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Trial looms for man accused in death of 14-year-old girl

WICHITA | Almost two years after authorities found a 14-year-old Kansas girl’s charred remains, the man accused of luring her through text messages is facing a murder trial.

Adam Joseph Longoria is accused of killing Alicia DeBolt in August 2010, then leaving her body at an asphalt plant where he worked.

Prosecutors say Mr. Longoria, 38, became obsessed with Alicia after seeing her at a party. Investigators have hundreds of text messages between the two and surveillance photos from the store where Mr. Longoria bought gas the night Alicia disappeared.

Mr. Longoria denies the charges, claiming he never saw Alicia that night.

His trial begins Monday. Attorneys will face a daunting task of finding jurors who haven’t heard about the case. Defense attorney unsuccessfully tried to get the trial moved out of Barton County.

FLORIDA

Cuban-Americans head to Cuba for pope’s visit

MIAMI | More than 300 Cuban-Americans will form a delegation to Cuba for Pope Benedict XVI’s historic visit.

It will be led by Miami’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Thomas Wenski. Some of those making the pilgrimage Monday fled the island half a century ago. Some grew up with only the stories their exile parents told them of the island 90 miles across the Florida Straits.

Travel to Cuba is always controversial among Cuban-Americans, and the half-century-old U.S. embargo of the island severely limits travel there. In the 1970s, those who visited were often blacklisted in South Florida, and a few faced violence upon return. These days, newer Cuban immigrants often visit relatives on the island. But the issue is still a requisite topic for politicians campaigning in Florida.

MISSOURI

Case against Catholic bishop a high-stakes battle for church

KANSAS CITY | The charge is only a misdemeanor. But if prosecutors win a conviction against Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Finn in Kansas City, they could open a new front in the national priest-abuse crisis.

Bishop Finn is accused of violating Missouri’s mandatory reporter law by failing to tell state officials about hundreds of images of suspected child pornography found on the computer of a priest in his diocese.

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