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May 2003

5 May 2003

Police in Stamford, Connecticut, arrested a nine-year-old boy on charges that he raped a seven-year-old girl in a unisex loo at Roxbury Elementary School. The boy allegedly followed the girl into the one-person loo and sodomised her. The situation came to light when the students' teacher went looking for the boy, who didn't have a toilet pass. She saw both children leaving the loo. School superintendant Anthony Mazzullo said that the boy is no longer attending the school.

The New York Times reports that Mitchell L. Johnson, 11, thought a school music programme featuring his brother was boring. So, armed with the keys to his mother's car, he went out to play in the car park. According to the police, the boy's family found him dead later in the evening. He had become trapped between one of the car's electric windows and the door frame. 'We believe he may have somehow pushed the button and the window came up and trapped his head', Police Lieutenant Jerry Cunningham said.

Charges have been filed against a Kansas couple and the babysitter they hired to look after their son. Neil Edgar, Sr, 47; Christy Edgar, 46; and Chasity Boyd, 19, will stand trial in connection with the death by suffocation of nine-year-old Brian Edgar. Authorities say the boy was wrapped head to toe in duct tape as a punishment for stealing food. The Edgars - who are pastors of God's Christian Outreach Ministry in Kansas City - have also been charged with abusing two of their other children. Meanwhile, five other members of the church face charges of abusing Brian.

California's Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports on Dosha, a 35-pound pit bull who worked her way loose and was hit by a pickup truck when crossing the street. After Clearlake police officer Bob MacDonald shot her in the head to put the animal out of its misery, the body was put in a freezer at the pound. An animal control officer found Dosha there two hours later, alive. She was taken to Clearlake Veterinary Clinic, where she was reported as being in good condition. Dosha's apparent owner could not be reached.

Suffolk County, New York, officers report that Troy C. Stephani, 32, refused to pull over for police, leading them on a ten-minute chase through red lights. Stephani's pickup truck eventually turned a corner that he quickly discovered led into the car park of police headquarters. He explained to the arresting officers that he didn't want to stop until he had finished smoking the crack cocaine that he had in his truck.

In Stamford, Connecticut, Vincent Betances was arrested on drug charges and began having difficulty breathing while in the police cruiser. Placed in the care of paramedics, he regurgitated eight bags of heroin while in an ambulance. The bags were used as evidence against him. Betances now wants his conviction thrown out, claiming that his treatment and the production of the evidence occurred after he'd been asked if he had swallowed heroin but before he was read his rights. Assistant State's Attorney Toni Smith-Rosario said that 'most defendants are grateful when police save their lives'.

New York's Benjamin Maybanks claimed to be a delegate to the UN, a Harvard-educated neurosurgeon, and a member of the Kuwaiti royal family. When he told them that trouble in the Middle East was keeping him from his money, two women let him borrow money - one $60,000 and the other $5,000. Maybanks, who lacks Kuwaiti ancestry and the other credentials mentioned above, is now in jail and trying to raise $5,000 bond.

Robin Loftin, 18, was polite enough to know that he should remove his hat when Judge Walter Parr entered the courtroom for his trial for traffic offences. However, he was not quick enough to prevent a joint falling from the hat and onto the Carlsbad, New Mexico, courtroom floor. He was cited with contempt of court and sentenced to two days in jail. The judge withheld punishment for the traffic offences on the condition that Loftin stay out of trouble.

Southwest Airlines became well-known for stewardesses with cheeky in-flight announcements and who wore hot pants. Two of the airline's pilots have now been fired for removing their uniforms in the cockpit. They flew the plane virtually naked, which a flight attendant discovered when she was summoned into the cockpit later in the flight. A Southwest spokesman said: 'We did conduct a thorough investigation and terminated the two pilots for inappropriate conduct.' The pilots appealed their dismissal, saying that they had spillled coffee on the uniforms.

In Annapolis, Maryland, video store manager Vicky McLaughlin was on duty when a seven-year-old boy, with a sweatshirt hood pulled tightly around his head and possibly with two companions, pointed a handgun at her and announced: 'I'm going to stand this place up.' The police were summoned, and an officer wrested the gun from the boy's grasp. The .32-calibre weapon was a fake - albeit with the standard orange tip removed - but 'we're still in disbelief', McLaughlin later said. She added that the language the boy let fly at the cops was also disturbing. He was charged with attempted armed robbery and released into the custody of his mother.
The boy maintained that his intention was to rob the store, though he had not asked for money. His mother stopped by the store twice later to threaten the employees, according to the police and witnesses.

In Portland, Oregon, Tamara Cashdollar was found not guilty of the deaths of two Vancouver children after she lost control of her car. The jury had listened to her describe her inability to remember swerving through oncoming traffic and hitting eight-year-old Tyson Schram and his younger sister, Jasmine Warren, who were by the side of the road. She explained that she has post-traumatic stress disorder and suffers migraines. It is unclear whether Cashdollar's son, dog, or the fast food in the car might have distracted her. 'I don't remember a whole lot about what happened right there', she said.

A 33-year-old man from Neuss, Germany, reported his BMW stolen. Police say that over the next two months, he sold the parts on an online auction site. He received a 250-euro bid for the engine, which he couldn't remove on his own. The game was given away when the police saw the man using his new car to tow the high bidder in the BMW's chassis. 'The car was being towed illegally, so the police were bound to stop them', explained police spokesman Hans-Willi Arnold. Both men are under investigation.

Thailand's The Nation reports that a 17-year-old and her brother and parents had just arrived at the family estate when her boyfriend, Phanumas Nuchcharoen, there to prove his love for her in front of his family, decided to shoot her instead. The 18-year-old gunman later explained that he thought the girl's brother was her new boyfriend and had become jealous, opening fire on her when she was still in the family car. At that point, her brother, Thanat, wrestled with Phanumas, who shot him, grazing his temple, and then escaped on a motorbike. Phanumas's uncle later persuaded him to turn himself in to the Bangkok police. The girl died.

Mainichi Shimbun reports that leisure boat service employee Hiroyoshi Yamazaki, 57, was using a loudspeaker to attract the attention of potential customers when Toshio Shimizu, 52, an employee of a rival company, planted himself nearby and began using a similar loudspeaker. Yamazaki allegedly went into the office of Shimizu's company and stabbed him with a survival knife. Police said Yamazaki said 'I thought he was obstructing my business'. Shimizu is in serious condition.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that a Dunbar, South Carolina, man must serve at least 15 years in prison for killing a house-mate during a night of heavy drinking. Ulysses A. Bellamy, 19, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, saying 'I used a gun to kill Mike Mazujian' after beating and torturing Mazujian with the aid of Gary Wade Stanley and Michael Varnado. Varnado said that he had found Mazujian alone in a dark room with Bellamy's cat and told Bellamy that Mazujian had had sex with the cat and wanted to have sex with his dog too.
In order to kill Mazujian, Stanley went with his girlfriend to buy bullets. His girlfriend left him, leaving him to try to hitch a ride on the promise of showing the driver a killing.

In Lousiana, cashier Gennifer Robinson recognised the cheque given to her for groceries. It had come from her car along with her handbag a few days earlier. For identification, 'she handed me my own driver's licence', said Robinson, who told the customer to wait while she obtained the signature of her manager. When the authorities arrived, they arrested Ashlie Williams, 20, on charges of fraud, forgery, and illegal possession of items worth less than $300.
Williams was carrying identification for five other women and several credit cards so might have simply picked the wrong one. 'I still don't know how she didn't realize it was me', said Robinson.

The Associated Press report that firefighters in Dayton, Ohio, responded to a call from a shopkeeper who had heard a muffled voice. When they arrived, they found a mostly naked man stuck in an air duct on the clothing store's roof. According to firefighter Scott Bennett, the man - who was wearing only socks - explained that bad guys made him remove his clothes and dismantle some of the duct work before climbing into the vent. He explained that the bad guys had planned to rob the shop and had abandoned him two days earlier when he became stuck.

14 May 2003

In northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, a 31-year-old man decapitated himself at a supermarket. Emmanuel Gumbi walked into the butcher's section of a Shoprite branch, turned on an electric meat saw, and sawed off his head, according to police superintendant Jay Naiker. Staff members and customers witnessed the incident.

Germany's Der Spiegel reports that the police in Übach-Parlenberg are investigating reports of a man walking through the streets with a human skull under his arm. His other hand held a knife. After a preliminary investigation, Aachen state attorney Robert Deller was able to confirm that 'it is a real human cranium' and a 24-year-old man from Yugoslavia was arrested in connection with the incident. The skull apparently belonged to the man's 25-year-old sister-in-law, also from Yugoslavia.

Hong Kong's Liu Yanghua carried the severed head of his mother-in-law into a police station. The South China Morning Post reports that Liu confessed to the murder and subsequent decapitation, explaining that she had convinced his wife to divorce him due to his addiction to gambling. Liu was found guilty of murder and executed.

Ochola Adebe, from Kisumu District in Kenya, allegedly chopped off his genitals with a knife after an argument with his wife. Accusing his wife of infidelity, the 50-year-old Adebe decided not to make up with her and that cutting off his penis and testicles would ensure this. The father of nine was admitted to the Nyanza Provincial General Hospital, where Dr Thomas Nyamache said Adebe's mental state is being investigated. Neighbours said Adebe, who had several times before accused his wife of unfaithfulness, was troubled.

The Arizona Republic reports that 45-year-old Manyatan A. Caballero, is facing felony charges in connection with her 15-month-old grandson becoming ill. Authorities say the boy became ill from snacking on the methamphetamine that Caballero had concealed in his crib. She is also being charged with driving with a suspended licence. The child's mother, Caressa, told detectives that her mother was a chronic drug user. The child is recovering.

After the death of a would-be burglar, Fulton County, Georgia, Police Major Wenda Phifer characterised the incident as 'jumping through glass to get into, not out of, some place [...] I don't know'. Leaping head-first through a front window of a Sandy Springs house, a 35-year-old man 'must have cut a main artery', Phifer said. It is unclear what, if anything, the man was looking for when he crawled under a bed inside the house. The 35-year-old man struggled with officers before collapsing from loss of blood. He died in hospital.

After waiting 2.5 hours for the luggage to be unloaded from his aircraft at Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport, a Czech Airlines pilot grew frustrated with the airport workers' go-slow. He took off for Prague with the 82 passengers' suitcases still in the hold. Vaclav Kral, speaking on behalf of the airline, said the luggage would be sent to Tel Aviv later. He added that the 30 or so passengers scheduled to leave for Prague were left in Israel as well.

The scene was a public stairwell at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. The victim was 17-year-old Katie Brooks, who was part of a youth group visiting from St. Louis's Cor Jesu Academy. From the third-floor stairwell, Brooks wanted to slide down the railing sideways, but she jumped too high, lost her balance, and fell. She died.
Sister Sheila O'Neill, the principal of Cor Jesu Academy, said that 'it certainly wasn't any fault of the museum', explaining that 'kids are kids. Sometimes, no matter what you do, they don't think things through clearly'.

Karen Lynn Lovell faked a seizure in the Tennessee prison where she was being held for stalking and harassment. On the way back to the DeKalb County Jail from hospital, she stole a patrol car, and went to the home of her sister, the guardian of Lovell's three-year-old son. As police closed in, Lovell held her son hostage at gunpoint. Sheriff Lloyd Emmons said: 'Unfortunately, she engaged my deputy with the handgun, and she was shot.' Lovell was injured and taken away by ambulance. The boy was unharmed.

In New Zealand, 28 boys between the ages of 13 and 15 are being forced to pay child support, which includes the potential confiscation of earnings from their newspaper routes if they don't voluntarily contribute the appropriate amounts. Representatives of the Inland Revenue Department also met with a 12-year-old Napier boy who has fathered a child with an 18-year-old woman. He too is being made to pay, in line with the scheme.

A judge in Port Richey, Florida, ordered Steve and Mildred Nadwairski to pull up the carpet they had laid in their yard. The couple, who thought turf too expensive and cited poor luck with grass seed and landscaping materials, had covered their lawn with multicoloured swatches of carpet, which one neighbour described as looking 'nasty' and being wet all the time. The judge agreed with the prosecutor, who said old carpet breaches a Pasco County ordinance forbidding public nuisance items.

Georgia's Stan Pike wanted to add a rounded front stoop to his house in the course of renovations, but the Avondale Estates Historic Preservation Commission rejected his plan. He therefore called in two painters and had them paint the front of the building lime green. Purple polka dots were added for flavour. Neighbour Karen Horace said: 'It's certainly making a point.' City manager Warren Hutmacher said that the city's officials 'haven't been able to find anything in the code as of yet that would dictate what color people can't paint their houses'. Pike's next step will be to decorate his yard with old toilets filled with geraniums.

In another story from Georgia, John Randolph informed police that his home in the town of Dublin had been burgled. The school bus driver listed the missing items, which included a gun, $30, and four small bags of marijuana. Detective Tommy Cobb said that Randolph explained to stunned officers that he always tells the truth. Randolph was not arrested. Local school officials say they are looking into the incident.

Norway's Aftenposten reports that a man in Stjordal didn't feel he had received adequate assistance at his local social security office. He left to place explosives in the lining of his trousers, then threatened to set off the dynamite if the workers didn't give him detailed help. 'He was carrying the dynamite in a very visible place, and the detonator was attached', according to Tore Sparby, in charge of the investigation.
After receiving 10-15 minutes of help filling out an application form, the man left the office. He was arrested at his home shortly thereafter.

In Speedway, Indiana, Gary Garner woke up when a Chevy came to rest at the foot of his bed, after flying over his porch. Shortly after 3am, a driver apparently didn't notice that the road came to an end, requiring a right turn, or that there was a traffic light there. 'It's probably the fifth or sixth car that's ended up in that house', according to Police Chief Jeff Dine, thinking back on his 25-year career.
Garner, 43, said he retrieved his handgun from under his mattress when he heard someone moving around inside the car. However, the driver got away when Garner crawled out of the house through a window in an attempt to avoid falling debris. The driver left behind several empty beer cans and a partially empty liquor bottle. The car had a fake registration.

Thomas P. Dydyk, executive director of Friends of the Central Library in Onondaga County, New York, is accused of stealing a painting from the library's main branch and selling it. The painting, valued at $50,000 fetched $200 at the 52-year-old Dydyk's jumble sale. When the buyer asked Tim Conroy to appraise it, he smelled a rat and contacted officials at the library, to which the painting had been donated nearly 100 years ago.
A member of the Friends of the Library board, said: 'I guess we're all just hoping it's a mistake.' Sheriff Kevin Walsh echoed these sentiments, saying: 'For him to endanger his career and respect over something like this doesn't make any sense.'

A prospective bank robber in Salt Lake City waited politely in the queue outside the bank before it opened. He was wearing a face mask and hooded sweatshirt. Captain Dave Burdett, of the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office, said of the 36-year-old man and his ilk: 'You have to wonder what they're thinking.' Burdett added that one customer thought the mask was due to 'a SARS type of deal'. The would-be robber was arrested shortly after tha bank opened; customers tackled the unarmed man after he tried to grab money from the teller's drawer while talking to her. 'We usually try to discourage that, but it was good work by citizens', said Burdett.

California's Steven J. Bosell, owner of B & B Construction, is suing President George W. Bush and the Department of Homeland Security, who he claims caused him sexual dysfunction, injury, and emotional distress. He explained that he followed government instructions to buy duct tape to protect himself from a biological attack. He taped up his windows and doors, then 'realised survivors like myself are going to reproduce and populate the Earth after a biological attack [so] we have to protect our privates as well'. It was when removing the duct tape from his 'privates' later that he tore some skin and lost some body hair. He said he has another lawsuit pending, against the doctors and nurses who laughed at him and made him look like a fool.

Thailand's Finance Minister, Suchart Jaovisidha, was on his way to an important speech when he was held captive for about 10 minutes - by his car. The BMW's onboard computer malfunctioned, causing the car to stall not far from his house, leaving Suchart and his driver locked inside without air conditioning or the ability to roll down the windows. It wasn't easy to make passers-by understand that they wanted the windows smashed, but a guard of a nearby building saved the day with a sledgehammer. Suchart said the BMW was assigned by the ministry to replace his regular Mercedes-Benz, which had broken down.

24 May 2003

This is a follow-up to the story about Georgia's Stan Pike, who painted the front of his house green with purple polka dots in a statement against the Historic Preservation Commision's restrictions on building extensions. Two other DeKalb County properties sport polka dots now - a tree in Anna Kerner's front yard and the house of Don Baer and Gail Burbridge. Baer and Burbridge say they don't know how the polka-dot pox got there but that it seemed to be spreading. Burbridge mentioned that plastic tablecloths in a certain shade of purple were on sale for 79 cents each at a local party-supplies store.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Obadiah Videau snatched the collection plate a charity was using to collect money outside a Fremont supermarket. When confronted, he dropped the plate and grabbed a woman's handbag instead. When the woman's boyfriend confronted him, he dropped the handbag and ran off, to try burgling two apartments. To break into the second apartment, he put his arm through a glass window. With a severed brachial artery, he fell backward onto the balcony and bled to death. Police detective Bill Veteran said this is 'definitely a strange case'.

Police in San Juan, Puerto Rico, pulled over taxi driver Arcadio Rodriguez for ignoring a stop sign. Rodriguez opened the boot to look for his driver's licence, whereupon police saw a suitcase overflowing with cash. Rodriguez said that the two suitcases in the boot had been left by his previous fare, a 45-year-old Colombian man staying at a San Juan condominium. Local authorities turned the man over to US Customs agents. The police suspect that the money was related to drug trafficking.

Chicago's Nasir H. Farrakhan, son of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, was arrested following a hit-and-run accident in which his 1997 Hummer hit a car driven by 73-year-old Charles Peterson, injuring Peterson's wife. Farrakhan was stopped by LaPorte County, Indiana, police, and was held for charges including operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, driving with a suspended licence, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Hummer was not damaged in the accident.

Florida police officer Patrick Shields, 31, confronted two teenagers who were kissing in a car parked in a private car park. Telling them they could be arrested for lewdness and trespassing, he asked them to suggest an alternative, embarrassing punishment. The 16-year-old girl did five jumping jacks and the 19-year-old man did 20, after removing their shirts. The teens' parents complained to police, and Shields has resigned.

Police in Columbus, Ohio, said that a mailman asked a homeowner to take her dog inside, whereupon her 16-year-old son attacked the mail carrier, who retaliated with Mace. The boy's uncle, George Cranshaw, then threw a tyre iron at the postal employee - but missed and hit his nephew. The teenager is recovering. Cranshaw was charged with negligent assault and attempted felonious assault.

Samantha Jones of Bloomingburg, Indiana, wanted to protect her husband, James Stalter, who was convicted of raping her eight-year-old daughter. The 35-year-old Jones decided the best way to do this was to regain custody of the girl from her ex-husband and get her to change her story, which would prompt a retrial, according to state police investigator Michael Rogan. Jones and Stalter figured that the best way to regain custody of the girl was via having her father murdered. The couple planned to pay an Orange County Jail inmate $2,500 to arrange for the death. The inmate went to the authorities.

Andrew J. Castor, 14, allegedly fed a neighbour's cat to an alligator. According to Cape Coral, Florida, police, Castor stole the cat from a chair in the neighbours' yard, put it in his rucksack, and took it to a canal, where he kicked the animal and threw it into the water. The cat's owners said Castor took them to see the cat while it was still in the alligator's mouth. 'It had him by the tail. I started crying. I couldn't breathe', recounted Cari Taich, 16, who'd obtained the cat, Homeboy, when she was five years old.
The police said Castor had just wanted to see what the alligator would do. It is unclear whether he will be tried as an adult.

Germaine M. Taylor of Racine, Wisconsin, was put on probation after he got Kristina pregnant when she was 14 years old. He then got Beckie Knecht pregnant when she was 17. After he was given another chance, he had his third child, by a 15-year-old. The unemployed Taylor, 20, has now been sentenced to 17 years in prison by Judge Allan Torhorst, who told him: 'I want you out of this community.'

Alberta Spruill of Hamilton Heights, New York, was surprised when police broke down her door at dawn. After throwing a flash grenade into the 57-year-old city employee's apartment, 12 officers rushed inside and handcuffed her. Earlier, an informant had given the address to the police as one used by a now-jailed drug dealer living elsewhere in the building, but the expected guns, drugs, and dogs were not inside. Spruill had a heart attack about half an hour after the raid. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said: 'This is a tragedy. This should not have happened. No question about that.'

Judge J. Ray Gayle III sentenced Theodore Moody of Brazoria County, Texas, to two years in state jail for letting his two- and three-year-old children wander the neighbourhood unsupervised in dirty nappies while he was occupied elsewhere. Moody, 27, was busy marching his eight-year-old stepson to school after he had missed the school bus. As an incentive to walk more quickly, Moody shocked him 6–10 times with a stun gun on the way. Gayle told him that 'I concluded that you weren't dumb, you were either mean or just lazy'. The children are in protective custody.

A Fort Wayne, Indiana, man's friends paid $40 for the exotic dancers at Showgirl III to get him onstage and dance during his bachelor party. According to the then-bachelor, Justin Scheidt, the dancers had him lie on his back and straddle a pole, then, while two of them held his arms down, a third climbed the pole and 'let herself free fall down the pole' about two metres and land squarely on his genitals. He said the three dancers took turns falling on him despite his asking them to stop. He is suing them because he was unable to comsummate his marriage on his honeymoon.

Police called the death of a Homestead, Florida, couple's five-month-old daughter a possible case of malnutrition. Lamoy and Joseph Andressohn, who are 'raw foodists' and, as such, consume only raw vegetables, fed their daughter Woyah according to the same diet. At the time of her death, Woyah weighed six pounds, slightly less than average for a newborn. Investigators said the couple had had previous contact with the Department of Children and Families but no reports of abuse had been filed.

After five days at sea aboard a Dutch-flagged cargo ship headed from Cartagena to Miami, five Colombian stowaways debarked jubilantly, shouting for joy in broken English. They quickly found that they had docked in another Colombian port, Cartagena, because the ship was suffering from mechanical problems. 'They wanted the American dream, but they only made it to Cartagena', said Jorge Araujo, director of the local branch of the DAS detective force. Police said the stowaways performed an impromptu rap to tell their story.

A 35-year-old woman in Kathleen, Florida, contacted the Department of Children and Families several times to ask them to remove her two teenaged sons because she couldn't control them. After her sons, 13 and 15, were charged with stealing a neighbour's car, Karen Abe told the Department of Juvenile Justice that she would lock them up if they were sent back home.
When they returned home, she bought chains and padlocks to chain them to their beds by the right ankle so they couldn't leave the house while she was working the night shift at Breed Technologies. Her ex-husband, Allen, was home at the time and unlocked the younger boy to let him use the loo. The 15-year-old urinated out the window, so Karen gave him a jug to use from then on. After the second night, the 15-year-old was charged with violating his probation for stealing another vehicle, and he mentioned the chains to his probation officer. The Abes were arrested forthwith.

Niagara Falls, Ontario, police reported that a mildly autistic seven-year-old boy apparently took his sister's bike from the family garage and rode it into the United States without being spotted by Customs officials. The search for him ended after about two hours, when a motorist saw the boy standing in a busy intersection and called the police. Officer John Conti said: 'If he didn't know his name or his address, I don't think we would have ever found him. We would have never thought to look for him in America.'

A Palm Harbor, Florida, woman had her children with her when she broke into trailers at a retirement farm for 60 ageing chimpanzees who had been part of the Noell family's roadside zoo and a traveling great ape show before that. Susan Ververs, 39, and her children stole dozens of items, including the family's jewellery, and 1940s baseball cards, over a 30-day period. The thefts came to light only after her nine-year-old son allegedly returned to the farm multiple times and set the trailers on fire. None of the animals were harmed.

In a follow-up to a story from May of last year, Trenton Michael Veches, 32, was found guilty of lewd conduct, mostly on account of sucking the toes of over a dozen young boys he supervised at a youth recreation centre where he worked. He admitted to having such encounters with 20 children (19 toe-suckings and three buttock-touchings). He will appeal the verdict, which could carry a sentence of over 300 years in prison. Veches maintains that his behaviour was not sexual, and his lawyer said the child pornography found on the accused's computer prejudiced the jury.

Los Angeles's Deshon Rene Odom was convicted of armed bank robbery, but a federal appeals court overturned the conviction on the grounds that he didn't mean for the teller to see the loaded revolver tucked in the waistband of his trousers. A manager noticed the gun only when Odom stuffed a pillowcase full of money underneath. The ruling stated that Odom should have been convicted of unarmed bank robbery since a weapon must be used in the course of a robbery for it to count.

Dianne Gail O'Dell, a 49-year-old woman from northern Pennsylvania, was charged with killing her three babies. She had apparently taken the corpses with her when she moved from one state to another but finally abandoned them in a rented storage unit in the small Arizona town of Safford, where she used to live. A Safford resident bought the storage unit at an auction and found the bodies, one mummified, one skeletal, and one a little of each.
The New York state police's Alan Martin said the crime was 'pretty bizarre'. Police are investigating Dell in connection with abandonment of another child, in 1989. This was Dell's first baby, which she claims was stillborn in 1972 after her father beat her. She has eight children who are still alive, five of whom live with their father.

Mahnomen County, Minnesota, Sheriff Brad Athman said he was on his motorcycle while off-duty when a youth twice tried to sell him marijuana on Nay-Tah-Waush's main street. The sheriff called a deputy, who arrested the 17-year-old and found 11 joints in his pocket. Athman described the teenager as becoming 'very upset' on discovering that he'd tried to sell drugs to the sheriff, who was wearing a full-face helmet at the time.

Bristol's Nicole Jones is paying GBP200 a year to insure her face for GBP100,000. The policy was a birthday present for her husband, who has many times said that he would leave her if she were to let herself become unattractive. Jones says she hopes not to claim against the policy, as 'my marriage is worth a lot more than that'. If Jones were deemed unattractive by a panel of 10 builders, as specified in the policy, she would use the money to hire a personal trainer or go to a health farm, she said.

A 12-year-old girl in Rockville, Washington, acknowledged that she stabbed her 15-year-old brother to death during a daylong quarrel over whose turn it was to use the telephone. The quarrel, which included the two throwing each other's belongings outside, came to a head when the girl stabbed her brother in the heart. He died in hospital. Judge Dennis McHugh ordered the girl held in a juvenile facility for treatment.

In Germantown, Maryland, Malika L. Hayes was eating at a McDonald's eatery in a Wal-Mart when a four-year-old spilled ice cream on her shirt. The 18-year-old Hayes allegedly shouted at the boy and his grandmother, then rubbed French fries in his face for 10 to 15 seconds and pushed him away. Hayes was arrested while she was demanding a new shirt from Wal-Mart employees.

Minnesota's Yia Yang allegedly injected at least four men's penes with what he claimed was the Laotian royal family's secret remedy for impotence. The injections were administered in the basement of the St. Paul man's travel agency. The state attorney general filed suit after each of the men experienced pain, swelling, numbness, a rash, and scarring to the penis.

The Ohio highway patrol received a report of a car hitting a fence and tree, then leaving the scene. A short time later, Garretsville's mayor, J. Thomas Hardesty, was pulled over and his vehicle identified as the car responsible. Hardesty, 53, was deemed intoxicated. His wife, Barbara, drove up to the scene smelling of alcohol, and she too was charged with drunken driving.

Rose M. Cherry, 56, is charged with beating to death the youngest of her four grandchildren, for whom she was 'caring' while her daughter served in the armed forces in Iraq. The Waco, Texas, woman explained that she had beaten four-year-old Destiny for not doing her homework. When the prosecutor asked Cherry why a four-year-old would be doing homework, Cherry said she concocted some homework for Destiny after the girl saw her siblings doing their own homework and became jealous. FBI Special Agent Daniel W. Chadwick said that 'I never got a sufficient explanation for why this homework was being done at 1:00 in the morning'.

Sandine LaGrand robbed the Klamath First bank in Florence, Oregon. Later in the day, he approached Jared Turgison outside the bank and asked how to get to the bus station, explaining that he needed to get out of town quickly. Turgison's mother, the manager of the bank, had told him what the robber looked like, and Turgison reckoned that the 40-year-old LaGrand fit the desscription. Turgison called the bank on his mobile phone and asked employees if the man standing outside was the robber. They confirmed that he was, and police quickly collected LaGrand.

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