HARTFORD, Conn. -- A Connecticut judge has ruled that state prison officials may continue force-feeding a British inmate who began a hunger strike in September 2007 over claims he was convicted on a fabricated sexual assault charge.
William Coleman, who is serving an eight-year sentence for rape, said he began his hunger strike to protest against what he considers a corrupt judicial system. The state began force-feeding Coleman in September 2008 after he stopped accepting fluids, but he argued that the feedings violate his right of free speech.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut estimates that state Department of Correction staff force-fed Coleman at least a dozen times. He has since voluntarily taken some fluids.
David McGuire, an ACLU attorney representing Coleman, said Friday that the group is reviewing a decision released at midweek by Superior Court Judge James Graham.
'Vampire' with possible bomb disrupts Seattle
SEATTLE -- A man wearing what appeared to be a pipe bomb was kicked out of a Seattle homeless shelter Friday morning after claiming to be a vampire, then wandered around before surrendering to police, authorities and witnesses said.
The man, whose name was not released, complied with officers who rushed to the scene and voluntarily removed the suspicious device, which had a wire attached, said police spokesman Mark Jamieson.
A bomb squad was investigating whether it was explosive but Jamieson said it looks ''real enough.''
''At this point, we don't know what it is,'' Jamieson said after the man and the device were both moved from the area.
2 killed, 2 hurt in light-rail accident
SALT LAKE CITY -- A collision between a car full of fast-food restaurant managers and a light-rail train just south of Salt Lake City on Thursday killed two people after the vehicle apparently veered around a railroad crossing arm and drove onto the tracks.
Unified Police Lt. Don Hutson said Friday the 21-year-old driver, Alex Amundson of Fairview, and a rear passenger, 18-year-old Donald Callison of Monroe, were killed in the wreck.
Two other passengers, an 18-year-old woman from Salt Lake County and a 19-year-old man from Vernal, remained hospitalized Friday.
All four were KFC shift managers from out of town who were in the Salt Lake area for a business seminar, Hutson said.
Va. man collects $200M lotto prize
HARRISONBURG, Va. -- For five months, Virginia carpenter Steve Williams lived with a secret worth millions.
Williams won a $200 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot on Oct. 16 but only came forward Friday after consulting with legal and financial advisers. Williams, from Shenandoah in northern Virginia, says he is going to invest the money.
Williams chose the cash option of $125 million, rather than receive the full amount over 26 years. After taxes, Williams gets about $88.9 million.
Devotees of Fla. man drink snail mucus in ritual
MIAMI -- Devotees of a Miami man who claims to practice a traditional African religion said they were sickened when they drank the mucus of a giant African snail.
Federal authorities in January raided Charles L. Stewart's home after receiving complaints. Stewart has not been criminally charged, but prosecutors and state and federal wildlife agencies are investigating. The giant African snail is prohibited in the U.S. without special approval.
Experts say it devastates new ecosystems. The snail grows up to 10 inches long, can reproduce on its own and even can even eat plaster.
Followers said they got violently ill, losing weight and developing strange lumps in their stomachs.
Insanity defense for suspect in Smart case
SALT LAKE CITY -- On the seventh anniversary of Elizabeth Smart's return from her kidnapping ordeal, a judge set a trial date Friday for the man charged in the case.
U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball ordered defendant Brian David Mitchell, 56, to stand trial beginning Nov. 1 on federal charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines.
If convicted, Mitchell could spend the rest of his life in a federal prison.