- The Washington Times - Friday, June 8, 2007


Girl finds 2.9-carat stone at diamond park

MURFREESBORO — Thirteen-year-old Nicole Ruhter and her family didn’t have much luck during a day spent digging for diamonds at a state park, but she kept looking even as they walked along a path that evening.

Bingo. She found a tea-colored, 2.93-carat diamond Tuesday.

“I was kind of praying to God. I was saying, ‘I don’t care if it’s worth whatever it’s worth, I don’t care if it’s a tiny little sliver of something, I just want something,’ ” said Nicole, of Butler, Mo., who just finished seventh grade. “Ten minutes later, I just found it.”

So far this year, Crater of Diamonds State Park visitors have found 332 diamonds — roughly two a day, assistant park superintendent Bill Henderson said.


Customer injures manager with machete

SAN JOSE — A customer attacked a pizzeria manager with a machete after becoming enraged over how long his food delivery took, police said Wednesday. The manager required stitches.

A delivery man from Pizza My Dear apparently arrived within the promised after 45 minutes, but “the suspect meets him and is cussing a blue streak, yelling at the guy, saying he doesn’t want the pizza because he was late,” San Jose police Sgt. Nick Muyo said.

The angry customer later went to the pizza parlor, saying, “Do you want a piece of me?” before going to his car and returning with a 2-foot machete, Sgt. Muyo said.

The manager suffered cuts while shielding his head, Sgt. Muyo said.


Police investigating suspect’s ties to girls

HARTFORD — A girl who vanished a year ago and was found hidden in a room in a man’s home assumed a new identity that made her part of his family, authorities said yesterday, as they investigated whether he had inappropriate relationships with her and other girls.

The man, Adam Gault, 41, was arrested and charged Wednesday in her disappearance after police served a search warrant and found the missing 15-year-old girl locked in a hidden closetlike room in his house. The girl, who had a history of running away from home, vanished a year ago.

Mr. Gault, a dog trainer, was arrested with two women who lived in the house, 40-year-old Ann Murphy and Kimberly Cray, 26. The three were arraigned yesterday, charged with conspiracy to commit unlawful restraint, conspiracy to commit risk of injury to a minor and interfering with police.


Dead mayor’s likeness found in tree trunk

ROSEMONT — Donald Stephens spent more than half a century at the helm of this Chicago suburb. Now, less than two months after his death, some say an eerie likeness of the late mayor’s face has appeared in the peeling bark of a 50-foot sycamore.

The image is fueling speculation and wonder in the village of 4,200 residents — the town Mr. Stephens is credited with transforming from a tiny enclave of just a few dozen people to a bustling community with one of the nation’s largest convention centers.

“He told me, ‘You screw things up, I’m going to haunt you,’ ” said Bradley Stephens, the mayor’s 44-year-old son who was appointed to complete his father’s term. “When it starts talking, we’re all in trouble.”


Man seen on video charged in teen’s death

OVERLAND PARK — A man videotaped leaving a store shortly before a teenager was abducted in the parking lot was charged with murder yesterday, authorities said.

Edwin R. Hall, 26, was accused of premeditated first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping in the death of 18-year-old Kelsey Smith, the Johnson County Court Web site said. Bond was set at $5 million.

The charges came a day after Miss Smith’s body was found in a wooded area. She had been missing since Saturday night, when she went to the Target store in this Kansas City suburb to buy a gift for her boyfriend.


Museum’s ‘Adam’ has online sex site

COLUMBUS — The man who plays Adam in a video aired at a Bible-based creationist museum has led a different life outside the Garden of Eden, flaunting his sexual exploits online and modeling for a clothing line that promotes free love.

After learning about his activities yesterday, the Creation Museum in Kentucky pulled the 40-second video in which he appears.

“We are currently investigating the veracity of these serious claims of his participation in projects that don’t align with the biblical standards and moral code upon which the ministry was founded,” Answers for Genesis spokesman Mark Looy said in a written statement.

The actor, Eric Linden, owns a graphic Web site, where he has been pictured in a T-shirt brandishing the site’s sexually suggestive logo, standing next to a transvestite.

Records available through the NetworkSolutions database show Mr. Linden registered the site 18 months ago. However, he said he is no longer affiliated with the site.


Ex-deputy executed for 1994 slaying

HUNTSVILLE — A former sheriff’s deputy was executed Wednesday for the robbery, rape and fatal stabbing of a Houston woman at her family’s flower shop.

Asked by the warden whether he had a final statement, Michael Griffith said, “No, sir.”

Griffith, 56, was the 15th condemned prisoner put to death this year in Texas, the nation’s most active death penalty state. Four other inmates, including a woman, are set for lethal injection over the next three weeks.

Griffith, who was fired in 1993 by the Harris County Sheriff for domestic abuse, was convicted and sentenced to die for the 1994 slaying of Deborah McCormick, 44. Griffith had been a repeat customer at her flower shop.


Charges for staring at police dog dropped

CHELSEA — A prosecutor dropped charges against a woman who was arrested for staring at and making faces at a police dog. After all, the prosecutor reasoned, the four-legged witness can’t testify.

Jayna Hutchinson was about to go on trial this week on charges of cruelty to a police animal and resisting arrest, but the case was dropped Tuesday.

“I think it was going to be difficult to prove her conduct changed the dog’s behavior,” Orange County State’s Attorney Will Porter said. “Most of the time [in harassment cases] people would come tell the court what it felt like. Dogs can’t do that.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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