St. JOHNS, ARIZ.Boy, 8, accused of killing two people

An 8-year-boy is accused of fatally shooting his father and another man.

St. Johns police Chief Roy Melnick said the boy is charged with two counts of premeditated murder after the shootings Wednesday.

Killed were the boy's father, 29-year-old Vincent Romero, and 39-year-old Timothy Romans.

Melnick said police arrived at a home shortly after the shooting and found one victim just outside the front door. The other was found in an upstairs room.

Melnick said the boy initially denied involvement but later confessed.

St. Johns is a community of about 4,000 150 miles northeast of Phoenix.

WASHINGTON

Report: FBI terrorist tracking has improved

The FBI's main electronic system that tracks terrorist threats and suspicious incidents amounts to a "significant improvement" over earlier computer packages, but the bureau could do more to improve its accuracy, the Justice Department inspector general said Friday.

The system stored 108,000 threats and suspicious incidents from July 2004 to November 2007, the "overwhelming majority" of them bum leads, according to the report by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine.

Agents ultimately opened 600 criminal investigations based on the tips.

Fine said that the bureau generally handled high-priority tips quickly. Still, his report faulted the bureau for allowing low-priority incidents to remain in the computer tracking system for longer than a month.

He also said FBI supervisors should have reviewed more of the false leads before line agents decided to close the cases.

NEW YORK

Falls in elderly need attention, experts say

Once considered an inevitable part of aging, falls are now recognized as complex, often preventable events with multiple causes and consequences, calling for a wide range of interventions, psychological and physiological, that many patients never receive, experts say.

Even falls that cause only minor injury "need to be taken as seriously as diabetes," said Dr. R. Sean Morrison, a professor of geriatrics and adult development at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, because "they can be a real warning sign that something serious is wrong."

Dr. Mary E. Tinetti, a falls expert at Yale University medical school, compared falls to strokes in their harmfulness, adding that people do not always report them or seek help, for fear their families will try to put them in nursing homes.

Each year, 1.8-million Americans over age 65 are injured in falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For some, the fall sets off a downward spiral of physical and emotional problems — including pneumonia, depression, social isolation, infection and muscle loss — that become too much for their bodies to withstand.

ATLANTA

Courthouse killer is found guilty 54 times

The shooting rampage began when Brian Nichols overpowered a deputy, stole her weapon and burst into a courtroom where he shot a judge and court reporter dead.

Soon he had slain another deputy and federal agent and stolen a car, plunging the city into deep fear and horrifying the country on a day locals would long remember as simply "the rampage." He then took another woman hostage, holing up in her apartment and using her drugs before surrendering to authorities the next morning.

On Friday, jurors found Nichols guilty of murder and a slew of other charges in a packed courtroom around the corner from where the shootings took place. Nichols confessed to the killings but said he was gripped by a delusional compulsion that he was a slave rebelling against his masters.

The jury rejected that argument, finding him guilty of all 54 charges against him, including felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and armed robbery. The jurors now will debate whether he deserves capital punishment.

DALLAS

Mother who cut off girl's arms released

A Texas woman who killed her 10-month-old daughter by cutting off her arms with a kitchen knife is being released from a state mental hospital.

Dena Schlosser killed her baby in 2004 and was found not guilty by reason of insanity two years later. Prosecutor Curtis Howard says she'll be released into outpatient treatment within the next month.

A judge ordered her release Thursday during her annual commitment hearing, deeming her mentally stable enough to leave the hospital.

Schlosser testified during her trial that she killed the baby because she wanted to give her to God.

NEW ORLEANS

GOP kills plan for gulf marine sanctuaries

President Bush's proposal to create a string of marine sanctuaries in the Gulf of Mexico, known as the "Islands in the Stream," has died at least for now after Republican senators opposed it, a sanctuary official said.

The sanctuaries would have restricted fishing and oil drilling in nine coral banks and hard-bottom areas in a large loop around the gulf from Texas to Florida. Ecologically, the idea dovetails with research showing that the gulf marine ecosystem relies on a ring of deep-water reefs and banks connected by the clockwise motion of ocean currents extending in a loop from Belize to the Florida Keys.

WASHINGTON

Cheney to have his knees checked out

Doctors will X-ray Vice President Dick Cheney's knees today to treat arthritis.

The vice president's spokeswoman, Megan Mitchell, said doctors will scan Cheney's knees at Andrews Air Force Base.

NEW YORK

Reports say FBI kept tabs on reporter

A new report says the FBI tracked the late Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author David Halberstam over more than two decades.

Students at the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism received the FBI documents after filing a Freedom of Information Act request.

Times wires

St. JOHNS, ARIZ.Boy, 8, accused of killing two people 11/07/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 9:17am]

    

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