A 20-year-old Fort Worth man who pleaded guilty to an armed robbery spree in 2011 is headed to prison with nine life sentences.
Karrington Braziel entered his plea to nine counts of aggravated robbery but left his punishment to a Tarrant County jury.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported Saturday prosecutors provided evidence of Braziel's record, including assault on a public servant while he was a juvenile and that he'd been a problem in jail while awaiting trial.
The robbery charges were based on a series of holdups over about a two-week span in November 2011. He was caught after a witness got his license number following a convenience store heist.
The nine sentences will be served concurrently.
The man charged with killing four people on an eastern Kansas farm is set to appear in court Monday afternoon.
Twenty-seven-year-old Kyle Flack is being held on $10 million bond. He is charged with capital murder and first-degree murder in the deaths of 18-month-old Lana Leigh Bailey, her mother, 21-year-old Kaylie Bailey, and 30-year-old Andrew Stout. He also is charged first-degree murder in the death of 31-year-old Steven White.
Flack was picked up for questioning early Wednesday in Emporia, where officers found the car that Bailey had been driving when she was last seen.
A body that was believed to be the toddler's was found over the weekend, and authorities are working to positively identify it. The adults' bodies were found earlier in the week.
The two brothers of the Cleveland man accused of holding three women captive for about a decade say they have no sympathy for him. One called him a "monster" who he hopes "rots in jail."
Onil and Pedro Castro told CNN that they want Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight to know how sorry they are for their ordeal.
The brothers were initially taken into custody but released after investigators said there was no evidence against them. Brother Ariel Castro has been charged with rape and kidnapping and is being held on $8 million bond.
Pedro Castro says he was shocked to learn DeJesus was a victim, because they'd known her father for a long time and Ariel even went to a vigil for her when she went missing.
A day before a 12-year-old boy was arrested for the stabbing death of his 8-year-old sister, his mother described him as "protective" of his younger sibling.
Leila Fowler's killing last month shook the quiet community of Valley Springs, southeast of Sacramento, and set off an intense manhunt. Her brother was in the home at the time and told police he saw a man run from the scene.
Days later, the boy appeared with his father and stepmother at a vigil for his sister. On Friday, as speculation in the community built that perhaps the boy was involved, his biological mother told Sacramento television station KOVR her son "could never hurt his sister."
"I've never seen him be mean to her," said Priscilla Rodriquez.
Less than a day later, police delivered the stunning news: The 12-year-old boy had been arrested and will be charged with homicide.
For a community still reeling from the killing, the news was another blow.
"It's bad enough to lose a child. I can't imagine losing a child by one of my own children," Patti Campbell, a longtime area resident and owner of Campbell's Country Kitchen, told The Associated Press.
Campbell, a resident of the area for 33 years and the operator of the Valley Springs restaurant for 15 of them, said she had served Leila and her family in her restaurant.
"It's just shocking. I don't know what else to say," Campbell said.
Other residents in the community of about 7,400 people expressed similar feelings of disbelief.
"I did not want to believe it. You kind of thought so, but it's not something you want to believe," resident Tammy Ainsworth told Sacramento's KCRA-TV.
Aaron Plunk, a neighbor of Fowler's, said the arrest was staggering but he could rest easier now. He said he and his family had been extra vigilant about locking windows and doors, even though the street was being closely guarded by deputies.
"I think we were the safest house in the county," Plunk told the Modesto Bee.
Plunk's mother, Carla Plunk, said she had been scared enough to arm herself.
"It the first time I ever held a gun," she said.
Calaveras Unified School District Superintendent Mark Campbell said counselors will be available Monday at all schools.
The district "stands ready to provide whatever level of support and assistance is necessary to the Fowler family" and the community at large, he said Sunday.
Police released no information about what led them to arrest the unidentified 12-year-old for the April 27 attack. Following the crime, investigators did a door-to-door sweep of homes, storage sheds and horse stables scattered across the oak-studded hills foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Divers also searched two nearby reservoirs in search of clues.
Leila's brother told police he found his sister's body and encountered an intruder in the home while their parents were at a Little League game. He described the man as tall with long gray hair. A neighbor told detectives she saw a man flee the home, but she later recanted the story.
Police said there was no sign of a burglary or robbery. As part of the investigation, authorities seized several knives from the Fowler home, where Leila lived with her father, stepmother and siblings.
Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz said authorities spent more than 2,000 hours on the investigation before they arrested the boy at 5:10 p.m. Saturday.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has released its annual ranking of what public college presidents make.
Survey results released Sunday show four chief executives earned more than $1 million last year.
Topping the list was ex-Penn State President Graham Spanier (SPAN'-yer). He shot to the No. 1 spot when he was forced out in November 2011 over his handling of the sex abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Spanier received $2.9 million in 2011-12, including $1.2 million in severance pay and $1.2 million in deferred compensation.
The median compensation for public college presidents including pay, benefits and bonuses was $441,000.
Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee (gee) had the highest base salary: $830,000. That's more than double the median base salary of $374,000.
Strong winds have pushed huge ice sheets ashore at a northern Minnesota lake and right up to people's doorsteps.
WCCO-TV reports that the ice from Lake Mille Lacs (MILL LAX) reached the doors and windows at the Izatys (eye-ZEHT'-ees) Resort on Saturday morning.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Shawn Devinny says 30 to 40 mile an hour winds pushed the water into the ice, driving it ashore. He says the winds were lighter Sunday and the shoreline got a reprieve.
The Department of Natural Resources says about 10 miles of shoreline are covered, with some reaching up to 30 feet high.
New Orleans police say that a dozen people have been shot during a Mother's Day second-line parade.
Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas told reporters at least 12 people were shot during the parade in the city's 7th Ward.
Police say the incident happened about 2 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Frenchmen and Villere streets.
The Times-Picayune reports there were about 200 people at the event when gunfire erupted.
Serpas told reporters the victims include a 10-year-old who sustained a minor wound. WDSU-TV reports at least four people were in surgery and others had been taken to four area hospitals.
Nobody has been arrested. It's unclear what sparked the gunfire.
Police are said to be looking for three people in connection with the attack.
New Orleans police are searching for three suspects Sunday after at least 19 people were shot during a Mother's Day parade.
Police spokeswoman Remi Braden said in an email that many of the victims were grazed and most of the wounds weren't life-threatening. No deaths were reported.
The FBI said that the shooting appeared to be "street violence" and wasn't linked to terrorism.
The victims included 10 men, seven women, a boy and a girl. The children, both 10 years old, were grazed and in good condition. Police said at least two people were in surgery Sunday night.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged witnesses to come forward with information during a news conference Sunday night at a hospital where gunshot victims were taken.
"These kinds of incidents will not go unanswered. Somebody knows something. The way to stop this violence is for you all to help," he said.
Mary Beth Romig, a spokeswoman for the FBI in New Orleans, said federal investigators have no indication that the shooting was an act of terrorism.
"It's strictly an act of street violence in New Orleans," she said.
Chief Serpas announced in a press conference earlier on Sunday that the youngest victim is believed to be a 10-year-old girl. Police say she suffered a graze wound, WVUE Fox 8 reported.
Officers were interspersed with the marchers, which is routine for such events. As many as 400 people joined in the procession that stretched for about 3 blocks, though only half that many were in the immediate vicinity of the shooting, Serpas said.
Serpas said that the procession had been accompanied by officers, who saw two or three suspects run from the scene in the city's 7th Ward.
Outside the hospital on Sunday night, Leonard Temple teared up as he talked about a friend of his who was in surgery after being shot three times during the parade. Temple was told the man was hit while trying to push his own daughter out of the way.
"People were just hanging out. We were just chilling. And this happened. Bad things always happen to good people," said Temple, who was at the parade but didn't see the shootings.
In the late afternoon, the scene was taped off and police had placed bullet casing markers in at least 10 spots.
Nobody had been arrested as of Sunday night.
Eleven patients have been admitted to Interim LSU Public Hospital with no life threatening injuries, hospital spokesperson Marvin McGraw said.
Second-line parades are loose processions in which people dance down the street, often following behind a brass band. They can be impromptu or planned and are sometimes described as moving block parties.
A social club called The Original Big 7 organized Sunday's event. The group was founded in 1996 at the Saint Bernard housing projects, according to its MySpace page.
The neighborhood where the shooting happened was a mix of low-income and middle-class row houses, some boarded up. As of last year, the neighborhood's population was about 60 percent of its pre-Hurricane Katrina level.
Police vowed to make swift arrests.
"We'll get them. We have good resources in this neighborhood," Serpas said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Federal officials at the General Services Administration are set to hawk an extraordinary item this week: a plane that once served as Air Force One.
The plane flew every president from Ford to George W., VPs and VIPs -- and it can be yours for as little as $50,000.
"It's not often we get to sell a piece of history like this, but GSA Auctions is selling this plane that flew Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton & Bush (as well as the Vice-President, First Lady, Cabinet secretaries, 4-star generals, admirals, foreign dignitaries and more), writes a GSA official on the department's Facebook page.
"Anyone got $50K…?" wrote one wise-cracker in reply to the social-media-borne advertisement. "We could buy it and fly to work every day and avoid the Beltway or Metro!"
"Not sure I want to fly on a 40-year-old plane," wrote one more. "If it would fit into my garage, I might have a dinner party on it on occasion."
The auction – which includes the vessels, vehicles, space-shuttle parts, real estate, heavy machinery and scientific items now considered surplus, or excess, federal equipment -- is set to begin Wednesday at 11 a.m. (EST), with the minimum, or starting bid, pegged at $50,000, according to the GSA's site.
The DC9-32, with tail number N681AL, is currently stowed at Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Ariz., although GSA officials caution that inspections of the property are "by appointment only," and that the successful bidder better have a way of removing the plane from the site.
"Successful bidders are cautioned that they will be responsible for loading, packing and removal of any and all property awarded to them from the exact place where the property is located," reads the advertisement on the GSA's website.
A southern Indiana man returning home from work found two people shot to death in the living room, and investigators found two other bodies inside, authorities said Sunday.
Bartholomew County Sheriff Mark Gorbett said three men were found dead in the living room Saturday evening and a woman's body was found in a bedroom of the home in Waynesville, a small unincorporated town about 50 miles south of Indianapolis.
All four were shot to death, County Coroner Larry Fisher said.
"We still have crime scene techs and criminal investigators at the scene and anticipate them being there for quite a length of time," Gorbett said. "We are following up on all leads at this point and we have no one in custody at this time."
Fisher identified the woman as homeowner Katheryn Burton, who was 53 or 54, and two of the men as Aaron Cross and Thomas Smith, both around 40 years old. He withheld the name of the other man until relatives could be notified.
Gorbett said the man who returned home from work about 10:45 p.m. Saturday told authorities he lived at the house with his mother and stepfather. Authorities did not identify him.
Gorbett, returning to the scene Sunday morning and asked by reporters if he could provide any additional information, said, "Quadruple homicide."
The Rev. Gary Carroll, pastor at Waynesville Chapel Mercy Missionary Baptist Church about a half-block from the home, told The (Columbus, Ind.) Republic that he had no indication there had been trouble at the home until he saw the flashing lights Saturday night.
Carroll, who lives next door to the church, said he knew the residents of the home only in passing — enough to wave when he saw them. He said they seemed like nice people.
Beverly Nichols told the newspaper she mowed the grass for a friend directly across the street from home on Saturday afternoon and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.
In September 1998, victims of another quadruple homicide were found outside of Waynesville in shallow graves beside the East Fork of the White River. Robert J. Bassett Jr. was convicted in July 2001 of killing a young mother, her two children and a 12-year-old family friend.
These sisters both reside in Washington, D.C., attending schools just 10 minutes away from each other. They boast the same shoe size and, uncannily – and beautifully -- resemble one another. They both have the same double-jointed thumbs and play many of the same sports.
But until January, Robin and Jordan Jeter, both 17, had never met.
"At first I didn't know I had any siblings," Robin told WUSA 9, the first to tell the remarkable story of the sisters' fortuitous meeting, earlier this year. "As time went on, I only thought I had one sibling. I didn't know I had any more."
Born nine months before her till-now-undiscovered sister, Jordan, a junior at Wilson High School, was adopted shortly after birth. Meanwhile, Robin, a senior at nearby Friendship Collegiate, also in Washington, D.C., bounced from biological mother, to foster care, to a legal guardian.
In January, the two fatefully met at – of all things – a track meet.
"My team was like, 'She looks exactly like you,'" said Jordan. "I started, like, crying. I already knew about my adoption and I knew my last name was Jeter."
The two exchanged phone numbers, and that night talked on the phone.
"I was so anxious to know more about her. I asked her what's your mother's name on your birth certificate, what's her birthday, what does your birth certificate say at the bottom," Robin said, while Jordan, sitting beside her, laughed at her sister's recollection of the recent conversation.
"I was like 'What is this? An interrogation?'" Jordan told the TV station with a laugh.
Now, they reportedly spend every weekend together, at a local track, or each other's houses, and plan to search for additional separated siblings.
Today – on Mother's Day – Jordan reportedly was set to meet her biological mother for the first time.
"It's been so long, I just feel like I've never be apart from her," added Jordan of her sister. "If I wouldn't have (participated in school sports), I would have never met her. I'm so thankful I joined track."
Steve Warholic spends nearly his entire workday at a Nevada ammunition store scouring the Internet, and the owner puts in even more time online. Both think they need to spend more time on the web.
They're trying to find bullets for their customers at Stockpile Defense and the store's sister school, where 50,000 people are trained every year in firearms handling. Shelves that once held the most popular calibers, like .22 and .45, are bare. There are waiting lists as long as two months and students are requested to bring their own ammunition. Pre-orders are no longer allowed.
"We're buying everything we can find and we still can't bring in enough," said Warholic. "It's a constant battle."
Demand for guns and ammunition has cleaned out stores nationwide, leading to waiting lists and early morning lines outside of gun and sporting good stores for ammunition shipments. Common calibers routinely sell out within minutes of appearing on store shelves and prices have soared as much as 70 percent.
After the Newtown elementary school massacre, gun enthusiasts, already anxious President Obama's re-election would translate into harsh controls on gun ownership, have packed stores, buying as many firearms and as much ammunition as they can find. Moves to expand background checks and limit firearm and magazine sales have added to the hysteria. Massive government purchases, including a plan by the Department of Homeland Security to buy more than 1 billion rounds of ammunition, have further stoked fears – and suspicions.
"People buy ammunition when they see it even if they don't need it," said Mike Bazinet, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Association, which represents firearms and ammunition manufacturers. "It becomes self-fulfilling over time."
Although Warholic in Nevada has ferreted out new supplies through his online work, he can barely keep up. He has 50 million rounds of ammunition on order this year, but will consider himself lucky to get 10 million. And he's one of the lucky ones: Competitors ask to purchase his supplies so they can restock their shelves.
"The running joke with our distributor is that we tell him, 'You don't need to come to work anymore. We'll take everything on your list,'" said Warholic.
The run on ammunition has also hit law enforcement agencies, notably smaller ones that don't have the funds or supplies of larger organizations. Some have stopped using bullets altogether for training. In Richmond, Calif., the 200-member force once trained on the range every month using live ammunition. They've since switched to dry fire exercises, laser guns and Airsoft pistols, which fire plastic pellets, to simulate live fire exercises -- and to save money.
"Ammunition has tripled in price over the last decade. We now have to wait a year to eight months for a shipment," said Capt. Mark Gagan, spokesman for the Richmond Police Department.
This year, concerns over a federal government bid to purchase large amounts of ammunition sent gun enthusiasts back to the stores. The Department of Homeland Security put out bids for up to 1.2 billion rounds of ammunition, leading many gun enthusiasts, including Sen. Tom Coburn , R-Okla., to question if the agency's five-year purchase plan was fueling the national shortage.
"These round totals are simply a ceiling," said Peter Boogard, DHS spokesman, in an email. "It does not mean that DHS will buy, or require, the full amounts of either contract."
Over the last three fiscal years, the agency, which oversees the U.S. Secret Service, Coast Guard and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, actually bought fewer rounds of ammunition each year. The number of rounds purchased has fallen from 148.3 million in fiscal 2010 to 103.2 million rounds in 2012. The agency, which includes more than 100,000 law enforcement personnel, uses about two-thirds of the ammunition for qualifications or training purposes.
Gun enthusiasts and elected officials also grew concerned that DHS was purchasing hollow-point bullets, which expand upon contact. Although police departments use different types of ammunition, most use hollow-point bullets because they have greater stopping power and carry less danger of passing through the target, said Darrel Stephens, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association.
Background checks for firearms soared following the shooting at the Newtown elementary school in Connecticut, as people feared some guns would be banned. The week following the Dec. 14 massacre, the FBI reported its busiest week ever for background checks since it started recording figures in 1998. Even the day of the killings, the number of background checks was among the ten highest in the last 15 years. The figures do not reflect denials or the number of firearms purchased.
The spike in demand isn't new. The sour economy has also played into personal safety fears that crime will rise. Surges in gun and ammunition purchases have been ongoing since President Obama, like many Democrats, a vocal advocate of gun control, was elected in 2008 and then re-elected last year. In an October 2009 Gallup poll, 55 percent of gun owners said they thought the president will attempt to ban gun sales.
Despite the rush to buy ammunition and guns, household gun ownership among Americans has declined modestly since the 1970s. In 2012, 34 percent of Americans had a gun at home, down from 50 percent in 1973, the first year University of Chicago researchers started tracking gun ownership for the General Social Survey. A 2012 Gallup reported a more modest decline from 50 percent in 1968 to 43 percent last year.
These surveys, however, don't track how many firearms a gun owner has. While there is no data, retailers and ammunition dealers say ammunition and firearms sales have been to gun owners, and not to those who have never owned a firearm.
With such little supply, retailers have slapped restrictions on the number of boxes of ammunition customers can purchase. In January, Walmart limited ammunition sales to three boxes per customer, per day. Dick's Sporting Goods and Cabela's imposed a three and ten box-restriction on purchases, respectively.
At Dick's Sporting Goods in Bee Cave, Texas, a line of 10 to 15 people wait in the early morning hours outside for the store to open every Wednesday and Friday despite the three-box limit. On those days, new ammunition shipments come in and though they don't know what's coming off the truck, gun enthusiasts still show up. Any ammunition calibers that are difficult to get, like 9-mm., .22, .45 or .223, are routinely bought within minutes, leaving shelves bare. Only shotgun shells can routinely be found.
"We're getting in anything that we can and we still sell out," said Payton, a salesman at Dick's. "People panic, that's all."
The surge in demand for firearms and ammunition is also reflected in the bottom line of big retailers, like Cabela's and Walmart. At Cabela's, a national chain of sporting goods stores, first quarter profit skyrocketed 73 percent, fired by strong sales of guns and ammunition. The company's stock hit an all-time high last week after reporting its results and blowing apart analysts' expectations.
"It's no surprise guns and ammunition were going to be strong in the first quarter," said Thomas Millner, Cabela's chief executive officer in an earnings call last Thursday. "Supply is still tight. It is still constraining ultimate demand because we simply -- in some categories, like .22-caliber ammunition, it's very, very tight."
Ammunition manufacturers are reporting record profits and sales, with increases that number in the double and sometimes triple digits. Olin, which owns Winchester, reported last week the company's first quarter earnings climbed 190 percent over the same period last year. Federal Premium Ammunition's annual earnings for ammunition last year climbed 24 percent over 2011.
"Our sales are only limited by the amount we can produce," said Joseph Rupp, Olin chairman and chief executive officer in a conference call last Friday.
Ammunition manufacturers are struggling to make enough and have hundreds of millions of dollars in backorders. They've added hundreds of employees and equipment and increased overtime, and, in some cases, are running factories around the clock. Producers have posted notes on all their web sites assuring customers they are working as fast as they can.
"We are producing as much as we can; much more than last year, which was a lot more than the year before. No one wants to shop more during this time than we do," a note on Hornady's site said.
Producers did not return repeated emails and calls.
"Manufacturers are doing what they can, but it's not enough to keep up. It's a supply-and-demand issue," said Nima Samadi, a senior analyst who tracks the guns and ammunition industry at IbisWorld, a market research firm in Los Angeles.
While demand is strong, manufacturers consider it temporary and aren't planning to build new factories or make substantial changes that would cost a lot of money and take a lot of time to train people and buy new facilities. The last "surge" in demand only lasted six quarters, and this one, though manufacturers changed their expectations in the last month, now expect demand to remain strong through the end of the year. Some even wonder if it will extend into the new year and beyond.
"I think the honest answer is," said Millner, Cabela's chief executive officer. "I don't know when it's going to loosen up."
Jurors will return Monday to deliberate on the charges that Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell killed a patient and four babies that prosecutors allege were born alive.
Gosnell, 72, ran the Women's Medical Society clinic in West Philadelphia for 30 years until the FBI shut down the facility in a raid in 2010.
Gosnell faces a third-degree murder charge in the death of patient Karnamaya Mongar. He is also charged with four counts of first-degree murder for infants who were allegedly born alive and were killed by suffering severed spinal cords at Gosnell's hands. Several clinic employees have pleaded guilty to murder charges.
Prosecutors allege Gosnell's untrained, unlicensed staff gave Mongar a fatal combination of oral and intravenous drugs on Nov. 19, 2009, and failed to properly monitor her vital signs during the second-term procedure. Mongar went into cardiac arrest, lapsed into a coma and died the following day. Gosnell's attorney, Jack McMahon, has countered that Mongar, who was 19 weeks pregnant at the time, had unreported respiratory damage and died of complications.
Gosnell, who faces a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Mongar's relatives, is also charged with violating Pennsylvania's abortion law for allegedly performing abortions after 24 weeks. Some observers have said the trial highlights the difficulty to get an abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, or the end of the second trimester. A clinic near Mongar's home in Woodbridge, Va., reportedly did not perform abortions after 14 weeks.
The only co-defendant, unlicensed doctor Eileen O'Neill, is charged with racketeering and working without a license. Her lawyer says she worked under Gosnell's supervision.
Jurors have heard nearly two months of graphic testimony and will begin their 10th day of deliberations Monday.
The jury is weighing about 260 counts, including the five murder counts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Federal officials -- for the first time -- plan to make provisions on the application for student aid for same-sex marriages, as well as unions where both parents are residing together but are not legally married.
The U.S. Department of Education reports on its website that the 2014-2015 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, will, where applicable, replace gender-specific terms like "mother" and "father" with those like "Parent 1 (father/mother/stepparent)" and "Parent 2 (father/mother/stepparent)." The FAFSA also will provide a new option for applicants to describe parents' marital status as "unmarried and both parents living together."
"All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a statement. "These changes will allow us to more precisely calculate federal student aid eligibility based on what a student's whole family is able to contribute and ensure taxpayer dollars are better targeted toward those students who have the most need, as well as provide an inclusive form that reflects the diversity of American families."
Department of Education officials pointed out the new FAFSA does not contradict the federal Defense of Marriage Act because the Higher Education Act (HEA), under which it operates and dispenses aid, generally includes terms like "parent" and "parents'" and not "mother," "father" or "spouse."
The FAFSA changes are potentially pivotal for some students since the information collected is used in the calculation of applicants' expected family contribution (EFC), which not only determines eligibility for federal student aid but also aid from many states, institutions and private programs.
"It is critical that both of a dependent student's parents help pay, to the extent they are able, for the educational expenses of their child" reads a DOE release. "Collecting parental information from both of a dependent student's legal parents will result in fair treatment of all families by eliminating longstanding inequities based on parents' relationship with each other rather than on their relationship with their child."
The DOE said the FAFSA alterations will change some students' eligibility, decreasing it in some instances because of the inclusion of a previously discounted parent's income in the EFC.
Also, the DOE said, "In a small number of instances, the student would be eligible for more aid because the offset for an additional person in the parents' household, a factor in calculating the EFC, will exceed the income of the second parent."
Tough calls don't often confront the people responsible for deciding who belongs on a national memorial for officers killed in the line of duty.
But recognizing fallen men and women in blue isn't always a black-and-white decision.
The cases of two inductees this year highlight challenges for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. It holds a vigil Monday for 321 officers added to the wall in Washington, D.C.
Detective Sgt. Caleb Embree Smith of Flint died by poisoning in 1921. Wauwatosa, Wis., Officer Jennifer Sebena was shot multiple times while working last Christmas Eve, and her husband is a suspect.
Smith's case remains unsolved. Sebena's was originally viewed as domestic violence. Both have been memorialized.
Officials say most applications have been approved during more than two decades.
The victims of a Cleveland house of horrors are pleading with the public for privacy and time to heal amidst a deluge of requests from the media, as well as an outpouring of offers to assist them from around the world.
"There is a pending criminal investigation, and prosecution," said attorney Jim Wooley Sunday on behalf of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight.
"It is not in the best interests of anyone connected with that proceeding for Ms. Berry, Ms. DeJesus, and Ms. Knight to be making statements to the media while that proceeding is pending.
"Second, and most importantly, Ms. Berry, Ms. DeJesus, and Ms. Knight have asked – in fact, have pleaded – for privacy at this time so that they can continue to heal and reconnect with their families."
Wooley added that anyone wishing to contribute to the victims should specifically work with the Cleveland Courage Fund.
Meanwhile, the spokesman issued statements on behalf of the women with Berry stating, "Thank you so much for everything you're doing and continue to do. I am so happy to be home with my family."
DeJesus reportedly said, "I'm so happy to be home and want to thank everybody for all your prayers. I just want time now to be with my family," while Knight added: "Thank you to everyone for your support and good wishes. I am healthy, happy and safe and will reach out to family, friends and supporters in good time."
Berry, DeJesus and Knight disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004 and were found Monday after Berry escaped and screamed for help and contacted police. Cleveland man Ariel Castro is now charged with abducting and raping the three women, binding them with ropes and chains in his home and only allowing them out a few times in disguise.
Prosecutors have also said they plan to pursue murder charges against Castro, related to the as many as five miscarriages he induced after impregnating Knight.
Police say the bodies of a woman and a 13-year-old boy have been found after a dayslong standoff in New Jersey, and a suspect was killed in the rescue of three children inside the home.
Authorities said at a news conference Sunday that officers stormed the house and shot 38-year-old Gerald Tyrone Murphy because he was threatening one of the children. Murphy later died of his injuries.
The standoff ended at 3:45 a.m. Sunday, about 37 hours after it began. Murphy had been holed-up in a two-story red brick house in South Trenton since Friday afternoon.
Police say they were called to the home on reports that a man had barricaded himself inside. Authorities say police entered the home and found the man brandishing a gun.
Two brothers of the Cleveland kidnapping suspect say they fear people still believe they had something to do with the three missing women found in his home.
Onil and Pedro Castro tell CNN that they've been getting death threats even after police decided not to charge them.
Pedro Castro says he would have turned in his brother Ariel if he had known he was involved in the women's disappearance.
Ariel Castro is suspected of holding the women captive in his home for a decade. Authorities say he kidnapped all three, raped them and fathered a child with one.
The women were found May 6 after one escaped and called 911.
The brothers were initially taken into custody but released Thursday after investigators said there was no evidence against them.
For nearly a decade, Nancy Ruiz hoped against hope her daughter was still alive.
Today, she celebrates "the best Mother's Day . . . ever" after a homecoming that – at last – brought the return of Gina DeJesus.
"This is the best Mother's Day I could ever have," Ruiz said, according to Reuters, following DeJesus' escape from the Cleveland house of horrors in which she and three others were held captive by the accused, Ariel Castro.
DeJesus, now 23, was kidnapped at 14 while walking home from junior high school in 2004, and allegedly held in the basement of Castro's Cleveland home, along with Amanda Berry, 27, and Michelle Knight, 32.
Berry escaped Monday, and phoned 911, leading to not only Castro's arrest, but also the freedom of the two others -- as well as the child Berry apparently bore while in captivity.
However, while this Mother's Day proved joyous for Ruiz, the occasion is likely bittersweet for Berry, who lost her own mother during the 10 years she was held, and mothered a child, as well; police said DNA indicates the child was fathered by Castro.
Prosecutors are seeking murder charges, which could carry the death penalty, against Castro, 52, a former school bus driver who police said induced several miscarriages by beating and starving Knight.
Castro is currently charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape, prosecutor Victor Perez said. He is being held on $8 million bond.
According to Reuters, a city councilman briefed on the case said the women were subjected to prolonged sexual and psychological abuse and suffered miscarriages, never finding a chance to escape until this week.
Councilman Brian Cummins said that many details remain unclear, including the number of pregnancies and the conditions under which the miscarriages occurred. He also said the women were kept in the basement for some time without having access to the rest of the house.
"We know that the victims have confirmed miscarriages, but with who, how many and what conditions we don't know," Cummins said. He added: "It sounds pretty gruesome."
The Cleveland community has joyously welcomed the three women – and Berry's child. But while DeJesus and Berry were reunited with their long-lost families, Reuters reports there was no such homecoming for Knight, who slipped into seclusion after departing a hospital on Friday.
While at the medical facility, she reportedly refused visits from family members, some of whom believed she was a runaway when she disappeared in 2002 after losing custody of her young son, her grandmother reportedly said.
Like a recurring nightmare, the return of O.J. Simpson to a Las Vegas courtroom come Monday will remind Americans of a tragedy that became a national obsession and in the process changed the country's attitude toward the justice system, the media and celebrity.
His 1995 trial is the stuff of legends, the precipitous fall of a Hall of Fame football player from the pinnacle of adoration to a murder defendant who, although acquitted of killing his ex-wife and her friend, was never absolved in the public mind.
He is arguably the most famous American ever charged with murder, and his "trial of the century" cast him in the role of the accused -- no longer the superhero-turned-movie actor held up to young people as an example of achievement.
But less is remembered about the 2008 Las Vegas trial that sent Simpson to prison for a bizarre hotel room robbery in which the celebrity defendant said he just wanted to take back personal memorabilia that he claimed was stolen from him.
When he comes to court Monday, it is that conviction for armed robbery and kidnapping that will be before a Nevada judge. Simpson is seeking freedom in what lawyers often call a "Hail Mary motion," a writ of habeas corpus. It claims he had such bad representation that his conviction should be reversed and a new trial ordered. Most defendants lose these motions, but in this case nobody is taking bets on the outcome.
"Nothing is the same when O.J. is involved," said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson, who observed Simpson's Los Angeles trial. "An O.J. case is never like any other case."
With Simpson, the past is always a prologue -- and so memories of his murder trial are certain to serve as a backdrop throughout the Las Vegas hearing. This case, while less dramatic in nature, carries with it far more devastating consequences.
Now 65 years old, Simpson has already spent the last four years in prison and must serve at least nine years of his maximum 33-year sentence before he is even eligible for parole. He would be 70 by then. If Simpson doesn't win a new trial, he could conceivably spend the rest of his life locked up.
"I try to explain to people how somebody could come from nothing to live the American dream and then lose it all," said Simpson's former manager and agent, Mike Gilbert, who is expected to testify at the hearing. "I have a hard time with it."
Close friend Jim Barnett describes Simpson as grayer, paunchier and limping a little more these days from old knee injuries. The Silicon Valley venture capitalist has visited Simpson several times at the medium-security Lovelock Correctional Center, an hour northeast of Reno.
Simpson, Barnett said, is a favorite among inmates. He has served as prison gym steward and coached a champion prison baseball team. "He gets along with everyone there," he said. "But he's slow. Last time I saw him, he had gotten quite heavy."
Before the "trial of the century," there were few televised court cases, no celebrity justice shows and a minimum of talking heads holding forth on TV about the prospects of famous defendants in court. Simpson's murder trial, televised from gavel to gavel, brought the legal arena into living rooms and turned lawyers into stars.
And Simpson, the quintessential American sports hero, was brought down by a trial that could not vindicate him even with a "not guilty" verdict. Too many people wanted him to pay for the deaths of his beautiful ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, found stabbed in front of her Los Angeles condominium.
Too many people believed Simpson had gotten away with murder.
The man who had won the Heisman Trophy and was known for his phenomenal running on a football field -- and in commercials for Hertz cars -- ran again when he was named as a suspect in the June 1994 killings. The spectacle of police chasing after one of America's most famous men across Los Angeles freeways was an image for history books. The slow-speed white Ford Bronco pursuit became part of the legend.
It took a year for his trial to unfold. There were issues of racism, domestic violence, mishandled evidence -- and the many memorable moments, and lines, that quickly became part of the pop culture lexicon: Simpson struggling to squeeze on a bloody black glove and his lawyer, Johnnie Cochran, admonishing the jury: "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit."
The case so captivated America that on the day of the verdict, even then-President Bill Clinton watched it on TV.
Simpson walked out a free man. But he would be a pariah forever after.
As shocking as Simpson's fall from grace is his involvement in the hotel room heist that landed him in prison.
Those who try to explain it come back to one word -- hubris, the literary allusion to excessive self-confidence, pride and arrogance. Simpson refused to accept that people didn't idolize him anymore. He boasted about his continuing celebrity status. He was delighted that people still wanted his autograph and wanted to hang out with him at the pool of The Palms hotel in Las Vegas. And that was where the disastrous plan was born.
He had come to Las Vegas that September of 2007 for a happy event. His old friend, Tom Scotto, was getting married and invited Simpson to be his best man. Scotto still sounds anguished when he recalls the weekend.
"If it wasn't for me," Scotto said in an interview, "he wouldn't have been there."
Simpson, trial testimony would show, organized a posse of five friends and acquaintances to accompany him to a hotel where he was told some men were trying to sell his mementos, including family pictures. It was to be a sting of sorts, in which the memorabilia dealers would think an anonymous buyer was coming.
When Simpson walked into the hotel room, he realized he knew the sellers from previous dealings and he accused them of stealing from him. He shouted that no one was to leave the room -- an action that would be judged to fit the legal definition of kidnapping. As Simpson's guys began bagging up the memorabilia, one of them pulled a gun, according to trial testimony.
No one was injured, but the sellers called the police -- and another Simpson case for another century was launched.
It turned out that Tom Riccio, another memorabilia dealer who played middleman between Simpson and the sellers, had planted a tape recorder in the hotel room and the tape, played for jurors, was powerful evidence.
Simpson's cohorts testified against him, including the man who said he brought a gun. They were an odd assortment of down-on-their luck Vegas characters who received plea deals and were set free on probation.
Simpson's co-defendant at his trial, Clarence "C.J." Stewart, served more than two years in prison before the Nevada Supreme Court overturned his conviction. The justices ruled Simpson's fame tainted the proceedings and that Stewart should have been tried separately. Stewart took a plea deal to avoid a retrial and was released.
Simpson, meantime, was sentenced by Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass to nine to 33 years in prison. Referencing the earlier murder trial, the judge said that her penalty was not intended as "retribution or any payback for anything else." She made no mention of the two Las Vegas police detectives overheard in a taped conversation saying that if California authorities couldn't "get" Simpson, those in Nevada would. The tape was played at the trial.
On Monday, Simpson will be back before a different judge who agreed to hear evidence on 19 claims of ineffective counsel and attorney conflict of interest. Simpson contends his trial attorney never told him about a plea bargain that had been offered by prosecutors. He also said in a sworn statement that the same attorney knew about the memorabilia sting before it happened, and "he advised me that I was within my legal rights."
Simpson is expected to testify sometime during the weeklong hearing. Instead of wearing an expensive suit and tie, the man known to Nevada authorities as inmate No. 1027820 will be dressed in plain blue prison garb.