NEWS OF THE DAY
From Across the Nation
Standoff trial: Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy was cast Tuesday as the leader of a conspiracy to enlist armed militia members to force the federal agents, “at the end of a gun,” to abandon efforts to collect his cattle from public rangeland. As the long-awaited trial opened in Las Vegas, acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre rejected supporters’ characterizations of the 71-year-old Bundy, sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy and co-defendant Ryan Payne as peaceful protesters and states’ rights freedom fighters. The prosecutor used his opening statement to cast as little more than extortion and theft the April 12, 2014, armed standoff that led the federal Bureau of Land Management to abandon rounding up Bundy cattle and release almost 400 cows. Each defendant faces 15 felony charges, including conspiracy, assault and threats against federal officers, firearms counts, obstruction and extortion.
Tampa homicides: A police SWAT team and dogs searched a blockaded Florida neighborhood for a possible serial killer Tuesday after a fourth person was shot dead for no apparent reason. Residents of the Seminole Heights neighborhood reported hearing shots just before 5 a.m. Tuesday. Officers quickly moved in, and found the body of Ronald Felton, 60, who had been walking across the street when a gunman came up behind him and fired. Police said Felton’s shooting will be treated as if it’s related to last month’s 10-day spree where the previous three victims were alone, had gotten off a bus in the neighborhood and were gunned downed at night. None was robbed.
Police shooting: A crowd of angry neighbors gathered overnight after the fatal shooting of a man by a police officer at an apartment complex in Baton Rouge, a city that was wracked by unrest after another police shooting last year. The officer suffered minor injuries Monday night, Louisiana State Police spokesman Trooper Bryan Lee said. The man fatally shot was identified as 24-year-old Calvin Toney. Toney died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office, which released preliminary results of an autopsy performed Tuesday.
Manhunt expands: The search for a dangerous man who escaped from a Hawaii psychiatric hospital moved to the Bay Area after authorities said Tuesday he boarded a flight to San Jose from Maui two days earlier. Randall Saito, who was acquitted of a 1979 murder by reason of insanity, left the state hospital outside Honolulu on Sunday at 10 a.m., took a taxi to a chartered plane that took him to the island of Maui and then boarded another plane to San Jose, Honolulu police said. “Saito is considered extremely dangerous and should not be approached,” police said in statement late Tuesday. The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service have reviewed security footage from San Jose International Airport in connection with the manhunt, said Jon Vaden, a spokesman for the airport.
Chronicle News Services