- - Tuesday, November 30, 2010

FLORIDA

Real estate tycoon dies in boat crash

MIAMI — Real estate tycoon Steven Posner has died in a high-speed boat crash near Miami that killed another man and left two other men injured, authorities said Tuesday.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued a statement confirming the death of Mr. Posner, the 67-year-old son of the late corporate raider Victor Posner, and said it is investigating Monday’s crash on Biscayne Bay.

The agency said a friend of Steven Posner’s, Clive Warwock, 60, was killed and that the tycoon’s cousin, Stuart Posner, 64, was seriously injured. Both men were aboard Steven Posner’s boat.

The statement said Mr. Posner’s 44-foot race boat and a similar 46-foot vessel crashed into each other and that the operator of the second boat, Friedrich Eigelshoven, 27, of Fort Lauderdale, suffered minor injuries. A passenger in the second boat was not hurt.

The crash occurred about 1 p.m. Monday in clear weather. The Fish and Wildlife Commission said the two boats, each capable of speeds approaching 100 mph, appeared to be racing before colliding, said witnesses.

Steven Posner made headlines a decade ago in a battle with his father over trust fund money. Victor Posner died in 2002.

MICHIGAN

Missing boys’ father charged in kidnapping

MORENCI — The father of three young brothers who have been missing since Thanksgiving was charged with their kidnapping on Tuesday, hours after police said it’s unlikely the boys will be found alive.

John Skelton, 39, was arrested by FBI agents after his release from a medical facility in Lucas County, Ohio, where he had been being treated since attempting to hang himself on Friday.

Mr. Skelton was charged in Lenawee County, Mich., across the state border, with three counts of parental kidnapping, Morenci Police Chief Larry Weeks said during a brief news conference.

Mr. Skelton was being held at the Lucas County jail and would be extradited back to Michigan, Chief Weeks said.

Nine-year-old Andrew, 7-year-old Alexander and 5-year-old Tanner Skelton have not been seen since Thanksgiving, when they were with their father in Morenci.

NEW YORK

TV evangelist claims extortion over affair

NEW YORK — A prominent televangelist appeared before a worldwide television audience Tuesday to admit that he had an affair with a woman years ago, and to allege that three people had tried to extort millions of dollars from him to stay quiet about his infidelity.

The Rev. Marcus Lamb, who created DayStar Television Network with his wife, Joni, said he and his wife had healed their marriage and had hoped to keep his adultery private, but went public because they would not pay extortionists. The three people demanded $7.5 million, he said.

A spokesman for the Lambs, Larry Ross, said they went to authorities with their allegations, but he said he could not discuss specifics for fear of interfering with any investigation. He said the extortion attempt was made within the past few weeks.

DayStar, based in Dallas, airs some of the highest-profile evangelists in the world, including Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyers.

UTAH

Smart defendant has seizure in court

SALT LAKE CITY — A former street preacher on trial for kidnapping and assaulting Elizabeth Smart suffered an apparent seizure in the courtroom Tuesday and was hospitalized.

The judge adjourned the case for the day after defendant Brian David Mitchell was removed on a stretcher and put in an ambulance.

Paramedics took Mr. Mitchell to a hospital, but neither court officials nor defense attorneys would identify it. His condition could not be determined.

The incident occurred as the jury was about to be called into the courtroom for another day of testimony.

Mr. Mitchell was sitting between two of his defense attorneys when he stopped his daily hymn singing and slumped over slightly in his chair. He cried out — a long, loud moan — as his body twisted to the left.

WISCONSIN

Gunman dies after shooting self

MARINETTE — A 15-year-old boy who held 23 students and a teacher hostage in a Wisconsin classroom died Tuesday at a Green Bay hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

Sophomore Samuel Hengel died at 10:44 a.m. at St. Vincent Hospital, Marinette Police Chief Jeff Skorik said. The suspect, of Porterfield, shot himself as police stormed a classroom at Marinette High School Monday night.

The 24 hostages, who were held for several hours Monday afternoon, were not injured.

Authorities said they did not know what might have motivated the teen, who made no demands or requests during the standoff.

From wire dispatches and staff reports