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Murders

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A mistrial was declared Monday after a jury deadlocked 11 to 1 in favor of death for a 40-year-old sex offender convicted of the 1993 torture and murder of two boys in the Palm City neighborhood of San Diego. Scott Thomas Erskine, 40, had been convicted in the deaths of Charlie Keever, 9, and Jonathan Sellers, 13. Erskine is serving a 70-year sentence for raping a woman six months after the slayings.
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NATIONAL
September 16, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A convicted murderer who had been paroled was charged in the death of one of six women whose bodies were found in a Kansas City neighborhood frequented by drug addicts and prostitutes. Terry Blair, 42, was charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of Sheliah McKinzie, 38. Prosecutors would not discuss the investigation in detail, but said more charges were possible. Blair had been arrested on a parole violation.
WORLD
April 28, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Afghanistan has executed Abdullah Shah, a notorious commander convicted of murdering dozens of people, including four of his wives, in the first use of the death penalty since the Taliban fell, officials said. The execution by a bullet to the head was personally approved by President Hamid Karzai.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
There appears to be little chance of parole this year for Zachariah Chiaia, who was 18 when he helped beat a homeless man to death at a downtown park. Chiaia, 27, is serving a second-degree murder sentence of 15 years to life for the 1993 attack. Salinas Valley State Prison officials have written to the parole board, saying he "poses a serious threat to public safety." Their reports list more than a dozen incidents of misconduct.
NATIONAL
July 14, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A woman was found guilty in Oklahoma City of murdering her husband in what prosecutors said was a plot with her lover to collect on the businessman's $800,000 life insurance policy. Brenda Andrew, whose lover was convicted earlier of murder in the case, showed no emotion as guilty verdicts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder were read aloud. Prosecutors alleged that the 40-year-old mother of two conspired with James Pavatt to kill Rob Andrew in November 2001.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2008 | Ari B. Bloomekatz
Immigration authorities this week arrested a Mexican citizen accused of killing a police officer in San Julian, Mexico, and have turned the man over to officials there. Authorities said Jaime Castaneda, 37, was living as a fugitive in an Inglewood apartment and had been running from the law for years. He allegedly killed San Julian police officer Francisco Gonzalez in 2004 and is wanted for a series of other crimes in both the United States and Mexico, said Virginia Kice of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
NEWS
July 21, 2001 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino was cleared by a jury on three murder charges but found guilty on 20 counts of extortion, illegal bookmaking and receiving stolen property. Merlino and three of his six co-defendants had faced the possibility of life imprisonment for three murders in the 1990s. Merlino also was acquitted of two counts of attempted murder and a cocaine trafficking charge. The verdict followed a nearly four-month trial.
WORLD
June 24, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A reporter accused of killing elderly women in cases that he covered for his newspaper was found drowned in a bucket of water in a prison bathroom, police said. Vlado Taneski, 56, died several hours after being placed in prison custody, police said. He had been charged with two murders and suspected in a third. Police said a handwritten note was found in Taneski's prison cell, under the pillow, saying, "I did not commit these murders." The victims were strangled with telephone cable after being beaten and sexually abused.
NATIONAL
August 8, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Religious leaders joined Boston officials and citizens in calling for peace this weekend after a rise in violence. City and transit police have recorded 41 homicides so far this year, as many as the city saw in all of 2003. The homicides include 26 deaths of people under age 24, including the murder of a coach at a youth basketball game in July.
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