- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2008

CALIFORNIA

4 Marines detained in brutal killing

RIVERSIDE | Four Camp Pendleton-based Marines are being held in connection with the slaying of a fellow Marine and his wife, who were found fatally shot inside their home last month.

Financial gain appears to be the motive behind the deaths of Sgt. Jan Pietrzak and Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, based on the admissions each one of the four men made to investigators, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff deputies were sent to the Pietrzaks’ home in Winchester after Sgt. Pietrzak, 24, failed to show up for duty at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base.

The newlyweds were found in the family room of their home, bound and gagged, each with gunshot wounds to their heads, according to the sheriff’s department. The couple’s home appeared to be ransacked, and someone tried to light a fire in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence.

Sgt. Pietrzak was a helicopter airframe mechanic, relatives said. His wife, Quiana, 26, worked for the Riverside County Public Health Department’s Black Infant Care Center.

FLORIDA

School keeps name of Klan leader

JACKSONVILLE | A Florida school board voted late Monday night to keep the name of a Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader at a majority black high school, despite opposition from a black board member who said the school’s namesake was a “terrorist and racist.”

After hearing about three hours of public comments, Duval County School Board members voted 5-2 to the retain the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest High School. The board’s two black members cast the only votes to change the name.

The board listened to passionate arguments from those on both sides. More than 140 people crowded into the meeting room, and another 20 watched the meeting on a television in the lobby.

MINNESOTA

Meth found in boy’s trick-or-treat bag

RAMSEY | When their children returned from Halloween trick-or-treating, a couple found suspected methamphetamine and $85 in cash among their 7-year-old son’s candy.

Lars and Shelly Brosdahl called police, who confirmed that the substance was methamphetamine, worth up to $200 on the street.

Someone who looked like a teenager dropped something into their son’s bag as he went trick-or-treating with his 9-year-old sister on Halloween night, the Brosdahls said.

The clear crystals looked like rock candy, the parents said.

Police think the young man was a suspect fleeing police after a report of an assault in the area that night.

NEBRASKA

Safe-haven cases swell to 27

OMAHA | A 15-year-old girl dropped off at a hospital is the 27th child left under Nebraska’s unique safe-haven law, state officials said.

Children and family services division director Todd Landry said Tuesday that the girl was left at a hospital in Omaha by her legal guardian on Monday.

Nebraska is the most recent state to enact a safe-haven law, which is intended to protect unwanted newborns from being abandoned.

Unlike other states, Nebraska’s law uses the word “child” without any age limit, and some interpret that as including teenagers.

A special session has been called to deal with Nebraska’s safe-haven law, and most legislators have agreed to add the age limit of three days.

NEVADA

New videos delay child sex assault trial

LAS VEGAS | The trial of a man accused of videotaping himself sexually assaulting a toddler has been postponed after new videos surfaced that purportedly show him having sex with an adult woman.

Chester Arthur Stiles had been scheduled to go to trial Tuesday, but the judge postponed the proceedings Monday because defense attorneys asked for time to review the new evidence. A hearing to set a new trial date was scheduled for Nov. 19.

Mr. Stiles, 38, is accused of sexually assaulting two girls, ages 2 and 6 at the time, in 2003. He has pleaded not guilty to 22 felony charges.

Mr. Stiles was arrested in Henderson after a nationwide manhunt spurred by the discovery of a videotape that prosecutors say shows him sexually assaulting the younger girl.

The tape was found in the desert at Pahrump, a Nye county town 60 miles west of Las Vegas. The girl was later identified and was found safe with her mother.

NEW YORK

Three boys killed in house fire

HARTLAND | A house fire killed three young brothers during the night and critically injured their grandmother, who apparently tried to rescue them, authorities said Tuesday.

The blaze in rural Hartland remained under investigation but appeared to have been accidental, said Niagara County Fire Coordinator Jim Volkosh.

The fire was reported shortly after 11 p.m. Monday, and the house was engulfed in flames when sheriff’s deputies and volunteer firefighters from six companies arrived.

They tried to rescue the boys, but the smoke and flames were too intense, Mr. Volkosh said.

The boys’ grandmother Leona Heigl apparently tried to re-enter the house to rescue the boys, Mr. Volkosh said. Mrs. Heigl, 59, was overcome by smoke and was listed in critical condition Tuesday at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.

All three boys were trapped in the downstairs part of the house, firefighters said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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