- The Washington Times - Friday, October 21, 2005

Mom pleads not guilty in triple murder

SAN FRANCISCO — The apparently mentally ill woman seen dropping her young sons into San Francisco Bay pleaded not guilty yesterday to three counts of murder.

Lashuan Harris, described as mentally ill by family members, faces three counts of murder with the “special circumstance” of multiple murder. A claim of special circumstances means a murder defendant could be eligible for the death penalty, but San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris said she hasn’t decided whether to seek such a sentence.

Authorities said Lashuan Harris, 23, a former nurse’s assistant who was living in a homeless shelter, was seen putting her three boys in the Bay Wednesday.

The body of her middle son, Taronta Greeley, 2, was recovered late Wednesday about two miles from Pier 7. The other two boys — Treyshun Harris, 6 and Joshoa Greeley, 16 months — remained missing, but were presumed dead.

Lashuan Harris’ next court hearing was set for Friday.

Stem-cell bill delayed till ‘06

The Senate won’t vote until early next year on a bill to loosen restrictions on publicly funded embryonic stem-cell studies, under a deal struck yesterday by the sponsors.

“The majority leader has committed to bringing it up as one of the first items next year,” Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican, the stem-cell bill’s lead sponsor, announced on the Senate floor. Before their agreement, the sponsors had said they would hold up a must-pass spending measure until lawmakers voted on the research.

The deal releases Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican, from his promise to hold a vote this year on the measure, which would loosen President Bush’s 2001 ban on federal funding for research on new stem-cell lines.

Senior unaware victim on his windshield

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A 93-year-old driver apparently suffering from dementia fatally struck a pedestrian and drove for three miles with the man’s body through his windshield, police said.

Ralph Parker was stopped after he drove through a toll booth on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Traffic Homicide Investigator Michael Jockers said. The toll taker had called police.

Mr. Parker was not likely to face charges because he did not appear to know what happened or where he was, said Bruce Bartlett, chief assistant in the Pinellas-Pasco County State Attorney’s Office.

The victim’s leg was severed in the Wednesday night crash, police said. The man, whose name was not released, was 52.

Teen charged as adult in death of lawyer’s wife

MARTINEZ, Calif. — A 16-year-old neighbor accused of killing the wife of a prominent defense attorney was charged as an adult yesterday with murder and ordered held in lieu $1 million bail.

Scott Dyleski did not enter a plea or speak during his first court appearance since his arrest in the Oct. 15 beating death of Pamela Vitale, whose body was discovered by her husband at the couple’s hilltop estate.

Mrs. Vitale and her husband, defense lawyer and TV legal pundit Daniel Horowitz, were building their dream home in the wealthy suburb of Lafayette, about 20 miles east of San Francisco. Mr. Dyleski lived down the hill from them with his mother.

If convicted of murder as an adult, he could face up to life in prison; he is too young to face the death penalty.

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