American Scene: Lawmakers bought cars after state-paid repairs

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ANCHORAGE — A man who confessed to killing a barista and multiple other people across the country died in his jail cell after slashing one of his wrists and using bedding material to strangle himself, Alaska state troopers said Wednesday.

The state medical examiner hasn’t determined which of those injuries was the primary cause of Israel Keyes’ death, troopers said.

Keyes, who was found dead Sunday morning in his Anchorage cell, had cut his left wrist with a blade from a disposable razor that was imbedded in a pencil. He also used a rolled-up sheet to strangle himself, troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said.

LOUISIANA

Guilty plea entered in bribery scheme

NEW ORLEANS — A businessman charged with plotting to bribe an unidentified former New Orleans public official has pleaded guilty.

Rodney Williams entered the plea Wednesday to bribery conspiracy charges in U.S. District Court.

Court papers don’t name the city official, but his tenure matches former Mayor C. Ray Nagin’s term in office. Mr. Nagin has not been charged.

Mr. Williams, 46, was president of Three Fold Consultants LLC. Prosecutors charged he made more than $72,000 in payoffs to the unnamed official — who also owned a granite-installation company — in exchange for using his office to steer city work to Mr. Williams between 2007 and 2010.

Mr. Nagin and his two sons obtained a contract to install granite countertops for local Home Depot stores after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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