- - Thursday, October 13, 2011


Man convicted in deadly home invasion

NEW HAVEN | A Connecticut man was convicted Thursday of killing a woman and her two daughters during a gruesome 2007 home invasion in which family members were tied up, molested, doused in gasoline and left to die in a fire.

Joshua Komisarjevsky, 31, was found guilty of capital felony killing, kidnapping, sexual assault, arson and other charges. The same jury will decide whether he should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

His co-defendant, Steven Hayes, was sentenced to death last year after he was convicted of raping and strangling Jennifer Hawke-Petit and killing her daughters, who died of smoke inhalation.


Licenses of 11 educators revoked in cheating scandal

ATLANTA | A Georgia state commission is revoking the teaching licenses of eight teachers and three school administrators accused in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal.

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission voted Thursday on the first batch of cases from an investigation that revealed widespread cheating in nearly half the district’s 100 schools as far back as 2001. The commission is expected to take up the rest of the nearly 180 Atlanta cases by the end of the year.

The eight teachers sanctioned by the commission can reapply for their licenses in two years, while the administrators’ revocations are permanent. They can appeal the commission’s ruling. The educators named in the investigation also could face criminal charges.


Doctor indicted in alleged stem cell scam

LAS VEGAS | A federal grand jury indicted a Nevada pediatrician on charges that he and a man who falsely identified himself as a doctor conspired to implant chronically ill patients with stem cells harvested from human placentas obtained after women gave birth.

Dr. Ralph Conti, 50, of Henderson, appeared Thursday before a federal magistrate judge in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas on a 34-count indictment accusing him and Alfred Sapse of Las Vegas of mail and wire fraud and conspiracy.

Mr. Sapse, 85, already was due to stand trial March 12 on 20 mail and wire fraud charges. He was indicted in July 2010 on charges revolving around a Las Vegas company he created in May 2005 called StemCell Pharma Inc. Prosecutors said at the time that he had unidentified doctors in Las Vegas and Mexico perform experimental surgical implants of placental tissue on about 134 patients.


3 convicted of plot to attack Quantico

NEW BERN | A federal jury convicted three North Carolina men Thursday in a trial that focused on a plot to carry out terrorist attacks on the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va., and foreign targets.

The jury in the monthlong trial delivered its verdict against Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, Ziyad Yaghi and Hysen Sherifi after deliberating since Wednesday. Yaghi and Sherifi were convicted on all counts. Hassan was found not guilty of conspiracy to carry out attacks overseas but convicted of providing material support to terrorists.

Hassan, Yaghi and Sherifi were part of a group of eight men who federal investigators say raised money, stockpiled weapons and trained in preparation for jihadist attacks against American military targets and others they deemed enemies of Islam.

Three other men pleaded guilty in the case earlier this year, including Daniel Boyd, a convert to Islam whom prosecutors described as the ringleader. Boyd’s two sons also pleaded guilty.

Another man, Anes Subasic, is scheduled to go on trial separately in the case. The eighth suspect is still at large and thought to be in Pakistan.


Former ICE analyst pleads guilty to embezzling

EL PASO | A former intelligence analyst for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement pleaded guilty to embezzling federal funds by presenting bogus travel reports and two counts of using his diplomatic passport for personal trips.

Ahmed Adil Abdallat agreed to the plea in exchange for having six other charges of misusing his diplomatic passport dismissed Thursday.

Abdallat had received $116,392.32 as reimbursement for 13 trips to the Washington, D.C., area made between February 2009 and September 2010. He got part of that money by presenting fake receipts for lodging and car rental.

James Woosley was deputy director of intelligence for ICE and Abdallat’s boss. He is accused of approving the expenses and is on administrative leave after Abdallat’s arrest.

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