Texas girl gets two life terms in family deaths
EMORY, Texas - A teenage girl charged with capital murder for her role in the deaths of her mother and two young brothers agreed to a plea deal that could make her eligible for parole when she's 59, her attorney said.
Erin Caffey, 17, accepted the agreement Friday, said defense attorney William McDowell. She had been scheduled to be tried as an adult next month in Hopkins County.
Authorities said Caffey, her boyfriend and two other co-defendants plotted to kill Caffey's parents because they didn't approve of her boyfriend. Caffey was 16 at the time of the crime.
Coroner IDs 6 in shooting on Christmas Eve
COVINA, Calif. - The Los Angeles County coroner's office has identified six of the nine people killed when a man dressed as Santa Claus attacked his ex-wife's family on Christmas Eve.
Bruce Pardo, distraught over his divorce, shot up the home in Covina where his ex-wife and her family had gathered and then sprayed the house with flammable gas, authorities said. He was burned when the gas ignited and later fatally shot himself.
Coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz said Saturday that the office identified the bodies of the ex-wife's parents: Joseph Ortega, 80, of Covina, who died from multiple gunshot wounds, and Alicia Ortega, 70, who was shot in the abdomen.
Boy, 12, guilty in mom's shooting
SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. - A 12-year-old boy who fatally shot his mother after an argument over his chores was found guilty of premeditated murder.
Judge James Conlogue found the boy guilty after a hearing Friday in Cochise County Superior Court in the southern Arizona town of Bisbee. The boy is not being identified because he was charged as a juvenile.
Conlogue ruled that prosecutors had proved the boy acted intentionally and with premeditation when he shot Sara Madrid, 34, eight times on Aug. 1. The shooting happened after the boy had argued with his mother over his chores.
Madrid had left the family home after the argument, and the boy got a .22-caliber pistol from her bedroom closet, waited for her to return and then repeatedly shot her, according to court testimony.
Sen. Reid called Blagojevich about Senate seat
CHICAGO - A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Reid called Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in early December to discuss the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.
Reid spokesman Jim Manley said the Nevada Democrat made one call to Blagojevich on Dec. 3.
That was six days before federal authorities arrested Blagojevich for allegedly trying to sell Obama's seat.
Health-food livestock killed in Ohio fire
TOLEDO, Ohio - Authorities in Ohio said a fire has destroyed a four-barn complex and killed hundreds of animals raised for a natural food business.
The blaze at the northwest Ohio town of Oregon killed 150 goats and more than 300 chickens, plus rabbits and geese.
Fire Chief Bill Wilkins said the cause of the fire early Friday has not yet been undetermined.
YouTube video tips police to fight suspects
AKRON, Ohio - Investigators in Ohio said they have YouTube to thank for arrests in connection with a large disturbance.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office said Friday it arrested two people and issued warrants for three others for the fight in Twinsburg Township outside Akron.
Sheriff's Patrol Commander Major Roger Kline said people were already leaving the scene when police arrived at the disturbance in October.
But then police got a tip that someone had posted a five-minute, 16-second video of the fight on the YouTube video-sharing Web service.
5-cent IRS bill, 4-cent refund
DETROIT - James Howarth is a little confused by two letters he has received from the Internal Revenue Service.
The Detroit defense lawyer received one letter in November that said he owed the IRS money - five cents.
He was warned that he should pay 'to avoid additional penalty and/or interest,' the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday.
Howarth said he then received a second letter telling him the government owes him money - four cents.