- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 6, 2009

ARIZONA

Detention ordered for 10-year-old

PHOENIX | A judge ordered that a 10-year-old Liberian boy accused with three other boys of raping an 8-year-old girl be detained while the case is investigated.

The handcuffed boy slouched in his oversized chair in court Wednesday morning as Juvenile Court Judge Aimee Anderson spoke to him during a hearing. His sniffles could be heard over a courtroom microphone when the judge told him she was proud of him for getting an award at the detention facility where he has been held.

Judge Anderson granted prosecutors’ request to change two of the charges from sexual assault to sexual conduct. The boy also is charged with kidnapping.

FLORIDA

Inmate killed in escape attempt

PALATKA | Officials in Florida said a corrections officer fatally shot an inmate who tried to escape from jail by climbing a razor-wire fence.

Sheriff Jeff Hardy said a deputy at the Putnam County Jail fired once at inmate Michael A. Campbell, 21, after he refused orders to stop, jumped from the top of a fence in the recreation yard and tried to run away Wednesday.

Sheriff Hardy said the officers were just doing their job and that it was unfortunate someone had to die, but that it was Campbell’s choice.

Campbell was at the county jail so he could attend a custody hearing. He was serving a 10-year sentence for kidnapping and other charges.

MASSACHUSETTS

Firefighters rescue 2 window washers

BOSTON | Two window washers clinging to a dangling platform 37 stories high on a downtown Boston building were rescued Wednesday.

Firefighters broke a couple of windows on the 40-story building to rescue to the workers, who were stranded on the platform for about 20 minutes. Their hanging scaffolding had malfunctioned and one side of the basket dropped on the Exchange Place side of the office building in the city’s financial district, Boston Fire Department Deputy Chief Robert Calobrisi said.

Authorities secured the area from pedestrians near the end of the busy morning commute while glass fell from the building.

“He was shaken up and rightfully so,” Lt. John Soares said of one of the window washers. “It’s 37 floors. It’s a beautiful view from there, but I don’t know if I wanted to do it like that.”

NORTH CAROLINA

Terrorism suspects to remain jailed

RALEIGH | A federal judge ordered six North Carolina men accused of plotting a holy war to remain in custody Wednesday but raised scathing questions about the strength of the case federal prosecutors are pushing.

U.S. Magistrate Judge William Webb determined that the defendants were dangerous and may flee if released, noting that they had overseas contacts, some past criminal activity and the threat of a life sentence if convicted on the terrorism charges they face.

“Each of these defendants constitute a danger to the community,” Judge Webb said, dealing a blow to some supporters who had hoped some of the men might be released to a family custodian.

While his assessment of the suspects was harsh, the judge also expressed concern about the veracity of the government’s case. In presenting evidence, authorities had relied heavily on secret audio recordings and the statements of an unnamed witness.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Student admits to bombing plot

FLORENCE | A South Carolina teen admitted to plotting to blow up his high school Wednesday, and prosecutors agreed to ask for a 10-year prison sentence.

Ryan Schallenberger, 19, pleaded guilty to receiving and attempting to receive an explosive and attempting to damage and destroy real property by explosive. He could have faced up to 30 years in prison. A judge must approve the sentence at a hearing to be held later.

Authorities discovered the plot in April 2008 when Schallenberger had bomb-making materials delivered to his house in Chesterfield. A search uncovered a hate-filled journal lauding the Columbine killers, an audiotape to be played after Schallenberger perished during his rampage, and a year’s worth of plans for the bombing that included a hand-drawn map of Chesterfield High School, investigators said.

TEXAS

Defiant soldier sentenced to jail

Spc. Victor Agosto, 24, a Fort Hood soldier who refused to deploy to Afghanistan over his beliefs that the war violates international law, was sentenced Wednesday to a month in jail.

Sgt. Agosto, of Miami, pleaded guilty to disobeying a lawful order to report to a site that performs medical, legal and other services for troops before they deploy. The judge also reduced his rank to the Army’s lowest level, a private, which also was part of the maximum penalty he faced in his plea agreement with the military.

After the sentence was announced, the soldier immediately ripped the rank patch from his uniform. He later was escorted out of the building and taken to the county jail. He cannot be discharged at a level lower than other-than-honorable conditions, an administrative discharge.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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