BOSTON (AP) — An admission by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that he bombed the Boston Marathon has vastly accelerated the pace of his federal death penalty trial. While the trial was originally expected to last three to four months, it could be over in about half that time. Prosecutors could rest their case in the guilt phase as early as next week. With a relatively brief case expected from the defense, the trial could soon move to the penalty phase, when the same jury will decide whether Tsarnaev is sentenced to death or spends the rest of his life in prison.
(Reuters) - Rape charges have been filed in Las Vegas against five-time NFL Pro Bowl defensive back Darren Sharper, who is in jail in California on sexual assault charges, court records showed on Friday. Sharper, 39, is accused of sexually assaulting two women who were "physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of the defendant's conduct," according to a previously sealed criminal complaint filed in Las Vegas this week. The 14-year National Football League veteran, who played with Green Bay, Minnesota, and New Orleans, also faces sexual assault charges in Louisiana and Arizona. Sharper, who helped the New Orleans Saints win the Super Bowl following the 2009 season, faces charges in California of drugging four women and raping two of them and is being held without bail in a Los Angeles jail.
By Jim Forsyth SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Lucy Coffey, the oldest living female U.S. military veteran, has died at the age of 108. Coffey, who served with the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in the Pacific Theater during World War Two and retired after nearly three decades of military-related service, died on Thursday morning in Texas, the Bexar County Veterans Service Office said. She was working at an A&P grocery store in Dallas in 1943 when she joined the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, according to her Department of Defense biography. President Barack Obama, who met Coffey last year at the White House, said on Friday, "it was clear that the passage of time never dampened her patriotic love of country or her pioneering spirit.
By Michael Fleeman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A judge set bail on Friday at $25 million for Suge Knight in a murder case, agreeing on the amount requested by prosecutors who had described the rap mogul in court papers as being "incapable of stopping his violent criminal behavior." Knight, 49, is accused of running down two men with a pickup truck at a Los Angeles area burger stand on Jan. 29, killing one of them, following an argument on the set of a commercial for the film “Straight Outta Compton.” The Death Row records co-founder had been held without bail on charges of murder, attempted murder and two counts of hit-and-run with an added allegation of committing a violent felony while free on bail in another case. At a bail-review hearing, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen also set a preliminary hearing for April 13.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Thousands of Ohio adoptees are hoping to learn more about their history, including family medical information, thanks to a new law granting them access to their adoption files and birth certificates.