- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 24, 2000

Man pleads guilty on weapons charge

A Florida man, arrested near an event President Clinton was attending in May, has pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm.
Raymond Douglas Simmons of Jacksonville was arrested May 23 after Secret Service agents found weapons in his hotel room near the MCI Center where Mr. Clinton and Vice President Al Gore were attending a function, Wilma Lewis, U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said yesterday.
Miss Lewis said Simmons, 28, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court on Tuesday and could get five years in prison on Nov. 8.

Family wins millions in wrongful death case

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. The family of a 10-year-old boy who was slain when he resisted the sexual advances of two men was awarded $328 million yesterday from his killers.
Jeffrey Curley's family has little hope of collecting any money in the wrongful death lawsuit from Salvatore Sicari and Charles Jaynes, both in prison on murder convictions. But the family has said they wanted to send a message to pedophiles that they could face civil suits, even if they avoid criminal charges.
Family members were not at the courthouse for the decision. The family's lawyer said they were too upset to return after testifying Tuesday. But he said they were pleased with the decision.

Parents can lose home if teens drink

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. Teens who get liquored up at home while their parents are gone could inflict some severe damage on the folks' financial assets under a measure approved by the City Council here.
The bill would allow the city to seize a home where underage drinking is a chronic problem.
The council earlier this year approved a related measure that fines parents up to $500 or jail them for up to 10 days if their children serve alcohol while they aren't home.

Kevorkian asks for early release

PONTIAC, Mich. Saying he suffers from high blood pressure and other problems, Jack Kevorkian's lawyers are asking the judge who sent him to prison to free him on bail while his murder conviction is appealed.
Kevorkian, 72, should be released on bond from a state prison at Jackson because he is in declining health, attorney Mayer Morganroth said in a motion filed Aug. 11 with Oakland County Circuit Judge Jessica Cooper.
Judge Cooper gave Kevorkian 10 to 25 years in prison last year for second-degree murder in the 1998 death of a Lou Gehrig's disease sufferer. Kevorkian showed a tape of his deed to the CBS show "60 Minutes" and then dared authorities to prosecute.

Obesity fuels rise in diabetes cases

ATLANTA The number of diabetes cases among American adults jumped by a third during the 1990s, and more increases are expected due to the growing prevalence of obesity and declines in physical activity, U.S. health officials said Wednesday.
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes rose rapidly across all regions, demographic groups and most states in the past decade.
Diabetes is the nation's seventh-leading cause of death, causing more than 300,000 deaths every year. About 800,000 new cases are diagnosed annually.

'Low Tax' tax assessor convicted of murder

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. A jury yesterday convicted local tax assessor Byron "Low Tax" Looper of first-degree murder in the death of his political rival in a 1998 state Senate race.

Looper, 35, was sentenced to life in prison without parole by the same jury that convicted him of killing incumbent state Sen. Tommy Burks.

Mr. Burks' family asked that Looper not suffer capital punishment.

Looper had denied shooting Mr. Burks while the senator sat in his pickup truck on his farm on Oct. 19, 1998.

After several political losses, Looper legally changed his middle name to "Low Tax."

Mr. Burks' widow, Charlotte Burks, won her husband's state Senate seat after his death.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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