- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2007

CALIFORNIA

Child molester gets 150 years

SAN JOSE — A man who prosecutors said was one of the nation’s most prolific child molesters was sentenced yesterday to 150 years in prison for abusing two 12-year-old boys.

Dean Arthur Schwartzmiller, 64, who also had been convicted of sexual assaults in several states over three decades, was sentenced to the maximum term on 11 felony counts of child molestation and one misdemeanor charge of child pornography possession.

During the nearly three-week trial, prosecutor Steve Fein showed jurors a map of the “places and decades where the defendant has molested young boys.” It included an estimated 100 accusers dating to 1969. When Schwartzmiller was arrested in June 2005, investigators found a memoir describing abuse, binders full of child pornography and 1,500 notebook pages with headings categorizing the boys.

Schwartzmiller, who acted as his own attorney during his October trial, told jurors that he was innocent and maligned by a society that doesn’t accept men who love boys. He said the memoir and notebook entries were fiction.

ILLINOIS

Car kills boy in school cafeteria

SHILOH — A car plowed through the wall of an elementary school cafeteria during lunch yesterday, killing an 8-year-old boy and injuring two students and the driver, police in this St. Louis suburb said.

Ryan Westling died of head and chest injuries, authorities said. The conditions of the driver and the other students were not disclosed.

The cause of the crash at Shiloh Elementary was not released.

MISSOURI

Dog returns home after six years

ST. LOUIS — Cujo was a frisky 7-year-old when he sneaked out of his owners’ yard in July 2000. Now thinner and grayer, the golden retriever is back with the Barczewski family.

“It’s a miracle,” Noreen Barczewski, 41, said at a reunion Friday. “We found him.”

Six years can do a lot to a dog, but it was unmistakably Cujo. There was the heart-shaped patch of white on his forehead, the white fur on his toes, his manner of greeting people by rubbing against them cat-style.

Cujo somehow had ended up 120 miles away in a woman’s home in Columbia. When the woman entered a nursing home, the dog was sent to the Central Missouri Humane Society in Columbia.

A week ago, Mrs. Barczewski’s brother-in-law, Michael Barczewski, went to an adoption agency Web site on a fluke. He had been looking for a dog to adopt and saw the picture of the old dog with the white heart mark and white feet. The reunion followed within days.

NEVADA

Priest sought in woman’s attack

LAS VEGAS — A Roman Catholic priest wanted in a beating attack on a female employee at his southern Nevada church faces an attempted murder charge, police said.

An arrest warrant was issued yesterday for the Rev. George Chaanine, 52, who also was charged with kidnapping and battery with intent to commit sex assault, police Lt. John Bradshaw said.

Police were summoned a little before 4:30 p.m. Friday after the woman sought aid. Father Chaanine was gone when police arrived. The woman was treated late Friday at University Medical Center in Las Vegas and released.

Lt. Bradshaw said she was beaten with a blunt object, which he said police confiscated from the office.

NORTH CAROLINA

State to buy Chimney Rock Park

RALEIGH — The state will spend $24 million to buy privately owned Chimney Rock Park, a scenic preserve in western North Carolina that has served as the setting for several major motion pictures, a state parks official said yesterday.

The 1,000-acre property — much of which is untouched by humans — will be used to augment Hickory Nut Gorge State Park, newly created in one of North Carolina’s most biologically diverse areas, said Charlie Peek, spokesman for the state Division of Parks and Recreation.

The state parks system had long been in negotiations with the family that owns Chimney Rock. The deal was helped by a private donation of $2.35 million, Mr. Peek said.

The main attraction of the private park, 25 miles southeast of Asheville, is Chimney Rock, a 315-foot-tall formation that offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Its trails and cliffs were used in scenes for the 1992 movie “The Last of the Mohicans,” and it has been featured in numerous other productions.

OHIO

Parishioners tackle gunman in church

COLUMBUS — Parishioners tackled a gunman suspected of snatching purses from church pews during Mass, the pastor and police said.

One man suffered lacerations to his head and face during the struggle at Christ the King Catholic Church on Sunday morning, police said.

Wendell K. Hollingsworth, 43, who displayed the handgun, and Celeste M. Smith, 51, were arrested and each charged with aggravated robbery at the church, police said. They were being held in the Franklin County Jail yesterday.

“Our parishioners are not about to let anyone defile their church,” said the Rev. Michael Lumpe.

RHODE ISLAND

Brown medical school granted $100 million

PROVIDENCE — The founder of convenience store chain Xtra Mart is giving $100 million to the Brown University medical school to construct a new building, fund scholarships and attract top researchers and doctors.

In return, Brown announced yesterday, it would rename its 35-year-old medical school in honor of Warren Alpert, 86, the founder and chairman of Warren Equities Inc., which sells fuel and groceries in more than 400 Xtra Mart convenience stores in the Northeast.

“The scope of the gift is so significant that it will affect virtually every dimension of the medical school,” said Brown University President Ruth Simmons.

The gift is the largest ever received by the medical school, and the largest ever given by the Providence-based Warren Alpert Foundation.

Herbert Kaplan, the foundation’s president, said Mr. Alpert has always been fascinated with medical education and that he thought it was the way to help mankind.

WISCONSIN

Charges altered in murder trial

MANITOWOC — A judge yesterday dismissed sexual assault and kidnapping charges against a murder defendant who investigators said killed a young photographer with the help of his teenage nephew.

Defense attorneys argued that the charges be dropped because the nephew’s testimony was necessary to support them, and prosecutors missed a Jan. 22 deadline for deciding whether the boy would testify against Steven Avery.

The judge had to make a decision immediately because he had to tell prospective jurors yesterday what charges they would be considering in the case, Mr. Avery’s attorney, Dean Strang, argued. Potential jurors arrived at the courthouse to fill out questionnaires yesterday. Jury selection is to begin Monday.

Four charges remain against Mr. Avery, including first-degree intentional homicide. Mr. Avery was released from prison in 2003 after serving 18 years for a rape that DNA evidence later proved he didn’t commit.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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