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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

Court overturns 2 death sentences 07/25/14 [Last modified: Friday, July 25, 2014 11:42pm]
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