- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Financial adviser indicted in crash

PENSACOLA | An Indiana financial adviser has been indicted on federal charges that he intentionally crashed his airplane in Florida to try to fake his own death.

A federal grand jury Tuesday also indicted Marcus Schrenker, 38, on a charge of making a fake distress call. His arraignment is Thursday and he remains jailed.

Authorities said Mr. Schrenker had slashed his wrist before agents found him on Jan. 13 hiding at a campground near Tallahassee. They discovered him two days after his small plane crashed in a Florida panhandle swamp.

Authorities said he parachuted out over Alabama and fled on a stashed motorcycle.


Man pleads not guilty to Hudson killings

CHICAGO | A man accused of killing three members of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson’s family in Chicago has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and home invasion.

William Balfour entered his plea Tuesday at Cook County Criminal Court in Chicago. Before doing so, he nodded to members of his family in the courtroom.

Mr. Balfour is the estranged husband of Miss Hudson’s sister, Julia Hudson. He is accused of killing their mother, brother and Julia Hudson’s 7-year-old son in October.

Mr. Balfour is being held without bail.


Judge reopens lawsuit over guns

LOUISVILLE | A federal judge has reopened a millionaire’s lawsuit against an Alabama man he claims cheated him by marking up prices on world-class antique firearms.

The lawsuit filed by Owsley Brown Frazier in 2004 was put on hold until after a criminal trial for Michael K. Salisbury of Owens Crossroads, Ala.

Mr. Frazier made Mr. Salisbury president of a firearms history museum in downtown Louisville, but Mr. Frazier later accused him of inflating prices and pocketing the difference, which federal prosecutors say totaled more than $1.5 million.

In July, Mr. Salisbury was cleared of more serious fraud charges but convicted of two misdemeanors for failing to pay taxes. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

His attorney wants the lawsuit dismissed.


Boy spent week with dead mom

ROMULUS | An 8-year-old boy lived for more than a week with the body of his dead mother before telling a concerned shopkeeper his mom was “in a better place,” police said.

The woman, 41, apparently died Jan. 9 in their apartment in Romulus, and the boy survived in part by eating dried rice, butter and flour, authorities said.

Police did not release the names of the mother and child, who moved to Michigan from Louisiana after surviving Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


Microwave pioneer Decareau dead

NASHUA | Robert Decareau, who helped invent the processes necessary to create the microwave oven, has died in Nashua. He was 82.

Mr. Decareau, who lived in Amherst, died Sunday after having Alzheimer’s for 17 years, his family said.

Mr. Decareau was a Massachusetts native who served in the U.S. Navy as an anti-aircraft gunner on the USS Randolph during World War II and then as an Army lieutenant stationed in Austria during the Korean War.

He went to work for Raytheon after earning his doctoral degree in chemistry. It was there that he started working on microwave energy food applications, and he was one of the first to call himself a food scientist. He also worked for Litton Industries of Palo Alto, Calif., on microwaves.


Man questioned in airport scare

WARWICK | A man was stopped by security officials after purportedly trying to carry a compact disc case, emblazoned with writing indicating it could explode, through security at T.F. Green Airport.

Airport security stopped all passenger screening and cleared the area after officials found the case about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. A bomb squad was called and removed it.

Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Ann Davis did not know the exact language on the CD case, but she said the man was being questioned by state police and the FBI.

Officials have not released the man’s name.


Woman shoots worker with arrow

HOUSTON | A 30-year-old woman who entered an office and fired an arrow into a worker’s chest was later shot and wounded by police, authorities said.

Police said Julie Parker entered the Texas Components Corp. office Monday afternoon armed with a bow, arrows and a toy gun, and fired an arrow into 55-year-old Armando Silva’s chest.

Houston police spokesman John Cannon said two office workers then drew their own weapons and confronted Miss Parker.

Police said officers shot Miss Parker several times after she turned on them with the bow.

Investigators had not determined a motive.

Miss Parker was hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday. She was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.


Police dog gets man before retirement

SPOKANE | Var the police dog has added one more brave arrest to his record - his last one.

Spokane police officers said the dog was on his last night of patrol before retirement when he cornered a teenager sought for investigation of murder.

A tip led officers to surround a house Sunday night, and in the ensuing search Officer Dan Lesser and Var found the 19-year-old hiding in the basement.

Three other teens were being sought in the stabbing death of Shannon Cochran, 22.


Mayor resigns after sex-sting arrest

MILWAUKEE | The mayor of Racine resigned on Tuesday, days after being accused of trying to arrange a sexual encounter with someone he thought was an underage girl.

Mayor Gary Becker resigned, effective 5 p.m. Tuesday, in a one-sentence letter that made no reference to the six felonies he faces.

His attorney Patrick Cafferty said Mr. Becker decided to resign because “it was in the best interest of everyone involved.”

He said his client intends to plead not guilty to all charges during a Feb. 10 arraignment in Racine County Circuit Court.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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