Former police Officer Bobby Cutts Jr. was convicted Friday of killing his pregnant lover, Jessie Davis, a verdict that could land him a death sentence. Cutts sat with his hands on his lap and held his head erect without emotion as the verdicts were read. After denying knowledge of Davis' whereabouts for over a week as thousands searched for her, Cutts, then an officer on the Canton police force, led investigators to her body, wrapped in a comforter and dumped in a park about 20 miles from her home. He testified that he accidentally killed her.
Final space walkis wrapped up
Two space-walking astronauts hung science experiments on the outside of the space station's new lab Friday and packed up a broken gyroscope for next week's shuttle ride home. It was the third and final space walk for Atlantis' astronauts, who arrived at the international space station nearly a week ago. Rex Walheim and Stanley Love attached a package of sun-gazing instruments to the European Columbus lab as well as a huge box containing eight experiments to detect micrometeorite strikes and measure space radiation.
HIV ban dropped for diplomat corps
Under pressure from a lawsuit, the State Department is changing rules that had disqualified HIV-positive people from becoming U.S. diplomats. Effective Friday, the department removed HIV from a list of medical conditions that automatically prevent foreign service candidates from meeting an employment requirement that they be able to work anywhere in the world.
Consumer agency changes in works
Lawmakers reached an agreement Friday on a Senate bill that clears the way for the first overhaul of the nation's consumer product safety system in a generation. Under the version of the Senate bill agreed to Friday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission would be able to alert consumers about product hazards more quickly if the commission determined there were pressing health and safety reasons. Its annual budget would increase to $155.9-million by fiscal year 2015; it was $63-million in fiscal year 2007. The pact also would broaden public access to consumer complaints about products.
A ninth victim: An explosion at a sugar refinery that killed nine people was caused by a cloud of sugar dust that ignited beneath the plant's silos, investigators said Friday. Crews recovered the body of the last worker reported missing late Thursday.