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NATION IN BRIEF: Man in Calif. teen case got light sentence

Man in Calif. teen case got light sentence

SAN DIEGO -- A sex offender suspected in the disappearance of Chelsea King served only five years in prison for molesting a girl a decade ago after prosecutors rejected a psychiatrist's advice to seek a stiffer punishment, court documents state.

Prosecutors said in 2000 that John Albert Gardner III's lack of significant prior criminal record justified less than the maximum sentence for molesting a 13-year-old girl.

They also said they wanted to ''spare the victim the trauma of testifying.''

The San Diego Union-Tribune said Tuesday that Gardner had faced a maximum of nearly 11 years in prison under terms of his plea agreement. Prosecutors urged six years -- the sentence later ordered by a judge.

Smithsonian refuses O.J. Simpson suit

LOS ANGELES -- The Smithsonian Institution has rejected a donation of the suit O.J. Simpson wore when he was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend.

The decision announced Tuesday comes a day after a judge approved the donation as the solution to a long court battle over the clothing. Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas said the suit is not appropriate for the museum's collection.

The agreement reached Monday between Simpson, Fred Goldman and Simpson's former sports agent, Mike Gilbert, provided that if the Smithsonian turned it down, they would seek another museum or institution of higher learning. It was not immediately clear which entity would be offered the suit next.

School shooting suspect now faces 15 counts

GOLDEN, Colo. -- A man accused of shooting two Colorado students last week now faces 15 charges, including attempted murder, assault and child abuse.

Prosecutors formally filed charges Tuesday against 32-year-old Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood, accused of opening fire in the parking lot of Deer Creek Middle School in suburban Denver on Feb. 23.

He faces up to 97 1/2 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Eastwood wasn't in court for Tuesday's hearing but appeared on a video link from the jail.

Jury convicts man in football coach killing

ALLISON, Iowa -- A jury found an Iowa man guilty Tuesday of first-degree murder in the shooting of a nationally known high school football coach.

It took the jury 24 hours over four days to reach its decision, finding Mark Becker, 24, guilty in the June 24, 2009, killing of Aplington-Parkersburg coach Ed Thomas.

Becker gunned down Thomas, 58, in the school's makeshift weight room in front of students, shooting him at least six times before walking away. Becker told police that Thomas was Satan and that the coach had been tormenting him.

Thomas' son, Aaron, said he was happy with the verdict but that Becker's conviction wouldn't ease the pain of losing his father.

Topeka renames (unofficially) to 'Google, Kan.'

TOPEKA, Kan. -- Topeka's mayor said the city shall temporarily be referred to as ''Google, Kansas -- the capital city of fiber optics,'' in an effort to persuade the Internet giant to test an ultra-fast connection in the state capital.

Mayor Bill Bunten issued the proclamation Monday after no city council members objected to the monthlong change.

Bunten said the proclamation is mainly for fun, but that he hopes it will set Topeka apart from other cities vying for Google's fiber optics experiment, including Grand Rapids, Mich., and Baton Rouge, La.

3 relatives found shot dead in Chicago suburb

DARIEN, Ill. -- Three family members have been found shot dead in a Chicago suburb in what officials describe as a home invasion.

Darien Deputy Police Chief John Cooper identified the victims as Lori and Jeffrey Kramer and their 20-year-old son, Michael Kramer.

Cooper said the Kramers' daughter called 911 about 3 a.m. Tuesday while hiding in a closet. He said two additional people also were in the house, including another Kramer son. Cooper said those three aren't suspects.