- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ARKANSAS

State to keep girls from Alamo sect

LITTLE ROCK | A state official said four girls taken from an evangelist’s compound in southwestern Arkansas will remain in state custody for now.

Julie Munsell, a spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services, said Monday that parents of the four girls waived their right to go before a judge.

Miss Munsell said the girls are two sets of sisters. Another hearing on their custody will be held on Oct. 21.

A judge ruled Friday that two other girls removed from the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries compound also will stay in state custody.

Mr. Alamo was arrested in Arizona last week on charges that he took minors across state lines for sexual purposes. He has waived his right to fight extradition.

CALIFORNIA

1,150 arrested in immigrant sweep

SANTA ANA | Federal immigration authorities said more than 1,150 people have been arrested in a special three-week sweep in California.

The sweep targeted those who ignored deportation orders or returned to the U.S. illegally after being deported.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice said Monday that more than 400 of those arrested were from Los Angeles and several Southern California counties.

ICE teams from San Francisco and San Diego also participated in the sweep, which concluded Saturday.

FLORIDA

Six in van killed by tractor-trailer

MOORE HAVEN | Six men in a van were killed when a tractor-trailer loaded with sand hit their vehicle Monday in south-central Florida.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the tractor-trailer ran through a stop sign about 6:30 a.m. and struck the van’s right side.

Both vehicles rolled over and landed on the shoulder of State Road 29, a two-lane highway about 60 miles east of Fort Myers.

Four of the six men inside the 1993 Chevrolet van were thrown from the vehicle. Only two were wearing seat belts. All six were pronounced dead at the scene, Lt. Christopher Miller said.

MASSACHUSETTS

Father denies daughter’s abduction

BOSTON | A German citizen who calls himself Clark Rockefeller pleaded not guilty Monday to charges related to the kidnapping of his 7-year-old daughter off a Boston street in July.

Magistrate Gary Wilson set bail at $50 million.

Investigators said “Rockefeller” is really Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who has been living under fake identities since coming to the United States in 1978. He also has been identified as a “person of interest” in the 1985 disappearance of a California couple.

Mr. Gerhartsreiter pleaded not guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to charges that he grabbed his daughter during a supervised visit, shoving away a court-appointed social worker, then fleeing in a hired car. He also was charged with lying to police about his identity.

The man and daughter were found Aug. 2 at a home in Baltimore.

NEBRASKA

Ex-teacher gets 6 years in sex case

OMAHA | A former teacher who fled to Mexico with a 13-year-old student so she could have sex with him was sentenced Monday to six years in federal prison.

Kelsey Peterson, 26, had pleaded guilty in July to a charge of transporting a minor across state lines to have sex and avoided a similar charge that would have carried a mandatory 10-year minimum sentence.

She will be credited for time served but will not be eligible for parole.

The guilty plea doesn’t mean Peterson is off the hook on state charges, which include kidnapping and first-degree sexual assault. Her attorney said he hoped those charges will be dropped.

NEVADA

Prosecution rests in Simpson case

LAS VEGAS | Prosecutors have rested their case against O.J. Simpson and a co-defendant after the last witness admitted that his testimony in court differed from what he told police about the hotel room confrontation last year.

Michael McClinton earlier told the jury that Simpson asked him to bring guns and “look menacing” when they met with two sports memorabilia dealers last October. He acknowledged under cross-examination Monday that he didn’t tell police that.

Simpson defense lawyer Gabriel Grasso asked Mr. McClinton: “You have a whole conversation with police and you never say ‘O.J. said to bring guns?’ ”

The witness responded: “It may have slipped my mind.”

After Mr. McClinton finished two days of testimony, prosecutors rested their case. Simpson’s armed robbery-kidnapping trial resumed Monday with defense attorneys trying to cast doubt on the testimony of a man who said he brandished a gun during a hotel room confrontation after being told by Simpson to “look menacing.”

NEW YORK

New York Sun shuts down

NEW YORK | The New York Sun is shutting down.

Newspaper spokesman Michael Moi said Tuesday’s edition of the conservative-leaning paper will be the last.

Editor Seth Lipsky announced on Sept. 4 that the feisty paper had endured “substantial” losses and would fold at the end of the month without a new infusion of cash.

The publication laid claim to a grand tradition when it launched in 2002 with the name of a Pulitzer Prize-winning giant that published for more than a century before disappearing in a merger in 1950.

Mr. Lipsky had hoped to carve out a profitable niche among New Yorkers, providing an alternative voice in a very crowded media market.

NEW JERSEY

Jury selection starts in Fort Dix plot

CAMDEN | Jury selection began Monday in the federal trial of five men accused of planning an attack on Fort Dix.

Lawyers were expected to take three weeks or more to seat 12 jurors and six alternates. The trial will likely last several months.

The government says five men were moving forward with a plan to shoot soldiers on the New Jersey Army installation when they were arrested in May 2007. No attack was carried out, and attorneys for the men say there was no plot.

The men — all foreign-born Muslims in their 20s who spent several years in southern New Jersey — are charged with conspiracy to murder soldiers and attempted murder. They’ll face life in prison if they are convicted.

Opening arguments are expected to begin in late October.

TEXAS

More Ike victims found in debris

HOUSTON | Three more bodies were discovered over the weekend in areas of Texas ravaged by Hurricane Ike, increasing the storm’s toll to 67 deaths nationally.

The discoveries in Galveston and Orange counties raised the toll in Texas to at least 32.

Volunteers and fishermen found the bodies while searching through storm debris.

The body of Greg Walker, who had been missing since Sept. 13, was discovered in the tree line of a levee in Orange County, about a mile away from where his truck was discovered last Tuesday. Mr. Walker had called 911 for help after he got caught in Ike’s storm surge, said Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Jimmy LeBoeuf.

On Saturday, fishermen found the body of a white male on Goat Island off the Bolivar Peninsula, according to the Galveston County Medical Examiner’s Office. The body of a white female was found on Pelican Island, the medical examiner’s office said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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