Monday, December 18, 2017
News Roundup

Court overturns 2 death sentences

Topeka, Kan.

Court overturns 2 death sentences

The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday overturned the death sentences of two brothers convicted of killing four friends who were robbed and forced to engage in sex acts before being shot to death and left in a snow-covered Wichita field.

The court also struck down three of the four capital murder convictions each against Jonathan and Reginald Carr, citing procedural problems at their joint trial for its decisions. It upheld one capital murder conviction for each of them. The cases will return to district court for further proceedings.

Prosecutors said the brothers broke into a Wichita home in December 2000 and forced the five people there to have sex with each other and later to withdraw money from ATMs. Two women were raped repeatedly before all five were taken to a soccer field and shot while they were kneeling. Four of them — Aaron Sander, 29, Brad Heyka, 27, Jason Befort, 26, Heather Muller, 25 — died.

Wichita, Kan.

Baby dies while strapped inside car

A 10-month-old Kansas girl died after being strapped for more than two hours inside a sweltering car, and police arrested a foster parent who said he'd forgotten about her until something on TV jogged his memory, an official said Friday.

The 29-year-old man was booked on suspicion of aggravated endangerment but has not been charged, said Lt. Todd Ojile of the Wichita Police Department. The case will be presented early next week to prosecutors.

Philadelphia

Carjacked SUV hits crowd, killing 3 kids

Two men carjacked a woman at gunpoint but sped out of control, killing three children Friday as they plowed into a group selling fruit to raise money for their church, Philadelphia police said.

Two women, including the mother of the three siblings killed, were critically injured. Police said the victims were ages 7, 10 and 15. Police were looking for the suspects, who fled on foot.

Elsewhere

Twisp, Wash.: About 300 homes — twice as many as previously estimated — have burned in the largest recorded wildfire in Washington state history, a county sheriff said Friday.

Afghanistan: Gunmen stopped a convoy of three minibuses traveling through central Afghanistan and executed 14 Shiite Muslims in a rare attack on the country's religious minority, a local official said Friday.

Long Beach, Calif.: A burglar who was fatally shot by an 80-year-old California homeowner was not pregnant as she had claimed moments before her death as she fled the home down an alley, officials said Friday.

Times wires

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Land O’Lakes teacher charged with felony child abuse

LAND O’LAKES — A special needs teacher at Oakstead Elementary School was arrested and charged with felony child abuse after she struck and kicked a 15-year-old child in her care over the weekend, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said.Christine Ketel...
Updated: 8 minutes ago

Video: Chick fil-A feeds thousands of hungry travelers stranded in Atlanta airport

Chick fil-A is normally closed on Sundays, but it made an exception for the thousands who were stranded at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.The travelers were left in the dark following a power outage that forced cancellation of more ...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
St. Pete-Clearwater airport expects holiday parking crunch, so consider arranging a ride

St. Pete-Clearwater airport expects holiday parking crunch, so consider arranging a ride

CLEARWATER — With passenger traffic picking up on Monday and expected to stay strong through Dec. 29, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport says it could run out of parking spaces, so passengers should consider making arrangements to be dropped o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The government admits it studies UFOs. So about those Area 51 conspiracy theories.

The government admits it studies UFOs. So about those Area 51 conspiracy theories.

For decades, Americans were told that Area 51 didn’t really exist and that the U.S. government had no official interest in aliens or UFOs. Statements to the contrary, official-sounding people cautioned, were probably the musings of crackpots in tinfo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Another reason to buy a home in Tampa Bay--- downpayments are lower here

Another reason to buy a home in Tampa Bay--- downpayments are lower here

Times Staff WriterHomebuyers in the Tampa Bay area don’t have to shell out as much on downpayments as buyers in many other places. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, the median downpayment for a bay area home in the quarter ended in September was $1...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Multiple fatalities as Amtrak train derails south of Seattle

Multiple fatalities as Amtrak train derails south of Seattle

TACOMA, Wash. — An Amtrak train derailed south of Seattle on Monday, spilling train cars onto a busy interstate and authorities reported "multiple fatalities."The train derailed about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Seattle before 8 a.m.Amtrak says...
Updated: 1 hour ago
ESPN chief Skipper resigns, cites substance abuse problem

ESPN chief Skipper resigns, cites substance abuse problem

NEW YORK — John Skipper, president of the sprawling ESPN sports network, said Monday that he is resigning to treat a substance abuse problem.Skipper’s sudden announcement will force the Walt Disney Co.-owned network to search for new leadership at a ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Monday night football preview, Bucs vs. Falcons

Cannon Fodder podcast: Monday night football preview, Bucs vs. Falcons

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman has a final preview of tonight’s Bucs-Falcons game — Matt Ryan’s history with the Bucs, how Tampa Bay will handle its absences on defense and a few Ring of Honor hypotheticals as well … Listen below: ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Top 5 at noon: The hole in DJJ’s beefed-up screening process; can Gruden coach Bucs again?; and more

Top 5 at noon: The hole in DJJ’s beefed-up screening process; can Gruden coach Bucs again?; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.ALTHOUGH FLORIDA JUVENILE JUSTICE SAID IT WOULD WEED OUT BAD HIRES, SOMEHOW THIS GUY SLIPPED THROUGHWhile the beefed-up screening governs how the Department of Juvenine Justice hires officers...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Riverview father accused in daughter’s murder tells judge he wants to drop his attorney

Riverview father accused in daughter’s murder tells judge he wants to drop his attorney

TAMPA — Nahshon Shannon wants to drop his attorney.Shannon, accused of murdering his 13-year-old daughter, argued in court Monday morning that Assistant Public Defender Jennifer Spradley should be removed from his case.His main complaint was that Spr...
Updated: 2 hours ago