A Texas high school silenced its Valedictorian's microphone during his speech when he diverted from his pre-approved remarks and instead spoke about the Constitution.
Joshua High School graduate Remington Reimer, who was accepted into the Naval Academy, had his microphone silenced during his speech right after he told fellow graduates that school officials apparently threatened him with the move the day before, MyFoxDFW.com reported.
Colin Radford, a fellow graduate told MyFoxDFW.com that Reimer was "talking about getting constitutional rights taken away from him, and then he said "just yesterday they threatened to turn my microphone off," and then his microphone went off."
"Student speakers were told that if their speeches deviated from the prior-reviewed material, the microphone would be turned off, regardless of content," Joshua Independent School District said in a statement.
"When one student's speech deviated from the prior-reviewed speech, the microphone was turned off, pursuant to District policy and procedure," the statement said.
The ceremony reportedly opened and closed with a prayer, leading another graduate to believe Reimer's speech mentioning God and Jesus had nothing to do with the microphone being silenced.
A Florida judge is listening to a third day of testimony that will help her decide if voice-recognition experts should be allowed at George Zimmerman's trial.
Testimony was continuing Saturday, only two days before jury selection starts in Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012.
Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense.
Voice experts were hired by lawyers and news organizations to analyze 911 calls made during the confrontation in which screams can be heard.
The screams are crucial pieces of evidence since they could determine who the aggressor was in the confrontation. Martin's family contends it was the teen screaming, while Zimmerman's father has said it was his son.
Audio experts have reached mixed conclusions.
Authorities in northern Arizona say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his father at a Prescott Valley home.
Prescott Valley police say the shooting occurred just after noon Friday.
The 35-year-old man, identified as Justin Stanfield Thomas, and his young son were visiting from Phoenix and were at a friend's house.
Police say the boy somehow found a gun in the home's living room and accidentally fired it and a bullet hit his father, who was rushed to a hospital where he died.
The friend was reportedly Thomas' former roommate and it may have been a surprise visit to the home, MyFoxPhoenix.com reported.
The boy was taken to a police substation to undergo interviews, and did not appear to realize what he did, MyFoxPhoenix.com reported. The boy is now with his mother.
"At this point there is no indication of any foul play," Prescott Valley Police spokesperson Brandon Bonney told MyFoxPhoenix.com.
Thomas was an Iraq War veteran with the Army Special Forces and leaves behind two children, the news station reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The government's broad programs to collect U.S. phone records and Internet traffic helped disrupt a 2009 plot to bomb the New York City subways, a senior U.S. intelligence official said.
But the assertion raises as many questions as it answers because court testimony indicated the subway plot investigation began with an email.
Over the past days, The Guardian newspaper and The Washington Post have revealed classified documents showing how the National Security Agency sweeps up phone records and Internet data in its hunt for terrorists. Those programs have come under criticism from civil libertarians and some in Congress who say they were too broad and collected too much about innocent Americans.
In one of those programs, the NSA's collected daily records of millions of phone calls made and received by U.S. citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing.
On Thursday, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., who leads the House Intelligence Committee, credited that effort with thwarting a terrorism plot. But he did not elaborate.
The senior U.S. intelligence official who asserted Friday that the phone records program together with other technical intercepts thwarted the subway plot would not provide other details. The official was not authorized to discuss the plot publicly and requested anonymity.
Afghan-American Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty in the 2009 plot, saying he had been recruited by al-Qaida in Pakistan.
The break in that case came, according to court documents and testimony, when Zazi emailed a Yahoo address seeking help with his bomb recipe.
At that time, British intelligence officials knew the Yahoo address was associated with an al-Qaida leader in Pakistan. That's because, according to British government documents released in 2010, officials had discovered it on the computer of a terror suspect there months earlier.
Because the NSA and British intelligence work so closely together and so little is known about how the NSA monitors email traffic, it's possible that both agencies were monitoring the Yahoo address at the time Zazi sent the critical email in 2009.
What's unclear, though, is how the phone program aided the investigation, which utilized court-authorized wiretaps of Zazi and his friends.
Based on what's known about the phone-records program, the NSA might have had an archive of all the phone calls Zazi had made, which might have helped authorities look for possible co-conspirators.
Because the phone program remains classified, however, it's impossible to say with certainty how the program benefited the investigation.
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Richard Ramirez, the demonic serial killer known as the Night Stalker who left satanic signs at murder scenes and mutilated victims' bodies during a reign of terror in the 1980s, died early Friday in a hospital, a prison official said.
Ramirez, 53, had been taken from San Quentin's death row to a hospital where authorities said he died of liver failure. Prison officials said they could not release further details on the cause of death, citing federal patient privacy laws.
Ramirez had been housed on death row for decades and was awaiting execution, even though it has been years since anyone has been put to death in California.
At his first court appearance, Ramirez raised a hand with a pentagram drawn on it and yelled, "Hail, Satan."
His marathon trial, which ended in 1989, was a horror show in which jurors heard about one dead victim's eyes being gouged out and another's head being nearly severed. Courtroom observers wept when survivors of some of the attacks testified.
Ramirez was convicted of 13 murders that terrorized Southern California in 1984 and 1985 as well as charges of rape, sodomy, oral copulation, burglary and attempted murder.
The killing spree reached its peak in the hot summer of 1985, as the nocturnal killer entered homes through unlocked windows and doors and killed men and women with gunshot blasts to the head or knives to the throat, sexually assaulted female victims, and burglarized the residences.
He was dubbed the Night Stalker by the press while residents were warned to lock their doors and windows at night.
Some of the crimes were grisly beyond imagining: A man was murdered in his bed and his wife was raped beside the dead body. The killer beat a small child and attempted to sodomize him.
There were also signs of devil worship — a pentagram drawn on the wall at one murder scene and survivors' accounts of being ordered to "swear to Satan " by the killer.
Ramirez was finally chased down and beaten in 1985 by residents of a blue-collar East Los Angeles neighborhood as he attempted a carjacking. They recognized him after his picture appeared that day in the news media.
The trial of Ramirez took a year, but the entire case — bogged down in pretrial motions and appeals — lasted four years, making it one of the longest criminal cases in U.S. history.
Because of the notoriety, more than 1,600 prospective jurors were called.
The trial was almost aborted in its final stages when a woman juror was murdered during deliberations. Jurors were 13 days into talks when the juror failed to appear one morning. She was found beaten and shot to death at the home she shared with her boyfriend. The next day, the man committed suicide and left a note saying he killed her in an argument.
Jurors wept when they learned of the tragedy, and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Tynan was faced with one of his most trying legal challenges. Lawyers said there were no legal precedents for the situation.
Defense attorneys argued the jurors were too distraught to resume their talks and noted the murder was similar to the gruesome attacks attributed to the Night Stalker.
Tynan decided to move forward. "We must get on with the task life has given us," he told jurors, ordering them to begin deliberations with an alternate juror.
Jurors later said the death of the juror did not influence their decision.
Tynan said Friday, "The Richard Ramirez case was the most difficult trial I ever handled. It was an experience I will never forget, and I'm glad the ordeal is over."
After the conviction, Ramirez flashed a two-fingered "devil sign" to photographers and muttered a single word: "Evil."
On his way to a jail bus, he sneered in reaction to the verdict, muttering: "Big deal. Death always went with the territory. See you in Disneyland."
The black-clad killer, unrepentant to the end, made his comment in an underground garage after the jury recommended the death penalty for his gruesome crimes.
Inexplicably, Ramirez, a native of El Paso, Texas, had a following of young women admirers who came to the courtroom regularly and sent him love notes.
Some visited him in prison, and in 1996 Ramirez was married to 41-year-old freelance magazine editor Doreen Lioy in a visiting room at San Quentin prison.
Relatives called Lioy a recluse who lived in a fantasy world.
Her whereabouts could not be determined on Friday. She was not listed as Ramirez's next of kin, prison spokesman Samuel Robinson said in an email.
"His blood relatives are listed as the next of kin," Robinson said.
In 2006, the California Supreme Court upheld Ramirez's convictions and death sentence. The U.S. Supreme Court refused in 2007 to review the convictions and sentence. Ramirez still had appeals pending when he died.
His lawyers claimed the case should have been moved out of Los Angeles and said Ramirez was incompetent to stand trial.
Two years after his arrest, San Francisco police said DNA linked Ramirez to the April 10, 1984, killing of 9-year-old Mei Leung. She was killed in the basement of a residential hotel in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood where she lived with her family.
Ramirez had been staying at nearby hotels.
Ramirez previously was tied to killings in Northern California. He was charged in the shooting deaths of Peter Pan, 66, and his wife, Barbara, in 1985 just before his arrest in Los Angeles, but he was never tried in that case.
Thompson reported from Sacramento.
Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch covered the trial of Richard Ramirez.