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Archive for Saturday, January 5, 2002

Nation Briefs

January 5, 2002

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Indianapolis: Day-care operator gets 40 years in sex crimes

A woman convicted of molesting children at her day care service was sentenced Friday to 40 years in prison.

LaDonna Tucker, 41, was found guilty in November of two child molesting counts and one count of promoting prostitution for offering two children to her boyfriend for sex in exchange for $200.

Tucker was arrested in January after then-boyfriend Melvin Riding, 42, told police she had invited him to watch her molest children in her care.

Police then recorded telephone conversations in which Tucker and Melvin talked about molesting the children, taking pictures and videotaping the acts.

Tucker was licensed by the state in November 2000 and cared for up to 11 children, ages 4 months to 2 years. She contended she had invented the stories because they excited Riding.

Ohio: Teen, 3-year-old killed in apartment shooting

Two gunmen opened fire in an apartment during an apparent robbery attempt, killing a 3-year-old girl and a teen-ager and wounding six other people, police said Friday in Lima.

Police Chief Greg Garlock said the victims knew the gunmen and let them in Thursday. Minutes later, the gunmen opened fire, killing Leneshia Williams, 17, and Jayla Grant, 3, and wounding the others.

At least two of the wounded were in critical condition.

Police hunted for the killers.

Police did not release further details about the victims or describe their relationships to one another.

Lima is 70 miles southwest of Toledo.

Nevada: ER tech pleads guilty to killing mother, baby

An emergency room technician pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of murder for killing her 17-year-old pregnant niece and cutting the fetus from her womb.

In exchange for Erin Kuhn's plea, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.

Authorities say Kuhn killed Kathaleena Draper in June 2000 after she changed her mind about letting Kuhn adopt the baby.

Kuhn, 33, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of first-degree murder for Draper's death and one-count of second-degree murder for the death of the baby, which was about a month shy of full term.

Kuhn faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. A sentencing hearing was set for Feb. 28 in Yerington.

Maryland: Widow charged in death of husbands, boyfriends

A woman who allegedly enticed lovers to kill two husbands and a boyfriend and kept witnesses quiet with threats of voodoo will be charged with murder, a prosecutor said Friday in Rockville.

Josephine Gray enlisted the help of each successive husband and boyfriend to commit murder on her behalf, first in 1974, then in 1990, then in 1996, authorities said. The second and third victims were suspected of killing the husbands who came before them.

Previous charges were dropped against Gray, 55, in two of the deaths after key witnesses disappeared; authorities accuse her of incorporating voodoo in her threats. Dolls of her dead lovers festooned with needles were found, Montgomery County State's Atty. Douglas Gansler said.

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