(Reuters) - A man who struck and killed three 13-year-old California girls as they were trick-or-treating last Halloween and then fled in his damaged sport utility vehicle pleaded guilty on Friday to several felony charges, prosecutors said. Jaquinn Ramone Bell, 32, was convicted of three felony vehicular manslaughter counts, one felony fatal hit-and-run charge, a misdemeanor for driving with a suspended license, and received a sentencing enhancement for leaving the scene, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said in a statement. Twin sisters Lexia and Lexandra Perez and their friend Andrea Gonzales, all 13, were wearing costumes and carrying bags of candy as they crossed a street in Santa Ana, some 40 miles (65 km) southeast of Los Angeles, when they were struck by the SUV last Halloween evening.
GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama jury convicted a woman of capital murder in the running death of her 9-year-old granddaughter on Friday, rejecting claims that she didn't mean to harm the girl while she was punishing the child for a lie.
"There was a verdict in the case - guilty of capital murder," said Natalie Barton, director of communicationsfor the Etowah County Sheriff's Office. Joyce Garrard, 49, was accused of making Savannah Hardin run nonstop at her home in 2012 for lying about having eaten forbidden chocolates, a prosecutor said at her trial. Etowah County assistant district attorney Marcus Reid told the jury during opening statements that Garrard acted like Sergeant Vince Carter, the drill instructor in the TV series Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.. He said Garrard gave different accounts about what had happened when police and paramedics arrived at the home: that the girl had fallen in the yard, that she had a seizure, or had a neurological problem.
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii's green sea turtles should continue to be classified as threatened because its population is small and nearly all of them nest at the same low-lying atoll, federal wildlife agencies said Friday.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says Russia's vetoes against holding Syria's government accountable are "extremely disruptive" to the U.N. Security Council's ability to restore peace in the conflict, and have emboldened President Bashar Assad to do "almost whatever he wants."
LINDEN, N.J. (AP) — Four friends — three off-duty New Jersey police officers and a former county worker — were involved in a deadly wrong-way car crash with a tractor-trailer early Friday after a trip to a New York City strip club. Linden Officer Frank Viggiano and ex-county employee Joe Rodriguez were killed. The car's driver, Officer Pedro Abad, and fellow Officer Patrik Kudlac were fighting for their lives.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican state senators asked Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday to withdraw his nominee to head the Pennsylvania State Police who was caught on video removing roadside signs critical of him, but the governor said he still supports him.