Feb. 19, 2013 Associated Press
JACKSON, Ga. — The execution of a Georgia man who killed a fellow prisoner in 1990 was halted Tuesday at the last minute so courts could consider claims that he's mentally disabled and other issues.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted its stay of execution as 52-year-old Warren Lee Hill was being prepared for lethal injection. In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the appeals court said further review is needed of recent affidavits by doctors who changed their minds about Hill's mental capacity.
"In other words, all of the experts — both the State's and the petitioner's — now appear to be in agreement that Hill is in fact mentally retarded," judges in the majority wrote in their order.
The state court of appeals also issued a stay to allow more time to consider a challenge related to the state's lethal injection procedure.
Feb. 20, 2013 Associated Press
NEW YORK — A Greek man proved inept at the art of thievery by swiping a Salvador Dali painting from a New York City gallery as security cameras rolled and, in a panic, later trying to send it back anonymously, authorities said Tuesday.
Phivos Istavrioglou also left fingerprints that helped detectives track him down — another misstep in a botched fine art caper that even he found foolish, according to an account of a confession contained in court papers.
The second Istavrioglou walked out of the Manhattan gallery last summer with the Dali watercolor and onto Fifth Avenue, he "was scared and couldn't believe what a stupid thing he did," the papers say.
Istavrioglou, 29, of Athens, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to grand larceny during a brief court appearance in Manhattan at which a judge set bail at $100,000. His attorney had no immediate comment.
Prosecutors accused Istavrioglou of stealing "Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio" in broad daylight while visiting New York in June. After pulling it off the wall at the Upper East Side gallery, he stashed it in a shopping bag and flew with it back to Athens, authorities said.
Feb. 19, 2013 Yahoo
On Tuesday, with just a listing of the case under the heading "Certiorari Denied," Nathan Dunlap, known as the Chuck E. Cheese killer, lost his death penalty appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court. Dunlap is currently on death row for the murders of three teenagers and a 50-year-old mother of two in 1993. Here are the details.
* According to the Denver Post , the appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court was the "last, best chance to avoid execution" for Colorado's longest-serving death row inmate. As the final appeal guaranteed under law, the denial of Dunlap's petition for certiorari clears the way for an execution date to be scheduled.
* The Denver Post reported that an attorney for Dunlap has given a statement saying that the man should serve life in prison without parole and that capital punishment in Colorado would be "unfair and disproportionate."
* According to the facts of the case , presented in the orders resulting from Dunlap's petition before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals last year, Dunlap had been fired from his position as cook at the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Aurora in July 1993, and "wanted to 'get even.'"
* On Dec. 14 1993, Dunlap hid in the bathroom at the restaurant until closing and then emerged and shot employees Sylvia Crowell, Colleen O'Connor, Bobby Stephens, Marge Kohlberg and Ben Grant.
Feb. 19, 2013 Associated Press
TUSTIN, Calif. — The violence stretched across 25 miles in Orange County and was as brutal as it was fast-moving.
In less than an hour, a 20-year-old student wielding a shotgun killed a woman in his home and two commuters during carjackings early Tuesday, shot up vehicles on a Southern California freeway and committed suicide as police closed in on him, authorities said.
One driver was forced from his BMW at a stop sign, marched to a curb and killed as witnesses watched in horror.
"He was basically executed," Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. "There were at least six witnesses."
The shooter, Ali Syed, was an unemployed, part-time student who lived with his parents at the Ladera Ranch residence where the first victim was slain, Tustin police Chief Scott Jordan said. Authorities said Syed was taking one course at Saddleback College, a two-year community college.
Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said the woman killed at the home was in her 20s. She was not identified and was not related to the shooter, he said, adding that it wasn't known what she was doing at the home.
Feb. 18, 2013 CBS News
Law enforcement sources say Adam Lanza was motivated by violent video games and a strong desire to kill more people than another infamous mass murderer.
Sources say Lanza saw himself as being in direct competition with Anders Breivik, a Norwegian man who killed 77 people in July 2011.
Breivik killed eight with a bombing in downtown Oslo. He then moved to a nearby island where hunted down and fatally shot 69 people, mostly teenagers attending a summer camp.
Two officials who have been briefed on the Newtown, Conn., investigation say Lanza wanted to top Breivik's death toll and targeted nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School because it was the "easiest target" with the "largest cluster of people."
Evidence shows that his mind, sources say, Lanza was also likely acting out the fantasies of a video game as he killed 20 first graders and six adults at the school. For Lanza, the deaths apparently amounted to some kind of "score."
Pistorius hasn't entered a plea in the case, though his family has said they strongly deny the 26-year-old double-amputee runner committed murder. They have not, however, denied outright that Pistorius shot Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and law school graduate who is featured in a South African reality television show.
Feb. 17, 2013 TV Guide
Thomas accepted a plea bargain in January, one week before she was due to stand trial on a first-degree murder charge. She pleaded guilty to rendering criminal assistance in the first degree and prosecutors recommended a four-year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.
In the case, prosecutors alleged that Thomas and her then-boyfriend, James Huden, lured Russel Douglas into a remote area so Huden could shoot him. He was found dead in a car in Freeland, Whidbey Island, two days after Christmas 2003.
At his trial last year, Huden declined to reveal why he targeted Douglas and rejected a deal to testify against Thomas. Huden was convicted of first degree murder and was sentenced to 80 years in prison.
The ex-beauty queen, who was named Ms. Washington back in 2000, also declined to come clean about the murder when given a chance in court on Friday. However, she apologized to the family when she accepted her plea bargain in January. "I'm not the woman that's been portrayed in the papers over the last few years," she said. "I would want to tell Russell Douglas and his family that I am so sorry for their loss."