Town gears up for march in support of 6 black teenagers

JENA, La. - The streets around this tiny town's courthouse began filling with protesters and reporters Wednesday, a day ahead of a planned march in support of six black teenagers jailed in the December beating of a white classmate.

Today's march was expected to draw thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people, dwarfing Jena's population of about 3,500. Black participants said they hoped to rekindle the spirit of the civil rights movement.

'This is the first time I've done anything like this, on this magnitude at least,' said Nathaniel Ford, 47, a computer technician who traveled from Richmond, Va.

Man sentenced to 421 years in S.C. abduction, rape

BEAUFORT, S.C. - A man who pleaded guilty to kidnapping a 14-year-old girl and raping her for more than a week in an underground bunker was sentenced Wednesday to the maximum 421 years in prison.

Vinson Filyaw pleaded guilty Tuesday, moments before his trial, to charges of kidnapping and 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct, one for each day prosecutors said he held the girl captive a year ago in Kershaw County.

Former astronaut's defense aims to rehabilitate image

ORLANDO, Fla. - Not so long ago, nobody would speak for Lisa Nowak.

Accusations that the former astronaut had made a diaper-assisted, 1,000-mile drive to confront a woman vying for the affections of the same space shuttle pilot turned into water-cooler and late-night TV punchlines. She had devolved from a decorated Navy captain into a sad, frantic mess at the end of a jailhouse camera lens.

Her defense attorneys, led by Donald Lykkebak, and a New York public relations consultant are pushing hard to change that image - with methodical steps to portray the 44-year-old as a well-meaning mother of three who just had a bad, temporarily insane day.

2 charged with making video that threatens police

SAVANNAH, Mo. - Two men were arrested and face a series of felony charges over a homemade rap video that threatened to kill police officers, harm a judge and rape a female police officer.

Police said the profanity-laced video was initially posted on YouTube, but has since been pulled from the video-sharing Web site.

Kenneth Darrell Black Jr. and Benjamin D. Stevens, both 20, face felony charges of making a terroristic threat, conspiring to commit second-degree assault with a gun against law enforcement officers, conspiracy to commit rape and tampering with a judicial officer.

New charge against prosecutor accused of seeking sex with 5-year-old girl

DETROIT - A federal prosecutor who authorities say came to Michigan expecting to have a sexual encounter with a 5-year-old girl has been indicted on an additional charge and ordered held without bail.

John D.R. Atchison, 53, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., an assistant U.S. attorney based in Pensacola, Fla., was arrested Sunday at Detroit Metropolitan Airport when he arrived for a meeting with a woman he thought was going to let him have sex with her young daughter, authorities said. The woman actually was a Macomb County sheriff's detective and part of an Internet sex sting operation.

Man who married teen cousin says he never forced sex

ST. GEORGE, Utah - The cousin of a woman who claims the leader of a polygamous sect forced them to marry when she was 14 said Wednesday he never forced himself on the teen bride.

He also claimed she was the one who initiated sex.

The testimony came during the trial of Warren Jeffs, 51, who is president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Prosecutors claim he used his iron-fisted influence to force her into sex and marriage with her cousin in 2001.

Caregivers charged with holding seven people in basement

HARRISBURG, Pa.- Five children and two disabled women were locked in a basement cell, fed meager food and rarely allowed to bathe, by a couple facing criminal charges over their care, authorities said.

The couple were paid $9,000 a month to care for the seven.

The unlit 4-foot-by-5-foot cinderblock cell was called the 'toy room,' according to a police affidavit.

Bees escape after truck overturns

BILLINGS, Mont. - Thousands of bees got loose when the truck carrying their hives ran off a highway and overturned near a Montana community, the Highway Patrol said.

State trooper Dell Aman said he was stung twice but didn't know of anyone else who was.

'The public was in no way in danger, as long as they didn't stop to get out of their vehicles,' he said. 'If they did get out, they figured out pretty quickly that that wasn't the place to be - no pun intended.'