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American Scene

- - Monday, February 14, 2011

ARIZONA

Border activist guilty in deadly home invasion

TUCSON | The leader of an anti-illegal-immigrant group was convicted Monday in a home invasion that left a 9-year-old girl and her father dead in what prosecutors said was an attempt to steal drug money to fund the group's operations.

A jury found Shawna Forde, 42, guilty of murder in the May 2009 killings of Raul Flores, 29, and his daughter Brisenia at their home in Arivaca, a desert community 10 miles north of Mexico.

The jurors deliberated for seven hours over two days, the Arizona Daily Star reported. The jury will return to Pima County Superior Court on Tuesday to decide if the death penalty should be considered.

Forde pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and other charges stemming from the home invasion.

CALIFORNIA

Former candidate sentenced to prison

SANTA ANA | A former California congressional candidate accused of sending a mailer to Hispanic voters in 2006 warning that immigrants could not vote was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in prison for obstruction of justice.

Tan Nguyen, a Republican who was running for Congress in Orange County, will also serve six months in a residential re-entry program and three years of supervised release, federal prosecutor Greg Staples said.

Nguyen declined to comment on the hearing before U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter except to say it didn't go well.

He will start serving his term March 28.

MONTANA

Judge: Yellowstone bison slaughter can proceed

BILLINGS | A judge says he will not stop the slaughter of potentially hundreds of wild bison from Yellowstone National Park that had attempted to migrate into Montana.

U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell in Helena issued a 72-page ruling Monday in which he denied a request from wildlife advocates to stop the slaughter.

More than 500 bison are being held in corrals along the border of the snowed-in park after trying to leave for food at lower elevations. Park officials plan to send an undetermined number to slaughter under a federal-state agreement meant to protect Montana livestock against the reproductive disease brucellosis.

Judge Lovell wrote that while the slaughter of bison may be "distasteful," it is a "time-honored" method of dealing with the disease.

Opponents say they will appeal the ruling.

OHIO

Man guilty in arson deaths of 8 kids, woman

CLEVELAND | A mentally disabled former drug dealer was convicted Monday in the arson deaths of eight children and a woman at a birthday sleepover.

Antun Lewis, 27, had been charged with one federal count of arson in the deadliest fire in Cleveland history because the house where the victims died was rented with a federal subsidy.

Lewis was seated in court Monday with his hands folded, and he blinked a few times when the verdict was read. Several women ran from the courtroom screaming and crying. Court deputies kept the victims' families and Lewis' family members away from each other.

The prosecution built its case around a felon who recorded a jail conversation with Lewis, Marion Jackson, who said he had served as a lookout when the fire was set at the three-story home. Prosecutors said Lewis broke into the 99-year-old home and doused the first floor with gasoline, setting a ravaging fire that killed the children and the woman, who was the mother of some of them.

WISCONSIN

'Never missed Super Bowl' club member dies

MILWAUKEE | One of the men featured in a Visa credit card television commercial for having never missed a Super Bowl has died at age 79.

Though he wasn't able to make it to Texas, Bob Cook watched from his Milwaukee area hospital bed as his beloved Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the 45th Super Bowl earlier this month.

Mr. Cook's wife, Sarah Cook, said Monday that he died last week after a blood infection and other chronic issues.

Mr. Cook and the three other members of the "Never Missed a Super Bowl" club were the stars of the Visa ad leading up to the Super Bowl. The four attended all 44 prior Super Bowl games.

From wire dispatches and staff reports