Charged with homicide
BURLINGTON, Vt. -- A man seen on surveillance video walking with a college student who was found beaten and strangled a week later was charged Wednesday with murder.
Semen found on Michelle Gardner-Quinn's body matched a DNA profile developed from a blood stain on Brian L. Rooney's pants, according to an affidavit filed in court.
Rooney, 36, a construction worker and father of three, was a primary suspect in the 21-year-old Arlington, Va., woman's death. He was the last person seen with her before she disappeared about 2 a.m. Oct. 7 after leaving a bar in Burlington to walk back to the University of Vermont campus. A store surveillance video showed the two walking together.
Gardner-Quinn died of strangulation and "blunt force trauma," police said in the affidavit. The official charge against Rooney, aggravated homicide, indicates murder during sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. If convicted, he would face a mandatory life sentence.
Man: I killed social worker
HENDERSON, Ky. -- A man accused with his girlfriend of kidnapping her baby and killing a social worker last week told reporters Wednesday he was responsible for the slaying as authorities returned the couple to Kentucky to face charges.
When a throng of reporters greeted the couple Wednesday evening, Christopher Wayne Luttrell "apologized for all the people he hurt, all his family and friends," said Henderson police Sgt. John Nevels, one of two officers who escorted Luttrell.
When asked if he killed social worker Boni Frederick, Luttrell replied, "Yes, ma'am," according to Nevels and reporters who were present.
FBI agents arrested Luttrell, 23, and Renee Terrell, 33, on Oct. 19 in a trailer where they sought shelter after the car they were driving -- Frederick's station wagon -- broke down near Godfrey, Ill., about 30 miles north of St. Louis.
Authorities allege the couple fled three days earlier after killing Frederick, 67, and abducting Terrell's 10-month-old son, Saige. Frederick had taken the boy to Terrell's home in Henderson for a visit.
The baby was found unharmed and has been returned to foster parents in Union County, Ky.
Storm is downgraded
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, Mexico -- Tropical Storm Paul weakened to a tropical depression Wednesday as it swirled toward Mexico's mainland at the tip of the Baja California peninsula.
About 100 residents who were evacuated to government shelters in Cabo San Lucas returned to their homes, relieved the sun had re-emerged and they had been spared by Paul, which earlier in the week had been the season's third hurricane to threaten the region.
By the late afternoon, Paul had maximum sustained wind speeds of 35 mph and was 110 miles southeast of Los Mochis, in the Mexican state of Sinaloa.
The depression was forecast to continue weakening as it moved toward mainland Mexico at 8 mph, a trajectory that would make it hit land just before midnight Wednesday. However, it could still dump as much as 10 inches of rain and spark dangerous flooding, according to the hurricane center in Miami.
Pauley sues newspaper
NEW YORK -- Former "Today" host Jane Pauley sued The New York Times on Wednesday, accusing the paper of using the intimate details of her bout with bipolar disorder to help advertisers sell drugs.
Pauley says The Times and the publisher of an October 2005 advertising supplement deceived her into thinking she was speaking to one of the paper's reporters about her struggle.
One year after leaving "Dateline NBC" in 2003, Pauley, 55, revealed publicly her battle with a disorder that subjected her to dramatic mood swings.
She's asking for an unspecified amount of damages for false advertising, deceptive trade practices and the violation of her right to publicity.
Book thief is spared jail
MANCHESTER, England -- A librarian who stole hundreds of rare books to sell on the Internet, including prized 17th century volumes, was spared jail Wednesday by a judge who warned he had threatened his city's literary heritage.
Norman Buckley, 44, an assistant at Manchester's Central Library, pleaded guilty to theft charges in August for stealing more than 450 centuries-old books and documents between January 2005 and March 2006, authorities said. He sold more than 40 works online for a total of 20,000. The books included 17th century editions of works by Geoffrey Chaucer, romantic poet John Donne and historian William Camden. Buckley received a 15-month jail sentence, but it was suspended for two years, meaning he won't be serve any time unless he commits further crimes.