Archive for Thursday, July 31, 2003


July 31, 2003


New Hampshire

Court documents say father admitted shooting children

A man accused of killing his two children told authorities he shot them in New Hampshire and buried them in a shallow grave in the Midwest after saying a prayer and making a duct tape cross on each child's chest, according to court documents released Wednesday.

Manuel Gehring, 44, an unemployed accountant, was arrested in California earlier this month after a cross-country trek and was charged with murder. Investigators have yet to find the youngsters' bodies, despite a search across the Midwest.

Gehring had been locked in a custody dispute with his ex-wife.

He and the children, Sarah, 14, and Philip, 11, were last seen in Concord, arguing after a Fourth of July fireworks show.

Gehring was being held without bail on two charges of first degree murder.

Just days before he and the children disappeared, Gehring angrily told his ex-wife he would not abide by a new custody agreement, she said. He also had just lost his job.

Los Angeles

Ex-officer may face another trial in teen beating case

Prosecutors said Wednesday they would seek a retrial in the case of a white former police officer who was videotaped punching and slamming a handcuffed black teenager onto a squad car.

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said he would ask the judge to schedule a new trial within 60 days. A jury in the first trial deadlocked Tuesday on whether Jeremy Morse was guilty, and a judge declared a mistrial.

A judge had scheduled the next court hearing for Sept. 22, and said any retrial would begin Sept. 29. Cooley said he would ask for earlier dates.

Morse's attorney, John Barnett, said he would ask the judge to dismiss the charge against his client.

Prosecutors had described Morse as an "out-of-control officer" during the two-week trial, but Barnett argued Morse was doing his job and had only seconds to decide how much force to use against a potentially dangerous subject.

Washington, D.C.

Gulf War POWs denied compensation

Assets seized from the Iraqi government cannot be used to compensate 17 Americans held captive in Iraq in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

The former POWs had won a court award of $653 million in compensatory damages against Iraq earlier this month and argued they were entitled to claim that money from frozen Iraqi funds held in a special bank account in New York.

But U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts said the Bush administration had authority to make that money inaccessible to the POWs, who were beaten and tortured by their Iraqi captors. Justice Department attorneys said Bush has determined the money would be best used toward the rebuilding of Iraq.

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