NATION IN BRIEF: 911 calls tell of chaos after plane hit IRS office

911 calls tell of chaos after plane hit IRS office

AUSTIN, Texas -- Callers to 911 emergency officials in February told of seeing and hearing a fiery plane crash at an IRS office building in Austin, Texas, and described a chaotic scene afterward with people running all around.

Some callers were frantic and others remarkably calm in the 911 recordings released Monday by the Austin Police Department.

''I'm calling about the explosion ... Oh my God!'' said one caller to a 911 emergency dispatcher.

Some callers said they worked in nearby buildings or were driving by at the time. It wasn't clear whether any were calling from inside the burning building.

Joseph Stack III crashed his small plane into an IRS office building Feb. 18. One person besides Stack was killed and more than a dozen were injured. Stack , 53, who left behind a rambling anti-government manifesto on a website, apparently targeted the lower floors of the office building, where nearly 200 IRS employees worked.

Teen guilty of manslaughter in immigrant death

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. -- A former high school athlete was convicted Monday of manslaughter as a hate crime in the killing of an Ecuadorean immigrant, a case that sparked a federal probe of police investigations of bias attacks against Hispanics.

Jeffrey Conroy, 19, was one of seven teenagers implicated in the November 2008 stabbing death of Marcelo Lucero in what prosecutors say was the culmination of a campaign of violence targeting Hispanics on Long Island. The teens described the activity as ''beaner-hopping'' or ''Mexican hopping.''

Conroy shook his head slightly when the verdict was announced in the packed courtroom. He was acquitted of two counts of murder, including one count as a hate crime, but was convicted of manslaughter, gang assault and conspiracy in the Lucero killing.

Indicators jump 1.4 percent, topping estimates

NEW YORK -- The Conference Board said its leading economic indicators, a gauge of future activity, jumped 1.4 percent in March, the fastest pace of growth in at least seven months.

The index's surge suggests economic growth is likely to continue in the next three to six months. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected the index to grow 0.9 percent last month.

Guilty plea in death of UNC student president

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The man accused of killing a University of North Carolina student body president found shot to death in the middle of a street two years ago pleaded guilty Monday to federal crimes, avoiding the death penalty.

Demario Atwater, 23, pleaded guilty to several charges, including carjacking resulting in death and kidnapping. Prosecutors agreed to drop their plan to pursue the death penalty and Atwater n March 2008. She had been shot five times, including once in the head with a 12-gauge shotgun.

''While we deplore the evil and negligence that led to Eve's death, we agree with the U.S. attorney's decision to accept the plea agreement,'' Carson's parents said in a statement released by prosecutors Monday.

Student who decapitated woman gets life

RICHMOND, Va. -- A former Virginia Tech graduate student who prosecutors said decapitated a classmate in a campus cafe because she rejected his romantic advances was sentenced to life in prison on Monday.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Robert Turk sentenced Haiyang Zhu to life without parole, said Commonwealth's Attorney Brad Finch. Zhu pleaded guilty in December to first-degree murder in the death of fellow Chinese student Xin Yang. He admitted decapitating the 22-year-old Yang as the pair had coffee at a campus eatery in January 2009.

Toyota recalls 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUVs

WASHINGTON -- Toyota said it will recall its 2010 Lexus GX 460 to address a potential problem with the SUV's stability control system that targets possible rollovers.

The recall affects about 9,400 vehicles that have been sold since the SUV went on sale in late December. Consumer Reports issued a ''Don't Buy'' warning last week on the 2010 GX 460, saying it was susceptible to rolling over.