- The Washington Times - Friday, March 24, 2006

Bombs explode outside homes

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — At least three crude bombs exploded and two others were disarmed yesterday outside homes in Grand Junction.

No injuries were reported, and there was no claim of responsibility.

Police and fire officials fanned out across the city, looking for suspects and any additional bombs.

The bombs were described as black, office-style trash cans covered in silver duct tape. One explosion scorched the front of a garage door and melted vinyl siding.

Woman argues confession coerced

KITTANNING, Pa. — A woman accused of trying to cut a fetus from her neighbor’s womb testified yesterday that police yelled and cursed at her, wouldn’t let her use the bathroom and tightened her handcuffs before she finally gave them a statement.

Yesterday marked the first time Peggy Jo Conner testified publicly in the case. A pregnant neighbor, Valerie Lynn Oskin, was found in a wooded area, slashed and bleeding, on Oct. 12. Both she and the baby survived.

Miss Conner’s attorney, David DeFazio, wants a judge to keep her confession out of her upcoming trial as he pursues an insanity defense.

Man admits killing girl

BROWNSTOWN, Ind. — A man pleaded guilty yesterday to molesting and killing a 10-year-old girl whose body was found in a creek 15 miles from her southern Indiana home.

Under a plea deal, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty against Anthony Ray Stockelman, 39, of Seymour, Ind. Jackson County Prosecutor Stephen Pierson said he would request a sentence of life in prison without parole at his sentencing hearing April 17.

Mr. Pierson said the former factory worker abducted, molested and killed Kaitlyn Collman, who lived in Crothersville, Ind. The fourth-grader’s body was found five days later, on Jan. 30, 2005.

WWII airman laid to rest

BRAINERD, Minn. — A World War II airman whose frozen body was chipped out a California glacier last fall was laid to rest in his hometown yesterday, more than six decades after he disappeared during a training flight.

Leo Mustonen’s two nieces were among about 100 people who gathered at First Lutheran Church to say goodbye. A full military funeral followed at a cemetery overlooking the Mississippi River.

Mr. Mustonen was 22 when his AT-7 navigational plane disappeared after takeoff from a Sacramento, Calif., airfield on Nov. 18, 1942. An engine, scattered remains and clothing were found over the following years, far from the plane’s intended course. All four men aboard were killed in the crash.

Contract workerarrested at Dulles

A government contractor working in Iraq was arrested by federal agents yesterday at Washington Dulles International Airport on a charge of offering to bribe an Iraqi police official.

Faheem Mousa Salam, 27, of Livonia, Mich., was arrested on his return from Iraq and charged under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act with offering to bribe a foreign official.

Mr. Salam is a naturalized U.S. citizen employed by Titan Corp.

According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, Mr. Salam offered a senior Iraqi police official more than $60,000 for the official’s assistance with facilitating the purchase by a police training organization of 1,000 armored vests and a sophisticated map printer for $1 million.

Mr. Salam could face five years in prison plus a $100,000 fine or twice the gross gain, whichever is greater.

Houston weary of Katrina refugees

HOUSTON — People in Houston welcomed tens of thousands of New Orleans refugees in the days after Hurricane Katrina but now sound as if they would like to see the newcomers go home, according to a poll published yesterday.

The survey, conducted by Rice University sociologist Stephen Klineberg and published in the Houston Chronicle, found that 76 percent of respondents think the 150,000 refugees have put a big strain on the city. Sixty-six percent blame the refugees for an increase in violent crime.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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