CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2012 |
A San Bernardino County jury Wednesday rejected a controversial "Zoloft" defense presented by a former Westminster police detective accused of kidnapping and raping a waitress in 2010, finding the defendant guilty of all eight charges. Anthony Nicholas Orban's attorney acknowledged from the outset that his client attacked the woman, but argued that the former detective was rendered mentally "unconscious" by a powerful dose of the prescription antidepressant and was not responsible for his actions.
April 12, 2012 |
A murderer executed Thursday for killing a teenage girl almost 30 years ago apologized to her family before he died. “I would like to say to Mr. and Mrs. Elliott that I am truly sorry for my part in the death of your daughter,” David Alan Gore said before receiving a lethal injection, according to an email from Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jo Ellyn Rackleff. “I wish above all else my death could bring her back … I am not the same man today that I was 28 years ago.” Gore, 58, admitted he killed two women and four girls in the 1980s in the eastern Florida town of Vero Beach.
March 23, 2012
Seven years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that offenders younger than 18 couldn't be sentenced to death, arguing that juveniles are generally less culpable than adults because they are less mature, more impulsive and more susceptible to peer pressure. By the same unassailable logic, the court should hold that sentencing young murderers to life without parole is cruel and unusual punishment. Evan Miller and Kuntrell Jackson were both 14 when they committed their crimes. Miller and a 16-year-old friend beat a neighbor and set fire to his house in Alabama, leading to the neighbor's death by smoke inhalation.
March 20, 2012 |
Supreme Court justices appeared troubled Tuesday by mandatory life sentences without parole imposed on murderers who are 14 or younger. There are 79 prisoners who were 14 or younger when they were given life terms with no hope for parole for their part in a murder. To the apparent surprise of the justices, most of them were condemned to die in prison without a judge or jury weighing whether they deserved a more lenient sentence because of their youth. The justices sounded closely split and uncertain over whether to set new constitutional limits on the prison terms for these young murderers.
February 23, 2012 |
After a devout 63-year-old north Texas woman was abducted and sexually assaulted by a former neighbor, she said she survived by praying and reading the Bible. A jury convicted Jeffrey Allan Maxwell, 59, of Corsicana this week of aggravated kidnapping and two counts of aggravated sexual assault. On Wednesday, a judge sentenced him to three life terms. Maxwell must serve two of his three sentences consecutively, meaning he will not be eligible for parole for 60 years. “I'm proud that it's all over,” Lois Pearson told the Weatherford Democrat after the verdict.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2012 |
Hollywood arson suspect Harry Burkhart terrorized Los Angeles residents with a four-day rampage over New Year's weekend because he was "motivated by his rage against Americans," prosecutors alleged in court papers filed Wednesday. Burkhart appeared in court briefly to be arraigned on 37 felony counts of arson that could send him to prison for life. He looked disheveled and distracted as jail authorities have him under suicide watch. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Upinder S. Kalra set bail at $2.85 million and agreed to postpone arraignment until Jan. 24 at the request of Burkhart's public defender.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2012 |
Reporting from San Diego -- Former drug kingpin Benjamin Arellano Felix pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal racketeering and money-laundering conspiracy charges, marking the end of a decade-old case that targeted what once was Mexico's most powerful organized crime group. Arellano Felix, 58, the former leader of the Arellano Felix drug cartel, transformed Tijuana into a major trafficking corridor into the U.S. during a 16-year reign that ended with his arrest in Mexico in 2002. The organization, also known as the Tijuana cartel, poured tons of drugs into California and generated profits that fueled a criminal empire that terrorized rivals, partnered with corrupt Mexican law enforcement officials and funded flashy lifestyles that became the template for Hollywood depictions of Mexican organized crime.
January 4, 2012 |
Two white men were given life sentences Wednesday for the racially motivated murder of a black teenager nearly 19 years ago in a case that rocked British society and led to a major shake-up within Scotland Yard. However, the men are expected to serve far less time in prison for the killing of Stephen Lawrence, the 18-year-old who was stabbed to death while waiting for a bus in South London in April 1993. Lawrence was the victim of an unprovoked attack by thugs who shouted racial epithets as they punched and knifed him. A botched police investigation followed, undermined by what an official inquiry said was pervasive racism within the police force.
December 16, 2011 |
"Carlos the Jackal" — the Cold War warrior, international terrorist and once the world's most wanted man — was handed a second life sentence by a Paris court Thursday after being convicted of masterminding a series of bombings in France 30 years ago. Just before midnight, a specially convened panel of judges announced that it had found the 62-year-old former Marxist revolutionary, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, guilty of the attacks...
November 10, 2011 |
A special court in India sentenced 31 people to life in prison Wednesday after convicting them of killing dozens of Muslims during communal riots in the western Indian state of Gujarat nine years ago. An additional 42 of the mostly Hindu defendants were acquitted for lack of evidence. The convictions, on charges of murder, attempted murder and arson, involved the deaths of 33 Muslims who were burned in a building as they tried to escape a raging mob. Twenty-eight bodies were found at the scene and five people died later of their injuries.