Jury finds woman guilty of killing homeless men for her financial gain
LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles jury has convicted an elderly woman of two more counts in a scheme to kill homeless men to collect insurance payoffs.
Jurors convicted 75-year-old Olga Rutterschmidt on Monday of first-degree murder in the 1999 death of 73-year-old Paul Vados. She also was convicted of conspiracy to murder him for financial gain.
She and co-defendant Helen Golay were convicted of other counts last week.
Prosecutors said the two women collected $2.8 million before their scheme was uncovered. Authorities said Vados and 50-year-old Kenneth McDavid were run over in murders staged to look like hit-and-run accidents.
Aftershocks shake Midwest days after 5.2 earthquake
WEST SALEM, Ill. - More aftershocks shook Southern Illinois on Monday, three days after a magnitude 5.2 quake rattled nerves across the region.
The U.S. Geological Survey said a total of 22 aftershocks had been recorded since last week's tremor that was centered deep beneath the surface near West Salem.
They included one just before 12:40 a.m. Monday that registered magnitude 4.0 and had its epicenter northwest of Mount Carmel. That tremor was initially reported as 4.5 but was downgraded during the day.
The strongest aftershock registered magnitude 4.6 about 51/2 hours after the original quake Friday morning.
Police: Manager sold marijuana from drive-through
FORT SMITH, Ark. - Police have arrested a pizza parlor manager on charges alleging he sold marijuana out of his drive-through window in Fort Smith, Ark.
Authorities said Monday that state and local investigators acting on a tip went to the Pizza Hut restaurant and found six ounces of marijuana and a set of digital scales in the manager's office.
Police said they arrested 28-year-old manager Aaron Massey on Friday on a charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
D.A.: Bomb plot student's parents sought mental health help for him
CHESTERFIELD, S.C. - A teenager accused of plotting to bomb his high school is a straight-A student whose parents sought help from mental health experts when he slammed his head into a wall last week, authorities said Monday.
Ryan Schallenberger's parents took him to a hospital three days before his Saturday arrest after he made a 4-inch indentation in the wallboard, prosecutor Jay Hodge said at a court hearing.
Schallenberger, 18, was not badly injured, but his parents also called a local mental health clinic that offered no help, Hodge said. A spokesman for the clinic would not confirm or deny any contact with the family, citing state law.
Hodge said he plans to ask that Schallenberger undergo a mental evaluation at the teenager's bail hearing Tuesday.
DNA samples taken from kids of polygamists
SAN ANGELO, Texas - Using cotton swabs and cameras, lab technicians began taking DNA samples Monday from hundreds of children and mothers - many in long, pioneer-style dresses - in hopes of sorting out the tangled family relationships within the West Texas polygamist sect.
A judge ordered last week that the genetic material be taken to help determine which children belong to which parents.
Authorities need to figure that out before they begin custody hearings to determine which children may have been abused and need to be permanently removed from the sect compound in Eldorado, and which ones can be safely returned to the fold.
State social workers have complained that over the past few weeks, sect members have offered different names and ages. Also, the children refer to all of their fathers' wives as their 'mothers,' and all men in their families as 'uncles.'
Seven-alarm fire levels warehouse in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA - A seven-alarm fire has been brought under control in Philadelphia after reducing a four-story warehouse to rubble and threatening neighboring homes.
Authorities report no injuries at the blaze in northeast Philadelphia. Flames and smoke had been visible for miles after the fire started before 3 a.m.
Several nearby homes were evacuated because flying embers had threatened to set roofs on fire, but firefighters say they were able to keep the flames from spreading to those structures.
Power is reported out to several hundred customers in the area as crews continue to pour water on remaining flames.