Plane crashes, a second belly lands in southern California

A small airplane crashed in mountainous terrain in Southern California on Monday, about the same time a second plane made an emergency landing on a nearby golf course. Three people onboard the plane that landed on its belly on the golf course in Westlake Village had minor injuries, while rescuers searched a rugged ridgeline for survivors from the crash. The emergency landing and the crash “appear to be connected,” said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He could not provide further details. Firefighters responding to a report of a small wildfire spotted aircraft debris on the charred site. Continue Reading

Pa. sheriff heading to trial on threat charges

A judge says a western Pennsylvania sheriff accused of threatening to cut a political campaign worker’s hands off and shoot an online news reporter should go to trial. Judge Michael L. Gerheim heard nearly five hours of testimony Monday before agreeing most of the 11 charges against Beaver County Sheriff George David should go to trial. A grand jury report says David delivered expletive-fueled rants and uttered a racial slur to his victims. It says he threatened to cut off and eat a campaign volunteer’s hands. David denies the charges and remains in office because county officials are powerless to remove him and state legislators haven’t tried to. He was arrested last month on charges including terroristic threats, witness intimidation and obstructing an investigation. Continue Reading

Lawyers hint at possible insanity plea for Holmes

Attorneys for the Colorado theater shooting suspect suggest in a court filing that they might be considering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity over their client’s objections. The lawyers dropped that hint in papers filed on Monday. Legal experts think James Holmes’ best chance of avoiding execution would be through an insanity defense. But defense lawyers said they can’t advise Holmes to enter that plea because of unresolved legal issues that need to be settled by the judge. They did note that state law allows an insanity plea to be entered over a defendant’s objection but did not say they would go that route. Continue Reading

Female DNA found on bomb components in Boston Marathon probe, source says

Female DNA was found on bomb components used in the attack this month on the Boston Marathon, a source familiar with the investigation confirmed to Fox News, though the source cautioned that it is too early to draw hard conclusions from that evidence. “No one should expect that the investigation is over,” the source told Fox News in confirming the development first reported by the Wall Street Journal, adding that it is just one piece of evidence that investigators are looking at. The revelation about female DNA came on the same day that the FBI went inside the Rhode Island home of bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow’s parents, and the nearby family of a man identified as his mysterious mentor hired a family spokesman to keep the media at bay. “We are there as part of our ongoing investigation, but we aren’t permitted to discuss specific aspects of our case,” an FBI official said outside the suburban Providence home where Katherine Russell and her 3-year-old daughter are staying. Authorities suspect Tsarnaev and his younger brother dropped, then detonated two bombs near the finish line of the April 15 marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260. Continue Reading

Fingerprints, possible DNA collected in killing of 8-year-old California girl

Sheriff’s officials say investigators have collected fingerprints and what they believe is DNA from the home where an 8-year-old Northern California girl was stabbed to death. Calaveras County Sheriff’s Capt. Jim Macedo tells the Modesto Bee authorities hope to have lab results on the evidence in a week. Authorities have not identified a suspect in Saturday’s stabbing death of Leila Fowler at her home in Valley Springs, a small town about 60 miles southeast of Sacramento. They say Leila was found by her brother after he encountered a male intruder at the home. Authorities have only released a vague description of the suspect. Continue Reading

Pending US home sales reach 3-year high in March

The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in March to the highest level in three years. The National Association of Realtors says that its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales rose 1.5 percent to 105.7. That’s the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer’s tax credit boosted sales. It’s also above February’s reading of 104.1. Signed contracts are 7 percent higher than they were a year earlier. Continue Reading

Shot fired at Ohio high school, police say

Authorities say a shot has been fired at a Cincinnati area high school, injuring one person, while another person has been taken into custody. The Hamilton County sheriff’s office said there is no longer active shooter at La Salle High School, a private school west of Cincinnati. Authorities say one person was transported to a hospital. A shot was reported at the school Monday morning at around 9 a.m. The school then went into lockdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Continue Reading

40 ex-LAPD officers seek reviews of dismissals

Dozens of fired Los Angeles police officers are taking up the chief’s offer to re-examine their dismissals since a deadly rampage by Christopher Dorner, who claimed that he was wrongly expelled from the force. The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/Y7E2uY ) reports 40 former officers have requested case reviews in the two months since Dorner killed four people before apparently committing suicide in a mountain cabin. Dorner claimed his 2009 firing was prompted by racism. Chief Charlie Beck vowed he would re-examine the cases of other officers who believed they were wrongly expelled. However, the Times reports the officers have been told the city charter prevents the LAPD from reinstating officers who were fired more than three years ago. Continue Reading

JC Penney to get $1.75B in financing, shares rise

J.C. Penney is confirming that Goldman Sachs will provide it with $1.75 billion in financing, sending shares up 3 percent in trading. Rumors about the financing had begun to circulate Friday. The five-year senior secured term loan can be used to fund the company’s operations as well as pay off some of its debt. It will be secured by real estate, as well as an interest the company’s other assets and some of its subsidiaries. The company has been burning through cash. Continue Reading