- - Monday, December 3, 2012

GREENSBURG — Authorities say four people died when a small plane crashed as it was approaching a southeastern Indiana airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the crash happened Sunday evening about a mile south of the Greensburg Municipal Airport and that all on board were killed. The FAA says the plane had been cleared to approach the airport but then never arrived.

Greensburg police Detective Bill Meyerrose said emergency dispatchers received a 911 call about 6:15 p.m. about a possible crash. The wreckage was found about 10:45 p.m. where the plane had crashed through a tree line and ended up in a farm field in the area about 40 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

The single-engine Piper is registered to a Greensburg man, but authorities didn’t immediately release information about the victims.

Prosecutor: Blast probe is ‘painstaking’ process

INDIANAPOLIS — The investigation into an explosion that killed an Indianapolis couple and devastated their neighborhood is a “painstaking” process with no timetable for a resolution, a prosecutor said Monday.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said police are conducting interviews based on input from the public as investigators continue to seek the cause of the Nov. 10 blast that killed Jennifer and John Longworth. Authorities have said they think the explosion was intentional and caused by natural gas, but have released no other details.

The explosion caused an estimated $4.4 million in structural damage and scattered debris throughout the neighborhood. Thirty-three badly damaged homes are slated to be demolished.

Experts say explosions and arson cases can take years to close. Nationally, less than 20 percent of 43,412 arsons ended in arrests in 2011, according to the FBI.

Peter Beering, an Indianapolis terrorism consultant and former prosecutor who specialized in arson, told The Indianapolis Star such investigations are difficult.


Military court ousts judge in Fort Hood shooting trial

FORT WORTH — The military’s highest court ousted the judge in the Fort Hood shooting case Monday and threw out his order to have the suspect’s beard forcibly shaved before his court-martial.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled that Col. Gregory Gross didn’t appear impartial while presiding over the case of Maj. Nidal Hasan, who faces the death penalty if convicted in the 2009 shootings on the Texas Army post that killed 13 people and wounded more than two dozen others.

But the court said it was not ruling on whether the judge’s order violated Maj. Hasan’s religious rights. Maj. Hasan has argued that his beard is a requirement of his Muslim religion, although facial hair violates Army regulations.

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