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4 indicted in stolen human tissue investigation

NEW YORK - The owner of a biomedical supply house was charged along with three other men Thursday with secretly carving up corpses and selling the parts for use in transplants.

The case was "like something out of a cheap horror movie," Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said.

Prosecutors said the defendants obtained the bodies from funeral parlors in three states and forged death certificates and organ donor consent forms to make it look as if the bones, skin, tendons, heart valves and other tissue were legally removed.

The indictment was the first set of charges to come out of a widening scandal involving scores of funeral homes and hundreds of bodies, including that of Masterpiece Theatre host Alistair Cooke, who died in 2004.

Army reservist acquitted in detainee abuse case

FORT BLISS, Texas - A military jury deliberated for only 15 minutes Thursday before acquitting the last of 11 Army reservists from an Ohio unit who had been charged with abusing prisoners at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Alan J. Driver kissed a photo album with pictures of his children after the verdict was read. He was the fifth of 11 soldiers from the Cincinnati-based 377th MP Company to be cleared of abusing detainees.

Driver was accused of being one of several soldiers who beat a detainee known as Habibullah, who the Army says died of his injuries. Driver was also accused of throwing a shackled and handcuffed prisoner, Omar al-Farouq, against a wall.

Only one soldier from Driver's unit was convicted by an Army jury, and he was spared jail time. Two pleaded guilty to assault and went to prison before being kicked out of the Army. Charges against three others were dropped.

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