- - Tuesday, June 19, 2012

FORT LAUDERDALE — A Florida teenager was convicted Tuesday of aggravated battery in a horrific 2009 attack on a middle-school classmate who was drenched in rubbing alcohol and set on fire.

Matthew “Zeke” Bent was accused of orchestrating the attack on Michael Brewer and charged with attempted second-degree murder. The six jurors, who deliberated for just more than a day, had the option of finding him guilty of a lesser offense.

Prosecutors say the Bent youth offered others money to hurt Michael Brewer, who was then 15. He suffered severe burns over 65 percent of his body but survived after leaping into an apartment complex swimming pool.

Teen recovering after spear is removed from head

MIAMI — Doctors in Miami successfully removed a spear accidentally shot through a teenager’s skull during a spearfishing trip.

Yasser Lopez, 16, was in serious condition Tuesday at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.

The spear gun accidentally fired as it was being loaded. The teenager was hospitalized June 7 with 3 feet of the spear protruding from his forehead.

Doctors say the spear entered his head 2 inches above his right eye and came out the back of his skull. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue tools were used to cut the spear so the teen could be X-rayed.


Kayakers find possible Japanese house pieces

SEATTLE — Kayakers surveying Washington state’s most remote beaches for debris from last year’s Japanese tsunami say they believe they have found part of a house, along with parts of a washing machine, laundry hamper and child’s toilet bowl.

Three kayakers with the Ikkatsu Project wrote in a report this week that they found the remnants June 12 as they worked their way up a beach near the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, about 120 miles west of Seattle.


Man arrested in tot’s killing; 2nd body may be mom’s

McALLEN — Police think they’ve found the body of a Texas woman some 200 miles away from the hotel room where they say her boyfriend fatally shot one of her sons and critically wounded another.

El Campo Police Chief Terry Stanphill says a body thought to be that of 28-year-old Brandy Cerny was found Tuesday in a building on a neighbor’s property. He declined to release additional details.

Police arrested Ms. Cerny’s boyfriend, 36-year-old Demond Bluntson, earlier Tuesday in Laredo, where they say he shot Ms. Cerny’s two young sons in a hotel room. A 21-month-old boy was killed and a 6-year-old boy was on life-support Tuesday evening.



Abuse victim faces trial in beating of priest

LOS ANGELES — More than 35 years after William Lynch says he and his little brother were molested by a priest during a camping trip, he will get his longtime wish to face the aging Jesuit in court for the first time. But it is Mr. Lynch who is going on trial.

Mr. Lynch, now 44, faces felony charges after prosecutors say he beat then 65-year-old Rev. Jerold Lindner at a retirement home in 2010. Since then, Mr. Lynch has refused to discuss a plea deal, intent instead on using his trial to try Father Lindner in the court of public opinion.

The judge overseeing the case, which opens Wednesday, ruled that if the priest denies the initial allegation, Mr. Lynch’s attorney can call up to three other witnesses who claim they also were molested by Father Lindner.

The Lynch brothers, who were 7 and 4 at the time, were raped and forced to have oral sex with each other while Father Lindner watched, according to a civil lawsuit. Father Lindner has been accused of abuse by nearly a dozen people but was never criminally charged because the allegations were too old.


Cambridge mayor likes NYC’s large-soda ban

CAMBRIDGE — The mayor of Cambridge has proposed limiting the size of soda and sugar-sweetened beverages sold in city restaurants, saying she was inspired by a similar measure in New York City.

Mayor Henrietta Davis asked the city’s health officials Monday to research her proposal and make a recommendation on limiting beverage sizes. The city is adjacent to Boston and home to Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Former Rutgers student in webcam case leaves jail

NORTH BRUNSWICK — A former Rutgers University student who was convicted of bias for using a webcam to tape his roommate and another man kissing was released from jail Tuesday after serving 20 days of a 30-day sentence.

Dharun Ravi, 20, reported to the Middlesex County jail on May 31, though he could have remained free while his case is appealed. His attorney, Steven Altman, picked him up at about 8:30 a.m. Ravi, who was clean-shaven when he entered jail, had a beard when he left.

He did not stop to speak with the media before he rode off in Mr. Altman’s car.

Wing-eating champ faces drug charge

WOODBURY HEIGHTS — A five-time wing-eating champion known as “El Wingador” is under arrest in New Jersey on a charge of cocaine distribution.

State police say they recovered about $8,000 worth of cocaine and $4,000 cash when they stopped William Simmons, 50, on Friday in southern New Jersey. He was driving a Kia Soul decorated with the name El Wingador.

Police say a search of two homes connected to Mr. Simmons, of Woodbury Heights, N.J., turned up more evidence.

El Wingador last won Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl in 2005 when he gnawed through 162 chicken wings.


Record heat due for 1st day of summer

PHILADELPHIA — You won’t need a calendar to mark the start of summer in the Northeast.

The National Weather Service forecast potentially record-breaking hot temperatures just as the season officially begins Wednesday, the summer solstice and longest day of the year.

Readings are expected to approach or top 100 degrees Wednesday and Thursday in cities including Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Health officials warned residents to drink a lot of water, stay out of the sun and the in air conditioning, and to check on elderly neighbors and pets.


Fort Hood shooting suspect barred from hearing

FORT HOOD — An Army psychiatrist charged in a deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood was barred from military court by the judge Tuesday because he still has a beard.

Maj. Nidal Hasan was told that he couldn’t attend any more hearings or the upcoming murder trial unless he shaves. The judge, Col. Gregory Gross, initially warned Maj. Hasan that he was violating Army policy at a hearing earlier this month.

The hearing on several other motions, including a possible trial delay, continued with Maj. Hasan watching on closed-circuit television from a nearby room.

Lead defense attorney Lt. Col. Kris Poppe has said Maj. Hasan grew the beard as a “deeply sincere” expression of his Islamic faith and because he has a premonition he will die soon.

Maj. Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the November 2009 attack at the Texas Army post.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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