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Evel Knievel denies gun charges

Former motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel pleaded innocent Tuesday to violating gun laws, and his attorneys say Knievel was being unfairly singled out because he is a celebrity. Prosecutors in Santa Clara County, Calif., charged Knievel, 55, with breaking a law barring convicted felons from carrying guns. Police officers found two handguns in Knievel's car when they arrested him Oct. 9 on suspicion of beating girlfriend Krystal Kennedy, 25, at a motel in Sunnyvale, 40 miles south of San Francisco. Prosecutors said later they decided not to file domestic violence charges against Knievel because of lack of evidence. Knievel denied beating her. Knievel, whose real name is Robert Craig Knievel, was sentenced to six months in a Los Angeles County work-furlough program for a 1977 attack on a former business partner who had written a book critical of him.

Stephen King's nemesis is jailed

The man who says monster maven Stephen King killed John Lennon was picked up by police in Santa Cruz, Calif., at King's last stop on his cross-country motorcycle-rama. Steve Lightfoot, an unemployed cook, showed up at a bookstore in a van plastered with charges that King had done away with the former Beatle. The 40-year-old Lightfoot has dogged King at book signings, and this time he had his own sign: "Stephen King is a murderer. It's true or he'd sue." He was arrested for investigation of trespassing and was in jail Tuesday in lieu of $10,000 bail.

In other news . . .

Abracadabra! First you see David Copperfield's limousine; now you don't. The car's manufacturer reported the $400,000 vehicle stolen from the Grand Hotel in Milan, Italian media reported Tuesday. The magician is staying at the hotel during performances this week but was in Paris at the time of the theft.

Correspondent Bob Abernethy is retiring Tuesday after 42 years with NBC News. He will continue as a contributing correspondent for religion from the Washington bureau. After five years in Moscow as a correspondent, he returned in June, handling general assignment chores.