Archive for Tuesday, June 3, 2003

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June 3, 2003

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Iowa: Life sentence given in slaying of children

A man who pleaded guilty to killing two of his children and badly injuring his wife was sentenced Monday in Dubuque to life in prison.

Michael Walker, 38, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder less than two months after he was charged with killing his daughter Lindsay, 9, and son Jordan, 8.

He also was sentenced to 50 years on the attempted murder charge stemming from the Feb. 17 attack on Karen Fox, now his ex-wife.

Walker is the brother of Christopher White Walker, editor and publisher of the Emporia Gazette. Michael and Christopher Walker are the great-grandsons of William Allen White.

Oregon: Phony bomb threat blamed on tardy passenger

A man running late for his flight to Phoenix called in a phony bomb threat Monday in hopes that the plane would be delayed long enough for him to get on board, police said.

America West clerks at the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport became suspicious and notified police after the man came to their desk asking about Flight 6262, which by then was on its way back to the airport because of the threat, said Medford Police Lt. Mike Moran.

The man was held on outstanding, unrelated criminal charges and being questioned by the FBI, Moran said. The suspect was not immediately identified.

Indiana: Roller coaster rider killed

State inspectors found nothing wrong with a roller coaster where a passenger fell and died over the weekend, authorities said.

The death Saturday night of Tamar Fellner, 32, of New York, was classified as an accident, according to a statement issued late Sunday by the Spencer County Sheriff's Department.

Inspectors who went to the Holiday World amusement park in Santa Claus found no mechanical problems on the ride, called the Raven, said Alden Taylor, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Fire and Building Services. The investigation continued Monday.

Details of the death remained sketchy. Investigators said only that the woman fell from the ride.

Virginia: Sniper charges will stand

A judge refused Monday to dismiss state charges against sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo because of an alleged overlap with federal charges.

Fairfax Circuit Judge Jane Marum Roush also heard arguments on a change of venue motion but said she would rule later.

Malvo's lawyers had sought to have the Virginia charges thrown out because of a state law that forbids state prosecution when the federal government initiates a prosecution for the same crimes.

The state law is designed to bolster a defendant's double-jeopardy rights against multiple prosecutions.

Roush agreed with local prosecutors that the federal charges -- since dropped -- were carefully crafted to avoid such a conflict. She noted that the federal charges said nothing about the Oct. 14 shooting of FBI analyst Linda Franklin, for which Malvo is facing trial in Fairfax County.

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