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Preacher Billy Graham admitted to hospital

ASHEVILLE | The Rev. Billy Graham was admitted to a hospital Wednesday near his home in western North Carolina to be tested for pneumonia after suffering from congestion, a cough and a slight fever, his spokesman said.

The 93-year-old evangelist was taken to Mission Hospital in Asheville, spokesman A. Larry Ross said. His personal physician, Dr. Lucian Rice, said he was in stable condition.

A news release issued by the hospital said Mr. Graham was alert, smiling and waving to staff as he entered the hospital. Mr. Ross said Mr. Graham was admitted for observation and treatment and likely would spend the night there.

For six decades, Mr. Graham led a worldwide crusade-based ministry that packed stadiums with believers and allowed him to counsel every U.S. president since Harry Truman. His most recent book, “Nearing Home,” was published last month.

In recent years, age-related conditions such as macular degeneration and hearing loss have kept Mr. Graham at his home in Montreat, about 20 miles east of Asheville.

He was last hospitalized in May, when he spent five days at the same hospital for pneumonia.


Baseline Killer sentenced to death

PHOENIX | An Arizona jury has sentenced a man convicted of being the Phoenix area’s Baseline Killer to death, agreeing with prosecutors that the murders he committed were especially cruel.

Jurors reached the verdict Wednesday, about a month after finding Mark Goudeau, 47, guilty of the nine murders and 58 other charges, including kidnapping and rape.

Goudeau had been serving a 438-year sentence in a 2005 sexual-assault case tied to the Baseline Killer attacks but only recently became eligible for the death penalty after the murder convictions.

Police named the series of killings and other crimes after Baseline Road in south Phoenix where many of the earliest attacks happened.