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Archive for Thursday, April 1, 2004

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April 1, 2004

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Las Vegas

Jury recommends death in desert murders case

A jury recommended death Wednesday for a man convicted of killing two women and wounding a third by shooting all three in the head in the desert.

Alfonso "Slinkey" Blake, 34, had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Under Nevada law, the judge has little discretion once the jury recommends the death penalty. Blake would be the 85th person on Nevada's death row.

The same jury convicted Blake last week for the March 5, 2003, shootings.

Prosecutors said Blake was enraged with the women because they decided against moving into his home. Blake planned to live off their earnings as strippers, prosecutors said.

The key prosecution witness was Kim Choy, 24, the only survivor of the shootings that killed her 19-year-old sister, Sophear, and friend Priscilla Van Dine, 23.

She recounted how Blake shot each women twice in the head and then turned the gun on her. The first bullet ricocheted off her rings as she held her hands in front of her face, and she fell to the ground and was shot in the head.

New York

Toddler dies in shooting

A 2-year-old boy was fatally shot and two men were wounded in Brooklyn Wednesday when two gunmen walked up to their parked car and opened fire, police said.

The victims, who had been sitting in a green Cadillac with North Carolina license plates, were rushed to Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, where the child was pronounced dead with a gunshot wound to the head. The two men, aged 23 and 29, were admitted in serious condition.

The dead boy was identified by police sources as Damani Spruill.

Two other children in the back seat, a 4-year-old boy and a 14-month-old girl, were not shot but suffered scratches, police said. Police said all three youngsters were the children of the 23-year-old and that their mother lives in the neighborhood.

Neighbors say gunshots are not common in the neighborhood.

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