Archive for Wednesday, June 6, 2001

Nation Briefs

June 6, 2001


Utah: Father of frozen tot pleads in boy's death

A father whose 2-year-old son froze to death after being left in a pickup truck while the man went hunting pleaded no contest Tuesday to negligent homicide. Paul Wayment's plea could bring up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine, but Summit County Atty. Robert Adkins told Judge Robert Hilder he would not ask for jail time.

Wayment, 38, left his son, Gage, alone in his pickup Oct. 26 while he scouted a private hunting area in northeastern Utah. When Wayment returned to his truck 40 minutes to an hour later, his son had vanished, he said. After a five-day search that was hampered by a snowstorm, a volunteer rescuer found Gage's body under 2 to 4 inches of snow. An autopsy determined the boy died from hypothermia.

Adkins said he was satisfied with the no-contest plea. "I think it would be personally difficult for me to argue for jail time," he said. "He lost his son, and under the circumstances, I'm sure he has suffered." Sentencing was set for July 17.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Postal Service quarterly losses top $166 million

The Postal Service was $166 million in the red for the third quarter of its budget year and could finish the year with losses of $2 billion. The struggling national economy has reduced expected mail volume, postal chief financial officer Richard Strasser said Tuesday. "The volume growth trend is not good," Strasser said, projecting that year-end losses range from $1.6 billion to $2.4 billion.

Income from a rate increase imposed in January fell below expectations because the independent Postal Rate Commission rejected some proposed increases, and the agency has been battered by rising fuel prices that are expected to cost it an additional $1 billion this year. For the year to date the agency is $422 million in the red with income of $46.7 billion and expenditures of $47.1 billion. Some postal rates but not the 34-cent first-class price will rise July 1.

Florida: Army colonel on trial for Soviet espionage

The highest-ranking U.S. military officer ever arrested on spying charges went on trial Tuesday with a prosecutor saying the defendant was once No. 1 on the Kremlin's list of intelligence sources during the Cold War. In opening statements at Army Reserve Col. George Trofimoff's espionage trial in Tampa, federal prosecutor Walter Furr said Trofimoff delivered more than 50,000 pages of documents to the KGB during a 25-year spying career.

Among the information Trofimoff allegedly passed to the Soviets: details on U.S. battle plans, briefs of chemical and biological weapons and lists of information needed by U.S. intelligence officers.

From 1969 until 1994, Trofimoff, now 74, was a civilian chief of a U.S. Army installation in West Germany where refugees and defectors from the Soviet bloc were interrogated. He has denied the spying accusations.

NEW YORK CITY: Embassy bombing jury considers death penalty

The jury began deliberations Tuesday in the death penalty phase of the embassy bombings trial after a prosecutor called the attacks in Africa "mass murder committed in cold blood."

"This defendant killed 213 people," Assistant U.S. Atty. Michael Garcia said in closing arguments as he pointed at defendant Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-'Owhali. Shortly after 4 p.m., the judge finished reading instructions on the law to jurors and deliberations began.

Before jurors went home after a half hour of work, they asked in a written note for several pieces of evidence, including copies of a book offered by the defense, "Teach Yourself Islam." The evidence will be delivered to the jury when it resumes work this morning. Jurors also asked for a copy of a document that says Al-'Owhali was age 21 when the bombing occurred.

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