- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Details released in sweat-lodge case

PRESCOTT | Documents released Monday by Arizona authorities investigating a fatal sweat-lodge ceremony show that serious medical problems occurred at past events led by self-help guru James Arthur Ray. A judge ruled that the documents should be made public.

Three people died after the Oct. 8 sweat-lodge ceremony that was the highlight of Mr. Ray’s five-day “Spiritual Warrior” event at a retreat near Sedona. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office has focused a homicide investigation on Mr. Ray.

According to the documents, a man Mr. Ray hired to build the sweat lodge told investigators that people emerged in medical distress all three times he has assisted with the ceremonies. He said Mr. Ray repeatedly told the most recent participants, “You are not going to die. You might think you are, but you’re not going to die.”


911 call released in Sheen arrest

ASPEN | A woman who identified herself as the wife of Charlie Sheen said in a 911 call to Aspen police that the actor threatened her with a knife and that she feared for her life.

Police released the audio of the call Monday, three days after Mr. Sheen was arrested on suspicion of menacing, second-degree assault and criminal mischief. Authorities haven’t identified the accuser, but the woman on the 911 call said her name is Brooke and that her husband is Charlie Sheen. Mr. Sheen’s wife is Brooke Mueller Sheen.

The woman can be heard weeping, and sometimes her words are inaudible. At one point she says, “My husband had me [inaudible] with um, with a knife, and [inaudible] he threatened me.” Later, she says, “I thought I was gonna die for one hour.”

An ambulance was sent to the house, but police said no one was taken to the hospital.

Mr. Sheen, 44, is free on $8,500 bond.


Victims, group want to air abuse ties

BOSTON | Victims of clergy sex abuse and a group that tracks pedophile priests called on local Roman Catholic leaders and the Irish government Monday to detail publicly the known connections between the clergy abuse scandals in the U.S. and Ireland.

Two Irish bishops resigned on Christmas Day, joining two others who had quit since a government report in November revealed how Dublin church leaders had shielded pedophile priests from the law.

Terence McKiernan, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, said the report detailed evidence that some accused priests in Ireland had been transferred to parishes in the United States.

“Unfortunately, the places they have been moving include our backyard,” said Mr. McKiernan, who spoke at a news conference held in front of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the residence of Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Boston Archdiocese.

“So the Irish crisis has become our crisis, too,” Mr. McKiernan said.


Mom, boyfriend face murder charges

DETROIT | A woman has been charged with murder, accused of fatally beating her 2-month-old daughter on Christmas Eve and covering up her death. The woman’s boyfriend is also charged in the case.

Detroit Police said Asia Wyatt’s death was concealed until Christmas Day, when her mother called 911.

Charlotte C. Wyatt is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree child abuse and tampering with evidence. Leon F. Cole is charged with involuntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence and fourth-degree child abuse.

Not-guilty pleas were entered for Miss Wyatt and Mr. Cole, who remain jailed.


‘Old Man’ memorial has rocky road

CONCORD | A planned memorial to New Hampshire’s state symbol, the Old Man of the Mountain, has fallen on hard times - much as the profile rocks of the Old Man fell off his mountain cliff in Franconia Notch State Park and crumbled to bits in May 2003.

The famed rock outcropping, which appeared to be the profile of a man, hung 1,200 feet above Profile Lake before it disintegrated. The profile has been memorialized on New Hampshire driver’s licenses and on the state’s commemorative quarter.

A three-part, $5 million memorial was to have been completed in 2010, but only about $650,000 has been raised in donations and pledges, and ground hasn’t been broken yet. Dick Hamilton, a board member of the group in charge of the project, said donations “dried up because of the economy.”

The Old Man memorial design calls for five granite monoliths to be placed in such a way that when they are viewed in sequence from a raised platform, they appear to merge into one form, evoking the outline of the rock profile.

The stones represent the five major slabs of granite that formed the Old Man. The largest one, about 20 feet in height and weighing nearly 120 tons, would be the largest ever cut in a North American quarry.


Not-guilty plea in child’s death

PATERSON | A New Jersey man has pleaded not guilty in the accidental shooting death of a 5-year-old boy by his 6-year-old brother.

Jalik Jones, 23, of Paterson, was arraigned Monday on reckless manslaughter and weapons charges. He is being held in jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Prosecutors say Jones, a convicted felon, illegally acquired a .380-caliber handgun and kept it at his mother’s house in the bedroom he shared with Daron Mayes, 5.

Police say Daron and his 6-year-old brother were watching television Dec. 20 when they found the gun. It fired once, hitting Daron in the back of the head.

Jones’ attorney, Paul Fernandez, says the defense intends to show “what really happened” the night of the shooting.


Council approves conviction deal

PITTSBURGH | The Pittsburgh City Council has approved a $3.77 million settlement with a man who spent 19 years in prison before his rape conviction was overturned by DNA evidence in 2005.

An attorney for the now-retired city detective who arrested Thomas Doswell, 50, in the 1986 rape says an out-of-court settlement was reached last month, subject to council’s approval. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl must also approve it.

Mr. Doswell claimed in a 2007 lawsuit that the photo lineup was tainted because his mug shot was the only one marked with an “R,” which was how Pittsburgh police at the time routinely marked rape suspects’ photos. He had been arrested in a previous rape case but was acquitted.

Mr. Doswell’s attorney confirmed the settlement, but otherwise declined comment.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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