- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 19, 2009


Seizure of kids at compound upheld

LITTLE ROCK | The Arkansas Court of Appeals has ruled that state child-welfare officials properly seized children from the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries after a police raid.

The appeals court issued three opinions Wednesday dealing with the children taken by welfare officials after a September 2008 raid at Alamo’s compound.

In one ruling, Judge Robert J. Gladwin wrote that testimony at closed hearings about the seizures showed “a clear picture of danger to the children in the ministry compound at Fouke.”

Judge Gladwin added that judges had “no hesitation” in affirming a lower court’s decision to allow the seizures.

Alamo was sentenced to 175 years in federal prison last week after being convicted of taking young girls across state lines for sex.


Marines, corpsman kicked out of military

SAN DIEGO | Three Camp Pendleton Marines and a Navy corpsman convicted of aiding the kidnapping and killing of an Iraqi man in 2006 have been ordered removed from the military.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told the North County Times on Tuesday that the killing in the city of Hamdania did not happen in the fog of battle but was a carefully planned attack and coverup.

Marine Lance Cpls. Tyler Jackson, Jerry Shumate and John Jodka III and Navy Corpsman Melson Bacos were ordered removed. They had been allowed to stay on active duty after serving short jail terms for lesser offenses.

Marine Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III is serving an 11-year prison term for murder.


Haggard to continue prayer meetings

COLORADO SPRINGS | Former megachurch pastor Ted Haggard said he will continue to hold weekly prayer meetings at his home, three years after he was ousted from the church he founded amid a scandal involving a male prostitute and drug use.

Mr. Haggard said that he was heartened by the 150 people who attended last week’s first prayer and that he wants to continue the gatherings at his home every Thursday.

Mr. Haggard resigned from New Life Church in 2006 after a man revealed that the pastor paid him for sex for more than three years. At the time, the church had 14,000 followers.

Mr. Haggard told Denver television station KUSA he still has homosexual thoughts.

“Once in a while, I have a thought. But I never have a temptation,” he said. He also said that the love of supporters and family is making him feel “healthy.”


Men sentenced in terrorism plot

MIAMI | Two Miami men cast as role players in a plot to destroy Chicago’s Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices have been sentenced to prison.

U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard on Wednesday sentenced Burson Augustin, 24, to six years. His older brother, Rothschild Augustine, 26, was sentenced to seven years behind bars.

Prosecutors sought maximum 30-year sentences for both men. But Judge Lenard found they were not major players in the plot.

Three other men will be sentenced later this week.

Five men were convicted in May of supporting al Qaeda, conspiring to wage war on the U.S. and other charges. There were two mistrials, and two other men were acquitted. All denied plotting terrorist attacks.


Teen charged with killing girl

JEFFERSON CITY | A grand jury has indicted a 15-year-old on a charge of first-degree murder in the slaying of her 9-year-old neighbor.

Alyssa Bustamante is accused of killing Elizabeth Olten by strangling the girl, cutting her throat and stabbing her Oct. 21. One officer testified in court Wednesday that Alyssa had told investigators she did it “because she wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone.”

The teen also is charged with armed criminal action for purportedly using a knife in the attack.

Records show the suspect has attempted suicide in the past and has had ongoing mental health evaluations, Missourinet.com reported.

The indictment Wednesday came hours after a judge ruled Alyssa should stand trial as an adult. She is being held without bond in Cole County jail.


Hostage taker leaves prison

DOVER | A man who took hostages at one of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s New Hampshire presidential campaign offices in 2007 has been released from state prison.

Leeland Eisenberg pleaded guilty to seven felonies and one misdemeanor last year for taking several people hostage using fake explosives at Mrs. Clinton’s office in Rochester.

He was arrested after an hourslong standoff in which no one was hurt.

Eisenberg was released Wednesday morning. His sentence was originally three years, but was cut short for good behavior.

He will be monitored and be under a daily curfew.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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