LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A man accused in the 2012 killing of two University of Southern California graduate students from China, a crime that stunned the prestigious private school, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to murder charges and was sentenced to life in prison.
Bryan Barnes entered his guilty plea during a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court. The plea was part of an agreement with prosecutors that spares him the possibility of receiving the death penalty if he had been convicted at trial.
By Dan Whitcomb
(Reuters) – Four people were arrested on Tuesday in connection with drugs found at the home of film star Philip Seymour Hoffman following his death of an apparent heroin overdose, the New York Daily News reported, citing unidentified police sources.
The arrests came during a raid on a building in the Chinatown district of Manhattan after police traced the heroin believed to have killed the Oscar-winning actor there, the newspaper reported.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A U.S. Marine sergeant who was found guilty of murder in the 2006 death of an Iraqi civilian, only to have his conviction overturned, will face a retrial on the same charges, a Marine spokesman said on Monday.
Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins III will be arraigned at the Camp Pendleton Marine Base in California on Wednesday, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Kloppel said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A fast-moving California wildfire, started accidentally by three campers, roared out of control in foothills above Los Angeles on Thursday, destroying at least two homes and forcing more than 1,000 residents to flee, fire and law enforcement officials said.
The wind-whipped blaze erupted before dawn in the Angeles National Forest north of Glendora, about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A fast-moving wildfire that broke out on Thursday in a national forest east of Los Angeles, whipped up by winds and fueled by bone-dry brush, had damaged homes and forced the evacuation of dozens of residents, officials said.
The so-called Colby Fire broke out before dawn in the Angeles National Forest north of Glendora, about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, and by mid-morning had blackened more than 1,700 acres, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The FBI said on Tuesday it will re-examine the beating death of a mentally ill homeless man in the California city of Fullerton, following the acquittal of two former police officers on state charges in the case.
An Orange County Superior Court jury found ex-Fullerton officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli not guilty on Monday on all charges in the death of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas, after a monthlong trial.
LOS ANGELES, Jan 2 (Reuters) – A day after the Syrian
Electronic Army said it had hacked into Skype’s social media
accounts, the Internet calling service acknowledged on Thursday
it had been hit with a “cyber attack” but said no user
information was compromised.
A Tweet posted on Skype’s official Twitter feed on Wednesday
read: “Don’t use Microsoft emails (hotmail, outlook), They are
monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the
governments. More details soon. #SEA”
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Syrian Electronic Army, an amorphous hacker collective that supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, claimed credit on Wednesday for hacking into the social media accounts of Internet calling service Skype.
The group also posted the contact information of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Corp’s retiring chief executive, on its Twitter account along with the message, “You can thank Microsoft for monitoring your accounts/emails using this details. #SEA”
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A veterans association that built a massive cross overlooking San Diego as part of a war memorial plans to fight a federal judge’s order to tear it down, a lawyer for the group said on Friday.
Attorney Jeff Mateer said he hoped the U.S. Supreme Court, which last year declined to intervene in the 25-year legal battle, will step in now that there has been an order to dismantle the cross, and rule for his clients.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A massive cross that serves as part of a war memorial on a San Diego hilltop must be dismantled because it has been found to violate a constitutional ban on government endorsement of religion, a federal judge grudgingly ruled on Thursday.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns marks the latest development in a long-running legal battle over the 43-foot-tall cross, a local landmark that has stood on top of Mount Soledad since 1954 and is visible for miles.