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Dr. Conrad Murray to Be Sentenced for Involuntary Manslaughter of Michael Jackson - Fox News

Michael Jackson's doctor will learn his punishment Tuesday for ending the life and career of one of pop music's greatest entertainers and for leaving his three children without a father.

Conrad Murray is set to be sentenced for involuntary manslaughter after a six-week trial that presented the most detailed account yet of Jackson's final hours but left many questions about Murray's treatment of the superstar with an operating-room anesthetic as he battled chronic insomnia.

Prosecutors want Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor to sentence Murray to a maximum four-year term that likely would be cut at least in half due to jail overcrowding. Defense attorneys want probation for the cardiologist, saying he will lose his ability to practice medicine and likely face a lifetime of ostracism.

Jackson's family members will have an opportunity to speak before Murray is sentenced, although it remained unclear if any planned to make a statement. The singer's mother Katherine and several siblings routinely attended the trial, and members of the family cried after Murray's verdict was read in court.

Jackson's death in June 2009 stunned the world, as did the ensuing investigation that led to Murray being charged in February 2010.

Murray told detectives he had been giving the singer nightly doses of propofol to help him sleep as he prepared for a series of comeback concerts. Propofol is supposed to be used in hospital settings and has never been approved for sleep treatments, yet Murray acknowledged giving it to Jackson then leaving the room on the day the singer died.

Murray declined to testify during his trial but did opt to participate in a documentary in which he said he didn't consider himself guilty of any crime and blamed Jackson for entrapping him into administering the propofol doses. His attorneys contended throughout the case that Jackson must have given himself the fatal dose when Murray left the singer's bedside.

In their sentencing memorandum, prosecutors cited Murray's statements to advocate that he receive the maximum term. They also want him to pay restitution to the singer's three children -- Prince, Paris and Blanket.

It's unlikely that Murray can pay any sizable sum, including the $ 1.8 million cost of his funeral. He was deeply in debt when he agreed to serve as Jackson's personal physician for $ 150,000 a month, and the singer died before Murray received any money.

During Murray's trial, a jury heard a slurred recording of Jackson found on Murray's cell phone. The doctor or his attorneys never explained in court why he recorded the impaired singer six weeks before his death, but it revealed the ambition of the entertainer who burst on the scene as a baby-faced member of the Jackson Five in the 1970s.

"We have to be phenomenal," he was heard saying about his "This Is It" concerts in London. "When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, `I've never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go. I've never seen nothing like this. Go. It's amazing. He's the greatest entertainer in the world."'

Jackson's comeback attempt came after he had been pushed into obscurity. Despite his acquittal of child molestation in 2005, Jackson went into seclusion, leaving his lavish manor Neverland Ranch and moving to the Middle East and Las Vegas, where he first met Murray.

Prosecutors said the men's relationship was corrupted by greed. Murray left his practices to serve as Jackson's doctor and look out for his well-being, but instead acted as an employee catering to the singer's desire to receive propofol to put him to sleep, prosecutors said.

Murray showed no emotion when he was convicted.

"The defendant has displayed a complete lack of remorse for causing Michael Jackson's death," prosecutors wrote in a filing last week. "Even worse than failing to accept even the slightest level of responsibility, (Murray) has placed blame on everyone else, including the one person no longer here to defend himself, Michael Jackson."

Murray's attorneys are relying largely on 34 letters from relatives, friends and former patients to portray Murray in a softer light and win a lighter sentence. The letters and defense filings describe Murray's compassion as a doctor, including accepting lower payments from his mostly poor patients.

"There is no question that the death of his patient, Mr. Jackson, was unintentional and an enormous tragedy for everyone affected," defense attorneys wrote in their sentencing memo. "Dr. Murray has been described as a changed, grief-stricken man, who walks around under a pall of sadness since the loss of his patient, Mr. Jackson."

Pastor also will review a report by probation officials that carries a sentencing recommendation. The report will become public after Murray is sentenced.

The report may also feature input from the doctor, who was heard during the trial in a lengthy interview recorded by police.

Murray's trial was closely watched by Jackson's fans in the courtroom, on social networking sites and via live broadcasts online and on television. Fan groups are planning to return to the courthouse and vie for the few public seats that will be made available for the sentencing.

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Link between Thanksgiving murders, third woman's slaying investigated - Kansas City Star

Kansas City police told The Star on Tuesday that they are investigating whether Jerry Petty — the man who killed his wife and her goddaughter before officers killed him in a Thanksgiving gunbattle — killed a third woman in her home before the shootout.

The third woman, Denise Hall, was found shot to death in the 2900 block of East 69th Street on Saturday afternoon — at least two days after police think she was killed. Police said Hall, 56, was an acquaintance of Petty.

"We are looking at different tips and evidence that could possibly link the cases," said homicide Capt. Floyd Mitchell. "We're waiting on analysis of evidence recovered at the scene."

Friends of Petty, 64, and his wife, Loretta Petty, think Jerry Petty robbed Hall for money to buy crack. Police said they weren't sure why Jerry Petty killed his wife and her 16-year-old goddaughter, Deja Davis, but police found drug paraphernalia inside the home. Police said they thought Jerry Petty had been pawning items recently for drug money.

Dozens of people mourned Loretta during a prayer vigil on Tuesday and shared stories of how she helped them overcome drug and alcohol addictions. Many of the speakers prayed for Jerry Petty, too, and recalled how he had helped them.

"Right now, I'm trying not to hate Jerry because that's not what she would want," said Estella Thompson, Loretta's daughter. Her mother, she said, never gave up on people because others had stuck with her during her darkest times.

"I'm telling you, if she had lived through this, she would have stayed with him," Thompson said. "Not because she had low self-esteem, but because she loved him."

Also on Tuesday, police released new details about the shootout with officers.

Officers were called to the Pettys' home in the 6600 block of Bellefontaine Avenue about 9:30 p.m. Thursday by Deja's brother. Deja's mother sent him to the house because she could not reach Deja or Loretta Petty all day, and the two failed to show up for dinner.

When Deja's brother first arrived, police believe, Jerry Petty was inside with the two bodies, staging the home to look as if a burglary had occurred, including breaking a window. Before Deja's brother called police, he called Jerry's cellphone to ask about the window. Jerry said he was not home and told the brother to stay outside.

Suspicious, the brother called police. Officers said they entered through an unlocked back door and announced themselves. A man sitting on a couch opened fire at them. The officers were pinned down in a laundry room, according to police reports, and exchanged gunshots with the gunman through the wall.

The gunman fled out the front door and ran down the block. He circled back and ended up behind his home, where he encountered more officers, who shot him. Police said they didn't know whether Jerry Petty was hit during the first exchange of gunfire.

Donald E. Ousley Jr., a friend of the Pettys, said he met Loretta in 2002 when she helped him with his community outreach program for drug addicts called Put Down the Pipe.

"She helped me improve it," Ousley said.

Loretta Petty devoted her life to her family and helping people addicted to drugs or alcohol. She was a recovering alcoholic herself, Ousley said, just weeks away from celebrating 20 years of sobriety. She worked at a hospital helping patients with drug, alcohol and other related health issues. She earned a doctorate in mental health education, Ousley said.

"She was a firm believer in education," he said. "She had overcome her own personal demons. … In the recovery community, she was greatly loved. A lot of people are just as sad and confused about it as they are angry at Jerry."

Ousley said Jerry had previously worked as a substance abuse counselor before being hired by Habitat for Humanity doing maintenance work. Jerry recently "relapsed" into crack cocaine, Ousley said.

"He is an example of just how drastic the mood and mind can be altered with drugs," Ousley said. "None of us could ever have imagined that he could do these things. It's a shock to all of us."

Loretta Petty described herself on her Facebook page as a "self-made woman" who believes in Jesus Christ and has two "grown children who I am very proud of. Still waiting on grandchildren." She wrote that she was married to a "terrific man who loves me with every breath he takes."

Everything was going so well for her mother, Estella Thompson said. She had a lovely home, she enjoyed good relationships with her family, she was succeeding in her career.

"She was just at a happy point in her life," Thompson said.

Deja was a junior at Ruskin High School, mother Stephanie Davis said. School officials described her as an excellent student who was part of the debate team.

A large group of her classmates and teachers attended a prayer vigil in Deja's memory on Monday night, a sight that helped console her mother.

"She touched a lot of people's lives that I didn't know she touched," Davis said.

Deja's debate coach, Paul Hackenberger, said in an interview that she started out shy in class but grew more confident in her public speaking as soon as the competitions began.

"She was passionate and enthusiastic," he said. "There was not a time she came in to class without a question to ask about the topic we were discussing or about how to formulate arguments."

Hackenberger said the other debaters took Deja's death "very hard." They are talking about naming the school-hosted tournament after her.

Deja enjoyed working on her computer, eating Chinese food and listening to Chris Brown's music. She wasn't an athlete or a cheerleader, her mother said, but she was very smart. When a lot of kids might have been hanging out, Deja cracked the books.

She wanted to become a nurse practitioner, and her doctor had already promised to hire her when she graduated, her mother said. (Deja had talked about becoming a veterinarian, though her mother suggested that might not be her calling if Deja couldn't bear to touch the occasional snake or rat.)

Davis paid close attention to her daughter's whereabouts and worked hard to keep her safe. So it was particularly tragic that Deja was killed while visiting a trusted family friend.

"I thought that she was safe," Davis said. "She had been over there so many times over the last six months."

Deja, her mother said, was "a perfect child."

"I couldn't find one picture of my baby where she wasn't smiling," Davis said.

Police said Deja got up early on Thanksgiving to help Loretta Petty cook. The women in the family planned to go shopping after their Thanksgiving meal.

Petty and Deja had prepared several dishes before they were killed. Police found them neatly wrapped in aluminum foil at the murder scene.

To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or send email to cvendel@kcstar.com.To reach James Hart, call 816-234-4902 or send email to jhart@kcstar.com.

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Tampa murder suspect now faces charges of theft - Tbo.com

While awaiting trial for murder in the death of a 78-year-old woman, Jana Porter stole jewelry from a woman whose home she cleaned, Tampa police said.

Porter, 46, was arrested Sunday at her home, 6318 S. Richard Ave. She was charged with third-degree grand theft, and her bond was revoked on charges of second-degree murder and aggravated abuse of an elderly or disabled adult.

The latest incident happened when Porter stole jewelry from a home while working for a maid service, police said. When the victim discovered missing jewelry, she went to a nearby pawn shop and found one of her missing rings.

In the prior incident, Porter called 911 in March 2008 to report Peggy Albury Mehrman had died of natural causes, police said. Mehrman's daughter soon arrived and questioned where her mother's prescription medication and checks had gone. Police began investigating the case for possible exploitation and eventually as a homicide.

Porter was arrested in September 2009. Police said she poisoned Mehrman with the victim's prescription drugs while stealing more than $ 50,000 from her.

Toxicology tests showed Mehrman had painkillers and antidepressants in her system at 10 times the prescribed level.

The day after Mehrman died, her account was overdrawn.

Mehrman had a debilitating bone and muscular disease, used a wheelchair and needed constant care. Porter wasn't a licensed medical care provider; she said she was just trying to help a friend without payment, police said at the time.

Porter told police that she administered drugs to Mehrman but didn't give any explanation for the elevated drug levels or missing money, officers said.

Officers said she also pawned Mehrman's jewelry.

Porter has pleaded not guilty to murder and aggravated abuse of an elderly or disabled adult.

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Suspect in homicide called the victim a close friend, father says - Colorado Springs Gazette

Tyler Theis, who's been arrested in the death of a 22-year-old Colorado Springs man, was like a "brother" to the victim and was with him in his final hours at the hospital, Theis' father said Tuesday.

"Murder charges, I just don't get it," said Richard Theis.

Theis is in the El Paso County jail on a $ 200,000 bond and faces a possible reckless manslaughter charge in the death of Jacob Seabright. He was in court Tuesday to be advised of his rights.

Colorado Springs police say an unknown person took Seabright to Penrose Main Hospital about 12:10 a.m. Friday. Police didn't know at first if he had been involved in an accident or assaulted.

Seabright died about 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Police did not release details about how he died, but the El Paso County Coroner ruled his death a homicide. His death was the 28th homicide of the year in Colorado Springs, which ties the record of the most homicides ever in the city.

Richard Theis said that Seabright and Tyler Theis were close friends and were housemates at one point. On the night Seabright was injured, the two were alone together and both fell down a flight of stairs, Richard Theis said.

He wasn't sure why they fell, but said that Seabright was angry at his son.

"I don't know whether they had been drinking or not, there's always more to the story than you know," he said. "But it seemed to be an uncomfortable situation."

 After the fall, he said Seabright dind't want to go to the hospital, but his son insisted and took him there. His son told him that Seabright had a minor brain bleed, but was expected to be fine.

"Then 10 hours later, he was in emergency surgery for massive hemorrhaging."

 He said that he and his son visited Seabright in the hospital. He called Seabright a "good kid" who had a "mild-mannered" personality.

"In today's society, Jake was one of the kids I could say I really liked," he said. "Jake's mom, I just can't imagine what she's going through."

He said he doesn't know if his son is entirely innocent in the situation, but said that police were out of line in charging his son with such a serious crime.

"It was just a fall down stairs," he said. "Unfortunately it cost one person his life and the other one faces charges."

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Ohio Craigslist Murders: Teen Suspect Not Eligible for Death Penalty - ABC News

The 16-year-old suspect in an Ohio Craigslist murder spree is now facing four murder-related charges. If he is tried as a juvenile and convicted of the highest charge, aggravated murder, he would likely be out of prison by the time he's 21. But if suspect Brogan Rafferty is tried and convicted of the highest charges as an adult, he could face life in prison.

Either way, he is not eligible for the death penalty since he is under the age of 18.

Rafferty has been charged with attempted murder, complicity to attempted murder, aggravated murder and complicity to aggravated murder. The latter two charges were added Tuesday by a Noble County, Ohio, judge.

The court was expected to decide whether Rafferty will be tried as an adult or juvenile on Tuesday, but a technicality related to giving sufficient notification to Rafferty's parents for the hearing prevented the decision from being made.

When asked questions regarding the killings of three men who responded to a job ad on Craigslist, Rafferty repeatedly said, "No comment."

Addressing the question of whether Rafferty will be charged as an adult or a juvenile, David Diroll, director of the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission, told ABCNews.com, "Sixteen and seventeen-year-olds charged with some kind of murder are usually bound for adult court. Whether they're convicted of the highest charge would depend on a lot of things, but they could face other adult punishments, including life in prison."

PHOTO: Brogan Rafferty, has been charged with attempted murder, complicity to attempted murder, aggravated murder, and complicity to aggravated murder. The court has yet to decide whether he will be tried as an adult or as a juvenile.

Scott Newell/WEWS

Brogan Rafferty, has been charged with... View Full Size
PHOTO: Brogan Rafferty, has been charged with attempted murder, complicity to attempted murder, aggravated murder, and complicity to aggravated murder. The court has yet to decide whether he will be tried as an adult or as a juvenile.
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Rafferty's alleged co-conspirator and mentor, 52-year-old Rich Beasely, will be in court Thursday for drug charges and Friday for prostitution charges.

Earlier today, Rafferty's father, Michael Rafferty, told ABC News that his son unwittingly dug some of the shallow graves the victims were buried in, thinking they were drainage ditches.

"I think he probably didn't realize what he was involved in until it was too late and that he was in fear for his life and the lives of the people he loved," Michael Rafferty told "Good Morning America."

Rafferty said that his son Brogan told him that he did not shoot anyone and was under the spell of Beasley, who had been Read More @ Source

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Murder suspect Joran van der Sloot files $10 million lawsuit against South American authorities–and murder victim’s ...

Van der Sloot, being arrested by Peruvian authorities on June 7, 2010. (Karel Navarro …

Joran van der Sloot, the man still suspected of murdering disappeared American student Natalee Holloway in Aruba, has filed a lawsuit against the Chilean government claiming his human rights were violated while being investigated for a second murder of a young woman.

The 24-year-old van der Sloot says his rights were violated when he was forcibly extradited from Chile to Peru to face murder charges in the May 30 killing of Stephany Flores, a 21-year-old Peruvian business student, who was found dead in his hotel room in Lima on June 2, 2010.

Van der Sloot has been charged with first-degree murder and robbery in the Flores case after already being indicted by the U.S. government on charges of attempting to extort $ 250,000 from Holloway's family in exchange for information on her death and the alleged location of her body.

The Huffington Post's David Lohr explains the nature of the lawsuit:

The lawsuit alleges there was "pressure from the then-President of the Republic Alan Garcia Perez" to have him extradited. The suit further argues that police in Chile denied van der Sloot access to a telephone or computer so he could communicate with his family and alleges he was "deprived of his right to counsel."

In addition to Perez, the lawsuit implicates former Peruvian Minister of Interior Octavio Salazar, former police generals Miguel Hidalgo and Cesar Guardia, and Ricardo Flores, the father of murder victim Stephany Flores.

Peruvian officials claim van der Sloot made a full confession to the murder of Flores, claiming he broke her neck after catching her using his computer to research his involvement in the Holloway murder case. Van der Sloot later retracted the confession, saying it was made under duress.

"I did not want to do it," van der Sloot allegedly said about the attack. "The girl intruded into my private life. ... We argued, and she tried to escape. I grabbed her by the neck, and I hit her."

A confidant of the van der Sloot family claimed yesterday that Joran was suffering from post traumatic stress at the time of Flores' murder.

The Peruvian government dismissed an earlier lawsuit from van der Sloot, who claimed he was arrested without a warrant and not given access to a translator while being pressured to confess to Flores' murder. "All this with the intention of pressuring me to accuse [me] of homicide," van der Sloot said in court documents.

Van der Sloot faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted, with his trial set to start just after the New Year on Jan. 6.

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Police arrest homicide suspect after search of wooded area on city's East Side - Kansas City Star

Updated: 2011-11-29T16:36:57Z

Kansas City police arrested a homicide suspect about mid-morning today after searching a wooded area on the city's East Side.

Travis A. Robling was taken into custody about 9:50 a.m. in the 7000 block of East 28th Street.

Police were dispatched about 7:50 a.m. to the 3000 block of Manchester Avenue on a report of two suspicious parties — a man and a woman. The man's description fit that of Robling, who is suspected in the shotgun slaying of Nathan L. Davis on Nov. 8 inside a home that was later set on fire.

Police established a perimeter and shortly thereafter took the woman into custody for questioning. Police continued to search for Robling in a wooded area near Manchester Avenue and U.S. 40.

Shortly before 10 a.m., officers responded to a nearby mobile home where they found Robling and arrested him.

Robling was charged last week with second-degree murder and armed criminal action for the death of Davis, 25, in the 5400 block of East 28th Street.

Davis' body was found Nov. 11 after firefighters extinguished the fire. Davis' body had been left in the home for three days before someone set the fire.

Robling is the second person charged in the case. Kody O. Saulmon, 19, of Independence faces the same charges.

Police had been looking for Robling for more than a week.

| Robert A. Cronkleton, bcronkleton@kcstar.com

Copyright 2011 . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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CSPD Arrests Suspect In City's 28th Homicide This Year - KKTV 11 News


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Homicide suspected in death of woman

A homeless Eugene woman has been found dead in Clackamas County, a victim of suspected homicide, according to a sheriff's office spokesman.

Officers found Dana Crippen, 50, on a bike path at 1 a.m. Friday morning in a mostly commercial area where Johnson Creek Boulevard crosses Interstate 205, said Sgt. James Rhodes, spokesman for the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. Crippen's body was found on the bike path below the boulevard and just west of I-205. That's several miles north of Oregon City in the Happy Valley area.

"A deputy sheriff was flagged down by a passer-by, who said, 'I think there's a guy who's really hurt, if not dead,'" Rhodes said.

It turned out to be Crippen, Rhodes said.

An autopsy revealed that she died of "traumatic homicidal violence," Rhodes said. He said investigators have declined to be more specific, but they believe she died very close to the time her body was discovered.

Crippen was interviewed and photographed by The Register-Guard in January in a story about efforts to count the number of homeless people in Oregon. She had completed a homelessness registration form at The Dining Room, an alternative soup kitchen in downtown Eugene sponsored by FOOD for Lane County.

"If I can fill out a form that helps tell the story of homelessness, I'm going to do it," she said then. "Being counted benefits all of us."

Crippen also said then that she had observed a growing homeless population and a stagnant number of shelters that can't keep up with the demand.

"I've only been indoors a few nights this winter," she said.

Rhodes said Monday that Crippen's family had been notified of her death, but he did not know where her family members were located.

Crippen was well-known in the Eugene homeless community, said Keith Heath, manager at the Service Station, a day center for homeless adults operated by St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County.

Heath, who has managed the Service Station on Highway 99 for seven years, said Crippen was a sporadic visitor during all of that time.

She would come in to shower, do her laundry, grab a bite to eat and watch an occasional movie, he said.

Like many homeless people, she traveled with a buddy, a boyfriend in her case, in order to stay safe, he said.

"Most of the people we see, they generally roll with a buddy. They watch each other's backs," Heath said.

Heath last saw Crippen close to Halloween and said it wasn't unusual for her to be gone for weeks at a time.

He described her as a pleasant woman who was friendly and never caused any trouble.

"It's a major tragedy. It's sad. Nobody deserves to get murdered. We're a family here at the Service Station. She had a lot of friends here," he said.

Investigators have asked anyone with information on what might have happened to contact them, especially anyone in the area of the bicycle path west of I-205 in the late hours of Thanksgiving or before 1 a.m. Friday.

The confidential tip line is 503-723-4949. Online, go to www.co.clackamas.or.us/sheriff/tip.htm to get an e-mail form.



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Key witness in Detroit murder trial held in contempt - Detroit Free Press

The key witness in the murder case against suspect Charles Jones -- whose 7-year-old daughter was killed in a police raid -- was held in contempt of court Monday for refusing to testify and could lose his plea deal with prosecutors, attorneys said.

Under the agreement, Chauncey Owens pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and agreed to testify that Jones, who is charged with first-degree murder, gave him the gun he used to shoot teenager Je'Rean Blake in May 2010.

Owens refused to testify earlier this month. He took the stand Monday, but remained silent -- despite an order signed by 36th District Judge E. Lynise Bryant-Weekes, offering him immunity against self-incrimination.

Bryant-Weekes found Owens in contempt, but adjourned the preliminary exam until Dec. 22 to give him time to reconsider.

If his silence continues, Owens -- whose sentencing is scheduled for Friday --could once again find himself charged with first-degree murder, his attorney and prosecutors said.

According to Owens' plea agreement, if he testifies about who supplied him with the gun, the prosecutor would ask the judge to reduce his murder sentence by two years. As it stands, Owens would serve two years for felony firearms and then begin a 28-year sentence, the agreement says.

But by not cooperating, the deal is in doubt.

"It is conceivable that he could go from witness to codefendant," David Cripps, Owens' attorney, said.

Wayne County Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Maria Miller said "that is possible," but declined to say whether the plea would be challenged.

"My client has a lot to think about," Cripps said.

Jones is facing life in prison without parole on the murder charge. He also is charged with felon in possession of a firearm, felony firearm, habitual fourth-offense and perjury.

Just days after Blake's murder, police raided a home in Detroit -- with a camera crew in tow -- looking for Owens. During the raid, Officer Joseph Weekley fired a shot that killed Jones' 7-year-old daughter, Aiyana Stanley-Jones.

Weekley was indicted by a one-man grand jury on charges of manslaughter and careless discharge of a firearm causing injury or death. Also indicted was Allison Howard of Boston, a principal photographer with "The First 48," which was filming with police during the raid. She is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, accused of lying under oath.



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Murder suspect: British press destroyed my reputation before police said I was innocent

LONDON — A man arrested and then cleared of murder charges has told a committee investigating Britain's press that tabloids destroyed his reputation with false front page stories.

Christopher Jefferies told Britain's press ethics committee that the negative coverage of him was so widespread that some people still assume he is a "weird character" who should be avoided even though he was cleared of wrongdoing.

Jefferies, a landlord, was arrested last year by police investigating the murder of his tenant, Joanna Yeates. Another man has since been convicted of the crime.

Jefferies said he felt he could not go out in public because of the smears.

The inquiry, led by Judge Brian Leveson, plans to issue a report next year and could recommend major changes to Britain's system of media self regulation.

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