Officers refuse to pay speeding fines
No matter what the cameras say, some drivers are refusing to pay dozens of $40 speeding fines. Who? Police officers. In the last eight months of 2007, Montgomery County's new speed cameras recorded 224 cases in which police vehicles were recorded traveling more than 10 mph over the speed limit, according to department records. Supervisors dismissed 76 of those citations after determining the officers had valid reasons to break the speed limit. But that left 148 who didn't have that excuse, and about two-thirds of those citations haven't been paid, said police Lt. Paul Starks. The police union says officers shouldn't pay because the citations are issued to the owner of a vehicle, in this case the county, and not to the driver.
Robbery suspect charged in murder
A man arrested after a car and foot chase by police who suspected him in a string of robberies was charged with capital murder in the abduction and shooting death of an Auburn University student, police said Saturday. Courtney Lockhart was arrested Friday in Phenix City, about 30 miles from the campus where 18-year-old Lauren Burk was a freshman. She was found shot on the side of an off-campus road Tuesday night and her car was found burning in a campus parking lot. Lockhart, 23, was charged with three capital counts accusing him of murder along with kidnapping, robbery and attempted rape, Auburn Assistant Police Chief Thomas Dawson said. He wouldn't say what led police to charge Lockhart in the student's killing or divulge evidence linking Lockhart to that crime.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.
Photos of slaying suspect released
Chapel Hill investigators released photos from a bank surveillance camera Saturday, including the one above, that they say show a man using an ATM card belonging to slain University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson. Chapel Hill police Chief Brian Curran said investigators have not identified the person in the photo, and can only say that he appears to be a black man in his late teens or early 20s. Curran said the ATM photos were taken in the Chapel Hill area, but would not say specifically where or when. "This is our biggest break so far in this case," he said.
MEMPHIS: Convicted killer Jessie L. Dotson, 33, who was recently released from prison, was charged Saturday in the deaths of six people, including his brother and two children, authorities said. Dotson was arrested Friday — five days after the bodies were discovered in a small rental house in a rough, low-income neighborhood called Binghampton. Three other children were found critically wounded.
LOS ANGELES: A jury awarded a man a $1.3-million verdict, saying deputies used excessive force when they peppered his sport utility vehicle with 66 bullets. Winston Hayes, 46, suffered nine bullet wounds when deputies fired 120 shots at him at the end of a low-speed pursuit on May 9, 2005. More than half the bullets hit Hayes' vehicle.
Scientists shed light on age of universe
The universe is 13.73-billion years old, give or take 120-million years, astronomers said last week. That age, based on precision measurements of the oldest light in the universe, agrees with results announced in 2006. Two additional years of data from a NASA satellite known as the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe have narrowed the uncertainty by tens of millions of years. "Everything is tightening up and giving us better and better precision all the time," said Dr. Charles L. Bennett, a professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University and the leader of the group analyzing the data. "It's actually significantly better than previous results. There is all kinds of richness in the data."