- The Washington Times - Friday, June 8, 2007

Cheney needs pacemaker battery

Vice President Dick Cheney’s routine checkup yesterday revealed no new blockages in his heart, but doctors said he needs a new battery for a special pacemaker he has in his chest, a spokeswoman said.

The battery in his implanted cardiac defibrillator is reaching its limit, said Megan McGinn, deputy press secretary for the vice president. She said doctors must replace the entire device to replace the battery, and that the surgery will be scheduled this summer at a convenient time for the vice president.

Mr. Cheney underwent his annual physical, which included a stress test, at the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates near George Washington University Hospital. Doctors also checked Mr. Cheney’s cardiac defibrillator, which was implanted in June 2001 to shock his heart if he has an irregular heartbeat.

Mr. Cheney, 66, who has a history of heart problems, resumed his normal schedule after the checkup.

Woman gets 3 years for killing husband

A woman who killed her preacher husband with a shotgun blast to the back as he lay in bed was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison, but with time served could be released on probation in a little more than two months.

Mary Winkler must serve at least 210 days of her sentence but gets credit for the 143 days she has already spent in jail, Judge Weber McCraw said.

That leaves 67 days, and Judge McCraw said up to 60 days of the sentence could be served in a facility where she could receive mental health treatment. That means Winkler might spend only another week in jail.

Prosecutors had pursued a murder charge against Winkler, 33, but jurors convicted her of the lesser count of voluntary manslaughter in April.

She could have received up to six years for killing her husband, Matthew, in the parsonage where the family lived in March 2006.

Ex-lieutenant faces weapons charges

MADISON, Wis. — A former Navy lieutenant who lost his post as a ship supply officer after ordering hundreds of unneeded parts was indicted on federal charges of illegally possessing 60 machine guns.

The grand jury indictment handed up Thursday against David Carmel, 32, came weeks after he was accused by U.S. prosecutors in New York of selling stolen military equipment.

The new indictment said the machine guns were found on Mr. Carmel’s property in Gilman, about 120 miles east of Minneapolis, and that none was properly registered. The search also turned up boxes of gun parts, artillery shells, grenades and a rocket launcher, authorities said.

The charges filed in New York on May 21 accuse Mr. Carmel of selling stolen U.S. military laser-targeting devices and machine gun parts to an undercover agent.

Sailor says debt led to desertion

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — A sailor accused of desertion said he left his ship because of crushing debt, not because he wanted to avoid military service.

Seaman Apprentice Justin Burns said he and his wife got into financial trouble partly because of a kidney ailment that left her hospitalized, according to an e-mail and interview published yesterday in the Southeast Missourian newspaper.

Seaman Burns was arrested May 26 at his home in Cape Girardeau, about 100 miles south of St. Louis, along with another sailor. Both were listed as deserters from the USS Carr, stationed in Norfolk.

Seaman Burns said he knew what he was doing when he failed to return to his ship on March 14.

“Some people call me gutless and say I was scared and ran from my duty,” he wrote. “To them, I say this — it was not the fear of my duty to my country that I left. It was the fear of my duty to my son and wife.”

Patient finally gets lung transplant

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A patient whose double lung transplant operation was stopped after a plane carrying donor organs crashed into Lake Michigan has received a second set of lungs, doctors announced yesterday.

The 50-year-old Michigan man, whose name wasn’t released at his family’s request, was in critical condition at a University of Michigan Health System hospital after the more than seven-hour surgery ended early Thursday, the health system said.

“We are relieved that we were able to do this transplant and give this man another chance for life,” said Dr. Jeffrey Punch, director of the Division of Transplantation at the University of Michigan.

The patient already was prepped for surgery, with his chest cut open and his lungs exposed to the air in the operating room, when the plane crashed, killing six members of a Survival Flight team.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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