- The Washington Times - Friday, May 20, 2005

New suspect charged in Indiana girl’s death

BROWNSTOWN, Ind. — Prosecutors yesterday dropped murder charges against a man who confessed to killing a 10-year-old girl and shifted blame to a man previously accused of molesting her around the time of her death.

Police originally thought Katie Collman was abducted and killed after she stumbled across a methamphetamine operation as she walked home from a store in the southern Indiana town of Crothersville in January. They arrested 21-year-old Charles Hickman a few days after the girl’s body was found in a creek.

But authorities now say DNA tests of semen found on Katie’s body led to new charges of murder and criminal confinement against Anthony Stockelman, 38. All charges against Mr. Hickman in the girl’s death were dropped.

Prosecutor Stephen Pierson said investigators do not know why Mr. Hickman confessed.

Officer punished for war souvenirs

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — An Air Force officer was sentenced to a year in prison and dismissed from service yesterday for illegally shipping home from Iraq a small arsenal of automatic weapons and hundreds of other war souvenirs.

Maj. Gregory McMillion, 44, could have been sentenced to eight years behind bars for taking items that included a statue looted from an Iraqi museum, about 30 automatic rifles, six rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 1,183 Iraqi army berets, more than 600 pairs of socks and eight full uniforms.

Judge may sanction Jackson attorney

SANTA MARIA, Calif. — The judge in Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial said yesterday he may sanction lead defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. for misrepresenting the terms under which the pop star waived confidentiality with former lawyer Mark Geragos.

Mr. Jackson waived attorney-client privilege only for the period up until his arrest in November 2003, but that limit was not disclosed until Mr. Geragos mentioned it while testifying last week.

The prosecution and Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville were surprised by the limitation, and at the time Mr. Mesereau apologized, saying he had not thought the period after arrest was relevant.

Governor repeals law barring Indians

BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney signed a bill yesterday repealing a 330-year-old law that barred American Indians from setting foot in Boston.

The 1675 law, adopted when settlers were at war with the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s tribes, had not been enforced for centuries, but was still a source of anger for Indians.

“It is our hope that signing this bill into law will provide some closure to a very painful and old chapter in Massachusetts history,” said Mr. Romney, a Republican. “This archaic law belongs in the history books, not the law books.”

With little fanfare, the Massachusetts legislature voted unanimously on Thursday to strike the law from the books.

Judge OKs demolition of historic hotel

DETROIT — The city resumed demolition of the once-glamorous Madison-Lenox Hotel yesterday, after a judge rejected pleas from preservationists who tried to save the crumbling turn-of-the-century relic of the city’s early glory days.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Cynthia Stephens said Thursday that the long-vacant building poses an immediate threat to the public. The city had issued an emergency demolition order earlier this week, and work had begun Wednesday.

The Madison-Lenox was built in 1900 as a luxury hotel and is designated an endangered site by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It once embodied the city’s glitzy past but came to symbolize the abandonment and dilapidation facing parts of downtown.

Lawyer pleads guilty to contempt, perjury

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A defense attorney pleaded guilty to contempt and perjury yesterday for leaking an FBI surveillance video to a TV reporter, who later served four months under house arrest for refusing to identify his source.

Joseph Bevilacqua Jr., 55, could get up to five years in prison for perjury. The contempt charge carries no specific maximum. Sentencing was set for Aug. 18. He was disbarred shortly after the plea.

The video, which showed a mayoral aide taking a bribe, was part of a City Hall corruption investigation that eventually sent Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. and the aide to prison.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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