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Killer executed by lethal injection

A man who raped and killed a 76-year-old nun when he was 17 was executed by injection early Tuesday, five weeks after Gov. Ann Richards issued a last-minute reprieve at the urging of Pope John Paul II. "I'd like to thank my family for loving me and taking care of me. And the rest of the world can kiss my ass," Johnny Frank Garrett, 28, said in a final statement. Garrett came within an hour of execution on Jan. 6 before Richards issued a 30-day reprieve. But the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted 17-0 last week against commuting the sentence.

Photos taking place of some defendants

PHILADELPHIA _ Defense attorneys are questioning the legality of a new policy in which prosecutors use photos to replace defendants who don't show up for their preliminary hearings in Municipal Court. The policy was prompted by a backlog of 30,000 bench warrants. Cases often are dismissed because witnesses and victims get tired of repeatedly going to the courtroom, only to have the defendant not show up, Municipal Court President Judge Alan K. Silberstein said. But Chief Public Defender Ellen T. Greenlee said the Defender Association of Philadelphia would challenge the policy, which has been used only five or six times since Jan. 6.

Briefly . . .

Police officer acquitted in Teaneck shooting: A jury Tuesday in Hackensack, N.J., acquitted a white police officer of reckless manslaughter in the shooting death of a black teen-ager that touched off a riot. Gary Spath, a 31-year-old officer in the affluent New York City suburb of Teaneck, N.J., shot Phillip Pannell, 16, in the back after a foot chase on April 10, 1990.

Student pleads guilty in St. John's sexual assault: Michael Calandrillo, 22, the last of six St. John's University students accused of forcing alcohol on a then-21-year-old female student and sexually assaulting her pleaded guilty Tuesday in New York to sexual misconduct and unlawful imprisonment in exchange for a sentence of three years' probation, 500 hours of community service and counseling. Three of the students were acquitted last summer; two pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Ex-Black Panther guilty: James Cherry, 44, a former Black Panther who returned from a 20-year exile in Cuba was convicted of murder Tuesday in Mays Landing, N.J., in the 1970 killing of an Atlantic City police officer. Sentencing was set for March 20. Cherry faces life in prison.

Man faces prison sentence for swindling college: A man who fabricated his academic record and swindled Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., out of $22,000 in scholarship money pleaded guilty to theft by deception and faces up to nine months in prison. Prosecutors dropped charges of forgery and falsifying records against James A. Hogue, 32, under a plea agreement entered Monday.

Elkhound is Westminster winner: Ch. Vin-Melca's Bombardier, a Norwegian elkhound owned by Jeff and Shirley Bennett and Patricia Craige, captured breed honors Tuesday for the second year in a row at the Westminster Kennel Club show at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Duke won't be on Georgia primary ballot: A federal appeals court panel in Atlanta on Tuesday rejected Republican presidential challenger David Duke's arguments for appearing on the ballot for the March 3 Georgia primary.