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Female death-row inmate freed

A woman who spent 17 years in prison, including four years on death row, was freed from prison Friday after pleading guilty in the shooting deaths of two police officers. Under an agreement with prosecutors, Sonia Linder Jacobs, 45, was sentenced to time served after she entered "pleas of convenience" to two counts of second-degree murder and one count of kidnapping. The pleas mean Jacobs does not concede she is guilty but recognizes it is in her best interests to plead guilty. Rhodes was with Jacobs and her boyfriend, Jesse Tafero, the night of the shootings of Florida state trooper Philip Black and off-duty Canadian constable Donald Irwin on Interstate 95 in Deerfield Beach in February 1976.

Judge orders murder retrial

MELBOURNE _ Saying there was not enough evidence to justify a guilty verdict, a judge has thrown out a jury's conviction and ordered a new trial for a man charged in a 1991 stabbing death. In an 18-page opinion, Brevard Circuit Judge Martin Budnick said Friday there was little evidence linking Bernard Soyck to the death of George Lewis Griffin, 25, who was stabbed six times in the chest and back.

Woman wins harassment suit

MIAMI _ A hotel manager who said her boss forced her to have sex with him to keep her job was awarded $1.08-million in damages by a federal court jury. Amy Lytton Virgo, former general manager of the Sheraton Ocean Inn, testified that she gave in at first to Hugh Jones, head of the hotel's management company. When she later refused, Jones made her working conditions intolerable, then forced her to resign, she said. The verdict Thursday was against Jones' company, Sterling Group Inc. of Brentwood, Tenn.

How much for the Heat tickets?

HOLLYWOOD _ Four Miami Heat season tickets have turned up as assets to be auctioned off in a South Florida bankruptcy court. Kenneth A. Welt said Friday he's gotten dozens of calls at his Hollywood office since he decided last week to put the tickets and their renewal rights on the auction block. Welt is the trustee in the Chapter 7 liquidation case of Richard Michael Kane of Tamarac, a former yogurt-shop franchiser.

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