- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Man pleads guilty to Obama threat

DENVER | A Texas man has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill President Obama and blow up the Mall of America in Minneapolis.

Timothy Ryan Gutierrez, 21, pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of making threats by e-mail. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors have dropped a charge of threatening to use an explosive.

His attorney said Gutierrez could face up to a year and a half in prison when he is sentenced July 31.

Gutierrez of Andrews, Texas, was accused of sending the e-mails from his brother’s Colorado home to the FBI a week before Mr. Obama’s inauguration in January. Gutierrez said the e-mails were a prank.


Baby dies after ejection

TAMPA | A 21-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after police said he snatched up his ex-girlfriend’s 3-month-old son during a fight and then threw the baby from his car on an interstate highway.

The child’s lifeless body was found near Interstate 275 north of downtown Tampa early Tuesday. The man, Richard A. McTear Jr., was captured several hours later but has not been formally charged. Deputies said he is not the child’s father.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Mr. McTear was arguing with his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend, Jasmine Bedwell, at her apartment when he began beating her and the child. She reported that Mr. McTear threw her son, Emanuel Wesley Murray, down on the concrete, then picked him up and fled in his Chevrolet Impala.


Man gets 4 years for cocaine charge

ATLANTA | A Dominican immigrant who was held hostage and beaten after being lured to suburban Atlanta to settle a drug debt was sentenced Tuesday to nearly four years in prison for his involvement with a cocaine distribution cell.

U.S. District Judge Jack Camp sentenced Oscar Reynoso, 31, to 46 months in federal prison, with five years supervised release to follow.

Reynoso is a legal resident who lived in Rhode Island but will face deportation once he is released, said U.S. Attorney David Nahmias. He pleaded guilty in March to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute at least 5 kilograms of cocaine.


Electrical flash evacuates gold mine

ELKO | Dozens of miners have been evacuated from an underground gold mine after an electrical flash of an unknown nature triggered an emergency response, officials said.

Newmont Mining Corp. spokeswoman Mary Korpi said all 79 miners were accounted for after Tuesday’s evacuation and no injuries were reported.

The evacuation took place at the company’s Leeville mine in Eureka County in northeast Nevada.

The miners initially were sent to underground refuge areas after one observed the flash at an electrical load center.

Ms. Korpi said the decision to evacuate the mine was made after mine rescue teams inspected three different electrical load centers. She said mining would not resume until officials complete a full electrical inspection.


High court asked to stop deportation

CLEVELAND | A lawyer for purported Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk said Tuesday that he is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the deportation of the 89-year-old suburban Cleveland resident to Germany, where he faces 29,000 counts of accessory to murder.

John Broadley said he sent the motion from Florida and expects it to be filed with the court Wednesday morning. Mr. Demjanjuk’s family argues he is too sick and frail to be deported.

Mr. Broadley said he will ask for a reprieve of at least 90 days so he can argue that a federal appeals court in Ohio erred last week when it denied Mr. Demjanjuk a stay of deportation.

The Justice Department says Mr. Demjanjuk and his lawyers have used court filings as a delay tactic. The department provided the appeals court with surveillance video that government attorneys contend shows Mr. Demjanjuk is fit enough to travel.


Budget busting could mean prison

PROVIDENCE | Public servants who blow their budgets and need more cash are usually met with hand-wringing, not handcuffs.

But Rhode Island state Rep. Stephen Ucci now wants to make it a misdemeanor for state officials to knowingly spend more than allowed under their budgets. Violators could face up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

The National Association of State Budget Officers said it doesn’t know of similar laws in other states.

The House Finance Committee plans to debate the idea Wednesday.


Court halts foreclosure sales

COLUMBIA | South Carolina’s highest court has temporarily stopped thousands of pending foreclosure sales so homeowners can take advantage of a new federal program to refinance mortgages.

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a restraining order preventing South Carolina judges from finalizing foreclosure sales on properties with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

The order also applies to any mortgage lender who has signed on to a federal assistance program. RealtyTrac Inc. says the ruling could affect 5,000 South Carolina homes.

The Obama administration in March launched a plan to provide $75 billion in incentives for lenders to modify loans to avoid foreclosure.

Officials for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae did not comment on the ruling.


Methodists launch ad campaign

NASHVILLE | The United Methodist Church has launched a $20 million advertising campaign aimed at attracting younger members to the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination.

The new ads will appear over the next four years on television, radio and print and in new media as part of the “Rethink Church” campaign beginning this week.

Like other mainline Protestant denominations in the U.S., the United Methodists have seen membership dwindle over the past several years and are trying “rebranding” or marketing efforts to help reverse the decline.

The Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist communications, said a United Methodist’s median age is 57, and the church needs to engage young adults more.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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