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Yahoo! National News

FBI hair analysis problems reveal limits of forensic science

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 05:10

 The hair wasn’t his, nor was the semen left on a pillowcase and robe. A felony conviction that imprisoned him for decades was overturned in 2012 by a judge who declared it a “grave miscarriage of justice.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)WASHINGTON (AP) — Kirk Odom was convicted of a 1981 rape and robbery after a woman identified him as her attacker and an FBI specialist testified that hair on her nightgown was similar to hair on Odom's head.


Man on trial in HIV exposure case previously tested positive

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 05:08

In this Oct 10, 2013 booking photo released by St. Charles County Department of Corrections, Michael L. Johnson, who faces felony HIV exposure charges, is seen. Prosecutors accuse him of "recklessly infecting" two male sex partners with HIV and knowingly exposing four others over nearly 10 months after being diagnosed as HIV positive in January 2013. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial began with jury selection Monday, May 11, 2015, in suburban St. Louis, Mo. (St. Charles County Department of Corrections via AP)ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — A 23-year-old man accused of exposing other gay men to HIV while attending college in suburban St. Louis tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS in Indiana two years before being diagnosed in Missouri, prosecutors said Tuesday.


Suit-wearing bandits rob Manhattan store of bags of watches

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 05:08
NEW YORK (AP) — Three well-dressed armed bandits burst into a luxury Manhattan jewelry store on Tuesday afternoon before fleeing on foot with bags of expensive watches.

Ohio State drum major instructor indicted on rape charges

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 05:01
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A drum major instructor for Ohio State University's celebrated marching band who is accused of sexually assaulting a student was indicted on charges including rape, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Investigator: Probe of Missouri state auditor's suicide over

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 04:53
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Investigators are closing their probe into former Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich's suicide after failing to find an explanation for why the Republican gubernatorial hopeful took his life, a suburban St. Louis detective said Tuesday.

Pennsylvania woman freed after 42 years in arson murder case, faces retrial

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 04:52
By David DeKok HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania woman who spent 42 years in prison on an arson and murder conviction has been freed but faces a retrial, her advocates said on Tuesday. Letitia Smallwood, 62, was a college student in 1972, when she was accused of setting ablaze a building in the Pennsylvania borough of Carlisle that killed two people, Steven Johnson, 23, and Paula Wagner, 26. Smallwood was released to her sister on bail on Monday pending a retrial. She was freed after a Cumberland County judge vacated Smallwood's conviction on the grounds that the techniques used to investigate the fire were dated and faulty.

Seattle activist tries to block Shell's fuel-transfer station

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 04:51

Activists protest the Shell Polar Pioneer oil rig at a rally in Seattle, WashingtonIn a harbinger of expected protests over Royal Dutch Shell's plan to store Arctic drilling rigs in Seattle, an activist perched herself on a 15-foot tripod on Tuesday to try to block the entrance gates of a company fuel-transfer station. The incident came a day after the U.S. Department of the Interior conditionally approved Shell's plan to explore for oil in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, where it has not drilled since a mishap-filled 2012 season. Environmental activists are also preparing for three days of demonstrations starting on May 16 against Shell's plans to store two drilling rigs in Seattle. Among other plans, activists say they will meet one of the drilling rigs in kayaks as it arrives in the port later this week.


FDA panel backs Vertex combination pill for cystic fibrosis

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 04:49
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health advisers on Tuesday recommended approval for an experimental combination drug to treat cystic fibrosis, despite unresolved questions about the benefit of one of the pill's two ingredients.

Mother accused of throwing baby into river held without bail

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 04:46

Mother accused of throwing baby into river held without bailA mother accused of having thrown her 1-year-old son off a bridge into an eastern Pennsylvania river before jumping in herself has been ordered held without bail.


Indiana's HIV outbreak grows to 153 confirmed cases

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 04:42
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State health officials say southeastern Indiana's HIV outbreak tied to needle-sharing among intravenous drug users has reached 153 confirmed cases.

Police: Bus fire outside Boston likely started in engine

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 04:34
BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts state police say a fire that destroyed a bus approaching Boston likely began in the engine.

Connecticut man paid $900,000 for wrongful imprisonment

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 04:34
By Richard Weizel MILFORD, Conn. (Reuters) - The state of Connecticut on Tuesday awarded $900,000 to a man released from prison in 2012 when DNA tests proved he was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for more than four years for kidnapping and sexual assault. Hubert Thompson, 47, is the second person made such a payment by a state commission created by the legislature in 2008 to compensate people who were wrongly imprisoned for violent crimes. "Mr. Thompson was wrongfully convicted and was labeled a sex offender," Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance said in Tuesday's decision. "While this decision attempts to compensate Mr. Thompson for the time that he was wrongfully imprisoned, it is a difficult process to place a dollar amount on the time that he lost or to put a price on what he endured." Thompson was convicted in 1998 on charges of sexual assault and kidnapping after the victim of the crime picked his photo out of a group of possible suspects, said his attorney, William Koch.

'Hard decision' for judge ruling on John Hinckley's freedom

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 04:28

Barry Levin, attorney for John Hinckley arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. A judge who will decide whether to let the would-be assassin of President Ronald Reagan live full time outside a mental hospital will hear closing arguments in the case. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)WASHINGTON (AP) — A judge deciding whether President Ronald Reagan's would-be assassin can live full-time outside a mental hospital said Tuesday that it's a "very hard decision," but one he knew he would have to make eventually when he "opened the door a crack" for John Hinckley Jr. a dozen years ago.


Jurors' questions aim at heart of theater shooting trial

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 04:27

 Was Holmes legally insane when he began shooting? (Andy Cross/The Denver Post via AP, Pool)CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — A neuroscience professor was nearly finished testifying about the Colorado theater shooter's lackluster lab performance when a juror scrawled out a question, passed to the judge on a slip of paper: Did James Holmes ever seem disconnected from reality?


No charges in Wisconsin police shooting of black teen

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 04:20

A makeshift memorial pays tribute to a 19-year-old black man killed by police in Madison, WisconsinMADISON, Wis. (Reuters) - A Madison, Wisconsin police officer will not face charges in the fatal shooting of an unarmed 19-year-old biracial man in March, the prosecutor said on Tuesday. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said at a news conference that Matt Kenny, a veteran white police officer, used lawful lethal force when he shot Tony Robinson Jr. in the head, torso and right arm. (Reporting by Fiona Ortiz)


Fire destroys home in Christiana, Delaware

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 04:07

Fire destroys home in Christiana, DelawareFire has destroyed a 3-story home in Christiana, Delaware.


Man pleads guilty to threatening federal judge's life

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 04:06
HONOLULU (AP) — A man who served federal prison time for burglary pleaded guilty Tuesday to threatening the life of the Honolulu judge who sentenced him.

Hawaiian Airlines plane makes emergency landing on Maui

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 03:59
HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaiian Airlines plane heading to Kailua-Kona from Honolulu made an emergency landing on Maui.

Caesars Palace could face up to $20 million in federal fines

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 03:58
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Caesars Palace could face paying between $12 million and $20 million worth of fines stemming from a federal investigation into how the casino prevents or detects money laundering.

Man arrested after smashing window, saving dog from hot car

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 03:55
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia state law allows an individual to break a car window to save a child in distress, but the same protection does not apply when a pet's life is at stake, as one man has quickly found out.