit

Penn State is challenging former assistant coach Mike McQueary’s whistleblower lawsuit, and the university filed court papers Tuesday asking the judge to dismiss it with prejudice. | 01/15/13 13:01:05 By - Mike Dawson

Questions still haunt the Chandra Levy murder case

A new layer of secrecy enveloped the Chandra Levy murder mystery Monday, underscoring the crucial questions now confronting the court: | 01/14/13 20:54:15 By - By Michael Doyle

At Mississippi Dept. of Marine Resources, little support evident from foundation

Bill Walker's private foundation claims to support the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, but records the Sun Herald examined show public money flows from DMR to the foundation. | 01/14/13 07:19:18 By - Anita Lee and Karen Nelson

Kentucky sheriff says he won't enforce new gun laws he considers unconstitutional

An Eastern Kentucky sheriff said Saturday that he will not enforce any new gun control laws that he considers unconstitutional. | 01/14/13 07:10:30 By - Jack Brammer

Sen. Rand Paul's son charged with assaulting flight attendant

The grandson of former presidential candidate Ron Paul and son of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is charged with assaulting a flight attendant during a U.S. Airways flight from Lexington, Ky., to Charlotte last weekend. | 01/14/13 07:06:40 By - Cameron Steele

Jerry Sandusky's lawyer says more time would not have changed strategy

Joe Amendola, the lawyer representing Jerry Sandusky, had a mission in the months leading up to the trial — get the prosecutors in the case to turn over as much information in their case as possible in the hope of raising doubt about the victims' accusations. | 01/11/13 07:20:16 By - Mike Dawson

Jerry Sandusky's lawyers to seek new trial

Jerry Sandusky will head back to the Centre County courtroom where he was convicted of molesting young boys as his attorneys take their first set of appeals to the judge who oversaw the trial. | 01/10/13 07:14:15 By - Mike Dawson

Legal bills, PR for Jerry Sandusky scandal cost Penn State $26 million

The cost for Penn State’s response to the Jerry Sandusky scandal fallout is now nearly $26 million, according to figures the university updated this week. | 01/08/13 12:12:28 By - Mike Dawson

New twist in Chandra Levy murder case

Another kink and some new secrets have entered the Chandra Levy murder mystery more than 11 years after the former Modesto, Calif. resident disappeared. | 01/04/13 19:40:00 By - Michael Doyle

Heroin deaths creep up in Florida as other opiates become too expensive

Following a Florida statewide war against prescription drug abuse, there are early signs of growing heroin use as an alternative to opiate pills, which are becoming harder and more expensive to get. | 01/03/13 16:05:53 By - Meredith Rutland

Idaho man, Overstreet, loses resort in Mexico after IRS sting

The beachfront property on the Baja California peninsula was remote and undeveloped when Thomas Dale Overstreet bought it for $25,000 in 1995. Over the next 15 years, the small-town Idaho bar owner pumped money into a resort project and kept it in the name of his 20-year-old son, a Mexican citizen. Overstreet was ready to sell his Fruitland bar in 2011 and retire to his personal paradise, but an undercover IRS investigation brought criminal charges that ended with his sentencing last month in a Boise federal courtroom. | 01/03/13 15:31:48 By - MEGHANN M. CUNIFF

Idaho inmates: The beer made us do it

Keith Allen Brown shot a man to death in Priest Lake five years ago, leading to a 15-year prison sentence. But the 52-year-old says his problems started long before that, when he was just a boy and tasted alcohol for the first time. | 01/02/13 13:15:10 By - Meghann M. Cuniff

Pa. Gov. Corbett to file lawsuit against NCAA over Penn State sanctions

The commonwealth will sue the NCAA over the sanctions imposed on Penn State resulting from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. | 01/02/13 07:29:27 By - Jessica Vanderkolk

Disbarred Miami lawyer charged with trying to sell Saddam Hussein family's guns

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey have charged a disbarred Miami-area lawyer and three other people with hatching a scheme to sell a cache of stolen guns that once belonged to the family of the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. | 01/02/13 07:03:09 By - Scott Hiaasen

Gun activists say they'll push to arm Arlington, Texas, teachers

In the wake of the Connecticut school shooting, two gun-rights activists are preparing to return to the Arlington school board early next year hoping to persuade the district to allow teachers and administrators to carry concealed handguns on campus. | 12/27/12 16:35:07 By - Max Baker

Discrimination case by former Kansas City police recruit draws national attention

A sex discrimination and harassment lawsuit filed by a former Kansas City police recruit has drawn the concern of law enforcement officials in more than a dozen states. | 12/27/12 07:02:41 By - Judy L. Thomas

Parents of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman cope with aftermath of killing

The last time she was on TV with her face obscured by shadows, George Zimmerman’s mother explained, that her son’s roots are Afro-Peruvian. | 12/26/12 06:58:52 By - Frances Robles

Justice Dept. accuses N.C. sheriff of discriminating against Latinos

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil rights lawsuit on Thursday against the Alamance County sheriff, accusing him of fostering a climate of discrimination against Latinos for years. | 12/21/12 07:20:20 By - Anne Blythe

Texas woman arrested, accused of stealing Christmas decorations

An Texas woman whose criminal record includes prison time for solicitation of murder was in the Parker County Jail on Wednesday night, accused of stealing outdoor Christmas decorations that she apparently then hung on other houses as part of a holiday-lighting business, authorities said Wednesday. | 12/20/12 14:55:08 By - Bill Hanna

U.S. Army seeks death penalty for Bales in 16 Afghan killings

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier charged with killing 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, will be put on trial for his life, the Army announced Wednesday. | 12/20/12 04:28:57 By - Christian Hill

Most of Duke lacrosse players' claims dismissed by U.S. Appeals Court

Though five years have passed since North Carolina’s attorney general exonerated three former Duke University lacrosse players of phony rape allegations, the lawsuits they filed against the prosecutor, the city of Durham, its top administrators and law enforcement officers remain open in federal court. | 12/18/12 07:10:56 By - Anne Blythe

Police report sheds light on Jovan Belcher's death

Less than two months ago, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher sent a foreboding text message to a secret girlfriend, expressing turmoil and frustration with his longtime girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins. | 12/18/12 07:02:57 By - Christine Vendel

Narcy Novack gets life in prison for killing her hotel heir husband

An epic family murder saga ended Monday when Narcy Novack, wife of Fontainebleau hotel heir Ben Novack Jr., was sentenced to life in prison. Three years after she and her brother Cristobal planned and helped execute Ben Novack and his mother Bernice, the convicted killers, who had remained loyal to each other throughout the trial, made it clear their family ties would not extend to prison. Cristobal also was sentenced to life in prison Monday. | 12/17/12 13:32:45 By - Julie K. Brown

Man accused of assaulting Dakota Meyer says a woman did it, not him

The 18-year-old farm worker charged with assaulting Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer claims he never touched the high-profile Marine veteran and puts the blame on an unidentified young woman. | 12/16/12 23:15:57 By - Bill Estep

President's weekly address deals with Newtown school killings

In this week’s address, the President says the nation’s thoughts and prayers are with those who lost a loved one during Friday’s tragic shooting in Newtown, CT. | 12/15/12 08:00:39 By -

Obama: 'These children are our children'

An emotional President Barack Obama Friday decried what he called the "heinous crime" in Connecticut, saying "our hearts are broken" and calling for efforts to stem the tide of violence. | 12/14/12 16:03:33 By - Lesley Clark

Obama statement on the school shooting in Newtown Conn.

Statement by the president on school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation, and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families. | 12/14/12 16:03:21 By -

Kentucky man charged with assaulting Dakota Meyer

Kentucky State Police charged an 18-year-old Columbia man on Thursday with assaulting Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer. | 12/14/12 06:26:31 By - Bill Estep

Kentucky state police investigate assault on Dakota Meyer

Kentucky state police are investigating an assault on Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer. | 12/13/12 11:43:02 By - Bill Estep

Biloxi woman's sentence in feral cats case draws national attention

A Biloxi Community Court judge has sentenced a 78-year-old woman to 100 hours of community service for the hoarding of cats in a case believed to be unprecedented. | 12/12/12 13:14:31 By - Robin Fitzgerald

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police want to monitor private cameras

In a bid to expand its surveillance network, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police want to connect to private businesses’ cameras, which would allow officers to monitor malls, gas stations and banks across the county. | 12/11/12 12:19:56 By - Cleve R. Wootson Jr

Israel Keyes targeted couple on Anchorage trail, police say

In April or May of 2011, confessed serial killer Israel Keyes rode his bicycle along the Anchorage coastal trail to a popular overlook and set up an ambush. | 12/11/12 06:50:44 By - Kyle Hopkins

Israel Keyes rejected religion, says pastor who will speak at his funeral

During his last days of freedom, before he admitted to killing Anchorage teenager Samantha Koenig and at least seven other people, Israel Keyes was at his sister's Texas wedding, crying and ranting at one point about how he did not believe in God. | 12/07/12 06:39:28 By - Casey Grove

Lure of illegal profits from Iran ensnares S.C. businessman

The shadowy world of illicit trade with Iran could come into sharper focus with a North Charleston, S.C., businessman’s guilty plea to charges surrounding illegal exports to the Middle Eastern country. | 12/06/12 16:12:34 By - By Michael Doyle

Israel Keyes slit wrists, strangled himself in Alaska jail

Confessed serial killer Israel Keyes committed suicide late Saturday or early Sunday by slitting one of his wrists with a blade from a disposable razor and tying a sheet tight around his neck, Alaska State Troopers revealed Wednesday.

It's still unclear which action, alone or in combination, led to his death, troopers said. | 12/06/12 06:59:01 By - Casey Grove

Chiefs' Jovan Belcher had access to NFL-sponsored support programs

During his four years with the Chiefs, linebacker Jovan Belcher, along with his teammates, attended dozens of NFL-sponsored meetings devoted to personal issues outside of football. | 12/05/12 07:20:55 By - Randy Covitz

Israel Keyes told investigator he let his first victim go

Back in the 1990s when he was a teenager, Israel Keyes picked his first victim, a teenage girl in Oregon, he later told investigators. | 12/05/12 07:05:04 By - Lisa Demer

Chiefs tried to help Jovan Belcher, Kasandra Perkins with domestic problems

Seconds after fatally shooting his longtime girlfriend, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher leaned over her in their master bathroom, said he was sorry and kissed her on the forehead. | 12/04/12 07:08:08 By - Christine Vendel

Case of suspected serial killer Israel Keyes takes strange turn

The bizarre story of suspected serial killer Israel Keyes took new twists Monday when the FBI revealed that he traveled all over the country and buried caches of weapons and other items for use in future crimes, including two caches -- one in Eagle River -- that the FBI was able to recover. | 12/04/12 06:49:26 By - Lisa Demer

In Florida, a little girl’s death by bureaucratic callousness, medical neglect

In March 2011, state child protection investigators took 14-year-old Marie from her mother, Doris Freyre, claiming Freyre’s own disabilities made it almost impossible for her to care for Marie, who suffered from seizures and severe cerebral palsy. A Tampa, Florida, judge signed an order that Marie be returned to her mother, with in-home nursing care around the clock. Child welfare workers ignored the order completely. | 12/03/12 13:22:56 By - Carol Marbin Miller

Israel Keyes, suspect in multiple U.S. deaths, found dead in Alaska jail

Israel Keyes, accused in the kidnapping and killing of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig, was found dead Sunday morning in an apparent jail suicide, and he is suspected in at least seven other deaths outside Alaska, authorities said. | 12/03/12 08:08:04 By - Lisa Demer

Missouri BDSM sex slave trial could explore norms of sadomasochism

Without an expert witness, Kansas City jurors might not understand how someone could consent to some extreme sadomasochistic behavior, a lawyer told a federal judge Thursday. | 11/30/12 12:22:10 By - Mark Morris

Penn State reports progress in implementing Freeh recommendations

Penn State now has implemented more than half of the 119 recommendations that former FBI director Louis Freeh made to the university to improve its safety and governance in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. | 11/29/12 20:18:05 By - Mike Dawson

To pay legal bills, George Zimmerman plans to sell autographs

With his legal defense fund teetering at less than $15,000, accused murderer George Zimmerman announced a new strategy to drum up donations: signed thank-you cards. | 11/29/12 06:56:33 By - Frances Robles

Idaho man accused in beating death of Zoo Boise monkey

A 22-year-old man was arrested Monday for the beating death of a Patas monkey at Zoo Boise that's gained national attention. | 11/20/12 11:23:16 By - Meghann M. Cuniff

Death sentence upheld for Miami man who threw girl into Everglades

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the conviction and death sentence for a Miami man who killed a 5-year-old girl and threw her into the Everglades to be eaten by alligators. | 11/15/12 14:45:36 By - David Ovalle

'Cops and robbers' game concerns Texas police

This isn't your old-school game of cops and robbers. Weatherford police are warning that a new version of this game is concerning some residents and could lead to dangerous confrontations. | 11/15/12 14:10:11 By - Deanna Boyd

Army says Bales should face death penalty for 'despicable' crimes; defense disagrees

An eight-day hearing for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales wrapped up Tuesday with an Army prosecutor saying Bales should face the death penalty for committing "the worst, most despicable crimes a human being can commit, murdering children in their own homes." | 11/14/12 07:39:04 By - Adam Ashton

Penn State spending on Jerry Sandusky scandal passes $20M

Penn State's costs in the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal are almost $21 million, according to updated figures from the university. | 11/13/12 13:00:02 By - Mike Dawson

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales didn't act alone, attorneys suggest

Defense attorneys for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales mined contradictory statements from Afghan villagers over the past three nights to suggest that more than one American soldier could have been involved in a March massacre that claimed the lives of 16 Afghan civilians. | 11/12/12 14:22:30 By - Adam Ashton

Photos show toddlers with marijuana

Photos of children with marijuana cigarettes in their mouths have led to charges against two Leslie County residents, and more charges are likely, the investigating officer said Monday | 11/12/12 14:06:22 By - Bill Estep

Anger over Jerry Sandusky case still simmers in Penn State's hometown

Jon Pelter remembers reading the news in disbelief.

“I was at home on Sunday morning, and I started reading,” said the young Penn State alumnus. “It really came as a shock. I didn’t know whether to believe it or not.” | 11/09/12 07:32:44 By - Matt Carroll

Stryker leaders thought Bales was up to a tough, isolated job in Kandahar

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales’ leaders in his Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade gave him an especially demanding assignment in Afghanistan last winter because they believed he was among their best soldiers, his company first sergeant said in court today. | 11/07/12 13:32:36 By - Adam Ashton

Pornographer who drugged children wants to lead a “pro-pedophile” movement from prison

James Phillip Edwards, 63, whom prosecutors have described as “off the charts” and a “serial predator of girls as young as 4 years of age,” has written that he wants to lead a “pro-pedophile” movement from prison, according to court records. | 11/07/12 12:51:19 By - Mark Morris

Gunman in Fresno meat plant shooting deliberate, methodical

Deliberately and methodically, a Fresno meat-processing plant employee shot four of his co-workers -- two fatally -- before killing himself Tuesday morning. | 11/07/12 12:39:39 By - Jim Guy and John Sheehan

Ex-Penn State President Spanier arraigned in Sandusky cover-up

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier was arraigned this morning on charges stemming from what the attorney general said was a cover-up by senior university leaders to hide abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky. | 11/07/12 12:00:06 By - Mike Dawson

Gunman kills 1, wounds 3 before shooting self at central Fresno meat plant

One person is dead and three are in critical condition, including the gunman, after a workplace shooting Tuesday morning in central Fresno. Gunfire broke out about 8:27 a.m. at Valley Protein, formerly known as Apple Valley Farms, a poultry processing plant on Hedges Avenue just east of Blackstone Avenue. | 11/06/12 14:30:48 By - Jim Guy

Feds: Medicare millions moved to Cuba through Canada, Trinidad and Mexico

A South Florida money-laundering network secretly transferred more than $30 million in illegal Medicare profits through a remittance firm with shell companies in not only Canada and Trinidad, but also in Mexico, according to court records filed Monday. | 11/06/12 12:07:34 By - Jay Weaver

Feds: Florida money-laundering network moved Medicare millions to Cuba

A South Florida money-laundering network secretly transferred more than $30 million in illegal Medicare profits through a remittance firm with shell companies in not only Canada and Trinidad, but also in Mexico, according to court records filed Monday. | 11/06/12 06:51:09 By - Jay Weaver

B-girl’ trial a cautionary tale for drunk Miami tourists

During the height of the tourist season two years ago, a Philadelphia TV weatherman flew down to Miami Beach for a little fun in the sun. At the Delano Hotel, John Bolaris was approached by a couple of the Beach’s finest “bar girls.” Then they lured the liquored-up Bolaris to a Russian-style nightclub called Caviar Bar on Washington Avenue. Over the next two nights, he signed American Express charge slips for more than $43,000, picking up the tab for extravagantly overpriced Dom Perignon, Beluga caviar and other items, including $2,480 for a modernistic painting of a woman that had been hanging in the bar. | 11/05/12 18:51:38 By - Jay Weaver

Mugshots: The hot new Internet business

It’s a hot Internet business: Get mugshots for free from government websites, put them on your own websites and then demand money when irate people plead to have their photos removed. | 11/05/12 13:47:18 By - John Dorschner

Penn State's Spanier, Curley and Schultz charged in Sandusky case

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was indicted today on charges he lied to the grand jury investigating abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky and tried to block authorities’ investigation of him as part of a cover-up. | 11/02/12 07:31:35 By - Mike Dawson

Data security breach expands to 657,000 S.C. businesses

As many as 657,000 S.C. businesses had their tax information stolen in the massive security breach at the state Department of Revenue that also claimed the records of up to 3.6 million people, Gov. Nikki Haley said Wednesday. | 11/01/12 12:45:01 By - Andrew Shain

South Florida sees growth in smuggling of Brazilians, other migrants

A Brazilian couple was arraigned in federal court in Miami recently, charged with attempting to smuggle undocumented immigrants aboard boats from the Bahamas. | 10/30/12 07:10:26 By - Alfonso Chardy

Scoutmaster who admitted abusing kids worked in Charlotte church daycare

A former Scoutmaster who admitted this week to molesting numerous Boy Scouts in the Fayetteville area nearly four decades ago worked for years in the preschool center at Charlotte’s Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church, the senior minister there said Friday. | 10/26/12 16:16:23 By - Steve Lyttle

New study shows early learning helps prevent crime

Four of Washington state's Benton County's top law enforcers joked and laughed while taking time Wednesday to read a book about police officers to preschoolers at Benton Franklin Head Start in Richland, but their visit was about a serious subject.The longtime cops and prosecutor spoke out about the lack of funding for quality early childhood education programs and how investing in kids can reduce crime and save money | 10/25/12 15:23:57 By - Paula Horton

U.S. sues BofA for $1 billion for mortgage fraud

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan sued Bank of America for $1 billion on Wednesday, alleging the bank defrauded government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. | 10/24/12 16:00:14 By - John Arwood and Ely Portillo

UNC professor Frampton asks for raise from Argentina jail

UNC-Chapel Hill physics professor Paul Frampton may be in an Argentine prison cell awaiting trial on charges of trying to smuggle two kilograms of cocaine out of the country, but that hasn't stopped him from asking for a raise. | 10/23/12 07:11:28 By - Jay Price

N.C. man says church confined him for being gay

A 22-year-old man has accused his former Rutherford County church of holding him for four months against his will while he was physically and emotionally abused because he is gay. | 10/22/12 07:24:36 By - Michael Gordon

Two South Florida Muslim clerics want witnesses in terrorism case questioned in Pakistan

Two South Florida Muslim clerics — a father and son separated by more than 50 years in age — are struggling to persuade a Miami federal judge to allow their lawyers to travel to Pakistan to question alleged Taliban sympathizers who might help their defense against terrorism charges. | 10/22/12 07:01:36 By - Jay Weaver

Zimmerman's lawyers seek Trayvon Martin's school, social media records

Lawyers in the George Zimmerman murder trial are expected to face off in court Friday over whether to allow subpoenas of Trayvon Martin’s school and social media records to proceed. | 10/19/12 11:50:24 By - Frances Robles

Westboro Baptist Church dealt setback as court upholds funeral protest ban

A federal appeals court dealt a rare legal setback to the Westboro Baptist Church on Tuesday, finding that a Missouri town’s funeral picketing ordinance is constitutional. | 10/17/12 07:18:46 By - Mark Morris

Expert: Killer of Texas pastor was beyond hope at age 10

Convicted killer Steven Lawayne Nelson is a violent psychopath who will continue to be a danger to society, even behind bars, an expert witness testified Monday in the punishment phase of Nelson's capital murder trial. | 10/16/12 11:21:11 By - Dianna Hunt

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales awaits hearing on Afghan killings at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

For the first time since he was taken into custody seven months ago, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is back at Joint Base Lewis-McChord awaiting a pretrial hearing on charges that he murdered 16 Afghan civilians during his deployment with a local Stryker brigade. | 10/16/12 07:28:47 By - Adam Ashton

Man's bomb comment closes Alaska airport, lands him in jail

Peter Friesema, a Colorado hockey referee who officiated a UAA tournament over the weekend, was checking in at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport with a traveling companion late Saturday night. He pointed out that the Alaska Airlines ticket agent had put his sticker on his friend's luggage. | 10/15/12 06:47:46 By - Lisa Demer and Richard Mauer

Washington State boy gets 3.5 years in fatal shooting of sleeping father

A 14-year-old boy was sentenced Thursday to at least 3½ years in a juvenile corrections facility for fatally shooting his sleeping father last year. | 10/12/12 13:25:49 By - Jeremy Pawloski

Feds charge 40 in ID theft-tax fraud takedown in South Florida

Federal authorities Wednesday escalated their assault on the double-barreled crime of identity theft and tax fraud, arresting 30 South Florida suspects — including a Miami Gardens man facing a murder trial — on charges of filing fake returns totaling millions of dollars. | 10/11/12 12:52:41 By - Jay Weaver

Georgia mall bans teen after spat over short shorts, arrest

A 17-year-old Central-Phenix City student asked to leave Peachtree Mall over the length of her shorts claims she was unfairly singled out and that Columbus police overreacted Saturday night by taking her to jail in shackles. | 10/09/12 13:28:15 By - Alan Riquelmy and Jim Mustian

Jerry Sandusky's victims have chance to address him at sentencing hearing

The young men who testified that Jerry Sandusky sexually abused them finally will have the chance this week to say exactly how the abuse by the man they trusted has affected them. | 10/08/12 07:30:29 By - Mike Dawson

Before Fast and Furious, Florida had Operation Castaway

A sensational election-season report into the botched Operation Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation has cast new light on a simultaneous Florida firearms investigation linked to violence in Colombia, Honduras and Puerto Rico. | 10/08/12 07:07:19 By - Marc Caputo

Korean War vet gets 30 days in jail for junk on property

Johnny Ramsey, the 79-year-old Korean War veteran who collected and sold junk to pay for medications for his ailing wife, said just minutes before court Thursday evening: “If I have to go to jail, I guess I am ready.” | 10/05/12 13:24:10 By - Andre Dys

Parole board recommends release for ex-Manson follower Bruce Davis

With a new governor in office, a former Manson family member serving a life term at California Men’s Colony has his best chance at freedom after a parole board recommended his release Thursday. | 10/05/12 07:03:51 By - Patrick S. Pemberton

Jerry Sandusky asks for return of $50K bail to his wife

Jerry Sandusky's attorney is asking that the $50,000 cash posted for bail be returned to his wife | 10/04/12 13:04:06 By - Mike Dawson

Penn State costs from Jerry Sandusky scandal nearing $20M

Penn State has paid out nearly $20 million for the Jerry Sandusky scandal, according to the most recent university numbers. | 10/03/12 15:28:55 By - Christopher Passante

Mike McQueary files whistleblower, defamation lawsuit againt Penn State

Mike McQueary, a star witness in the Jerry Sandusky case and former Penn State assistant football coach, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Penn State today and is seeking millions of dollars in damages. | 10/02/12 16:21:49 By - Mike Dawson

Some businesses cash in on Trayvon Martin case

An iconic photograph of a young Trayvon Martin in his Bulldogs football uniform, staring stone-faced into the camera, has been published in print and online around the world. | 10/02/12 07:05:39 By - Frances Robles

Police: California San Joaquin valley becoming 'doper's paradise'

California's San Joaquin Valley's fertile farmland has become a doper's paradise, top law enforcement officials said Wednesday in announcing yet another big marijuana bust connected to Mexican cartels. | 09/27/12 12:39:00 By - Pablo Lopez

USS Cole suspects at Guantanamo seek 3-month delay for hearing

Defense lawyers in the USS Cole bombing case are asking a military judge to delay by three months their next Guantánamo hearing, to give torture experts time to examine the alleged mastermind who was waterboarded by the CIA. | 09/27/12 07:01:00 By - Carol Rosenberg

Naked dancer leads deputies to meth lab in Mississippi county

A report of a naked man dancing on a roadside led George County, Mississippi, deputies to a meth lab in the Ward community, Sheriff Dean Howell said. | 09/24/12 12:07:40 By - Robin Fitzgerald

George Zimmerman's friend's book offers starkly different account of Trayvon Martin's death

Trayvon Martin grabbed his killer’s gun just moments before he died and uttered a profanity-laced threat. In a desperate life-or-death struggle, George Zimmerman clutched Trayvon’s wrist, broke his grip on the semi-automatic firearm and shot him once in the chest. | 09/21/12 07:12:39 By - Frances Robles

None of Trayvon Martin's DNA found on George Zimmerman's gun, test results show

Detailed forensics reports in the Trayvon Martin killing show the victim’s DNA wasn’t on the gun that killed him and very little of it landed on the shooter’s clothes, according to evidence released Wednesday. | 09/19/12 12:41:49 By - Frances Robles

Sarah Palin weighs in on Jeffrey MacDonald case

The Jeffrey MacDonald case has pulled an unusual book critic into its web of conspiracy theorists and strong camps of opinions. Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor, has posted a complimentary review of Errol Morris’ new book about the case, “A Wilderness of Error,” on her Facebook page. | 09/18/12 13:17:50 By - Anne Blythe

Task force in Wichita protects children from cyber-predators

On the day that Jennifer Wright visited Shane McClelland at his home and helped save two children, McClelland may not have been worried about the cop confronting him. As one of three investigators working in the Internet Crimes Against Children task force in Wichita, Wright is part of a growing segment of law enforcement: detectives who combine acting with street smarts and computer skills to save children from cyber-predators. | 09/12/12 19:07:34 By - Roy Wenzl

Washington state Judge OK after chemical attack at Olympia home; clues sought

A Washington District Court judge answered the door of his Olympia home Monday night and was met by a man who thew liquid into his face, causing skin irritation that was treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. | 09/12/12 18:21:01 By - Jeremy Pawloski

Feds use new strategy against employers of illegal immigrants

After an Overland Park, Kansas couple were indicted, accused of knowingly hiring illegal immigrants and paying them less than other employees, federal authorities said Tuesday that they would seek to seize the couple’s two hotels. | 09/12/12 07:15:41 By - Laura Bauer

George Zimmerman's friend writes book to defend 'the most hated man in America'

The federal air marshal who took George Zimmerman in after he shot Trayvon Martin has written a book about his controversial friend, and appeared on a national TV show Tuesday to say Zimmerman was a peaceful, loving — and innocent — man. | 09/12/12 07:03:37 By - Frances Robles

Soldier pleads not guilty to exploiting teenage girls for nude photos

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier has been charged with 25 counts alleging he coerced seven teenage girls into sending him nude photographs while he was deployed in Afghanistan. | 09/11/12 17:27:32 By - Stacia Glenn

George Zimmerman's lawyers seek new clues in Trayvon Martin case

George Zimmerman’s defense lawyers will subpoena Facebook, Twitter and Miami-Dade schools in a widespread pursuit of clues to suggest that Trayvon Martin could have thrown the first punch on the night he was killed, a sign that attorneys are going into attack mode in preparation for their case. | 09/10/12 07:14:10 By - Frances Robles

Feds arrest Florida cop, say he stopped women drivers without cause for sexual thrills

A Miami-Dade police officer routinely stopped women drivers for no reason so he could have “sexually suggestive conversations” — including asking to see the scars on a Miami Beach bartender’s surgically enhanced breasts — and then let the women go without issuing any citations, federal authorities say. | 09/06/12 14:52:12 By - Jay Weaver

Lawyer: Jerry Sandusky says he's innocent, working on appeal

Convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky still maintains his innocence and his family still supports him, his attorney said Wednesday. “Dottie is still 100 percent supportive of him,” Joe Amendola said of Sandusky’s wife. | 09/06/12 13:41:15 By - Mike Dawson

George Zimmerman gets new judge for case

A veteran judge with broad experience and a reputation for being tough on both lawyers and defendants has been assigned to take over George Zimmerman’s murder trial. | 08/31/12 07:21:32 By - Frances Robles

Judge removed from George Zimmerman's case

George Zimmerman’s attorneys got a second judge kicked off his murder trial Wednesday, when the Fifth District Court of Appeal ordered the sitting jurist to step down from the controversial case. | 08/30/12 07:08:27 By - Frances Robles

Feds convict House of Raeford on 10 Clean Water Act charges

A federal jury on Monday convicted North Carolina poultry processor House of Raeford Farms of 10 counts of violating the Clean Water Act. But the company was found not guilty on four other counts, and the plant manager was cleared of wrong-doing. | 08/21/12 07:21:18 By - Franco Ordoñez

BP oil spill compensation fund for Gulf Coast victims is hit by fraud

Not a single drop of the massive British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico touched the land-locked city of Homestead or the Keys peninsula to the south. | 08/20/12 06:47:00 By - Jay Weaver

Suspended death sentence given to Gu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai

A Chinese court on Monday handed down a suspended death sentence for Gu Kailai, the wife of fallen Chinese politician Bo Xilai. It’s customary in Chinese law for suspended death sentences to be converted to lengthy prison terms after two years. | 08/19/12 23:49:08 By - By Tom Lasseter

Trial for Penn State administrators set for 2013

The trial for the two former Penn State administrators accused of lying to the grand jury investigating Jerry Sandusky won't go on during football season. | 08/17/12 15:55:50 By - Mike Dawson

Former Wolfpack football standout accused in Ponzi scheme

Jim Donnan, a former N.C. State University quarterback in the 1960s and a head football coach at two colleges, has been accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of conducting an $80 million Ponzi scheme that preyed on college coaches, former players and big-time athletics boosters. | 08/17/12 13:47:12 By - Anne Blythe

Police using car-top cameras to photograph license plates

Civil libertarians are shuddering at the latest police trend involving the use of cameras to check license plates. Police in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine and a growing number of other cities are using automatic camera systems to take photographs of passing vehicles' license plates. The cameras are typically mounted on a patrol car's light bars and can easily take pictures of license plates at a distance of 50 feet or more -- and many systems can shoot hundreds of photographs per hour. | 08/17/12 12:59:51 By - Gordon Dickson

Former Texas teacher found guilty of having sex with students

Former Kennedale High School teacher Brittni Colleps was found guilty this morning of having multiple sexual encounters with five of her students. Jurors took less than an hour to convict Colleps on 16 counts of improper relationship between an educator and student. The 28-year-old mother of three faces probation to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 on each of the counts. | 08/17/12 12:34:29 By - Deanna Boyd

Pot dealer in Washington State offered 'bulk discounts' on his business cards

A drug dealer who kept business cards offering "bulk discounts" and home delivery will serve a year in prison for selling marijuana and having two other drugs without a prescription. | 08/16/12 12:24:03 By - Caleb Hutton

Drug czar will push Missouri to track prescription medicines

Earlier this year when New Hampshire became the 49th state to pass legislation adopting a prescription drug monitoring program, Missouri found itself as the lone holdout. | 08/15/12 12:46:19 By - Jason Hancock

Jury sees video of former Texas teacher having sex with students

The first text message that "Aaron" received from his English teacher seemed innocent enough. "Hey ... It's Coach Colleps. Do you know what time the baseball game starts?" Before 24 hours had passed, the subject matter of numerous texts exchanged between Aaron and Brittni Colleps took a dramatic turn. Colleps discussed | 08/15/12 12:35:57 By - Deanna Boyd

'Highly incriminating' evidence: Judge unseals transcript of meeting involving attorneys in Jerry Sandusky trial

Prosecutors in the Jerry Sandusky case had a "great deal" of "highly incriminating" evidence they didn't use at his trial. That's according to what a prosecutor told the judges overseeing the Sandusky case and the grand jury investigation late in June as they were discussing how secret materials were leaked to the media. | 08/15/12 12:29:47 By - Mike Dawson

Texas has nation's largest prison population

Texas' prison population has dropped to its lowest in five years, but the decline hasn't been as steep as in some other states, most notably California. | 08/14/12 07:32:44 By - Terry Evans and Anna M. Tinsley

Missouri's 'Right to Pray' amendment is challenged by ACLU

The ACLU of Eastern Missouri filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday challenging an amendment to the state's constitution it contends violates the religious rights of prison inmates. | 08/10/12 07:07:32 By - Jason Hancock

Farmer’s guilty plea may signal tough new attitude on fake organics

A major fertilizer producer from California’s San Joaquin Valley who pleaded guilty to fraud charges this week ran into what appears to be a newly aggressive federal effort to crack down on organic-farming cheaters. | 08/09/12 17:26:38 By - By Michael Doyle

Miami's 'Causeway Cannibal' attack victim recounts attack for police

Chronically homeless and recently blinded, Ronald Poppo calmly told detectives about the sudden savage assault that cost him parts of his face. | 08/09/12 06:53:59 By - Frances Robles

Naked country singer Randy Travis arrested for DWI, threat to trooper

Country singer Randy Travis faces a charge of driving while intoxicated and retaliation against a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper after he was found naked at the scene of a wreck on a Grayson County road, authorities said Wednesday. | 08/08/12 16:48:45 By - Domingo Ramirez Jr

'I caught you': Matheny spies teen flashing laser during Giants-Cardinals game

A 17-year-old male was arrested Monday night and could face criminal charges Wednesday after allegedly pointing a green laser at San Francisco Giants pitcher Shane Loux. | 08/08/12 16:17:41 By - David Wilhelm

Trayvon Martin case gives rise to Internet amateur sleuths

While other people watch reality shows, a marketing specialist in Michigan who goes by the name "Bcclist" spends time in his yard, calculating Trayvon Martin’s last steps with a tape measure and smartphone stop watch. | 08/06/12 06:52:48 By - Frances Robles

Rock Hill thief steals donation jar meant for child with cancer

Just when crime in Rock Hill didn’t seem it could get any worse, a villain drops to ugly depths uncharted in seas of maiming, shooting, stealing. thief stole $70 from a kid with cancer. | 08/03/12 12:57:32 By - Andrew Dys

Texas launches online database to monitor prescription drugs

A new Texas online database of patient prescription drug information will help authorities identify traffickers and people who "doctor shop" for medications, state officials say. | 08/03/12 12:22:47 By - Alex Branch

Jerry Sandusky 'distraught' over NCAA sanctions on Penn State, attorney says

Jerry Sandusky was "beside himself" when he heard from his attorney about the sanctions the NCAA imposed on Penn State and its football program. | 08/01/12 14:33:19 By - Mike Dawson

Property-tax cheats facing crackdown in Miami

For years — decades, really — Miami-Dade homeowners have been ducking property taxes by illegally claiming homestead exemptions, usually with impunity. But these days, gambling on getting caught is a fool’s game. | 07/30/12 14:00:40 By -

Colleges are taking a closer look at crime-reporting procedures

The Clery Act seems simple enough: Colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs — more than 6,000 schools nationwide — must let students and others know about crimes reported on their campuses. But Penn State, in one of its many failings in the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse case, largely ignored the campus-safety law, according to former FBI director Louis Freeh’s report. | 07/30/12 13:45:07 By - Mara Rose Williams

Fort Worth shelters report rise in women fleeing abuse

For nearly six years, Mary's husband cursed her, beat her, stole her money and threatened to kill her. So when she decided to leave him for good last month, she said, she was dismayed to discover that all the domestic violence shelters in Dallas County, Texas, were full. | 07/27/12 15:09:02 By - Susan Schrock

Dottie Sandusky says convicted husband Jerry is ‘not who they say he is’

Dottie Sandusky says she still loves her husband. The wife of convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky remains loyal to and supportive of the man who is now housed in the Centre County Correctional Facility awaiting sentencing | 07/27/12 14:54:07 By - Mike Dawson

Moody's Investors Service to review, possibly downgrade, Penn State bond rating

The Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and aftermath could mean a drop in Penn State's bond ratings. | 07/24/12 13:26:38 By - Anne Danahy

A matter of life and meth: Drug has tragic consequences

The senseless murders of two Platte County sisters last week became somewhat easier to comprehend when authorities said the confessed killer was high on methamphetamines at the time. The senseless murders of two Platte County sisters last week became somewhat easier to comprehend when authorities said the confessed killer was high on methamphetamines at the time. Few illicit drugs provoke the kind of paranoia and rage that leads to such violence as meth.

Few illicit drugs provoke the kind of paranoia and rage that leads to such violence as meth. | 07/23/12 16:13:34 By - Mike Hendricks

Alaska drug probe uncovers massive tax fraud operation

While investigating Anchorage cocaine dealers, authorities discovered a massive identity theft and tax fraud operation that illegally claimed about $19 million in federal tax refunds, prosecutors said. | 07/20/12 07:24:16 By - By Casey Grove

George Zimmerman: Trayvon Martin's death was 'God's plan'

After saying he did not regret any of his actions the night he killed Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman backtracked and apologized to America Wednesday night in his first interview since the shooting that polarized the nation nearly five months ago. | 07/19/12 07:40:38 By - By Frances Robles

The unraveling of Rudy Eugene, aka the Miami causeway face attacker

Ruth Charles could not find a Haitian church in Miami to hold a funeral for her son, Rudy Eugene. The news of Eugene’s death on Memorial Day weekend was already too well known. He was shot to death by Miami police as he crouched over Ronald Poppo’s limp body, naked and growling, chewing off chunks of the man’s face. At 31, the son who had carried a Bible, quoted scripture and worn a four-inch cross on a chain around his neck had become something unrecognizable, known across the nation as the Miami zombie. | 07/16/12 13:28:48 By - Nadege Green and Audra D.S. Burch

'Witness 9' accused Zimmerman of sexually molesting her

Despite a last-minute rush to the courthouse to file a motion to delay a court’s ruling, the Duval County State Attorney on Monday released a recorded statement from a woman who says George Zimmerman molested her when they were both children -- beginning when she just six years old. | 07/16/12 13:19:24 By - Frances Robles

Freeh report: Jerry Sandusky's retirement benefits played a role in sex crimes

The details that emerged from the report also show how the provisions of Jerry Sandusky's retirement, such as access to facilities and the association he asked for between the university and The Second Mile, played a role in the sex crimes of which he was convicted last month. | 07/16/12 07:36:18 By - By Mike Dawson

Poll: Most Floridians want no changes to Stand Your Ground law

Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law continues to enjoy widespread support among likely voters, even as a state task force considers rewriting the law, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll. | 07/16/12 07:01:06 By - By Toluse Olorunnipa

Lexington man wanted for leaving sex trial is decorated Army vet

A man who fled Fayette, Ky. Circuit Court just before a jury found him guilty of rape and sodomy Thursday is a decorated Army veteran who served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to court records. | 07/13/12 15:50:15 By - Josh Kegley

Texas veteran convicted under Stolen Valor Act doesn't want his record cleared

Richard David McClanahan served 30 months in federal prison for his lies, a lengthy penalty imposed because he also lied about his income to buy a pickup from a dealership. Now living in Fort Worth, the 34-year-old ex-convict has a chance to have at least part of his conviction overturned after the Supreme Court's decision. | 07/13/12 07:32:17 By - By Chris Vaughn

FBI records: agents found no evidence that Zimmerman was racist

After interviewing nearly three dozen people in the George Zimmerman murder case, the FBI found no evidence that racial bias was a motivating factor in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, records released Thursday show. | 07/12/12 11:59:11 By - Frances Robles and Scott Hiaason

Wayne Treacy begins insanity defense in Florida beating trial

Wayne Treacy, the Pompano Beach teenager charged with attempted first-degree murder for brutally beating and nearly killing a Deerfield Beach Middle School student in March 2010, began his insanity defense in Broward Criminal Court on Wednesday, with defense attorneys calling to the witness stand a forensic psychologist who testified that the boy suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological problems. | 07/12/12 07:30:52 By - By Daniel Chang

Penn State awaits Louis Freeh's report on Jerry Sandusky scandal

The criminal trial is over. Now, the community is waiting for the second verdict. Penn State hired former FBI director Louis Freeh to complete what trustees have said is an independent investigation into the university’s response to the Jerry Sandusky scandal and whether it included a cover-up of behavior that turned out to be a pattern of child sex abuse. | 07/10/12 07:30:12 By - Anne Danahy

Florida: A economic crimes Ponzi schemer’s paradise

When Buddy Persaud promised his investors the moon and the stars, he wasn’t kidding. Persaud, an Orlando Florida-based financial broker, believed the markets were affected by lunar cycles and gravitational pull. When — surprise, surprise — the heavens failed him, Persaud paid out their promised high rates of return (up to 18 percent) by simply recruiting new investors and using their funds to pay off the old ones, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleges. | 07/09/12 11:18:58 By -

Financial Crimes: A scam involving jobs that are too good to be true

In a depressed economy in which traditional jobs are hard to come by, landing a work-from-home job must seem like a real stroke of luck. Who wouldn't want to make extra spending money on his or her own time without having to travel to an office, sit in rush-hour traffic or even put on pants? | 07/09/12 11:13:49 By - Josh Kegley

'Reshipper' job schemes grow during tough economic times

In a depressed economy in which traditional jobs are hard to come by, landing a work-from-home job must seem like a real stroke of luck. Who wouldn't want to make extra spending money on his or her own time without having to travel to an office, sit in rush-hour traffic or even put on pants? | 07/09/12 07:08:45 By - Josh Kegley

George Zimmerman was preparing to jump bail, judge says

The judge overseeing George Zimmerman’s murder trial wrote a stern eight-page order Thursday that set bail at $1 million and said the former neighborhood watch volunteer thumbed his nose at the judicial system as he plotted a life on the run. | 07/06/12 06:57:51 By - Frances Robles

Zimmerman bond set at $1 million

George Zimmerman’s bond was set at $1 million, and he was ordered to remain in Seminole County while he awaits his murder trial, a judge ruled Thursday. | 07/05/12 13:14:48 By - Frances Robles

Kansas military school for boys faces lawsuit over abuse allegations

Jesse Mactagone lived in a sea of camouflage, with handcrafted model tanks and planes adorning his bedroom. He left home in Auburn last August, energized to attend St. John's Military School for Boys in Kansas. He lasted four days. | 07/05/12 06:53:38 By - Andrea Gallo

Joe Paterno's family seeks release of emails from Jerry Sandusky case

The family of Joe Paterno wants the state Attorney General’s Office and the team Penn State hired to investigate the Jerry Sandusky scandal to release all emails and records related to the case. | 07/03/12 07:20:23 By - Anne Danahy

‘Tony Montana’ bust is a real gem, Miami authorities say

Miami authorities say a fence for stolen diamonds who calls himself “Tony Montana” didn’t know he was dealing with undercover cops when he dug himself a deeper hole by soliciting their help in other criminal enterprises. | 07/02/12 14:02:21 By - Melissa Sanchez

How a malnourished girl got help from the Missouri system, then vanished

A child whose neglect had brought her into contact with Missouri state social workers and family court officials, who had been treated at a hospital for malnutrition and who had attended school, had been all but forgotten. Until the call. | 07/02/12 13:25:51 By - Laura Bauer and Dawn Bormann

Fish theft - bald eagle snatches fisherman's catch

Bruce Huntley has a good excuse for the one that got away. The Ferndale resident was fishing on Washington's Lake Padden a few weeks ago when he felt the wind on his head and heard the ruffle of feathers above him. | 07/02/12 12:36:45 By - Zoe Fraley

Coast Guard seizes 3,800 pounds of cocaine

When the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant returned home Friday from the Caribbean Sea, the crew unloaded an unusual cargo: lots of cocaine. | 07/02/12 06:57:14 By - Alejandro Bolívar

Skepticism in air at hearing over missing Florida multimillionaire Aguiar

Guma Aguiar, the Fort Lauderdale multimillionaire who went fishing nine days ago and never returned, may have staged his own disappearance to escape possible bankruptcy, his deteriorating marriage and a mountain of legal troubles, including accusations that he had illegally hacked into his uncle’s computer. | 06/29/12 13:32:44 By - Julie K. Brown

George Zimmerman faces second bond hearing

Trayvon Martin's parents are expected in Sanford Friday at the second bond hearing for their son's killer. Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester will decide Friday whether to let 28 year old former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman out on bond. | 06/29/12 07:14:27 By - Frances Robles

Duke Energy warns customers about 'Obama' heat-wave scam

The Carolinas heat wave is being accompanied by telephone and social media messages that the Obama administration has a new program to pay people’s utility bills. It’s a scam, Duke Energy officials say. | 06/29/12 07:11:44 By - Steve Lyttle

Presentencing investigation underway for Jerry Sandusky

Centre County Office of Probation workers soon will begin putting together Jerry Sandusky’s presentence investigation, a report that will aid the judge in sentencing the former Penn State defensive coach. | 06/28/12 07:18:42 By - Mike Dawson

3 Sandusky victims want to stop The Second Mile's asset transfer

Three of Jerry Sandusky’s victims want a judge to stop the charity founded by Sandusky from transferring $2.5 million to a Texas organization as part of its plan to close for good. | 06/27/12 07:19:18 By - Mike Dawson

Matt Sandusky described abuse by Jerry Sandusky to police on tape NBC obtained

Matt Sandusky told police that his adoptive father, Jerry Sandusky, molested him, rubbing him in bed. NBC obtained a recording of a police interview with Matt Sandusky, whom prosecutors planned to call as a witness. Segments of the interview are on the Web. | 06/26/12 14:03:23 By -

4 charged with running Florida foster child prostitution ring

Police and prosecutors arrested four alleged pimps Monday morning as part of an ongoing investigation into a ring of human traffickers who preyed on abused and neglected children in foster care. | 06/26/12 13:11:10 By - Carol Marbin Miller

Mother of Missouri girl found in barricaded closet is charged with child abuse

In an apartment that reeked of urine, a Kansas City police officer called out. “Is anyone in here?” Neighbors had said not a soul was home. But a tiny voice answered from a barricaded closet. “Yes.” | 06/25/12 13:37:30 By - Dawn Bormann

By sharing abuse trauma, Jerry Sandusky's victims begin healing process

The young men who were abused by Jerry Sandusky were clear on the stand that it took time to open up to police investigating the former coach of sexually abusing young boys. | 06/25/12 07:29:05 By - Mike Dawson

Jury convicts Jerry Sandusky on 45 of 48 counts of child sex abuse

Jurors convicted Jerry Sandusky on 45 counts of child sex abuse Friday, ending his high-profile trial, but opening another painful chapter in which more victims might come forward and Penn State University could find itself the defendant. | 06/22/12 22:10:55 By - Curtis Tate

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Suits & Sentences

"Suits & Sentences" is written by Mike Doyle, who covers the Supreme Court for McClatchy's Washington Bureau. Send a story suggestion.

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