Arias found eligible for death penalty
The same jury that convicted Jodi Arias of murder one week ago took less than three hours Wednesday to determine that the former waitress is eligible for the death penalty in the stabbing death of her one-time lover.
The swift verdict sets the stage for the final phase of the trial to determine whether the 32-year-old Arias should be sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty for the 2008 murder of Travis Alexander in a Phoenix suburb.
Syrian rebels fight troops in prison
Rebel fighters battled regime troops inside the walls of the sprawling central prison compound in Syria’s largest city Wednesday, hours after blowing open the gate with twin car bombs in an attempted jailbreak, activists said.
The assault began at dawn, but by nightfall, the rebels had not dislodged regime forces or freed some 4,000 prisoners held there, according to two pro-opposition monitoring groups.
Judge won’t nix ’79 child-killing case
A man charged with murder decades after one of the nation’s most infamous child disappearances can be brought to trial, a judge ruled Wednesday, turning down the man’s claim that the case was too thin to proceed.
In a case that hinges on a disputed confession, the judge said there was enough evidence to sustain the charges against Pedro Hernandez of Maple Shade, N.J. He is accused of killing 6-year-old Etan Patz, last seen walking to his Manhattan school bus stop in 1979.
Texas executes man
A 37-year-old Houston man convicted of killing a police officer 14 years ago has been put to death.
Jeffrey Demond Williams’ execution Wednesday evening came just over an hour after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-day appeal from his attorneys. Lawyers contended Williams had been failed by previous attorneys at his trial and in early stages of his appeals.
Williams was convicted of fatally shooting 39-year-old Houston officer Troy Blando while Blando was handcuffing him.
Lawyer: Settlement in KC diocese suit
Kansas city, mo.
A lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Kansas City- St. Joseph and Bishop RobertSFlbFinn by a girl who was 2 years old when Kansas City priest Shawn Ratigan took pornographic photos of her has tentatively been settled for $600,000, a Minnesota attorney representing the girl said Wednesday.
Gregg Meyers of the St. Paul, Minn., law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates told The Associated Press about the deal before it had been officially announced. He said it was reached after a full day of mediation between the parties Tuesday, soon after U.S. District Judge Gary Fenner in Kansas City dismissed one of two counts in the suit.
Fenner dismissed one count alleging the bishop and diocese aided and abetted Ratigan in his possession of child pornography.
Harry ends US visit
Britain’s Prince Harry helped lead a polo team to victory in a charity match before a society crowd Wednesday in Greenwich, wrapping up a weeklong visit to the United States in which he also toured areas devastated by superstorm Sandy.
The prince scored a game-tying goal in the match to benefit Sentebale, the charity he co-founded to help poor children and AIDS orphans in the small African nation of Lesotho.