Doctors cleared in John Ritter's death

GLENDALE, Calif. - A jury cleared a cardiologist and a radiologist Friday of negligence in the diagnosis and treatment of actor John Ritter, who died of a torn aorta in 2003.

Jurors found that the radiologist advised Ritter to follow up with treatment by a physician after a body scan two years before his death. Ritter didn't follow the order.

The lawsuit was brought by Ritter's widow and children. The 9-3 verdict means there is no damage judgment against the doctors.

Hospitalized man awake after 1 month

LAS VEGAS - A man who may have been exposed to toxic ricin in his motel room a month ago has regained consciousness and was being questioned by investigators, authorities said Friday.

Roger Bergendorff, 57, remained in critical condition in a hospital, where he has been since Feb. 14. Several vials of ricin powder were found in his room two weeks later.

Investigators were speaking with Bergendorff for the first time, said Special Agent David Staretz, an FBI spokesman. Neither he nor Las Vegas police would provide more information.

Legendary lawyer pleads guilty to attempted bribary

JACKSON, Miss. - Richard 'Dickie' Scruggs, the legendary trial lawyer who made Big Business tremble every time he set foot in court, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to bribe a judge - a crime that could send him to prison and spell the end of his storied legal career.

Federal prosecutors are asking for the maximum of five years behind bars for the 61-year-old Scruggs, the multimillionaire 'King of Torts' who combined a shrewd legal mind and aw-shucks country-lawyer charm to extract billions of dollars from the tobacco and asbestos industries, among others.

Ill. police release photos in effort to find store shooter

TINLEY PARK, Ill. - Police in a Chicago suburb have released a series of photos they hope will help lead them to a gunman who killed five women at a Lane Bryant clothing store.

The grainy, black-and-white photos were captured from a video camera on a nearby Target store in Tinley Park.

The photos show a small, dark-colored sport utility vehicle in front of the store about the time of the shootings on Feb. 2.

Doctor convicted of murder in retrial

MONTROSE, Pa. - A doctor was sentenced Friday to life in prison for murdering his best friend more than three decades ago so he could marry the friend's wife.

Dr. Stephen Scher, 67, received the sentence in Susquehanna County Court the day after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder in the 1976 slaying of Martin Dillon. He declined an opportunity to speak in court.

Dillon, 30, was killed while he and Scher were skeet shooting in northeastern Pennsylvania in 1976. Scher was also convicted in 1997, but an appeals court ordered a new trial in 2004.

Search broadens for missing couple

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - The search for a couple missing for almost two weeks has expanded beyond this resort island, a sheriff said Friday without giving details.

John and Elizabeth Calvert, who live part time on a yacht at the Harbour Town marina they lease and manage, were last seen March 3. Police think Dennis Ray Gerwing, a business associate of the couple who committed suicide Tuesday, was the last person to see them.

'We're not only looking at areas on Hilton Head but off Hilton Head as well,' Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner said. 'I can just tell you it has expanded quite a bit over the past 11 days.'

Hundreds of sick cats found in raid

TARENTUM, Pa. - Hundreds of sick and dying cats were removed from a fortress-like sanctuary Friday in a raid brought on by worried animal lovers and a former county worker who infiltrated with a hidden camera.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dead cats were believed buried on the secluded 29-acre property known as Tiger Ranch Farm, about 20 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Owner Linda Bruno apparently meant well but lost track of the needs of the animals years ago, said Howard Nelson, director of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which organized the raid.