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Jun 14, 2012

Accused British hacker charged in U.S. over LulzSec attacks

LOS ANGELES, June 13 (Reuters) – An alleged member of the
LulzSec hacking group who prosecutors say targeted the Fox and
PBS television networks and Sony’s film and TV studio has been
indicted in Los Angeles on federal charges, federal authorities
said on Wednesday.

Ryan Cleary, 20, who is already jailed in the United Kingdom
where he faces prosecution over similar charges, is accused of
joining other members of LulzSec in harnessing compromised
computers, known as a “botnet,” to steal confidential
information, deface websites or attack servers. He was indicted
on Tuesday.

Jun 8, 2012

Accused Canadian cannibal probed in Hollywood body parts case

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Police investigating the discovery of a severed head, hands and feet in the hills below the Hollywood sign in January have contacted counterparts in Montreal about possible links to a porn actor accused of murder, dismemberment and cannibalism.

Investigators consider it unlikely that 29-year-old Luka Rocco Magnotta, who was arrested Germany this week following an international manhunt, was involved in the Hollywood case but were checking on his whereabouts at the time, Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith told Reuters on Thursday.

Jun 7, 2012

Fighter jets intercept planes in Obama airspace near Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Fighter jets were scrambled on Thursday to intercept two small planes that strayed into airspace over the Los Angeles area restricted for President Barack Obama, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said.

The F-16 fighters responded after two single-engine planes, identified as a Cessna 206 and Cherokee PA 28, entered into the restricted airspace at mid-morning in separate incidents, NORAD said.

Jun 6, 2012

U.S. soldier charged with lying about combat, Purple Hearts

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A U.S. Army soldier who prosecutors say falsely claimed to have fought in Vietnam and Afghanistan – and to have earned two Purple Heart medals and a Bronze Star for heroism – was indicted on federal charges on Wednesday.

Command Sergeant Major William John Roy is accused of lying about his service as he sought disability, medical and educational benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Attorney’s spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

Jun 6, 2012

Feds attack California’s medical marijuana trade-again

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Federal authorities opened the latest front in their war on California’s massive medical marijuana industry this week, filing property forfeiture lawsuits in a bid to shut down three dispensaries and sending warning letters to 34 people.

The moves by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles are the latest in an ongoing crackdown on what federal prosecutors say is a flourishing network of illegal cannabis suppliers operating across California under the cover of the state’s medical marijuana law.

Jun 6, 2012

California city officials face recall election over police beating

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Residents of a southern California city went to the polls on Tuesday to vote on the recall of three elected officials accused of a failure of leadership following the fatal beating of a schizophrenic homeless man by police in Fullerton.

Recall organizers said Fullerton city councilmen Dick Jones, Don Bankhead and Pat McKinley put the interests of police over the community, allowing a culture of lax oversight that ultimately led to the death of 37-year-old transient Kelly Thomas.

May 31, 2012

California sued over conditions at prison’s high-security unit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A civil rights group sued the state of California and its prison system on Thursday, saying the long-term confinement of inmates in a special high-security unit at Pelican Bay State Prison amounted to torture and human rights violations.

The lawsuit demands reforms and seeks class-action status for more than 500 current prisoners who have been held in the Special Housing Unit at the super-maximum-security prison in Northern California for between 10 and 28 years.

May 30, 2012

California inmate used cord to hang himself in death row cell

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A convicted killer who hanged himself on California’s death row did so using an extension cord for an appliance in his cell and had not previously been considered a suicide risk, a prison spokesman said on Wednesday.

James Lee Crummel, 68, was found hanging in his one-man cell at San Quentin State Prison near San Francisco on Sunday, five months before Californians are due to vote in November on a ballot measure aimed at repealing the state’s death penalty.

May 30, 2012

Killer hangs himself on California’s death row

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A convicted killer sentenced to die for the 1979 murder of a teenage boy has hanged himself on California’s death row, months before voters in the state are due to decide whether to abolish the death penalty, prison officials said on Tuesday.

James Lee Crummel, 68, was found hanging in his cell at San Quentin State Prison, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Sam Robinson said in a written statement.

May 29, 2012

Judge orders Manson Family tapes turned over to police

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Tuesday ordered that Los Angeles police detectives be given audio tapes of discussions between a Manson Family member and his former lawyer, which they believe could help solve murders committed by the infamous cult.

Judge Brenda Rhoades’ ruling means Los Angeles Police Department detectives can review some eight hours of recordings made more than 40 years ago by late Texas attorney Bill Boyd and convicted killer Charles “Tex” Watson.