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December 26, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
In a raspy voice that barely registered above a whisper, the man accused of opening fire in a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges connected to the attack that left a security officer dead. Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, was arraigned on 11 federal counts stemming from the Nov. 1 shooting rampage including murder, attempted murder and charges related to committing violence and using a firearm in an international airport. Three of the charges - including the killing of Transportation Security Administration screener Gerardo I. Hernandez - make Ciancia eligible for the death penalty if convicted.
December 21, 2013 | By Ruben Vives and Marisa Gerber
DeAndre Howard spent more than a decade in prison for a murder he knew he didn't commit. After years of fighting for his innocence from behind bars, a federal judge had finally granted him an appeal. Prosecutors, he said, gave him a choice. He could plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and get out in time for a Thanksgiving dinner with his family. Or he could go back to trial and risk spending the rest of his life in prison. He chose trial. That felt final. It felt right.
December 17, 2013 | Jack Leonard and Robert Faturechi
Two Los Angeles County sheriff's sergeants accused of lying to federal investigators secretly recorded a confrontation with an FBI agent outside the agent's home, a federal prosecutor said in court Monday. Assistant U.S. Atty. Brandon Fox said Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Craig also left a voicemail for the agent's supervisor, saying the agent was named in a criminal complaint. Craig and Sgt. Maricella Long later went to the agent's home and told her she was going to be arrested as a result of the complaint, Fox said.
December 13, 2013 | By Roger Simmons and Aaron Deslatte
Jameis Winston's sexual assault investigation is not going to be reopened, despite a plea from the accuser's attorney on Friday. Florida Gov. Rick Scott released a statement through a spokeswoman Friday afternoon saying there are no plans to look into the case again. "The state attorney's office and FDLE [Florida Department of Law Enforcement] did a thorough investigation of this case and they concluded that no further action on this matter is required," spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said in an email to the media.
November 25, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
A Texas actress who played a zombie on the TV show "The Walking Dead" has struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors after being accused of trying to frame her husband for sending poison letters to President Obama and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Prosecutors filed notice in federal court in east Texas Thursday that Shannon Guess Richardson, 35, had accepted a deal. In addition to a small part in "The Walking Dead," Richardson had minor roles in "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Blind Side," according to her profile in the movie database IMDb.
November 13, 2013 | By Richard Winton
A 19-year-old man who pleaded guilty Tuesday to a "sextortion" scheme involving naked photos and videos of at least a dozen women, including Miss Teen USA, faces up to 33 months in federal prison. The guilty plea comes less than two months after the family of Temecula college freshman Jared James Abrahams apologized through an attorney for  "the consequences of his behavior. " Abrahams pleaded guilty to four federal crimes, including extortion and unauthorized access of a computer, in a case involving victims from their late teens to their early 20s around the globe.
November 8, 2013 | Times wire services
SAC Capital Advisors pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges Friday, satisfying a deal with the government that requires the Connecticut hedge fund to pay a record $1.8 billion to settle charges that it allowed, if not encouraged, insider trading to occur for more than a decade. The plea came in U.S. District Court in New York four days after the government announced that the once-influential hedge fund owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen had reached the deal that also required it to shut down its operations to outside investors.
October 31, 2013 | By James Barragan
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this week set aside the 37 1/2-year prison sentence of a former Cal State East Bay professor who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a woman's infant daughter multiple times. In setting aside the prison term for Kenneth Kyle, along with his guilty plea, the appellate court on Wednesday ruled that the  sentencing judge had interfered with plea negotiations by promising a life term if the case went to trial and he was convicted. In stating that he would give Kyle a life sentence, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco became involved in the plea negotiations, which violated federal regulations, the federal appeals court ruled.
October 24, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
As the trial of former Bell Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia gets underway in downtown L.A., lawyers are gearing up for an all-out fight over this nearly irrelevant question: Who was the mastermind behind the widespread graft and sweeping corruption in the city? Spaccia claims to have been a victim of Robert Rizzo, the city manager who has long been portrayed as the chief culprit in the campaign to defraud the city. Rizzo was charged with 69 felony counts to Spaccia's 13. And he was her boss, the man who ran Bell for 17 years.
October 24, 2013 | Meghan Daum
Born to a mother in prison, 15-year-old Davion Only has been in foster care all his life. Last month he walked into a church in St. Petersburg, Fla., and pleaded for a family of his own. "I'll take anyone," Davion said. "Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don't care. " He had the congregation in tears. He also caught the attention of a Tampa Bay Times reporter, who told his story so compellingly, it became national news. On Monday, the boy appeared on multiple talk shows, including "The View," where his caseworker said there had been more than 10,000 calls from prospective parents.
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