Courts & Crime

Lawsuit accuses South Carolina's Camden Military Academy of brutal hazing

Hazing of a 13-year-old cadet at Camden Military Academy in South Carolina began with verbal assaults and elevated in severity until the boy was raped by a fellow student, according to a federal lawsuit. | 03/28/12 12:52:26 By - Noelle Phillips

Trayvon Martin slaying sparks racial profiling discussions on Capitol Hill

As Trayvon Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, entered a crowded congressional hearing room Tuesday, time stood nearly still. | 03/27/12 19:21:42 By - Erika Bolstad

Drifter pleads guilty to killing elderly N.C. hikers in Carolina forest

A 65-year-old drifter already facing the death penalty and a life sentence for murdering women in Florida and Georgia, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to charges that he robbed, kidnapped and killed an elderly couple in national forests in western North Carolina | 03/27/12 18:37:20 By - Steve Lyttle

Trayvon suspended over marijuana; thousands expected at rally

Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin was suspended from school because he was caught with an empty plastic bag with traces of marijuana in it, the boy’s family attorney has confirmed. Trayvon was killed while serving out the suspension in Sanford Florida, where his father’s girlfriend lives. | 03/26/12 15:29:09 By - Frances Robles

After Trayvon Martin, hoodie goes from fashion statement to socio-political one

The Trayvon Martin case forces a reckoning of what it means to be young and black and male — and to wear a certain garment. | 03/25/12 12:27:15 By - Audra D.S. Burch

Psychologist sounded alarm on Sandusky in 1998

A State College psychologist warned police in 1998 that Jerry Sandusky’s behavior fit the profile of a likely pedophile. | 03/25/12 12:14:25 By - Matt Carroll

Pill mills' effects showing up in neonatal units, doctors say

On any given day, more than one-third of the babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at Manatee Memorial Hospital have been exposed to drugs. Their mothers have passed the curse of substance abuse to their newborns. In their cribs, the infants suffer from withdrawal. | 03/25/12 12:00:07 By - Sara Kennedy

Bail lowered for Lewis-McChord soldier accused in hitman plot against ex-wife

An Army officer charged with making serious threats hoped to convince a Pierce County judge Tuesday to reduce his bail enough so he could get out of jail. About all Lt. Col. Robert Underwood accomplished was getting his side of the story out. | 03/22/12 07:27:31 By - Adam Lynn

Robert Bales' 2002 assault charge stemed from casino incident

A police report released today shows that the 2002 assault charge against a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier suspected in the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians occurred at a Tacoma casino while he was intoxicated. | 03/21/12 07:30:25 By - Stacia Glenn

Photo of slain UNC student Eve Carson is on billboard in India

Along the roads of southern India, the billboards are plenty – promoting movies, mobile phones, fine silks, Chinese restaurants and Communist Party politicians seeking re-election. There, along National Highway 49, not far from the mountain town of Munnar, are at least two billboards with an image that would be chilling to most North Carolinians: the smiling visage of Eve Carson, the UNC-Chapel Hill student body president who was killed in 2008. | 03/21/12 07:14:10 By - Jane Stancill and Bruce Siceloff

Feds work to check tax fraud, help identity-theft victims

The IRS and federal investigators say they've redoubled their efforts to combat tax fraud from identity theft, a crime they call "epidemic" in Florida that's spreading nationwide. | 03/20/12 17:46:13 By - Erika Bolstad

Florida grand jury to probe Trayvon Martin killing

A grand jury will look into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Florida Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger said Tuesday. “I share in the desire of the family and the community to accurately collect and evaluate all the facts surrounding the tragic death of Trayvon Martin,” said Wolfinger in a statement released Tuesday morning | 03/20/12 12:23:47 By - Frances Robles

Interpol issues arrest warrant for former Turks and Caicos Premier Misick

Former Turks and Caicos Premier Michael Misick says he is seeking political asylum from persecution by British investigators who are looking into corruption allegations under his tenure. | 03/20/12 06:59:50 By - Jacqueline Charles

Shooter of Trayvon Martin a habitual caller to cops

When the homeowners association at the Retreat at Twin Lakes wanted to start a neighborhood watch, only one man stepped up: George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old who admitted to shooting an unarmed Miami Gardens teenager and who is now the focal point of a race-related scandal of national proportions. | 03/19/12 13:47:26 By - Frances Robles

Digital billboards are new crime-fighting tool for police in one Georgia area

Wanted posters are going digital in Bibb County, Georgia. Pictures of a woman wanted for questioning in a January burglary will be posted high above motorists’ heads for several days beginning this week. | 03/19/12 13:38:34 By - AMY LEIGH WOMACK

Sandusky's lawyer wants arrest records of accusers

Jerry Sandusky's lawyer wants to see juvenile arrest records and psychological evaluations of his client's accusers. It's the latest attempt by defense attorney Joe Amendola to obtain additional information he said he needs to prepare for trial in the child sexual abuse case. | 03/19/12 07:21:49 By - Matt Carroll

Former Lewis-McChord soldiers weigh in on Bales

Two former Stryker soldiers who've gone on multiple combat deployments and dealt with the trauma that can follow them offer divergent perspectives about whether such experiences could have played a role in Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' alleged massacre of Afghan civilians. | 03/19/12 06:39:54 By - Lewis Kamb

Judge rejects UC Davis pepper-spray report secrecy

The report on the November pepper-spraying of students and protesters at UC Davis likely will be ordered released today, although a potential court appeal may delay public release until at least April 2. | 03/16/12 12:27:01 By - Sam Stanton

Five arrested in Washington state for alleged theft of more than 100 bronze vases from cemetery

Five people have been arrested in connection with the theft of more than 100 bronze graveside vases from Greenacres Memorial Park in Washington, after turning in the vases for money at local metal recyclers. | 03/16/12 12:00:58 By - Zoe Fraley

Afghan massacre suspect had been at Lewis-McChord for 10 years

A Seattle attorney defending the Joint Base Lewis-McChord staff sergeant suspected of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan described his client Thursday as a devoted husband and decorated soldier. | 03/16/12 07:06:08 By - Debbie Cafazzo and Adam Lynn

Lewis-McChord lt. colonel charged with hiring hitman to kill wife, boss

After violence found Army Lt. Col. Robert Underwood as a child, he seemed to gravitate toward it.

A series of warnings in recent weeks might have helped prevent the slayings of his estranged wife, girlfriend and commanding officer at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and possibly even a terrorist attack on the State Capitol. | 03/14/12 07:04:40 By - Stacia Glenn

Judge denies Sandusky's request for exact dates of alleged sexual assaults

The judge presiding over the Jerry Sandusky case said Tuesday prosecutors can’t pinpoint when the alleged abuses occurred, so there’s no point in making them hand over information they don’t have to the defense. | 03/14/12 06:53:05 By - Mike Dawson

Coast Guard seizes $43 million worth of cocaine off speedboat in Caribbean

The Coast Guard has revealed that it captured a speedboat laden with $43 million worth of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea, to seize 3,532 pounds of the drug along with four suspected drug smugglers. | 03/14/12 06:32:17 By - Carol Rosenberg

Death penalty sought in abuse, killing of California 14-year-old

The Stanislaus County district attorney's office will seek the death penalty for a former Ceres resident charged with the rape, sexual assault and murder of his 14-year-old daughter. | 03/13/12 13:59:55 By - Kevin Valine

Sandusky's lawyer seeks more details from prosecutors

Jerry Sandusky's attorney thinks someone is likely to remember going to a Penn State football game as a child or attending a Second Mile picnic with the former defensive coordinator. | 03/13/12 06:48:26 By - Mike Dawson

Synthetic marijuana still causing heartache in Bradenton, Fla.

When Jan Froelich noticed her 16-year-old son's anxiety and mood swings were getting worse around Christmas, she knew she couldn't attribute them just to adolescence. And when he complained of a rapid heart beat, she got to bottom of the problem: He was smoking synthetic marijuana. | 03/12/12 11:55:23 By - By Carl Mario Nudi

Bigamy charges filed against Washington state man

Here’s a recipe for trouble: A woman you left three years ago but remain married to gets a recommendation from Facebook to “friend” a woman she doesn’t know. Unbeknownst to her, you married the mystery woman after changing your name. Wife No. 1 clicks on the link. The mystery woman’s profile photo shows you and her in nice clothes standing next to a wedding cake. | 03/09/12 15:56:18 By - Adam Lynn

College student pleads not guilty in Facebook threats to Obama

A Miami Dade College student accused of threatening to kill President Barack Obama on Facebook pleaded not guilty Friday morning in federal court. | 03/09/12 15:25:42 By - Monique O. Madan

Florida Grand jury rips jailers for ignoring teen as he died

A West Palm Beach grand jury declared “fundamentally and woefully inadequate” the medical care given to an 18-year-old who died after two head injuries he received at the county juvenile lockup were ignored for hours by guards, supervisors and the facility’s superintendent. | 03/09/12 15:21:40 By - By Carol Marbin Miller

Justice Dept. faults North Carolina courts over interpreters

A federal investigation has found the North Carolina court system is violating the rights of people who speak little or no English by failing to provide sufficient interpreters. | 03/09/12 10:28:31 By - Franco Ordoñez

Bond set for Carolina woman accused in beheading plot

A federal judge set bond today for a woman accused of working with a Triangle man convicted of conspiring to commit terror to arrange murder of three witnesses in his case. | 03/08/12 13:44:45 By - Annie Blythe

All sex abuse charges against Mohler family are dropped

In the end, maybe the story of the Mohler family was just too much. To much to believe or too much to prove. | 03/08/12 13:05:07 By - Donald Bradley and Judy Thomas

Police investigate burning of 13-year-old boy in Kansas City

Kansas City police on Monday said they are continuing to investigate the reported assault of a teenager who suffered gasoline burns last week. | 03/06/12 13:04:08 By - Tony Rizzo

Agency: Psychiatric prescriptions under Texas state investigation

A Texas health agency has begun investigating more than three dozen healthcare providers who prescribed large quantities of powerful psychiatric drugs -- some to children -- after a U.S. senator raised questions about the medications. | 03/06/12 12:48:56 By - Darren Barbee

Sandusky trial prosecutors decline defense's request for evidence

Prosecutors are holding their ground and refusing to turn over evidence that Jerry Sandusky's defense attorney wants to see before heading to trial. | 03/06/12 07:26:49 By - Mike Dawson

John Edwards adds to legal team

John Edwards, the former Democratic U.S. presidential candidate accused of flouting campaign finance laws to hide his mistress and her pregnancy from the public, added new attorneys to the team representing him in his federal criminal case. | 03/06/12 07:22:53 By - Anne Blythe

Woman hid in closet during Modesto triple murder

The sole survivor of Saturday's triple homicide in an east Modesto home had been held hostage and beaten by her boyfriend about a month before the shootings, family members said Sunday. | 03/05/12 13:55:57 By - Erin Tracy

5 U.S. soldiers responsible in Afghan Quran burnings

A Pentagon investigation has found five soldiers responsible for burning copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, which set off a spate of anti-American protests and violence across Afghanistan, two U.S. military officials said Friday. | 03/02/12 18:44:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Prosecutors in Sandusky case offer details of alleged sex abuse

Six of Jerry Sandusky's 10 accusers alleged they were abused in the former defensive coordinator's College Township home. | 03/02/12 07:17:57 By - Mike Dawson

Florida child welfare officials pushes to return boy to home he fears

Florida child welfare administrators have described Edward Bailey and Marsee Strong as loving parents who deserve to get their children back after a brief stint in foster care that began when their 9-year-old son was found wandering the streets of North Miami Beach — naked and emaciated. | 03/01/12 16:25:21 By - Carol Marbin Miller

Judge denies Sandusky's request for trial delay

Barring any "extraordinary circumstances," it appears the national media circus will descend upon Bellefonte in May after all. That's because a judge Wednesday denied Jerry Sandusky's request to push back his trial until the summer. Senior Judge John Cleland said there’s still two-and-a-half months for the defense to prepare before being in court. | 03/01/12 07:24:30 By - Mike Dawson

California teacher resigns after leaving wife, kids for student, 18

A 41-year-old Enochs High School teacher in Modesto has resigned and moved in with an 18-year-old student. The reaction has been largely shock, disapproval and betrayal. | 02/29/12 13:34:07 By - Nan Austin

2-year-old falls out of moving car; mother notices after getting home

Samantha Garcia was at a friend’s house to watch the Daytona 500 Sunday afternoon when she stepped outside to find out what was causing a commotion in the front yard of his house in southwest Wichita. That’s when she first saw the 2-year-old boy, crying, frightened and bleeding heavily from his nose and lip. | 02/28/12 13:11:37 By - Stan Finger

Sandusky's lawyer seeks trial delay

Jerry Sandusky's attorney says he needs time to interview witnesses and is asking that the former defense coordinator's trial be pushed back into the summer. | 02/28/12 07:36:20 By - Mike Dawson

From meth addict to Del Norte County DA, Jon Alexander has courted trouble

On his redemptive journey from meth addict to district attorney, Del Norte County, Calif., District Attorney Jon Alexander carried one constant companion: a magnet for trouble. | 02/26/12 09:29:03 By - Charles Piller

Relatives of Texas torturer's missing ex-wife have unanswered questions

Jeffrey Maxwell will head to prison in a few days, and with him could go the story of what happened to his ex-wife, who has been missing since 1992. | 02/24/12 13:14:03 By - Domingo Ramirez Jr.

Texas rodeo cowboy accused of trafficking in rhino horns

A professional rodeo cowboy from Hico who also breaks and trains camels is sitting in a Waco jail awaiting transfer to California, where he faces federal charges of trafficking in rhinoceros horns for the illicit Asian folk-medicine market. | 02/24/12 13:08:00 By - Barry Schlacter

Sen. Pat Roberts' office is latest to get powder-filled letter

The Wichita, Kan., office of Sen. Pat Roberts received one of the threatening letters Thursday containing a "suspicious powdery substance" that showed up in other congressional offices earlier this week. | 02/23/12 18:03:00 By - David Goldstein

Former Columbus police officer says he robbed bank to 'manipulate' the system

Former Columbus police officer Edward Pascucci had been jobless for more than a year and was facing homelessness last summer when he decided to rob a local bank. Making off with stacks of cash, however, was never his intention. | 02/23/12 12:37:18 By - Jim Mustian

Former Frank Zappa bassist imprisoned, again, for child molestation

A founding member of the band Little Feat who also played bass for Frank Zappa will serve 25 years for molesting a child younger than 14 over an extended period, the Tarrant County district attorney's office said. | 02/23/12 12:20:26 By - Mitch Mitchell

8-year-old Washington girl shot at elementary school

An 8-year-old girl was in critical condition Wednesday evening after she was shot in the abdomen at a Bremerton elementary school, and police are calling the shooting an accident. | 02/23/12 07:33:50 By - Stacia Glenn

Florida boys returned to parents are stabbed by dad

William DeJesus’ youngest son called him the “Monster.” He had good reason to fear: DeJesus had been accused of beating, stabbing and raping the boy’s mother, who, in turn once told authorities the couple had repeatedly molested the boy and his older brother. | 02/22/12 12:43:46 By - Carol Marbin Miller

Mexican prison melee said to be cover for gangsters' escape

Prison guards apparently let inmates who belonged to the brutal Los Zetas gang bludgeon to death scores of rivals from the Gulf Cartel during a weekend riot, while other Zetas gangsters fled the prison, Gov. Rodrigo Medina of Nuevo Leon state said Monday. | 02/20/12 18:06:56 By - Tim Johnson

10 years later, DC sniper victim's family keeps memory of her alive

Keenya Cook has been dead for 10 years, but she lives in the minds, hearts and memories of her family. The Tacoma woman was the first victim of the D.C. snipers, a test of mettle for the younger of two men who then headed east to begin a terrifying string of shootings that resulted in 17 deaths. | 02/20/12 07:43:37 By - Stacia Glenn

S.C. bill seeks to keep some crime details from public

A bill introduced in the S.C. House would give police, prosecutors and sheriffs broad freedom to keep secret any and all crimes and arrests from the public, critics say. | 02/16/12 13:16:36 By - John Monk

Truck with explosives found near Kansas Capitol; Gov. Brownback threatened

An early-morning parking complaint led authorities to a pickup truck with homemade explosives across the street from the Kansas Capitol on Wednesday. | 02/16/12 07:09:37 By - Brad Cooper

Grieving mom urges strict pill mill laws in Florida county

A grieving mother in Bradenton, Florida, Tuesday told county commissioners how important it was to shut down bogus pain management clinics that peddle prescription drugs for profit. | 02/15/12 12:18:59 By - Sara Kennedy

Facebook dad - yes, THAT one - is ready to 'move on'

Tommy Jordan, the North Carolinay father who responded to his teen-age daughter's Facebook rant with an eight-minute YouTube rant of his own, says he is preparing to "move on" with his life. | 02/14/12 12:21:15 By - Steve Lyttle

Sandusky's bail terms modified by judge

Jerry Sandusky will be allowed supervised visits with his grandchildren while out on bail, a judge ruled this morning. | 02/14/12 07:23:05 By - Mike Dawson

Drug-fighting effort along northern border a national model

In the northwest corner of Washington state, local and federal law enforcement officials have been working together for several years to crack down on the cross-border narcotics trade, and the Obama administration has modeled a broader drug enforcement strategy on their efforts. | 02/13/12 15:25:00 By - Curtis Tate

Stryker 'kill team' trials left some soldiers' families deeply in debt

At least the waiting is over. That's small consolation for friends and family of 12 Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker soldiers who spent much of the past two years ensnared in a sprawling war crimes investigation. | 02/13/12 08:41:42 By - Adam Ashton

Hundreds of human bone fragments found in California well

In a macabre series of discoveries, authorities unearthed 300 human bone fragments Sunday in an abandoned well near Linden, marking the fourth consecutive day they have found possible victims of two serial killers. | 02/13/12 07:03:21 By - Sam Stanton

Westboro Church Tweets cancel of Tacoma trip for Powell service

Westboro Baptist Church may not be coming for the Powell boys' service after all. A Tweet sent from leader Fred Phelps Jr's Twitter account says "Washington trip now cancelled." | 02/10/12 13:55:18 By -

Gold heist leaves California gold town, Yreka, reeling

The last time so much gold was pulled out of this town, the place was known as "the richest square mile on earth," a Gold Rush jewel north of California's Mother Lode. | 02/10/12 13:43:42 By - Peter Hecht

Two Alaska children were left in room open to 30-below-zero cold

When police entered a Barrow, Alaska, apartment last week on a report of a child not breathing, they found a caregiver smelling of alcohol, two "extremely" hypothermic and naked children, and a child's bedroom with the window open to the arctic winter, according to documents filed by prosecutors | 02/09/12 12:02:24 By - Richard Mauer

Sandusky to fight for local jury for sex abuse trial

Jerry Sandusky thinks he can get a fair trial with jurors from Centre County. His attorney, Joe Amendola, even suggests delaying the child sex abuse cases to let the publicity taper off. | 02/09/12 07:31:34 By - Mike Dawson

Sandusky prosecutors seek tougher bail terms

Prosecutors think the only reason Jerry Sandusky should be allowed to step outside his Grandview Road home is to go to the doctor or the hospital. The suggestion to keep him inside his home except to seek medical care was among the strongly worded arguments filed Tuesday by Senior Deputy Attorney General Jonelle Eshbach, who opposes Sandusky's request to change his bail. | 02/08/12 07:27:57 By - Mike Dawson

Josh Powell put some thought into killing his sons

Josh Powell put some thought into killing his sons. In the days leading up to Sunday, he gave away the toys and books he kept for the two boys at his Graham-area house and stopped somewhere to fill two 5-gallon cans with gasoline, authorities said Monday. | 02/07/12 13:35:54 By - Adam Lynn

Narcotics stolen, unaccounted for at Florida Medical Examiner’s Office

Thousands of narcotic pills, including oxycodone and hydrocodone were stolen and unaccounted for at the Broward County Office of the Medical Examiner and Trauma Services, according to a report issued Monday by the Inspector General’s office. | 02/07/12 13:27:07 By - Daniel Chang

Audio statement details torture of 10-year-old Victor Barahona

When he and his twin sister were bound by the wrists and ankles in the bathtub of their West Miami-Dade house, Victor Barahona’s adopted father doused them with ice water or bleach. These are the memories of torture that Victor Barahona relayed to his caretaker in the months following the February 2011 arrest of his adopted parents, Jorge and Carmen Barahona. | 02/07/12 13:22:56 By - David Ovalle

Alleged munition scrappers split check for $3,000

The Coast men accused of stealing anti-tank rounds from a Camp Shelby firing range drove through cut barbed-wire to enter the “extremely dangerous” area, and later split a $3,000 check for the sale of scrap metal to an Alabama recycling company, a federal agent said Monday. | 02/07/12 12:09:33 By - Robin Fitzgerald

Washington father locks sons inside home minutes before flames erupt

The man who gave life to 7-year-old Charlie Powell and his 5-year-old brother, Braden, apparently took it away Sunday in a fiery blast that left behind only charred walls at a Graham-area home in Washington State. | 02/06/12 19:34:55 By - Debbie Cafazzo, Stacia Glenn and Kate McEntee

A classic Florida swindle, with a Russian twist

A Russian couple with expensive tastes hooked hundreds of investors in a classic Florida-swampland-style scheme, then vanished in the night, the feds say. | 02/05/12 10:50:34 By - Michael Sallah and Daniela Sanjurjo

1982 blast in Modesto takes one life, consumes another

Nearly 30 years ago, a small, red toolbox found in a field west of Modesto by kids looking for lizards turned out to be a booby-trapped killing machine when a curious young mother took a hacksaw to its small padlock. | 02/05/12 10:46:21 By -

Prescription for disaster: Methadone, misery and one man’s mission

Methadone killed at least 151 people in Georgia outside of metro Atlanta in 2010. David Currie’s son was one of them. | 02/05/12 10:34:16 By - Liz Fabian

Army probes crime lab workers after critical news reports

Stung by critical stories about their crime laboratory, officials at Army Criminal Investigation Command recently questioned lab employees for hours and scrutinized personal phone records looking for contacts with reporters. | 02/03/12 17:22:00 By - Marisa Taylor

Parents of missing baby Lisa Irwin, police hold meeting

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Lisa Irwin met with the baby’s parents Thursday for the first time since Oct. 8 but said they did not learn anything significant. | 02/03/12 07:04:45 By - Matt Campbell

Republicans rip into Attorney General Holder at Fast and Furious hearing

House Republicans accused Attorney General Eric Holder of hiding information at a hearing Thursday over the botched Operation Fast and Furious gun-trafficking investigation, while Holder dismissed calls for him to resign and said he's not to blame for the scandal. | 02/02/12 18:19:35 By - Sean Cockerham

Illinois woman goes to prison for embezzlement

A 57-year-old Jerseyville woman will spend 63 months in federal prison for stealing more than $4.5 million from the bank where she had been employed since 1976. | 02/01/12 13:29:50 By - Carolyn P. Smith

Prosecutors want out-of-county jury for Sandusky trial

Prosecutors think Centre Countians have heard and read too much about the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case and are too connected to Penn State to be unbiased jurors at the trial of the former Nittany Lion defensive coordinator. | 02/01/12 07:15:15 By - Mike Dawson

Florida judge: Abused boy looks like concentration camp victim

Joseph Lee studied a color snapshot of his 9-year-old nephew Monday as a Miami child-welfare judge glanced at Lee. The judge was looking for signs that Lee was as disturbed by the photo as she was. But Lee simply stared at the picture. | 01/31/12 12:58:35 By - Carol Marbin Miller and David Ovalle

Bradenton kidnapping suspect said he would rape girls

A 20-year-old man arrested for trying to kidnap a 7-year-old girl from Pride Park in Bradenton told her and her friends he was going to sexually assault them, an arrest warrant shows. | 01/31/12 12:14:12 By - Laura C. Morel

Man who tied dumbbell to dog in Manatee River gets jail time

A man who placed a dog in the Manatee River with a 30-pound dumbbell tied around its neck has been sentenced to 40 days in jail. | 01/27/12 13:17:11 By - Richard Dymond

Alaska man directed pit bull to attack girlfriend, police say

Police say an Anchorage man has been charged with assault after commanding his pit bull to attack a woman Wednesday in Midtown. | 01/27/12 06:56:31 By - Casey Grove

Teen once accused of cat killings sues Miami-Dade County for false arrest

Tyler Weinman, the youth once accused of mutilating 19 cats across South Miami-Dade, is suing the county and a prominent animal rights organization for botching the high-profile investigation that led to his arrest. | 01/26/12 12:25:38 By - Davie Ovalle

Feds: Illinois man accused in bizarre murder-for-hire plot planned to use ex-stripper wife as bait

A convict with a conscience helped the feds unravel a murder-for-hire plot that involved a carjacking and electrocution by cat, according to federal court records. It also included the suspect's ex-stripper wife being used as bait. | 01/26/12 11:39:13 By - Carolyn P. Smith

Missouri tops national list for rate of black homicide victims

For the second year in a row, Missouri leads the nation in the rate of black homicide victims, according to a national study. And it is the third time in the last five years that Missouri has topped the annual study by the Violence Policy Center based in Washington, D.C. | 01/26/12 07:10:04 By - Tony Rizzo

Prison time asked in Paso Robles ‘slave labor’ case

A Paso Robles couple who ran a senior care business faces 21 months in federal prison and might be ordered to repay more than $700,000 to former employees the couple were convicted of harboring illegally. | 01/24/12 13:13:52 By - Nick Wilson

Alaska militia defendants facing more federal charges

The three Fairbanks militia defendants were in a federal courtroom in Anchorage on Monday, using attorneys to assert their constitutional rights before a presidentially appointed judge, a far cry from the Denny's restaurant that their leader once declared to be his sovereign citizen courtroom. | 01/24/12 06:41:04 By - Richard Mauer

Feds: Charges in Florida tax-fraud case that will be first of many to come

A Broward County couple was charged Monday with cashing millions of dollars of income-tax refund checks issued by the U.S. government to people under investigation for stealing others’ identities to file alleged fake tax returns. | 01/23/12 18:44:55 By - Jay Weaver

Gun used by Bonnie and Clyde auctioned for $130,000

At $130,000, it was a bit more than what Michael Brown was willing to spend, even if it wasn't his own money. Brown had traveled to Kansas City from Las Vegas on Saturday to bid on the famed .45-caliber Thompson submachine gun that was believed to have been used by the bank robbing duo of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. | 01/23/12 07:11:49 By - Glenn E. Rice

Court: Juror questionnaires in Chandra Levy trial must be released

The year-old trial of Chandra Levy's killer is still revealing secrets, with an appellate court ruling Thursday that reporters can see juror questionnaires kept locked up by the judge. | 01/20/12 15:17:00 By - Michael Doyle

Chandra Levy murder trial releasing jurors' questionnaires

The year-old trial of Chandra Levy's killer is still revealing secrets, with an appellate court ruling that reporters can see juror questionnaires kept locked up by the judge. | 01/20/12 12:12:55 By - Michael Doyle

Police thought Novack murder was sex game gone wrong

From the time he was a teenager, Ben Novack Jr. was obsessed with cops, Batman, sex with amputees, child pornography and sadomasochism, his wife, Narcy Novack, told investigators following Novack’s July 2009 violent slaying. | 01/20/12 07:04:13 By - Julie K. Brown

Washington state mom had inkling kin were out to kill her

Judy Hebert had an idea that her daughter and son-in-law allegedly were trying to kill her. When an 18-gallon bin of books fell on her inside her Pasco garage, she took her own crime scene photographs and measurements and noted the incident on her calendar. The 58-year-old grandmother also started sharing her suspicions with others.

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2012/01/19/1792536/pasco-mom-had-inkling-kin-were.html#storylink=cpy | 01/19/12 14:06:57 By - Kristin M. Kraemer

7 accused of Dell insider trading that netted $62 million

Federal authorities announced criminal and civil charges Wednesday against seven investment fund managers and analysts whom they accuse of gaining more than $62 million in illicit earnings through insider information passed to them about Texas-based computer giant Dell Inc. | 01/18/12 18:23:00 By - Kevin G. Hall

Electronic Arts claims First Amendment rights to use weapons, aircraft images in video games

A leading producer of high-tech and action video and computer games is asking a federal court to rule that it can use images of modern weapons and aircraft, such as Bell Helicopter's V-22 Osprey, without paying licensing fees to their makers. | 01/17/12 07:36:08 By - Bob Cox

Wages of sin: Priest sex abuse cost K.C. diocese $1 million in just 4 months

The report shows a diocese insurance program incurred $631,553 in costs relating to clergy sexual abuse from July through October. It also paid $427,707 in connection with an independent investigation led by former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves at the request of the diocese. | 01/14/12 10:24:43 By - Judy L. Thomas

What was Haley Barbour thinking when he issued those pardons?

"Marsha and I are evangelical Christians, Presbyterians. Christianity teaches us forgiveness and second chances. I believe in second chances. And I try hard to be forgiving," former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour told a news conference Friday in addressing the furor he created with his grant of clemency to 215 convicts, including 17 murders. | 01/13/12 20:58:02 By - Anite Lee

Feds to probe why Ted Stevens witness Bill Allen wasn't tried in teen sex case

The Justice Department has agreed to investigate whether there was misconduct involved in federal prosecutors' decision to stonewall the teen sex crime case against disgraced former Veco Corp. chairman Bill Allen. | 01/13/12 20:51:58 By - Sean Cockerham

Federal judge delays John Edwards trial over heart problem

A federal judge agreed on Friday to delay the trial of John Edwards for at least two months. Edwards has a serious heart condition that affects his ability to travel, his doctor told the judge, but the condition is treatable and the former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate has a good chance of recovery. | 01/13/12 19:49:22 By - Anne Blythe

Where's the legal line drawn in animal-rights activism?

A federal courthouse in Boston and a ranch in California's San Joaquin Valley present competing faces of the animal rights movement. One side is peaceful. The other, decidedly, is not. Both can feel the weight of the law and the sting of being called a terrorist. | 01/13/12 16:50:00 By - Michael Doyle

Alaska wildlife chief charged with hunting violations for 2008 bear hunt

A top official in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game quit his job Thursday after being charged with 12 criminal hunting violations, state officials said. | 01/13/12 06:54:40 By - Kyle Hopkins and Richard Mauer

Among Miss. Gov. Barbour pardons was teacher who had sex with boy

A former East Central High School teacher, Jennifer Joel Wilder, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to sexual battery of a student, is among those former Gov. Haley Barbour pardoned this week. | 01/12/12 22:24:38 By - Margaret Baker

Manning should face court martial over WikiLeaks secrets, officer rules

Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of providing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the WikiLeaks website, should stand trial on all the charges that have been brought against him, the investigating officer who conducted a hearing into the charges has last month concluded. | 01/12/12 14:53:38 By -

Mississippi judge halts release of 21 prisoners Gov. Barbour pardoned

Attorney General Jim Hood says former Gov. Haley Barbour appears to have violated the state Constitution with many of the dozens of pardons he granted convicted criminals in his last days in office. A Hinds County judge on Wednesday night halted the release of 21 prisoners Barbour ordered freed who had not yet been released. | 01/12/12 07:27:46 By - Geoff Pender

Illegal immigrants across U.S. obtained Missouri driver’s licenses

Thousands of illegal immigrants living across the United States used fraudulent paperwork to obtain Missouri driver’s licenses in St. Joseph, federal authorities said Wednesday. | 01/12/12 07:11:10 By - Tony Rizzo

Mississippi's Barbour pardons more than 200 as he leaves office

In his final hours as governor Tuesday, Haley Barbour granted clemency to more than 200 convicted criminals -- murderers, rapists, robbers and even a cattle rustler -- even as victims’ families, lawmakers and the public have expressed outrage over other pardons in recent days. | 01/11/12 15:30:47 By - Geoff Pender

Miami con man: I fleeced family, others of $800,000

Michael Scott Segal —the Miami-based con artist who did prison time for stuffing his still-breathing mistress into the trunk of a car, which he planned to dump in a lake — appears destined for another extended stay behind bars. | 01/11/12 13:52:39 By - Adam H. Beasley and Elinor J. Brecher

Animal rights activists take credit for Fresno farm fires

Animal rights activists are behind the burning of cattle trucks at Harris Farms in western Fresno County early Sunday, according to a statement released by a clearinghouse for activists. | 01/11/12 13:26:49 By - Jim Guy

Former Marine gets 10 years for handgun trafficking in England

A former Marine was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday for illegally trafficking dozens of handguns to the United Kingdom. | 01/11/12 07:15:12 By - Kyle Jahner

Detecting metal thefts not always easy

California's Sacramento region is under assault by metal thieves, with copper wiring being stripped from utility poles and air conditioning units, brass plaques being pried from monument walls, and manhole covers and wastewater drains being plucked from city streets. So where is it all going? | 01/10/12 17:52:03 By - Sam Stanton

Lawsuit: Former CompUSA executives stole millions

The Fiorentino brothers were aggressive entrepreneurs who grew a small direct-mail catalog company into what is today CompUSA, a national electronics chain owned by a Fortune 1000 company. Then greed got in the way. | 01/09/12 17:42:57 By - Elaine Walker

Sheriff: Would-be abductor tried to snatch other SC girls

A man being sought in the near abduction of a 9-year-old girl in Lexington County also tried to abduct two other young girls just before trying to grab the 9-year-old, Sheriff James Metts said Sunday. | 01/09/12 17:11:02 By - John Monk

Judge scales back restrictions on news media at Fort Worth capital murder trial

Visiting Judge Elizabeth Berry, who issued a sweeping gag order on news coverage of a capital murder trial on Friday, scaled back restrictions imposed in her courtroom early Monday. | 01/09/12 16:58:01 By - Anna M.Tinsley

Penn State alums fault trustees for missteps in Sandusky scandal

You don’t have to look far to find Penn State alumni calling for change.

Tune into a radio talk show or read the comments on Facebook and message boards. Alumni and other Nittany Lions fans have been dissecting trustees’ decision to terminate legendary football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier since the move was announced Nov. 9. | 01/09/12 07:31:01 By - Anne Danahy

Gun violence unlikely to prompt any changes in federal law

At an early learning center in Eatonville, Wash., on Sunday, mourners will light candles to honor Margaret Anderson, the 34-year-old ranger and mother of two toddlers who was shot and killed on New Year's Day while she tried to set up a roadblock in Mount Rainier National Park. | 01/06/12 15:47:00 By - Rob Hotakainen

Sandusky's lawyer questions McQueary's timeline, credibility

Jerry Sandusky’s attorney is insisting that the shower incident that Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary testified he witnessed in 2002 actually happened in 2001, a discrepancy he said undermines McQueary’s credibility. | 01/06/12 07:29:29 By - Mike Dawson

Settlement reached in Fresno in Steven Vargas wrongful-death case

A settlement has been reached between the city of Fresno and the family of Steven Vargas, the man whose shooting death led to a high-profile federal trial last month. | 01/05/12 16:08:11 By - John Ellis

Elisa Baker, stepmother of Zahra, pleads guilty to drug trafficking charges

Elisa Baker, who pleaded guilty last fall to murdering her stepdaughter, Zahra Baker, pleaded guilty in federal court today of conspiring to distribute painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs. | 01/05/12 12:39:01 By - Gary L. Wright

Border helicopter dropped coffee cups to alert Mount Rainier hikers of shooter

Coffee cups dropped from a Bellingham-based border helicopter helped alert hikers on Mount Rainier that a killer was at large in the national park earlier this week. | 01/05/12 12:29:06 By - Caleb Hutton

Slain Park ranger remembered for her positive outlook

Margaret Anderson wrote in her 1995 high school yearbook that “each season allows for growth and wonderful experiences. Memories remain, each new one being dear.” | 01/04/12 13:33:08 By - C.R. Roberts and Debbie Cafazzo

Pa. county fears Sandusky trial could strain courts

If and when Jerry Sandusky stands trial on charges of sexual abuse against boys, local and county officials need to come up with a plan for managing the case that’s attracting international attention. | 01/04/12 07:27:33 By - Anne Danahy

Soldier killed in Washington state accident used 'bath salts'

An Tacoma Washington Army medic who killed himself and his wife on Interstate 5 in April enjoyed “the manic feeling” of his bipolar disorder and occasionally skipped his medication, according to Army and police investigations obtained by McClatchy Newspapers. | 01/03/12 13:58:28 By - Adam Ashton

KC man allegedly had handgun in carry-on luggage

Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged a man with carrying a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage as he attempted to board a Wednesday morning flight at Kansas City International Airport. | 12/30/11 15:06:01 By - Tony Rizzo

Were Army crime lab problems withheld from some defendants?

Did the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory properly notify hundreds of defendants about potential problems that involved a different lab analyst? Some attorneys fear that the answer is no; what happened with Army Staff Sgt. Kirk Holcombe, they worry, may be a recurring problem. | 12/29/11 17:59:00 By - Michael Doyle and Marisa Taylor

Florida mother accused of selling baby will get to see her children

A Miami-area mother who faces charges of trying to sell her baby was told Tuesday she could visit him and her two other children. Kenia Quiala Bosque will be permitted two-hour visits three times a week, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Michael Hanzman ruled. | 12/28/11 07:22:42 By - Melissa Sanchez

Alaska river guide Karen Jettmar indicted in mammoth tusk smuggling case

A longtime Alaska river guide faces charges that she helped a client smuggle a 10,000-year-old, federally protected mammoth tusk out of the state in 2007, according to a Dec. 16 indictment. | 12/23/11 06:52:06 By - Casey Grove

California courts redefining meaning of parent

Even as the definition of family in America expands and shifts, California courts are trying to keep pace by redefining whom the law regards as parents. Judges have moved beyond traditional notions of biology and adoption and have assigned parental rights to adults with no genetic or legal ties to kids. | 12/21/11 07:00:12 By - Hudson Sangree

Four say Philadelphia columnist Conlin sexually abused them as children

Three women and a man say they were molested as children by Bill Conlin, a Hall of Fame baseball writer and Philadelphia Daily News columnist. | 12/20/11 20:39:28 By - Nancy Phillips

'Toxic tush' suspects plead not guilty in Florida court

Two people accused of injecting a toxic mixture of “Fix-a-Flat” and Superglue to enhance women’s tushes were arraigned Monday on charges of practicing medicine without a license. | 12/20/11 07:03:34 By - Julie K. Brown

Penn State's McQueary: I told PSU officials about sexual activity between Sandusky, boy

An assistant Penn State football coach testified this morning that he told former Coach Joe Paterno and two university administrators that he saw Jerry Sandusky engage in a sexual act with a young boy on the Penn State campus in 2002. | 12/16/11 11:07:29 By -

Sandusky attorney says shower comment taken out of context

An attorney who recently joined Jerry Sandusky’s legal defense team speculated in an interview with a Harrisburg-area television station that Sandusky might have showered with boys to teach them personal hygiene, and several hours later issued a news release clarifying his statement. | 12/16/11 07:32:53 By -

Did Penn State violate civil rights laws? Groups urge inquiry

As the U.S. Department of Education investigates whether Penn State University might have broken federal law in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, legal experts say the university also might have violated civil rights laws designed to protect students and others from sex discrimination. | 12/15/11 17:43:00 By - Curtis Tate

Penn State administrators Curley, Schultz set for preliminary hearing

A national audience eager to hear in Mike McQueary’s own words what he saw in a Penn State locker room shower in 2002 didn’t get that opportunity when Jerry Sandusky waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday. But that testimony may come Friday during a preliminary hearing for Penn State administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz in Harrisburg. | 12/15/11 07:36:12 By - Mike Dawson

Drugs, alcohol fuel child abuse in Kentucky

When a little boy reportedly fell off the deck of a house in Lincoln County in July 2009 and hit his head, his mother and her boyfriend were drunk, according to a report by a state child-protection worker. | 12/14/11 13:12:34 By - Bill Estep, Beth Musgrave and Valerie Honeycutt Spears

Sandusky's lawyer Amendola defends his strategy

Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer said he plans to chip away at the motives and character of the alleged victims and prosecution witnesses including Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant in 2002 who told a grand jury he saw Sandusky sexually assault a child. | 12/14/11 07:28:47 By - Anne Danahy

Congress weighs in on child sexual abuse, promises tougher laws

He never thought anyone would believe him, said Sheldon Kennedy, a former NHL player and child sexual abuse victim. | 12/13/11 16:45:00 By - Erika Bolstad

Congress tries again to get military sexual assault laws right

Congress is quietly giving itself a do-over on the military sexual assault law it botched the last time around. The changes included in a massive defense bill attempt to correct Congress' own mistakes, which baffled military judges called "arguably absurd," "almost incomprehensible" and ultimately "unconstitutional." | 12/13/11 15:38:00 By - Michael Doyle and Marisa Taylor

Cartel bust detailed in Merced, Calif.

Details about a major Central Valley law enforcement operation targeting La Familia Michoacana were unveiled Monday during a news conference at the Merced County district attorney's office. Meanwhile, Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse II said potential state cuts could affect the ability of local agents to conduct similar operations in the future. | 12/13/11 12:33:54 By - Yesenia Amaro

Emaciated baby found by Texas teens who call for help

Caleb Fuller, 15, and his cousin Magon Rutledge, 17, knew they could get in trouble Friday evening for attending a party at a Hood County residence near Granbury. That was because there were older people, and alcohol, at the gathering. But the teens didn't hesitate to call Fuller's father, a paramedic for 20 years, for help when they saw an emaciated baby wearing socks that were so dirty they appeared to be petrified. | 12/13/11 12:10:55 By - Domingo Ramirez Jr.

Sandusky waives hearing, attorney vows 'fight to death'

Two hours after Jerry Sandusky waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Centre County Court, his attorney vowed there would be no plea bargain, saying "This is a fight to the death." | 12/13/11 09:05:59 By - Chris Rosenblum and Ed Mahon

S.C. lawyer representing Sandusky case's Victim No. 6

When court opens this morning in one of America’s most closely watched criminal proceedings — the preliminary hearing on sex-abuse charges for former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky — Columbia attorney Ken Suggs will be there representing Victim No. 6. | 12/13/11 07:26:08 By - John Monk

Sandusky hearing draws media throng to tiny Bellefonte

A dozen satellite vans lined Allegheny and High streets Monday evening outside the Centre County Courthouse, and police officers were guiding more to spots. Residents walked downtown to see the spectacle, snapping pictures with their phones. And nearby business owners hung up signs, promoting one-day specials. | 12/13/11 06:52:22 By - Ed Mahon

Belleville man faces prison after investors lose millions

Edward Moskop, 63, owner of Moskop & Associates in Belleville, pleaded guilty to federal charges of mail fraud and money laundering connected to the theft of Cookson's money and 17 other investors, who lost a collective $2.4 million | 12/12/11 14:12:38 By - Beth Hundsdorfer

Sandusky case: What's at stake in Tuesday's hearing

A preliminary hearing in Centre County, Pa., Tuesday will be the first chance for the prosecution and defense in the Penn State child sex abuse case to present evidence and question witnesses. Here's a rundown of who the major players are and what's at stake. | 12/12/11 11:43:01 By -

Sandusky, Penn State police chief who closed '98 sex abuse inquiry were once neighbors

The head of Penn State University's police department who oversaw a 1998 investigation of possible sexual abuse by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky once lived three houses down from the defensive coordinator, property records show. | 12/12/11 06:29:42 By - Franco Ordonez and Mike Dawson

Jerry Sandusky's wife releases statement supporting husband

Dorothy Sandusky, wife of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State football assistant coach who is accused of sexually abusing 10 boys, issued the following statement today: "I want to thank our children, our family, our extended family of former Second Mile participants, and all our friends for standing by us through these difficult times. Jerry and I want to express our sorrow for all the hurt that has come to those who have supported us and our beloved Penn State and State College Communities. | 12/09/11 07:31:11 By -

Jerry Sandusky is under house arrest after posting bail

Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was released Thursday after 20 hours in Centre County’s jail and escorted home where he was to be equipped with an electronic monitoring device. | 12/09/11 07:28:32 By - Mike Dawson

Baptist priest in California convicted of molesting five girls

The trial came down to the word of a Baptist preacher who castigated as liars the troubled little girls who called him a child molester. | 12/09/11 07:11:35 By - Andy Furillo

Sacramento area officials fight copper wire theft

If your house has been broken into or your car stolen, good luck getting an immediate response from the cash-strapped Sacramento police. But soon, a report of copper wire theft could bring a cop out right away. | 12/08/11 13:35:51 By - Ryan Lillis

The Second Mile charity lays off employees

The charity at the center of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal informed some of its employees Wednesday that they will be laid off. | 12/08/11 07:32:31 By - Ed Mahon

Former altar boy shares abuse stories with dead youth's family

Don and Rosemary Teeman were waiting in the parking lot when Jon David Couzens drove up. Couzens sat in his van, trying to summon the strength to open the door. The Teemans’ son had committed suicide 28 years earlier. The night before last, Couzens had told them that their son was sexually abused by a priest before taking his life. | 12/08/11 07:23:34 By - Judy L. Thomas

Miami police arrest caretakers for false credentials

From a simple gated apartment in Little Havana, Maria Del Consuelo Fernandez advertised an elaborate school for health workers across the county to get trained in the intricacies of CPR, infection control and even consoling the mentally ill. But all along, the 56-year-old woman was running a diploma mill — with no training — taking wads of cash over the fence and giving her customers fake certificate, prosecutors say. | 12/08/11 07:00:13 By - Michael Sallah

BP's 2009 Alaska oil spill case goes to judge

The question of whether the circumstances surrounding a 2009 BP oil spill on Alaska's North Slope amount to another environmental crime by the corporation -- justifying new penalties -- now is before U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline. | 12/08/11 06:42:14 By - Lisa Demer

Testimony of Sandusky's alleged victim's from the latest grand jury report

What started with outings to football games and gifts turned into overnight visits, touching and finally sexual assaults, according to the testimony of a young man that’s recounted in the latest report from the Grand Jury investigating Jerry Sandusky. | 12/07/11 19:41:51 By - Anne Danahy

Sandusky arrested, jailed; bail set at $250,000

Jerry Sandusky, charged last month with sexual abuse of eight boys over 15 years, was arrested at his College Township home Wednesday and jailed on new charges he sexually abused two other boys. | 12/07/11 13:46:52 By - Mike Dawson

Ill. mom throws out their beer, so kids beat her up, police say

A brother and sister are in the St. Clair County Jail in Illinois charged with beating up their mother over beer. | 12/07/11 12:05:34 By - Jennifer A. Bowen

Two alleged Sandusky victims say they'll testify

Attorneys for two of the alleged victims in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case have said their clients will testify at Tuesday’s preliminary hearing in Bellefonte, and an attorney has told the Associated Press that all six victims identified by a grand jury will take the stand. | 12/07/11 07:29:24 By - Mike Dawson

Alaska child therapist gets 22 years for child porn

An Anchorage therapist who worked with children of Alaska military personnel was sentenced Monday to 22 years in prison for producing and receiving child pornography, according to Anchorage police and the U.S. Attorney's Office. | 12/07/11 06:50:57 By - Casey Grove

Another man alleges Sandusky sexually abused him in 2004

A Harrisburg attorney said Tuesday he’s representing a man who’s alleging Jerry Sandusky sexually abused him in 2004 during a Second Mile program on Penn State’s campus. | 12/06/11 13:52:49 By -

BP worker found 'cold' pipe weeks before North Slope spill

The BP lead operator who found signs of a frozen pipeline on Alaska's North Slope back in November 2009 testified in federal court Monday that he stumbled on the problem accidentally when he was checking other equipment with a hand-held laser device no bigger than a calculator. | 12/06/11 06:56:11 By - Lisa Demer

Sex abuse memory haunts Kansas City man for decades

The four boys left first-hour class early and headed over to church. For the next hour they would be serving morning Mass at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Independence — an honorable assignment that filled their parents with pride. The boys wanted everything to be just right. | 12/05/11 16:40:16 By - Judy L. Thomas

When a thief steals your ID, and IRS refund

Without a hitch, Miami natives Ed and Kelley Brill had filed their joint income-tax returns from the same home address for 14 years. But this year, after obtaining an extension, the Miami Shores couple were shocked to learn that the Internal Revenue Service had rejected their electronically filed return. It turned out that a thief had stolen Kelley’s identity, Social Security number and employer’s name, then filed a falsified refund claim — beating the Brills to the punch | 12/05/11 14:14:10 By - Jay Weaver

Jerry Sandusky's attorney says interview was chance to meet client

Jerry Sandusky’s attorney said Saturday his client’s interview with The New York Times was a way to offer Sandusky’s side to “as many people as possible” and familiarize the public with his client’s inarticulate manner of speaking. | 12/05/11 07:43:52 By - Mike Dawson

Penn State trustees committee re-affirms firing of Paterno, Spanier

Penn State trustees’ executive committee, reaffirming decisions the board made three weeks ago, voted this morning to terminate Joe Paterno as head football coach and Graham Spanier as university president. | 12/02/11 13:14:21 By - Anne Danahy

BP employee's critical email over plant maintenance debated at oil spill trial

Two months after one of the biggest oil spills ever on Alaska's North Slope, a BP operator sent an email to managers with a long list of mechanical, management and staffing issues at the production center for the Lisburne oil field, home to the pipeline that ruptured. | 12/02/11 06:52:36 By - Lisa Demer

Penn State students grill administration on Sandusky case

Top Penn State administrators fielded students’ questions on the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal Wednesday night, saying the outlook for the university is strong even as it struggles with how to handle the charges and their aftermath. | 12/01/11 07:38:24 By - Anne Danahy

Lisa Irwin's parents ask for vigils outside home to end

The family of a missing Northland infant has asked that vigils discontinue in front of their home on North Lister Avenue. People praying there for Lisa Irwin were told Tuesday that they no longer were welcome to gather in front the residence. John Picerno, an attorney for Lisa’s parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, said the family will continue private vigils. | 12/01/11 07:19:32 By - Glenn E. Rice

Aerojet, GenCorp pay $3.3M to government to settle fraud case

Rancho Cordova-based rocket-maker Aerojet and parent GenCorp Inc. have paid $3.3 million to the federal government to settle an investigation into corporate costs. Benjamin Wagner, the U.S. attorney based in Sacramento, said the payment settled allegations that Aerojet fraudulently included unallowable costs in calculating overhead rates, resulting in overpayments under government contracts. | 12/01/11 06:50:39 By - Mark Glover

Feds want two experts dropped from John Edwards trial

Federal prosecutors in the John Edwards case are trying to prevent two former Federal Elections Commission chairmen from testifying as expert witnesses in the criminal case against the former presidential candidate. | 11/30/11 07:16:31 By - Anne Blythe

Feds to pay $2.5 million in '01 anthrax attacks, admit no blame

While denying negligence by one of its premier bio-weapons labs, the government has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a wrongful death suit filed by survivors of the first fatality victim of the 2001 anthrax mail attacks, court papers revealed Tuesday. | 11/29/11 18:54:00 By - Greg Gordon, Stephen Engelberg and Mike Wiser

Alaska Sen. Murkowski calls for probe of why feds won't prosecute Bill Allen

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is asking for an investigation into why the federal Justice Department abandoned the teen sex crimes case against former Veco Corp. Chairman Bill Allen and blocked the state's effort to prosecute Allen. | 11/29/11 06:40:20 By - Sean Cockerham

Alaska militia leader says group's rights were trampled

A judge Monday rejected an attempt to derail a federal weapons case against three leaders of a right-wing Fairbanks militia over claims that the government trampled on their rights. The men are accused of trying to secure weapons to overthrow the government in a case that remains set for what's expected to be a month-long trial in February. | 11/29/11 06:37:14 By - Lisa Demer

Bureaucracy has blossomed in military's war on rape

Under the political gun, the Pentagon has bulked up its anti-rape campaign far more than many people realize. It's expensive, aggressive and imperfect. Contrary to public and political impression, an extensive McClatchy review of military sexual assault finds plenty of Pentagon and congressional action. Some works. Some falls short. Some goes too far, in a legal arena that's notorious for its complications. | 11/28/11 15:04:00 By - Michael Doyle and Marisa Taylor

Military's newly aggressive rape prosecution has pitfalls

By the time Marine Staff Sgt. Jamie Walton went to trial on rape charges, his accuser had changed her story several times. A military lawyer who evaluated the case told Walton's commander they didn't have enough evidence to go to trial on sexual assault charges. The prosecutor even agreed. But the Marines ignored the advice. | 11/28/11 14:58:00 By - Marisa Taylor and Chris Adams

Mix of booze and sex can spell trouble for military

It's often the toxic ingredient of a military rape allegation: binge drinking. Many times, the woman knows the man and was drinking alcohol with him. Lots of it. As a result, she says she doesn't remember the entire encounter because she was drunk. Determining what happened can be a challenge for the most experienced lawyer, let alone a jury. | 11/28/11 15:08:00 By - Marisa Taylor

Three associates of N.C Gov. Perdue indicted

A Wake County North Carolina grand jury today handed down indictments alleging that a top aide to Gov. Bev Perdue's 2008 campaign schemed to pay a staffer $32,000 for work that was kept off the books in violation of state election laws. | 11/28/11 14:11:55 By - Dan Kane

Dozens march in support of 'Victim 1' in Sandusky case

To Carolyn Toner, the Clinton County, Pa., boy whose mother reported to authorities in 2009 that her son was molested by Jerry Sandusky shouldn’t be called "Victim One." Instead, to her, the boy is "Hero One." | 11/28/11 07:30:04 By - Mike Dawson

Activist wants Justice Dept. to handle Jerry Sandusky case

Citizen activist Gene Stilp has joined a growing chorus urging the U.S. Justice Department to take over the state’s investigation into child sex abuse allegations against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and charges of a cover-up by university officials. | 11/25/11 14:08:36 By -

Mexico political parties duel over drug cartel influence

A scandal deepened Wednesday over drug traffickers' political influence as a losing party in a recent state election accused the party it lost to of ties to gangsters. | 11/23/11 17:42:00 By - Tim Johnson

Names of alleged Sandusky victims won't be released to public

The identity of one alleged victim in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case cannot be made public by the courts, Sandusky or his lawyer, an out-of-county judge ordered Tuesday after the victim’s attorneys said their client fears being publicly named. | 11/23/11 07:26:16 By - Mike Dawson

For lucky Louisianans, Mexico casino was a jackpot

Leandrus J. Young says he has no regrets about partnering with the "casino czar" of Mexico. He made money, a lot of money. While others say they were swindled by Juan Jose "Pepe" Rojas-Cardona, Young only sings praises. He is one of a group of Louisiana investors who did well taking bets on the nascent Mexico casino industry. | 11/22/11 16:54:00 By - Tim Johnson

U.S. officials no help, says Indian tribe that lost in Mexico swindle

In hindsight, the investment in a Mexico casino scam by the disadvantaged Lac Vieux Desert Band was unwise. But what's more surprising, tribal members say, is the lack of interest among elected officials into what they say amounts to a racketeering scam in which U.S. Indian tribes were specifically targeted by foreigners using a Louisiana lawyer and intermediaries. | 11/22/11 16:54:00 By - Tim Johnson

For U.S. investors, reclaiming money is tough

It seemed like a chance of a lifetime. William Andrew Graven had in his hands an offer to stake a claim on Mexico's future in gambling just as casinos were opening their doors. Only thing was, it was a scam. The Mexican operator offering the venture emptied Graven's wallet of some $3 million, then said goodbye. When Graven traveled to Monterrey to press his case, a posse of armed men surrounded his vehicle and ordered him to leave. | 11/22/11 16:54:00 By - Tim Johnson

Corruption in Mexico casinos takes a toll in the U.S., too

When a Mexico casino czar named Juan Jose Rojas-Cardona sent an offer to the Chippewa Indian tribe known as the Lac Vieux Desert Band to invest in Mexico's booming gambling industry, it seemed like a godsend. But the disadvantaged tribe's multimillion-dollar "investment" disappeared, adding to a list of victims that includes a mammoth hedge fund in London, an Australian manufacturer of gaming machines, an Arizona investor and two Mexican textile tycoons. | 11/22/11 16:54:00 By - Tim Johnson

Report backs claims of bad behavior by Merced County tax collector

Graphic sex talk, nepotism and retaliation against employees are all detailed in an investigative report on one of Merced County's leaders -- who's been at the helm of a seemingly dysfunctional department for several years. | 11/22/11 13:39:25 By - Mike North

Prosecutors in Ted Stevens case won't face criminal charges

A 2 1/2 year investigation into the bungled prosecution of then-U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens found widespread and sometimes intentional misconduct by Justice Department attorneys in that and other Alaska corruption cases. But the special prosecutor who led the review isn't recommending they face any criminal charges. | 11/22/11 06:39:33 By - Lisa Demer

Ex-FBI director Louis Freeh named special counsel for Penn State investigation

The Penn State Board of Trustees is hiring former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh to lead the investigation of how the university handled allegations that former football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted at least eight boys over a period of 15 years. | 11/21/11 13:48:08 By - Anne Danahy

Inquiry finds 'significant' misconduct in Ted Stevens case

Federal prosecutors pursuing the late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens engaged in "significant, widespread and, at times, intentional" misconduct but should not face criminal contempt charges, a special court investigator has concluded. | 11/21/11 13:07:01 By - Michael Doyle

Ties between Penn State, The Second Mile run deep

The Second Mile and Penn State have been embroiled in a national scandal the past two weeks, since former Penn State coach and The Second Mile founder Jerry Sandusky was accused of sexually abusing eight children over 15 years. From the moment that Sandusky founded the charity in 1977, it was inextricably intertwined with Penn State football, a connection that fueled its growth into a nonprofit with about $9.5 million in assets and that served thousands of children across the state. | 11/21/11 07:30:50 By - Ed Mahon

Sandusky scandal's pain extends deep into 'Penn State country'

While most of the media attention in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal has focused on the state's flagship public university, the impact can be felt in the rural communities 40 miles north of State College, where some of the alleged victims of Jerry Sandusky still live. | 11/21/11 00:01:10 By - Curtis Tate

Penn State's Sandusky took out mortgage just as sex-abuse inquiry began

Jerry Sandusky took out a $25,000 mortgage on his home last fall as investigators continued their far-reaching child sex abuse inquiry against the former Penn State University assistant football coach. | 11/18/11 18:47:00 By - Franco Ordonez

Penn State ignored abuse allegations, Ariz. man claims

A Phoenix, Ariz., man is alleging that he tried, without success, in 2001 and 2002 to reach someone at Penn State who would act on his claims he had been sexually abused as a child by a Penn State professor. | 11/18/11 07:18:52 By - Cliff White

Judge who arraigned Sandusky got donation from Second Mile chairman in 2007

Robert Poole, chairman of the state board of directors for The Second Mile, contributed about $2,400 to the campaign of Magisterial District Judge Leslie Dutchcot in 2007, according to Dutchcot’s campaign finance reports. | 11/18/11 07:09:28 By -

Sandusky told Bob Costas he feels 'unfairly judged by the public'

Joe Paterno never spoke to Jerry Sandusky directly about his behavior, according to a full transcript of Bob Costas' interview with Jerry Sandusky acquired by the Centre Daily Times. | 11/17/11 07:29:37 By - Cliff White

Justice Dept. investigating Miami police in deaths of seven black men

The U.S. Justice Department will investigate whether Miami police violated the constitutional rights of seven black men who were shot to death by officers over an eight-month span, raising tensions in the inner city and sparking demands for an independent review. | 11/17/11 07:03:27 By - Charles Rabin and Jay Weaver

New senior judge in Sandusky hearing from out of Pa. county

A senior district judge from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, will hold the scheduled Dec. 7 preliminary hearing for Jerry Sandusky, who faces sex abuse charges involving children. | 11/17/11 06:10:15 By -

Holocaust survivors argue for quest to sue European companies

Few survived to tell the heart-rending survival story that Leo Bretholz chronicled in his book, "Leap Into Darkness," an account of his daring escape in 1942 from a French train bound for the Auschwitz concentration camp. Bretholz and two fellow Holocaust survivors on Wednesday appealed to Congress for the ability to sue European companies such as Allianz AG, a German insurance giant, in state courts for unpaid life insurance policies sold before World War II. | 11/16/11 18:52:00 By - Erika Bolstad

Penn State sex crime cases are familiar territory for Sandusky's lawyer

State College attorney Joseph Amendola has a reputation as a skilled attorney who has handled a number of high-profile cases, including several that drew national attention because of the defendants’ ties to Penn State and its football program. | 11/16/11 07:33:06 By - Cliff White

Sandusky's NBC interview possible confession to sex crime under Pa. law

Under Pennsylvania's child protection laws, what Sandusky admitted to in an interview with NBC's Bob Costas could fit the definition of indecent exposure. If children under 16 were involved, it could be a first-degree misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. | 11/15/11 17:36:00 By - Curtis Tate

Anti-coal protesters arrested outside Bank of America in Charlotte

Amid chants of "Bank of America, bank of coal," eight protesters were arrested Tuesday morning outside the Charlotte bank's corporate headquarters. The protesters were affiliated with the local chapter of the Rainforest Action Network and demanded an end to the bank's | 11/15/11 15:01:16 By - Andrew Dunn

Sandusky's bail, Second Mile link raise conflict of interest questions about judge

Criticism over Jerry Sandusky’s release on $100,000 unsecured bail and an online resume for the judge who set that bail has raised questions of whether she had a conflict of interest. | 11/15/11 07:07:59 By - Jessica VanderKolk

New book warns how to avoid Ponzi schemes

A book to be published Tuesday and written by a somewhat obscure federal regulator uses real-world examples of recent financial fraud to help investors protect themselves from those who'd prey upon them. | 11/14/11 19:00:00 By - Kevin G. Hall

Penn State faculty shares insights on Sandusky scandal

When a solemn John Surma, the vice chairman of Penn State’s board of trustees, announced the board’s termination of university President Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno on Wednesday, he provided a much-needed voice of leadership to a community in dire need of direction, according to former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, who joined Penn State’s faculty earlier this year. | 11/14/11 06:46:51 By - Cliff White

Execution scheduled Friday in Idaho would be state's first in many years

If an execution takes place as scheduled in Idaho on Friday, it will be the first time a state Death Row inmate has been executed against his will since 1957. | 11/13/11 16:35:36 By - Patrick Orr

Love, murder and a suicide run for Cuba

Hunted for gunning down his girlfriend, Noel Sosa Ruiz saw no way out except returning to Cuba. Then his plan ran out of fuel. | 11/13/11 16:12:42 By - By Melissa Sanchez and Susan Carroll

Charges added in Alaska's Ketchikan porn case

One of Ketchikan's most prominent political leaders, already accused of possessing child pornography, now finds himself charged with 80 additional counts including one involving a homemade video featuring himself unclothed with a young girl, according to police. | 11/11/11 13:41:38 By - Lisa Demer

Charity program The Second Mile may not survive Sandusky scandal

Guidance counselors in the State College Area schools have stopped referring students to The Second Mile’s early intervention youth programs. And whether a significant number of schools will continue to participate in the nonprofit’s leadership conferences is one of many uncertainties. | 11/11/11 07:20:00 By - Ed Mahon

Colombian paramilitary leader gets 33-year sentence for drug trafficking in Miami

A Colombian paramilitary warlord who pleaded guilty to exporting tons of cocaine into the United States to fund terrorism in his homeland was sentenced in Miami to 33 years in prison, authorities said Wednesday. | 11/10/11 06:55:13 By - Jay Weaver

Penn State fires Joe Paterno, president in abuse scandal fallout

In an effort to contain a widening scandal, the Penn State board of trustees late Wednesday fired head football coach Joe Paterno, and university president Graham Spanier. The unanimous decision came hours after Paterno announced he would retire in the wake of allegations that a former assistant coach sexually abused at least eight boys over a 15-year period, and that Paterno and university officials failed to report it. | 11/09/11 23:47:01 By - Jeff Rice

Guantanamo trial for Cole bombing suspect delayed for a year

The reputed mastermind of the USS Cole bombing made his first appearance in before a U.S. military commission judge Wednesday, the first time Abd al Rahim al Nashiri had been seen in public since he was arrested in 2002 and spiritied into a series of secret CIA prisons. | 11/09/11 18:14:00 By - Carol Rosenberg

Prescription-abuse babies a growing ‘crisis’ in Bradenton

There’s a growing epidemic of babies being born addicted to prescription drugs ingested by young mothers, representatives of substance abuse organizations told county commissioners Tuesday. | 11/09/11 12:05:19 By - Sara Kennedy

Kansas City gamer stops gunman from stealing 'Call of Duty 3'

How bad did one man want "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," which was released Tuesday? Bad enough to follow a customer home from a Kansas City GameStop, point a gun and try to steal his game, according to court records released Tuesday. But not as bad as the customer, who refused to cough up his copy and fought the would-be robber for control of the gun, the court records said. | 11/09/11 07:15:12 By - Christine Venel

Penn State hurt by media blunders, communications expert says

A stunned silence descended upon the hundreds of reporters, photographers and cameramen representing the national media as a Penn State official announced Joe Paterno’s press conference had been canceled Tuesday. | 11/09/11 06:30:48 By - Cliff White

Holder calls ATF gun operation 'flawed' but doesn't apologize

Attorney General Eric Holder disavowed the controversial Fast and Furious program Tuesday, calling the practice of federal agents letting U.S. guns illegally enter Mexico "unacceptable" during a sometimes tense Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. | 11/08/11 18:07:00 By - Maria Recio

Penn State alums' reactions to Sandusky scandal run the gamut

In downtown State College, you can find Joe Paterno’s face on nearly every block. It’s on paintings, book covers, and — at a Dunkin’ Donuts shop — “We Love Our Joe” mugs. | 11/08/11 12:44:04 By - Jessica VanderKolk, Ed Mahon and Jeff Rice

Police: Penn State failed to stop abuse

Penn State officials had three opportunities to stop Jerry Sandusky from preying on young boys but failed to take action, state police Commissioner Frank Noonan said Monday at a news conference with Attorney General Linda Kelly. | 11/08/11 09:17:15 By - Mike Dawson

Feds say California realty ring defrauded $16 million from banks

The collapse of the housing bubble exposed Sacramento as one of the nation's centers for mortgage fraud. Yet even here, prosecutors say, their latest case stands out for its scope and the number of people involved. | 11/08/11 06:47:06 By - Rick Daysog

Dr. Conrad Murray guilty in death of Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson's personal physician has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for causing the pop icon's 2009 death by a powerful surgical anesthetic. | 11/08/11 06:18:09 By -

Penn AG: Paterno is not a target of Sandusky investigation

In a news conference held Monday afternoon to discuss the charges filed over the weekend against former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky and two university administrators, Attorney General Linda Kelly said Joe Paterno is not a target of the investigation. | 11/07/11 14:42:52 By -

Kentucky woman accused of Bosnia war crimes awaits extradition decision

No decision was made Monday during an extradition hearing for a Croation woman facing charges of murder and torture stemming from the unraveling of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. More than three hours of testimony and arguments were heard Monday in U.S. District Court in Lexington in the case of Azra Basic. The U.S. government wants to return Basic, 52, to Bosnia to face charges. Basic's attorney, Patrick Nash, is fighting the extradition. | 11/07/11 14:04:06 By - Jennifer Hewlett

Penn State AD Tim Curley, finance VP step down over Sandusky scandal

Following a board of trustees executive session late Sunday night in Old Main, a Penn State spokesman announced Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, interim vice president for finance and business, will step down while the case surrounding them and former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is investigated. | 11/07/11 07:21:47 By - Jessica Vanderkolk

Lisa Irwin's family feels strain of media scrutiny

Since the mystifying Oct. 4 disappearance of 10-month-old Lisa Irwin, much of the nation has been introduced to her parents, Debbie Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, as the latest breathless, blow-by-blow, cable-crime-case sensation. | 11/07/11 07:01:21 By - Lee Hill Kavanaugh

Miami man tumbles to death battling swarm of angry bees

Donald Mason tumbled from a chair he was standing on while battling a swarm of angry bees in an upstairs bedroom. | 11/06/11 17:17:19 By - David Ovalle

Texas man commits suicide at sea after stealing boat

A 41-year-old Texas, man suspected of killing his wife was found dead from an apparent suicide after a bizarre incident at sea that began Friday after he stole a boat from friends in the Florida Keys and tried to flee to Cuba. | 11/06/11 17:11:51 By - Mike Clary

How deep did coverup go in Penn State child sex abuse case?

A grand jury investigation that led to the indictment of Jerry Sandusky on charges that included the rape of pre-teen in the football locker room shower also led to charges against two senior Penn State officials. According to the grand jury's findings, famed Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno and Penn State President Graham Spanier, both of whom were not charged, also knew of the allegations. | 11/06/11 10:56:39 By - Mike Dawson

What prosecution says Penn State officials knew about Sandusky

Seven years before a state grand jury began investigating a boy’s report that he had been sexually assaulted by former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, Penn State officials were told by an eyewitness that Sandusky has sexually assaulted a boy in a shower room on the University Park campus. | 11/05/11 19:24:42 By -

After years of secrecy, Pentagon seeks order to let public view hearing for accused Cole bomber

Pentagon prosecutors have filed a sealed motion with the Guantánamo war court that apparently proposes allowing the general public for the first time to watch military proceedings against an accused al Qaida terrorist. | 11/05/11 16:05:45 By - Carol Rosenberg

Prosecution: Penn State execs hid child sex claims against football coach

STATE COLLEGE, Penn. — Penn State coaching legend and Second Mile founder Jerry Sandusky was arraigned Saturday on more than 40 charges alleging sex crimes involving minors. | 11/05/11 11:22:52 By -

Court closes Green Duck Lounge, scene of notorious Kansas City murder

Repeated instances of violent crime and illegal drug activity in and near the business prompted the county prosecutor to seek a court order to have it shuttered for as long as a year. | 11/05/11 10:02:11 By - Tony Rizzo

Cops suspected of illegal gun sales in Calfornia probe

Two deputies from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, one Sacramento police officer and one Roseville police officer are the focus of the probe. | 11/05/11 09:33:44 By - Sam Stanton

Witness says Stryker 'kill team' suspect calmly displayed human fingers

Alleged “kill team” ringleader Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs was “very calm, very cool, very collected” last year as he unwrapped a pair of human fingers and threatened a private who raised an alarm about drug use in their platoon, the whistleblower testified Thursday. | 11/04/11 13:11:34 By - Adam Ashton

Zahra Baker's father wants to take her remains to Australia

Adam Baker, whose wife pleaded guilty to murdering his 10-year-old daughter, Zahra, says he feels like a hostage. He can't return to Australia while the felony and misdemeanor crimes he's been accused of committing remain pending. And he can't work, he says, because he's been accused of being in the country illegally. | 11/04/11 07:26:25 By - Gary L. Wright

Convictions in 'Liberty City Seven' terrorism case upheld

Five Miami men convicted of conspiring to support the terrorist organization al-Qaida lost their appeal Tuesday for a new trial. A federal appeals court ruled that U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard did not make a mistake when she removed a main juror and replaced her with an alternate juror during trial deliberations that led to the men’s convictions. | 11/02/11 07:02:21 By - Jay Weaver

In Alaska, soldier, 22, held on suspicion of spying

A 22-year-old Army military policeman from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is in custody in Anchorage on suspicion of espionage, an FBI spokesman said Tuesday. The soldier, Spc. William Colton Millay, was booked in the Anchorage jail at 8 p.m. Friday. He's being held without bail, a jail spokesman said. | 11/01/11 22:23:18 By - Richard Mauer

Afghan 'kill team' leader Gibbs was framed, defense says

Alleged Army “kill team” leader Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs would celebrate whenever he or his soldiers shot Afghan men during their deployment with a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade last year, his attorney acknowledged Monday. Gibbs would pose for photos and even clip body parts from the victims as “war trophies,” he said. | 11/01/11 07:33:54 By - Adam Ashton

Wichita mosque damaged by fire had received anti-Islam messages

A Muslim mosque in west Wichita that was heavily damaged by fire early Monday had received anti-Islam letters in recent months. Somebody also had begun turning on its outside water faucet overnight to hike its water bill, its leader said. | 11/01/11 06:56:58 By - Fred Mann and Stan Finger

44 charity pink flamingos stolen in Kennewick, Wash.

A thief with a penchant for pink flamingos pilfered 44 birds from a Kennewick yard Saturday night. Forty-nine flamingos were put in the yard of a home near Fourth Avenue and Joliet Avenue in Hansen Park around 10:30 p.m. But by the time the homeowners returned from a Halloween party at 11:45 p.m., most of the birds were gone, said Jenna Boogerd, owner of Swanky Babies. | 10/31/11 14:21:16 By - Paula Horton

Was autistic man really a Marine? Military court to decide

Los Angeles native Joshua D. Fry had been diagnosed as autistic and was living in a group home for people with mental disabilities when a Marine Corps recruiter signed him up for service. Fry's enlistment three years ago helped the recruiter meet his quota. It turned out far worse for Fry, who ended up being court-martialed on child pornography and other charges. Now his fate is posing a mind-boggling question for military judges: Was Fry never really in the Marine Corps in the first place? | 10/28/11 16:03:00 By - Michael Doyle

Interviews with Lisa Irwin's brothers postponed

Today’s planned interviews of Lisa Irwin’s two brothers has been postponed.

It may never happen now, because the case took a bizarre turn late Thursday as two attorneys for the family appeared to be in open conflict. | 10/28/11 07:07:00 By - Alan Bavley and Donald Bradley

Judge won't dismiss case against John Edwards

A federal court judge rejected efforts by John Edwards, the former presidential candidate facing criminal charges, to have his case thrown out before trial. | 10/27/11 13:23:33 By - Anne Blythe

Police: Couple on way to buy heroin passes out in traffic with 4-year-old in car

A Granite City, Illinois, couple took their 4-year-old daughter on a trip to buy heroin in St. Louis and ended up passing out in traffic, court documents state | 10/27/11 11:33:07 By - Kevin Bersett

Report: S.C. man points gun, cuts woman's hair after argument

A man is accused of threatening a woman with a gun then cutting her hair after an argument Monday. Kenneth Diamond Abner, 35, of Rock Hill has been charged with pointing a firearm and criminal domestic violence. | 10/26/11 13:03:51 By - Nichole Smith

After two months of searching, American finds Jack the Cat

After two months of searching, Jack the Cat has been found by American Airlines. The Fort Worth-based carrier lost the cat on August 25 after its owner Karen Pascoe had checked the cat in to American before she boarded a flight to California. | 10/26/11 12:20:17 By - Andrea Ahles

In Lisa Irwin case, legal wrangling with police is part of the system

Last week Cyndy Short, a lawyer for Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, said she was setting boundaries for her clients’ cooperation with police and insisting on ground rules in exchange for additional interviews about the disappearance of Lisa Irwin in early October. | 10/26/11 07:12:19 By - Mark Morris and Christine Vendel

Jury awards Sears employee $5.2M for racial harassment

At first, Medro Johnson tried to shrug it off. The African American employee of Sears Home Improvement Products in Natomas, Calif., was at an August 2008 company barbecue with his family, court records say. A co-worker walked up and blurted a racial slur, issued with a "slave dialect." | 10/26/11 06:50:41 By - Loretta Kalb

Woman allegedly drained checking account of Washington state couple

Authorities say a 32-year-old woman used a fake identity and phony checks to drain nearly $330,000 from a Gig Harbor, Wash., couple’s checking account earlier this year. | 10/24/11 16:41:38 By - Adam Lynn

Missing evidence is among military crime lab's new woes

The Army's crime lab, already beleaguered by multiple internal investigations, has something new to explain: missing evidence. Examiners misplaced evidence in a possible suicide investigation and an assault case. Meanwhile, two former senior employees of the lab's high-profile forensics testing in Afghanistan have accused their bosses of firing them in August in retaliation for complaining about mismanagement. | 10/24/11 15:30:00 By - Marisa Taylor

The cocaine road - from Colombia to Columbus, Georgia

It’s a long way from Colombia to Columbus, Georgia. But cocaine finds a way, from the farmer’s field to the dealer’s corner. And between the farmer trying to feed his family and the crackhead feeding his addiction, a lot of people make a lot of money. | 10/24/11 14:24:59 By -

Kansas prosecutors get more time to work around shredded records in Planned Parenthood case

Johnson County, Kansas, prosecutors have more time to try to replace shredded evidence in the country’s first criminal case against Planned Parenthood, a judge ruled this morning. | 10/24/11 14:20:32 By - Joe Lambe

Lisa Irwin case keeping Kansas City police frustrated

After nearly three weeks of searching for 11-month Lisa Irwin, Kansas City police continue to track down leads in a frustrating case that seems to have few. | 10/24/11 06:59:39 By - Laura Bauer and Scott Canon

Elisa Baker insists she didn't do it

Elisa Baker, in her first public interview, insisted from jail Friday that she was innocent despite pleading guilty last month to murdering her stepdaughter Zahra. | 10/23/11 17:36:15 By - Franco Ordoñez and Elizabeth Leland

Cadaver dog ‘hit’ inside Missouri house in Lisa Irwin case

An FBI cadaver dog indicated a “hit” inside the home where Lisa Irwin disappeared from her crib, according to an affidavit police filed to support a request for a search warrant of the house. | 10/21/11 16:36:46 By - Tony Rizzo

Thief botches Tacoma woman's life-saving auction

Money doesn’t usually matter much to Cindi Hayes, but this time it’s a matter of life or death. After 13 years battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia, doctors told her in August that a bone marrow transplant was her last chance. Faced with the procedure and related costs estimated at $600,000, Hayes and her family began saving every penny, seeking donations and collecting items for their big fund raiser – an auction Saturday at the Tacoma Elks Club. | 10/20/11 15:41:11 By - Stacia Glenn

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"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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