Jan. 8, 2012 Reuters
RIVERSIDE, California - Prosecutors rested their case on Monday against a 12-year-old California boy charged with killing his neo-Nazi father, and a defense lawyer said the boy may testify on his own behalf as the trial neared a conclusion.
Defense attorney Matthew Hardy said he would confer with his client, Joseph Hall, before deciding whether to call him as the final witness in the juvenile case, which resumed in Riverside County Superior Court following a two-month break.
The defense concedes that Hall, then 10 years old, shot his father at point blank range in May 2011 but argued that he should not be held criminally responsible. The gun belonged to his father, Jeffrey Hall, 32.
If the boy does not testify, both sides could present closing arguments on Wednesday in a case that has drawn attention because of the father's neo-Nazi associations and the rarity of a parent being slain by a child so young.
Jan 7, 2012 Associated Press
CHICAGO — With no signs of trauma and nothing to raise suspicions, the sudden death of a Chicago man a day after he collected a large pile of lottery winnings was initially ruled a result of natural causes.
Nearly six months later, authorities have a mystery on their hands after medical examiners, responding to a relative's pleas, did an expanded screening and determined that Urooj Khan, 46, died shortly after ingesting a lethal dose of cyanide. The finding has triggered a homicide investigation, the Chicago Police Department said.
"It's pretty unusual," said Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen Cina, commenting on the rarity of cyanide poisonings. "I've had one, maybe two cases out of 4,500 autopsies I've done."
Jan. 7, 2012
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Convicted California serial killer Rodney Alcala, a contestant on "The Dating Game" television show more than 30 years ago, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Monday for murdering two New York women in the 1970s.
Alcala, 69, already on death row in California for killing four women and a 12-year-old girl in that state, was extradited to New York in June to face charges in the slayings of flight attendant Cornelia Crilley, 23, and Ellen Hover, 23, the daughter of a nightclub owner.
Known as "The Dating Game" killer because of his appearance on the show, Alcala pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional murder on December 14.
Judge Bonnie Wittner choked back tears as she sentenced Alcala to a concurrent 25 years to life in prison and described his crimes as "an inexplicably brutal, horrible act" and the most gruesome case she had dealt with in her three decades on the bench.
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio, Jan 5 (Reuters) - A county sheriff under fire for how he has handled a high school rape investigation faced down a raucous crowd of protesters on Saturday and said no further suspects would be charged in a case that has rattled Ohio football country.
Ma'lik Richmond and Trenton Mays, both 16 and members of the Steubenville High School football team, are charged with raping a 16-year-old fellow student at a party last August, according to statements from their attorneys.
Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla, accused of shielding the popular football program from a more rigorous investigation, told reporters no one else would be charged in the case, just moments after he addressed about 1,000 protesters gathered in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse.
"I'm not going to stand here and try to convince you that I'm not the bad guy," he said to a chorus of boos. "You've already made your minds up."
Jan. 7, 2013 BBC
A stolen Henri Matisse painting, valued at $1m (£620,000), has been found by an art recovery specialist in London.
Le Jardin, or The Garden, was taken from the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm during a robbery in the early hours of 11 May, 1987.
According to reports at the time, attempts were made to sell it back to the museum for exorbitant sums.
The recovery came after an art dealer in Essex was offered the painting by a Polish collector just before Christmas.
Before handling the work, Charles Roberts, of Charles Fine Art, made a search of the Art Loss Register (ALR), a database of stolen, missing and looted artwork.
Once the match was confirmed, the recovery was handed to ALR director Christopher Marinello, who successfully negotiated the return of the painting, after convincing the individual concerned to release it to the UK.
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A cat carrying a saw and a mobile phone was "detained" as it entered a prison gate in northeast Brazil, Brazilian media reported on Saturday.
Prison guards were surprised when they saw a white cat crossing the main gate of the prison, its body wrapped with tape. A closer look showed the feline also carried drills, an earphone, a memory card, batteries and a phone charger.
All 263 detainees in the prison of Arapiraca, a city of 215,000 people in the state of Alagoas, are considered suspect in the plot, which is being investigated by local police.
"It's tough to find out who's responsible for the action as the cat doesn't speak," a prison spokesperson told local paper Estado de S.Paulo.
The cat was taken to an animal disease center to receive medical care.
The incident took place on New Year's day but was first reported by national media on Saturday.