- The Washington Times - Friday, November 14, 2008

CALIFORNIA

Designer convicted of sexual assault

LOS ANGELES | A top fashion designer has been convicted of sexually assaulting young women in Los Angeles.

A jury found Anand Jon Alexander, 34, guilty Thursday of counts including forcible rape and a lewd act upon a child.

Prosecutors said he lured women and girls as young as 14 to Los Angeles with promises of modeling jobs and stays at luxury hotels that were rarely fulfilled.

Defense attorneys said Alexander’s accusers lied in court and sought revenge.

COLORADO

1 dead, 6 hurt in restaurant blast

PUEBLO | An explosion laid waste to a restaurant and a shop Thursday in downtown Pueblo, killing one person, injuring at least six and forcing several blocks to be evacuated.

Crews pulled a survivor from the rubble more than four hours after the blast.

The cause of the blast was being investigated.

At least one witness said she smelled gas, and buildings for several blocks in all directions were evacuated.

The person who died was one of two women rescued from a shop next to the Branch Inn restaurant, said Fire Chief Chris Riley.

Firefighters dug a man out of the rubble of the restaurant around 6:30 p.m. Chief Riley said the man was conscious and talking.

Five people taken to hospitals earlier were also conscious and spoke with firefighters, Fire Department spokesman Woody Percival said.

Authorities did not know whether the restaurant was open when the explosion occurred or how many people were inside.

Crews were searching the buildings for anyone else who might be trapped inside, Mr. Percival said.

FLORIDA

Broken friendship led to fatal shooting

MIAMI | A 15-year-old accused of fatally shooting her classmate was upset because the two had recently stopped talking and told police she brought a gun to school because she “wanted her to feel pain like me,” according to an affidavit.

Teah Wimberly, a 15-year-old sophomore at Fort Lauderdale’s Dillard High School, was ordered held in jail for 21 days Thursday, and likely will undergo a psychological examination before her next court date.

Miss Wimberly is charged with first-degree murder and discharging a weapon on school property in the killing of Amanda Collette, also 15.

Investigators said Miss Wimberly shot Amanda, then walked to a seafood restaurant to call authorities and surrender.

MAINE

WWII sub found off coast

PORTLAND | After three years, a man who works at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has found a submarine sunk by the Navy during World War II for training purposes.

Joe Cushing, who lives in Strafford, N.H., won’t disclose the sub’s location, but said it’s about 12 miles at sea from Portland.

He said the sub - called “S-21” - was used by the Navy to train pilots and destroyer crews to detect enemy submarines. He started his search in federal archives, and later learned that a salvager had found the sub in the 1960s but quit after one of his divers was killed.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Man convicted in officer’s murder

MANCHESTER | A New Hampshire jury has convicted a man of murdering a police officer in a case that could result in the state’s first execution in nearly 70 years.

Michael Addison, 28, was convicted Thursday of capital murder in the 2006 death of Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs.

The defense conceded that Addison shot Officer Briggs but argued that it was second-degree murder because he acted recklessly, not knowingly.

Prosecutors countered that Addison knew the police were after him and had told friends he would kill an officer if necessary to avoid arrest.

Jurors now must decide whether to sentence Addison to death or life in prison.

NORTH CAROLINA

Legal grind ends for dirty dancing

MARSHALL | Nobody puts Rebecca Willis in a corner.

A small mountain town has agreed to pay $275,000 for banning her from a community hangout after residents complained about her dirty dancing.

Miss Willis, then 56, was told to stay away from the Marshall Depot community center eight years ago.

According to court documents, she was accused of gyrating and simulating sexual intercourse with her partner while wearing a skirt so short it exposed her underwear.

Miss Willis described her dance style as “exuberant and flamboyant” but not obscene.

She’s still not allowed to return to the refurbished train station where she once danced and socialized, but she said that’s OK with her.

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation announced the settlement Thursday.

TENNESSEE

Obama plot suspect wants case dismissed

MEMPHIS | A white supremacist charged with plotting to kill President-elect Barack Obama and other black people wants his indictment dismissed, arguing that the federal grand jury that charged him had too many black members.

Daniel Cowart, 20, of rural West Tennessee, and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of Helena-West Helena, Ark., face charges including threatening a presidential candidate and taking firearms across state lines to commit crimes.

Authorities said the pair plotted a robbery and a spree in which they would kill dozens of black people, including Mr. Obama.

Mr. Cowart’s attorney filed a petition Thursday seeking to have his client’s indictment dismissed.

It argues that the 23-member grand jury that returned the indictment had just two white members and could not have been fair and impartial.

WISCONSIN

Court: 1985 killer should be freed

MADISON | A Wisconsin appeals court ruled Thursday that a man who killed a Catholic priest and two others in a church 23 years ago should be released from a mental hospital.

Bryan Stanley had claimed to be a prophet sent to cleanse St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Onalaska when he fatally shot parish priest John Rossiter, lay minister Ferdinand Roth Sr., and church custodian William Hammes in 1985. He was angry that the priest was allowing girls to give Scripture readings during Mass.

Stanley, who suffered from psychosis, was found not guilty by reason of mental disease and was committed indefinitely to a state psychiatric hospital in Madison.

The District 4 Court of Appeals said state attorneys failed to prove that releasing Stanley, 53, would present a danger to himself or the public.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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