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Archive for Saturday, December 1, 2001

Nation Briefs

December 1, 2001

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Pennsylvania: Fugitive heir arrested

Fugitive Robert Durst, the estranged scion of one of New York's wealthiest families and wanted on murder charges, was arrested Friday in Hanover Township, Pa., after allegedly shoplifting at grocery a store.

Durst was charged in October with murdering his 71-year-old neighbor, whose dismembered body parts were found in Galveston, Tex. He also has been investigated but never charged in his wife's 1982 disappearance in New York.

Durst is being held on a fugitive warrant.

Miami: 7 indicted in attempt to smuggle Cubans

Seven people were indicted in a failed attempt to smuggle 22 Cubans into the United States aboard a boat, resulting in a woman's death, prosecutors said Friday.

The indictment unsealed Friday is the biggest federal crackdown on smugglers who charge thousands of dollars per person to illegally bring Cubans to South Florida, prosecutors said. U.S. relatives usually make the payments.

The defendants are Cuban-born Miami residents. Six had been arrested by Friday afternoon, and all were scheduled for arraignment Wednesday.

California: Synagogue fires bring brothers lengthy terms

Two white supremacist brothers were sentenced to long federal prison terms Friday in Sacramento and ordered to pay $1 million each for setting fires at three synagogues and an abortion clinic in 1999.

Benjamin Matthew Williams received a mandatory sentence of 30 years under the guilty plea he entered in September. His younger brother, James Tyler Williams, was sentenced to 21 years, 3 months the maximum.

The brothers also face trial on state murder charges in the 1999 slayings of a gay couple in Shasta County. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

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