- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 27, 2007


Man guilty of killing he can’t remember

BRUNSWICK — Nearly four years after two real-estate agents were stripped, robbed and shot in their suburban Atlanta office, a jury convicted a man Tuesday who told police that he likely killed the women but couldn’t remember whether he did.

Stacey Ian Humphreys could get the death penalty in the Nov. 3, 2003, slayings of Cyndi Williams, 33, and Lori Brown, 21.

Jurors were to begin the sentencing phase yesterday.

Jurors found Humphreys, 34, guilty of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping and armed robbery.

Prosecutors said Humphreys attacked the two women because he needed money to make a $565 payment on his Dodge Durango truck. Humphreys told investigators that he didn’t remember committing the crime but thought he was guilty.


Concourse closed after package found

INDIANAPOLIS — Security officials closed one concourse at the Indianapolis International Airport for about an hour early yesterday because of a suspicious package that turned out to be an inert explosive used to train federal security personnel.

Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lara Uselding said airline passengers were never in danger and that the TSA was reviewing procedures to prevent it from happening again.

“A TSA training officer had used the components for training purposes overnight and then inadvertently left them at the checkpoint,” Miss Uselding said.

Airport Police Maj. Tom Hanna said the evacuation was ordered because of the discovery of a vest containing what he described as “inert training explosives” in a tray on a conveyor belt at a security checkpoint.

No flights were canceled, but the evacuation delayed some US Airways and United Airlines flights, airport spokeswoman Susan Sullivan said.


Breaks granted for breast-feeding

BOSTON — A Harvard student must be allowed extra break time during her nine-hour medical licensing exam so she can pump breast milk to feed her 4-month-old daughter, a Massachusetts appeals court judge ruled yesterday.

Sophie Currier, 33, sued after the National Board of Medical Examiners turned down her request to take more than the standard 45 minutes in breaks during the exam.

She said she risks medical complications if she does not nurse her daughter, Lea, or pump breast milk every two to three hours.

A Superior Court judge last week rejected her request to order the board to give her an additional 60 minutes of break time. Appeals Court Judge Gary Katzmann overturned that ruling, finding that she needs the extra break time to put her on “equal footing” with the men and non-lactating women who take the exam.

She already received special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act for dyslexia and attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, including permission to take the test over two days instead of one.


School evacuated after children fall ill

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — A Catholic school was evacuated after some children became sick during a church service yesterday, authorities said. At least two were taken to hospitals.

St. Hugo of the Hills Catholic School shut down classes shortly after 9 a.m. when at least three students passed out, said Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Director Rick Matott. Two of the children were taken to hospitals, but their conditions were not thought to be serious, Mr. Matott said.

Emergency medical crews and hazardous-materials teams were sent to the school of 860 students about 15 miles northwest of Detroit, and officials were trying to determine what caused the illnesses.

Bloomfield Hills fire crews could not find any indication that carbon monoxide was the cause, Mr. Matott said.


Rejected owner saws house in half

HILLSBORO — A man angry that he wasn’t going to be sold a house is accused of using a power saw to turn the abode into a convertible.

Rodney Rogers apparently thought an acquaintance was going to build a house and sell it to him, and he was living in it while it was being completed, Highland County Sheriff Ronald Ward said yesterday.

After the acquaintance refused to complete the sale, Mr. Rogers used a power saw last week to make a lateral cut through the walls and siding at about chest level, authorities said. He cut all the way around the house, Sheriff Ward said.

Only one thing was keeping the top half of the house in place on the bottom half. “Gravity,” Sheriff Ward said.

Mr. Rogers, 66, of Greenfield, remained free pending a court appearance today.


Old Glory hydrant pulled from dog park

HILLSBORO — A fire hydrant painted as an American flag has been removed from a dog park after complaints it was disrespectful to let dogs use it for what dogs do.

The new leash-free park was named for Hondo, a police dog killed 10 years ago chasing a suspect, and the flag-painted hydrant was intended as a tribute to him.

However, after a photo of the hydrant appeared Sunday in the Oregonian newspaper, e-mails started arriving at the parks department.

“That gallant dog must be turning in his grave at the thought of the flag being desecrated every time a dog pees on that hydrant,” wrote Louanne Douris, a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer.

Parks officials said there had been no reports of dogs urinating on the flag hydrant.


Student critical after dorm attack

MURFREESBORO — A freshman student was in critical condition yesterday after she was attacked in a dorm room at Middle Tennessee State University, a university official said.

The 18-year-old woman was found unconscious in the suspect’s dorm room after a male student placed an emergency call about midnight, said Bob Glenn, vice president for student affairs.

The nature of her injuries was not released.

The suspect was taken into custody for questioning but had not been charged.


State executes man despite court review

HUNTSVILLE — The nation’s busiest death penalty state executed another inmate Tuesday night, hours after the Supreme Court said it would review whether the lethal injection method most states use is cruel and unusual.

Michael Richard, 49, was put to death for the 1986 shooting of Marguerite Lucille Dixon, a 53-year-old nurse and mother of seven. Richard had been released from his second prison term eight weeks before she was raped and killed inside her home.

Asked whether he would like to make a final statement, Richard said, “I’d like my family to take care of each other. I love you, Angel. Let’s ride.”

He was pronounced dead at 8:23 p.m.

Another execution, the 27th in Texas this year, remained scheduled for today, and officials said Tuesday’s announcement by the Supreme Court would not affect the state’s execution docket.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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