American Scene: Wildfire arsonist guilty of 5 heart attack deaths

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Investigators don’t think the parts had been in the sewer too long, Lt. Riley said.

The Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office was examining the pieces. Authorities also were checking on missing-person reports.

The parts are thought to have washed into the work area from one of two large lines flowing into the sewer from the north and west.

ILLINOIS

Peterson withdraws request for mistrial

JOLIET — Drew Peterson told a judge Wednesday that he wanted to withdraw a request for a mistrial, and his attorneys explained that the former suburban Chicago police officer wants the current jury to decide if he killed his third wife.

Defense attorneys also asked Judge Edward Burmila to declare all hearsay evidence in the trial inadmissible — a motion the judge again denied. Testimony resumed soon after that.

Prosecutors are trying to prove that Mr. Peterson, 58, killed his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004. He was charged after his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared in 2007.

Before the judge agreed to take the mistrial motion off the table, he asked Mr. Peterson to confirm that was his wish.

“Yes, your honor,” Mr. Peterson said, standing at the defense table.

Defense attorneys asked for a mistrial Tuesday after Judge Burmila admonished prosecutors for violating his order not to mention whether Mrs. Savio had asked for an order of protection against Mr. Peterson. The prosecutor who mentioned the order apologized to the judge, but Mr. Peterson’s attorneys called the prosecution’s actions unfair.

NEW YORK

Police: Propane cause of blast, ignition probed

BRENTWOOD — Police say a propane explosion destroyed a suburban New York house, killed a toddler and injured 17 other people. Officials say they are still trying to determine what ignited the gas.

Suffolk County authorities returned to the scene Wednesday in the middle-class neighborhood of Brentwood on Long Island.

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