- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Ballot-carrying truck sold for $67,100

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. The yellow Ryder truck that carried some of Florida's disputed ballots sold at auction for $67,100.

An anonymous bidder bought the Ford from Budget Group Inc. in an Internet auction that ended Thursday, Budget spokeswoman Allison Striegel said.

Drawing comparisons to the O.J. Simpson low-speed chase through Southern California in 1994, TV networks showed the truck as it made a 430-mile journey to take Palm Beach County's 450,000 ballots to a court hearing in Tallahassee three weeks ago.

Budget, which operates Ryder truck rentals, donated the proceeds to the American Red Cross.

The truck, under normal circumstances, would be worth $17,051, Miss Striegel said.

Jury convicts police in beating of suspect

NEWARK, N.J. A federal jury convicted five policemen of civil rights violations yesterday in the beating of a man they wrongly arrested on suspicion of murdering a fellow officer. The victim died in police custody after suffering an asthma attack.

The officers from the city of Orange were found guilty of punching and kicking Earl Faison while he was handcuffed.

They were not charged in Mr. Faison's death. Medical experts said his death was due to the asthma attack. Prosecutors contended the attack was worsened by pepper spray shot in his face.

Mr. Faison, 27, was arrested in 1999, three days after the murder of policewoman Joyce Carnegie. He was among four black men detained in the days after Miss Carnegie was killed. The last of the four, Condell Woodson, confessed and is serving a life sentence.

Defense attorneys said they will appeal.

Senior cadet charged with dealing drugs

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. A senior cadet has been charged with dealing LSD and Ecstasy, and nine other cadets are being investigated.

Military prosecutors say Senior Cadet Stephen Daniel Pouncey also used LSD, Ecstasy, cocaine and methamphetamine, academy spokesman Neil Talbott said Monday.

Cadet Pouncey was to appear in military court tomorrow. If found guilty, he faces up to 55 years in prison and dismissal from the Air Force.

The academy's Office of Special Investigations was investigating nine other cadets for "admitted or suspected drug use," an academy news release said. Mr. Talbott refused to comment on the other cadets.

Singer Pops Staples dead at 84

CHICAGO Roebuck "Pops" Staples, patriarch of the gospel and rhythm-and-blues group the Staple Singers, died yesterday.

The 84-year-old Mr. Staples had suffered a concussion recently in a fall near his home in suburban Dolton.

He and his group gained fame in the 1960s. He was known for both his songwriting and his guitar playing, in which he fused gospel with the blues.

The Staple Singers gained a huge audience with their first No. 1 hit "I'll Take You There" in 1972 and followed with top 40 hits "Respect Yourself," "Heavy Makes You Happy," and "If You're Ready [Come Go With Me]."

Morgue workers face charges in theft ring

PHILADELPHIA Sixteen persons, including 10 morgue workers, were charged yesterday with stealing credit cards, driver's licenses, cash and guns from the dead.

The defendants used the credit cards to buy at least $90,000 in televisions, computers and other merchandise, U.S. Attorney Michael Stiles said.

In one of the most "ghoulish and macabre" thefts, as described by District Attorney Lynne Abraham, a former employee in the medical examiner's office stole about $800 in change that was kept in glass jars in the basement of one of the deceased.

The man was said to have loaded the coins into body bags to carry them out of the house, spilling change in a trail leading out of the house. The victim's brother alerted police.

Among those charged were two former supervisors, two coroner's investigators and six forensic technicians, who take bodies from crime scenes to the morgue.

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