By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Some statements accused Colorado theater gunman James Holmes made to detectives in the hours after a deadly rampage that killed 12 moviegoers in a Denver suburb last year will be excluded as evidence in his upcoming trial, a judge ruled on Friday. Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour ruled that prosecutors in the death penalty case could not introduce the statements as evidence at trial because they were made after Holmes had asked for a lawyer. But because Holmes made the statements to detectives Chuck Mehl and Craig Appel voluntarily, they could still be used to cross-examine witnesses who provide contradictory testimony, should defense lawyers open the door to such questioning.
By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - The Florida Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a man on Death Row for 28 years for the abduction, rape and murder of a filling station attendant, ordering that he be given a new trial after doubts were raised about scientific evidence in the case. Roy Swafford, 66, came within a few hours of execution in 1990 before a court-ordered stay kept him from Florida's electric chair. Swafford's attorney, Terri Backhus, said the state has 15 days to ask the Supreme Court for a rehearing before the case is sent back to the 7th Circuit in Daytona Beach. The high court, in a 5-2 decision, accepted Swafford's argument that newly discovered evidence, indicating no seminal fluid was found in the victim's body, created doubt that he was the killer.
By Steve Neavling DETROIT (Reuters) - A man being questioned in a mass shooting that left three people dead at a Detroit barber shop was charged Friday with assaulting a federal officer who had been watching him for the investigation, authorities said. Larry O'Neil Walker II has not been charged in connection with the shooting on Wednesday night, but has been held as a person of interest and investigators are still talking with him, Detroit police said on Friday. "He has not been ruled out as the shooter in any way," a Detroit police spokesperson said in a statement. Detroit police said after the shooting that they had sought for questioning a man who was feuding with several members of the gambling party and he had been taken into custody in a Detroit suburb.
A 90-car train carrying North Dakota crude derailed and exploded in a rural area of western Alabama early on Friday, leaving 11 cars burning and potentially bolstering the push for tougher regulation of a boom in moving oil by rail. Those cars, which threw flames 300 feet into the night sky, are being left to burn out, which could take up to 24 hours, according to the train owner, Genesee & Wyoming. A local official said the crude oil had originated in North Dakota, home of the booming Bakken shale patch. If so, it may have been carrying the same type of light crude oil that was on a Canadian train that derailed in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic this summer, killing 47 people.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jurors in the piracy trial of a Somali man who served as a translator during a hostage siege heard him making demands on a recorded phone conversation with a negotiator for the ship's owner.
NEW YORK (AP) — SAC Capital Advisors pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges Friday, satisfying a deal with the government that requires the Connecticut-based hedge fund to pay a record $1.8 billion to settle charges that it allowed, if not encouraged, insider trading to occur for more than a decade.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google plans to include a dozen or so massive sails on its four-story barge under construction in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, creating a floating artistic structure the Internet giant promises will "stand out," a newspaper reported Friday.
By Chris Francescani NEW YORK (Reuters) - When a suicidal gunman entered a New Jersey mall on Monday night and opened fire, store manager Daisy Rodriguez locked the doors and hid in the back of her shop, nothing guiding her but instinct. I was just shaking," said Rodriguez, 21, a manager at Soma Intimates in the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus. No one else was hurt, but the incident renewed attention on security at shopping malls ahead of the holiday season. With just three weeks to go before the busiest U.S. shopping day of the year - the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday -- government security officials are ramping up efforts to better protect the nation's approximately 109,500 malls and shopping centers.