NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana man is accused of bludgeoning, decapitating and dismembering his disabled 7-year-old son and leaving the boy’s head near the street so the child’s mother would see it — a killing that brought seasoned police officers to tears, authorities said Monday.
Jeremiah Lee Wright, 30, of Thibodaux waived his right to an attorney and confessed to killing Jori Lirette within 30 minutes of being brought to the police station Sunday, Police Chief Scott Silverii said. He said Wright was booked with first-degree murder and held in lieu of $5 million bond.
He was in isolation, Silverii said during a Monday afternoon news conference. The department spokesman, Detective Ricky Ross, said he does not believe Wright has an attorney.
Pa. judge OKs charges over Facebook posts
PHILADELPHIA — A judge has upheld felony charges against a Philadelphia woman accused of using Facebook to try to find someone to kill her baby’s father.
The judge on Monday also approved the murder conspiracy charge filed against the teenager accused of agreeing to carry out the hit for $1,000.
A defense lawyer for 20-year-old London Eley said she was only venting when she posted the online message this spring after an argument with her baby’s father. Police said 18-year-old Darby resident Timothy Bynum accepted the offer.
Defense lawyer Gerald Stein said Eley exchanged messages with Bynum for an hour but never met him. Bynum’s lawyer hasn’t returned messages seeking comment.
The hit wasn’t carried out.
Biden to visit China amid debt crisis in US
WASHINGTON — Concerns about the U.S. economy and the country’s ability to manage its debt and deficits loom over Vice President Joe Biden’s trip this week to China, America’s biggest foreign creditor.
But Obama administration officials are downplaying any suggestions that Biden will have to reassure the Chinese about America’s creditworthiness. Aides say Biden will tell Chinese leaders that the U.S. is committed to tackling its fiscal challenges, and will emphasize aspects of the recent deal to increase the U.S. debt ceiling that the administration believes are good first steps toward long-term deficit reduction.
ACLU to sue over breastfeeding teacher’s firing
EVERGREEN, Colo. — The American Civil Liberties Union intends to sue a Denver-area charter school for allegedly getting rid of a teacher who pumped breast milk on the job.
The ACLU of Colorado filed a notice of claim on Monday against the Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen, a precursor to a lawsuit against a government agency. It alleges that the school failed to renew the contract of technology teacher Heather Burgbacher because of her pumping schedule.
Burgbacher said she arranged to have her students do supervised desk work during her 20-minute pumping breaks three times a week.
Jefferson County school district spokeswoman Lynn Setzer said Burgbacher wasn’t retained because her position was changed into a technology adviser to staffers and she wasn’t a good fit.
Colorado employers are required to accommodate breastfeeding mothers.
Defense to seek new trial for serial killer in Cleveland
CLEVELAND — A serial killer who dumped the remains of 11 women in and around his home deserves a new trial because a juror expressed horror during a jury visit to the scene and complained after the verdict that he had winked at her during the trial, according to a court document filed by his defense team.
The new trial request was filed Friday morning, just hours before Anthony Sowell, 51, was sentenced to death by Judge Dick Ambrose. The conviction and death sentence will be appealed automatically to the state Supreme Court.
Oldest survivor of Bataan Death March dies at 105
NASHVILLE, Ill. — A World War II veteran recognized as the oldest living survivor of the Bataan Death March has died at age 105 in an Illinois nursing home.
His biographer, Kevin Moore, said Albert Brown was recognized as the oldest survivor of the deadly 65-mile trek at an annual survivors’ convention in 2007. His granddaughter said he died Sunday.
Japanese soldiers forced Brown and 78,000 other prisoners of war to march through the Philippines to a POW camp in 1942. As many as 11,000 died.
But Brown survived. When the war ended, he moved to California.