American Scene: Possession of pot? Now just a ticket in Chicago

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Saudi man, 22, convicted in bomb-making terror plot

AMARILLO — A Saudi man accused of buying chemicals online and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction was found guilty Wednesday in federal court in Amarillo.

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, who was legally in the U.S. on a student visa, was arrested in February 2011 after federal agents secretly searched his apartment near Texas Tech University in Lubbock and found bomb-making chemicals, wiring, a hazmat suit and clocks.

Authorities also discovered Aldawsari’s journal, handwritten in Arabic, in which he wrote he had been planning a terrorist attack in the U.S. for years and that it was “time for jihad,” or holy war, court documents show.

He faces up to life in prison.

Jury weighs penalty in stand-your-ground case

HOUSTON — Prosecutors told jurors Wednesday that a man convicted of murder after claiming Texas’ version of a stand-your-ground law allowed him to fatally shoot a neighbor he had confronted about a loud party is dangerous and unpredictable and deserves a life sentence.

But attorneys for Raul Rodriguez, 46, described him as a family man who served his country in the military and as a Houston-area firefighter. They asked that he be sentenced to a minimum term of five years.

Jurors began deliberating Rodriguez’s sentence after closing arguments Wednesday.

The retired firefighter went to Mr. Danaher’s home to confront him about the noise coming from the party there and shot the 36-year-old elementary school teacher after an argument.

Houston woman indicted in slaying, baby abduction

CONROE — A Houston woman accused of killing a mother and snatching her newborn son has been indicted on a capital murder charge.

Verna McClain, a 31-year-old licensed vocational nurse, is being held without bond in the Montgomery County Jail. Prosecutors have not said whether they will seek the death penalty.

Ms. McClain is accused of fatally shooting Kala Golden-Schuchardt outside a baby clinic in suburban Spring and abducting the woman’s days-old son. The baby was found safe with a relative.

Investigators say Ms. McClain had a miscarriage and was desperate to find a baby to pass off as her own to family and friends.

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