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Archive for Friday, May 17, 2002

Briefly

May 17, 2002

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Virginia

American Taliban lawyers seek trial in California

Lawyers for John Walker Lindh asked a federal judge Thursday either to dismiss his case or move it to Northern California, arguing that negative comments by government officials have "created a poisoned atmosphere" that makes it impossible for him to get a fair trial.

Northern Virginians are particularly inclined to be biased against Lindh, 21, because they're far more likely to have suffered a personal loss during the Sept. 11 hijackings, according to a survey commissioned by the defense team. The survey found that 46 percent of Northern Virginians knew someone killed or injured at the Pentagon, versus 3.4 percent in other areas of the country; and 69 percent of the people here had an unfavorable view of Lindh, versus 60 percent elsewhere.

Frank Shults, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria, had not responded to the motion.

Texas

Father executed for beating 11-month-old son to death

A man was executed Thursday for beating his 11-month-old son to death.

Ronford Styron, 32, told family and friends that he loved them and was worried about them before being put to death by injection.

"I'm going to go and be with my little boy, and I'm going to have fun with him," he said, smiling and looking at relatives, including his mother and grandmother, who watched through a window in Huntsville.

Lee Styron died at a Houston hospital in October 1993, three days after he was brought into an emergency room with a head injury.

Styron acknowledged he punched the child once in the head but contended in appeals he didn't intend to kill his son. The U.S. Supreme Court refused Thursday to review his conviction.

California

5-year-old girl expelled because mother is stripper

A Christian school has expelled a kindergartner because her mother works as a nude dancer.

"If you choose to do the wrong thing willfully, then God's word instructs me as to what my responsibility is," said Rick Cole, head pastor of the Capital Christian Center church.

Christina Silvas, a 24-year-old single mother, said she took the job at Gold Club Centerfolds in part to afford the $400 monthly tuition at the church-run school.

The pastor said that if Silvas quit stripping, she would be forgiven and her 5-year-old daughter would be allowed to return.

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