South Carolina Cop Charged With Murder After Shooting

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The parents of a black man who was fatally shot while fleeing a white police officer call the shooting horrible, with his father saying it looked as if the officer was trying to “kill a deer running through the woods.” Judy Scott, the mother of 50-year-old Walter Lamer Scott, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday that she almost couldn’t look at the video showing the shooting last weekend. She says it tore her heart to pieces. His father, Walter Scott Sr., tells NBC’s “Today Show” that his son may have run after being pulled for a traffic stop because he owed child support and didn’t want to go back to jail. The father says he doesn’t know if the shooting was racially motivated. Continue Reading

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul Announces GOP Presidential Bid

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — As he launches his presidential campaign, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul is delivering a challenge both to Washington and to his fellow Republicans. Announcing his candidacy today at a rally in Louisville, Paul said he’s worried that “opportunity and hope are slipping away for our sons and daughters.” And he said it seems as if “both parties and the entire political system are to blame.” Paul drew cheers today when he denounced government searches of phones and computer records — a practice that most Republicans defend as a necessary defense against terrorism. Continue Reading

Escaped Murderer Who Spent Three Days on the Run Captured in Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) — Police in Chicago have arrested a convicted murderer who escaped from an eastern Illinois jail and spent nearly three days on the run. Chicago police officers arrested Kamron T. Taylor late Friday night after a foot chase. Taylor was found with a handgun. The Chicago Police Department says Taylor will be held on a gun charge until he is turned over to the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office. Kankakee County Sheriff Timothy Bukowski told reporters Saturday that a tattoo on Taylor’s neck helped identify him. Continue Reading

Gary Ross Dahl, Pet Rock Inventor, Dead at 78

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. (AP) — Gary Ross Dahl, the creator of the wildly popular 1970s fad the Pet Rock, has died at age 78 in southern Oregon. Dahl’s wife, Marguerite Dahl, confirmed Tuesday that her husband of 40 years died March 23 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The smooth stones came packed in a cardboard box containing a tongue-in-cheek instruction pamphlet for “care and feeding.” Dahl estimated he had sold 1.5 million of them at roughly $4 each by the time the fad fizzled. Continue Reading

Man Killed by NSA Police had Lengthy Record

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — Court documents show that a cross-dressing man killed during a violent encounter at the National Security Agency had a history of theft and assault, and was mistaken at least once for being a woman. The records show that 27-year-old Ricky Shawatza Hall was charged with assaulting a woman and stealing a bottle of methadone from her pocket in 2013. The documents show Hall had been wearing a yellow dress at the time of the assault and was mistaken as a woman. Last year, Hall was charged with robbery after stealing a vest and skirt from a Baltimore clothing store. Continue Reading

Eight Dead, Ten Injured in Florida Van Crash

MOORE HAVEN, Fla. (AP) – The Florida Highway Patrol says eight people died and 10 others were injured when a van from a church ran through a stop sign, crossed all lanes of U.S. 27 and landed in a canal in rural southwest Florida. The crash happened around 12:30 a.m. Monday in Glades County at an intersection. Glades County is west of Lake Okeechobee. Lt. Gregory S. Bueno says the van was heading back to Fort Pierce, which is north of West Palm Beach on Florida’s Atlantic coast, after a weekend convention in Fort Myers. Continue Reading

Boston Woman Charged with Marathon Injury Fraud

BOSTON (AP) — A Boston woman has been indicted on charges of fraudulently receiving tens of thousands of dollars in benefits by claiming she was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing. Joanna Leigh was indicted on charges of larceny and making a false claim to a government agency. Prosecutors say she received $8,000 from The One Fund, a charity established to help bombing victims; $18,000 from a state victims’ compensation fund; $9,000 from an online fundraiser; and $1,700 raised by students at a Boston school. Authorities say she was at the marathon in April 2013, but was not injured. The 41-year-old Leigh says she suffered traumatic brain injuries, and the charges are retaliation for her criticism of The One Fund for not benefiting people with such injuries. Continue Reading

Explosion Partially Collapses New York City Building, Dozen Injured

The Fire Department of New York says four people are in critical condition among a dozen injured in an explosion, building collapse and fire in Manhattan’s East Village. Officials initially said three were critically hurt in Thursday’s blast. Firefighter Ed Long says the tally is up to four. Mayor Bill de Blasio says preliminary evidence suggests a gas-related explosion is to blame. He says plumbing and gas work appear to have sparked the problem inside one building. Continue Reading

Judge says Hearing will Continue in Running Death Case

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — A judge says a sentencing hearing will continue for an Alabama woman convicted in her granddaughter’s running death, but he has not announced a ruling on a defense motion to throw out the case over allegations of juror misconduct. After meeting with prosecution and defense lawyers, Etowah County Circuit Judge Billy Ogletree said the hearing for Joyce Hardin Garrard would continue Wednesday afternoon. However, spectators could see that one juror is no longer present. The judge made no comment on the juror’s departure. Continue Reading