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Slaying suspect pleads innocent

A man who had erroneously been released early from an Indiana jail has pleaded innocent to raping and killing a student on a college campus here. Eric Scott Branch, 22, of Rockport, Ind., entered his plea Friday, and a July 19 trial date was set. Branch is accused of strangling and beating to death Susan Leigh Morris, 21, of Pensacola, a student at the University of West Florida.

Student doctors

faculty brownies

FORT MYERS _ A batch of brownies stuffed with laxatives had "a tremendous effect" on 21 high school staff members and landed a student in trouble, the principal said. An 18-year-old who graduated Tuesday from Mariner High School admitted delivering the brownies to teachers Thursday, said principal Michael McNerney. Ten to 12 boxes of laxative had been added to the 40 brownies. The unidentified student apologized in a hand-delivered letter Friday, but McNerney said he doesn't want him to go unpunished. The case has been referred to the state attorney's office.

Man told to carry

photo of victim

A drunken driver has been ordered to carry a picture of a friend in his wallet for five years as a constant reminder of killing her. "If people see this beautiful young woman and know that she's gone, maybe we can put an end to the slaughter on the highway," Circuit Judge Lawrence Haddock said Friday in Jacksonville. Thomas Browne lost control while driving on I-295 on Dec. 30. Passenger Terry Fister, 24, was killed. Browne, 34, was placed on probation for five years. The judge also ordered him to make speeches against drunken driving and take along a portrait-size photo of Fister.

Condoms tossed

at paradegoers

PENSACOLA _ Parade watchers expecting to get candy and trinkets from participants were surprised to get condoms. An 11-year-old girl riding in a van sponsored by the Community Drug and Alcohol Commission tossed about 20 condoms Thursday before someone stopped her, commission executive director Hank Wood said Friday. Wood said the girl took the condoms without permission from the commission's office.

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