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Archive for Saturday, May 17, 2003

Briefly

May 17, 2003

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South Carolina: 3 dead in bank robbery

Three people were killed Friday afternoon in a robbery at a Greer bank housed in a trailer along an interstate highway, authorities said.

Investigators were looking for two people in a red sedan in connection with the robbery at Blue Ridge Savings Bank, said FBI spokeswoman Kathleen Murphy.

The victims were slain with a large caliber handgun, authorities said. There were no signs of a struggle.

The victims were identified as bank employee Sylvia Holtzclaw, age unknown; and bank customers James E. Barnes, 62, and his wife, Margaret, 58.

The incident was the deadliest U.S. bank robbery since Sept. 26, when three gunmen killed five people at a US Bank branch in Norfolk, Neb.

Texas: Stepfather gets prison term for using stun gun

An Angleton man who disciplined his 8-year-old stepson and 11-year-old stepdaughter with a stun gun was sentenced to two years in prison Friday.

"I reached a conclusion that you weren't dumb. You were either mean or just lazy," Judge J. Ray Gayle III told Theodore Moody.

A jury Thursday convicted Moody, 27, of injury to a child for using the electric shock device, and endangerment for allowing his 2-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter to play unattended in their Brazoria County neighborhood.

The jury sentenced Moody to probation for the injury convictions, but it was Gayle's job to sentence him on the endangerment counts.

Moody testified that he resorted to a stun gun because more traditional forms of corporal punishment didn't seem to be working, and child-welfare officials had told him he couldn't "break bones" or "draw blood" when delivering discipline.

All four children have been placed in foster care.

California: Dad faces charges in baby's death

Prosecutors have filed murder and other charges against the father of a baby who was removed from life support by court order after an alleged beating left him in a coma.

Orange County prosecutors filed the charges Thursday in the death of 22-month-old Christopher Ibarra, who had been on life support since December 2001.

Besides the murder count, Moises Ibarra, 24, was charged with child abuse, endangerment and assault.

The father already had been charged with child abuse for allegedly shaking his 3-month-old son and throwing him into a crib. He pleaded innocent to that charge.

Ibarra, who is being held on $250,000 bail, is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges Monday. If convicted of all charges, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

Philadelphia: Fingertip-gnawer pleads guilty to fraud

A Nigerian who authorities said tried to gnaw off his fingertips in jail so he couldn't be identified through fingerprints pleaded guilty to identity fraud Thursday.

Olugbemia Olusajo, who was identified nevertheless, faces up to five years in prison and is likely to be deported, prosecutors said.

Olusajo and his wife were arrested last year and accused of setting up bogus credit card accounts using the names and Social Security numbers of clients of their airport cleaning business.

Shortly after he was arrested, prosecutors said Olusajo tried to conceal his identity by soaking his fingers in a jail toilet, then chewing away the softened skin.

He was unsuccessful, according to prosecutors.

Oklahoma: Army impersonator admits false claim

A man who claimed to be an Army captain and took charge at the scene of a deadly bridge collapse pleaded guilty Friday to impersonating a military officer.

William Clark's plea came a day after he pleaded guilty to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Clark, 37, of Tallapoosa, Mo., faces up to 13 years in federal prison at his yet-to-be-scheduled sentencing.

In a jailhouse interview with The Daily Oklahoman, Clark said he approached a roadblock May 26 about 15 minutes after the Interstate 40 bridge over the Arkansas River collapsed. Fourteen people died after two barges pushed by a towboat rammed the piers.

Prosecutors said Clark, who kept camouflage fatigues and a beret on the back seat of his car, told everyone he was in charge and that everyone from the FBI to local police believed him. He even gave media interviews.

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