Archive for Thursday, August 23, 2001

Nation Briefs

August 23, 2001


Texas: Miss Missouri chosen as Miss Teen USA

Marissa Whitley, an 18-year-old from Missouri, was crowned Miss Teen USA on Wednesday night in South Padre Island.

The first runner-up was Miss New York, Gloria Almonte. The second runner-up was Miss Massachusetts, Marianne Zaslavsky.

Other finalists were Miss Texas, Katherine Perello; and Miss Indiana, Jillian Dornbush.

Whitley, of Springfield, was crowned by 2000 Miss Teen USA Jillian Parry of Pennsylvania.

California: Manhunt continues for slaying suspect

Nikolay Soltys remained the subject of a massive national manhunt Wednesday. Authorities believe he is now driving a mid-1990s emerald green Ford Explorer with a section of its rear hatch a lighter shade of green.

A reward for information leading to his capture was raised to $35,000 on Wednesday.

The pattern of slayings vicious stabbings interspersed with deliberate decision-making suggest he's delusional, rather than just engaging in crimes of rage or opportunity, said forensic psychologist Barry Rosenfeld, a professor at Fordham University in New York City.

"Once there is a cooling-off period in between some of the murders, then it's no longer a spree," Rosenfeld said.

Homicide Det. Ron Garverick said someone may be helping Soltys elude police, perhaps unwittingly.

"There is a good possibility somebody is facilitating him in some way," the detective said.

Florida: Young shark victim back in hospital

An 8-year-old shark attack victim was returned this week to a Florida hospital when he became agitated after starting a medication intended to relax his muscles, doctors said.

Jessie Arbogast, who had been recuperating at his home in Ocean Springs, Miss., since Aug. 12, on Monday was brought back to Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Pensacola. He remains in a light coma.

"Jessie has continued to make slow progress since he went home, and this return to the hospital should not be seen as a significant setback," said Dr. Ben Renfroe, a pediatric neurologist. "Everyone felt it would be best to have him back in the hospital for a few days to do another neurological evaluation and get his medications adjusted."

Renfroe said the boy was in stable condition and could likely be taken home later in the week.

New York City: City marshal killed serving eviction notice

A woman enraged by a city marshal's attempt to serve her with an eviction notice beat him to death and set him on fire, police said Wednesday.

JoAnne Jones, 53, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of Erskine G. Bryce, 66.

An autopsy showed Bryce was alive when he was set ablaze, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office.

He died of blunt trauma to his head and neck, and extensive burns, she said.

Dorothy Taitt, a neighbor, said efforts to evict Jones had been under way for some time.

"The tenant has gone two or three years without paying rent," she said.

City marshals generally are armed and work alone but can summon police help. Bryce did not seek police backup, Commissioner Bernard Kerik said.

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