- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 3, 2006

ALABAMA

Nude flag-waverarrested on highway

FORT PAYNE — A man was arrested after he was caught walking naked along a highway and waving an American flag, authorities said.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department arrested Gerald Lynn Kelley, 52, of Valley Head, and charged him with public lewdness, the Fort Payne Times-Journal reported Tuesday.

DeKalb Deputy Mike James said deputies were sent to Hammondville about 3 p.m. Sunday after receiving calls about two men walking nude along U.S. 11.

Deputy James said Mr. Kelley was wearing only a cowboy hat and boots. The other man, reportedly could not be found.

ALASKA

Tents bannedfrom campground

COOPER LANDING — Tents have been banned from a popular campground on the Kenai Peninsula after a man had a close encounter with a bear.

Campers at Russian River have been told to sleep in hard-shelled vehicles.

Last weekend, a bear bit through a nylon tent and into a man’s shoulder. The tourist wasn’t seriously hurt; the bear was scared away when the man yelled.

FLORIDA

Judge lets Padillaput off trial

MIAMI — A federal judge reluctantly agreed yesterday to delay the trial of al Qaeda suspect Jose Padilla and two purported confederates on terrorism charges until early next year after defense attorneys insisted they cannot be ready any earlier.

Padilla, 35, was held without charges for 3 years by the U.S. military as an enemy combatant. He was arrested in May 2002 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, purportedly on an al Qaeda mission to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb” in a major U.S. city.

The former Chicago gang member and convert to Islam became the subject of a legal battle over President Bush’s wartime detention powers, which ended when he was added late last year to an existing terrorism conspiracy and support case. U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke has sought for months to keep the case on track for a September trial but decided to postpone it until Jan. 22. Federal prosecutors supported the delay.

Padilla attorneys say they haven’t had enough time to go through summaries of 50,000 intercepted phone calls, including 827 transcripts translated from Arabic. Complicating the attorneys’ task is the classified nature of much evidence and the difficulty they have in meeting with Padilla, who is kept in his maximum-security cell at a federal detention center 23 hours a day.

GEORGIA

Meth ringleadergets 25-year sentence

ATLANTA — The leader of a drug ring said to have distributed hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine worth hundreds of thousands of dollars through metropolitan Atlanta was sentenced to 25 years in prison, officials said.

Marcello Garcia, 27, of Atlanta was the key target of a joint federal-local investigation of the organization, which federal authorities said resulted in the conviction of more than a dozen high-level drug dealers.

Ten co-defendants have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from four to 14 years, and two others will be sentenced in mid-August by U.S. District Judge Richard Story. All pleaded guilty to charges.

INDIANA

Teen chargedin fatal crash

JASPER — An 18-year-old was charged with reckless homicide after he crashed a pickup into a tree while under the influence of marijuana, killing his 16-year-old sister and two other teens, authorities said.

Tyler Messmer of Ferdinand was being held without bond on three counts of reckless homicide yesterday at the Dubois County Jail.

Authorities said Mr. Messmer was under the influence of marijuana on June 19 when he tried to pass another vehicle at high speed.

Mr. Messmer’s 16-year-old sister, Sarah, was killed while riding in the rear seat of the truck along with Tiffany Adkins, 17, and her 16-year-old sister, Brittany.

MISSISSIPPI

Woman suspectedof burning husband

BAY ST. LOUIS — A woman fled with her two children after severely burning her husband with hot cooking oil as he slept, authorities said.

Authorities think Edna May Sanders turned on the stove Friday and heated about 2 quarts of oil, waited until the grease reached a simmer and then poured the oil over her husband, covering his head, face, chest and arms.

Hancock County sheriff’s deputies said Mrs. Sanders apparently left the home a short time later with the couple’s two children. She faces felony charges of aggravated assault and domestic violence, officials said.

Mrs. Sanders’ husband, was flown to the burn center at the University of South Alabama in Mobile for treatment of third-degree burns, officials said.

NEW YORK

Newspaper receivessuspicious envelope

NEW YORK —The New York Times said yesterday that it had received an envelope with a suspicious white powder and a stamp with a September 11 image.

The substance was discovered by a mailroom worker Tuesday and city authorities have determined that it was “nonhazardous,” Times spokeswoman Abbe Ruttenberg Serphos said.

She said the mailroom worker who opened the envelope was taken to a hospital and was released after precautionary tests and treatment.

OHIO

Woman on death rowto be resentenced

COLUMBUS —The Ohio Supreme Court yesterday threw out the death sentence of the first woman condemned since the state resumed executions in 1999.

The court unanimously ruled that the trial judge had allowed a prosecutor to be involved in preparing his opinion in sentencing Donna Roberts, 62, in violation of Ohio law.

The court let Roberts’ murder conviction stand but ordered the trial court to resentence her. The death sentence remains an option, the Supreme Court said.

Roberts was convicted in 2003 of aggravated murder in the death of her ex-husband, Robert Fingerhut, two years earlier.

WASHINGTON

9 felony chargesfiled in shooting

SEATTLE — The man accused in last week’s shooting rampage at the Jewish Federation office that left one woman dead was charged yesterday with nine felony counts, including violation of the state’s hate-crime law.

Naveed Afzal Haq is charged with aggravated first-degree murder in the death of Pamela Waechter, 58, director of the Jewish charity’s annual fundraising campaign. Five other women were wounded.

Prosecutors have 30 days to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

Mr. Haq, 30, also is charged with five counts of attempted first-degree murder; one count of first-degree kidnapping, involving a teenage girl who was briefly taken hostage; one count of first-degree burglary for purportedly entering a locked facility to commit a crime; and one count of malicious harassment under the state’s hate-crime law.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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