From Across the Na­tion

San Francisco Chronicle - - NATION -

Fa­tal at­tack: St. Louis County pros­e­cu­tor Wes­ley Bell an­nounced Fri­day that he won’t seek the death penalty for a man ac­cused of killing a woman and sex­u­ally as­sault­ing two oth­ers in­side a re­li­gious sup­plies store. Bell said he will seek life in prison with­out the pos­si­bil­ity of pa­role for Thomas Bruce, who is charged with first-de­gree mur­der and other crimes in the Nov. 19 at­tack at the Catholic Sup­ply store near the St. Louis suburb of Ball­win. Au­thor­i­ties say he fa­tally shot Jamie Sch­midt, 53, when she re­fused sex­ual de­mands. Bell ex­pressed his op­po­si­tion to the death penalty while cam­paign­ing last year, when he un­seated the in­cum­bent. James G’Sell, a dea­con at Sch­midt’s church, said Sch­midt’s hus­band sup­ports Bell’s de­ci­sion.

School shoot­ing: Po­lice fa­tally shot a man Fri­day who showed up with a gun at a mid­dle school in Eu­gene, Ore., amid a cus­tody dis­pute, but no one else was in­jured, au­thor­i­ties said. The man was be­ing es­corted from Cas­cade Mid­dle School when he be­gan strug­gling and pulled out a gun, po­lice Lt. Jennifer Bills said. Stu­dents were locked in class­rooms, and the school was locked down for nearly four hours while of­fi­cers in­ves­ti­gated. Later Fri­day, of­fi­cers es­corted small groups of chil­dren to a church across the street where par­ents had gath­ered. Yel­low crime scene tape sur­rounded the school’s main park­ing lot and a yel­low tarp cov­ered the sus­pect’s body, which lay just a few feet from one en­trance.

Man­i­curist killed: A 21-year-old woman sought for al­most two weeks af­ter al­legedly skip­ping out on a $35 man­i­cure and us­ing a stolen car to run over and kill a man­i­curist in Las Ve­gas was ar­rested Fri­day in Ari­zona. Las Ve­gas po­lice said Krys­tal Whip­ple was ar­rested in the Phoenix suburb of Glen­dale by a team of fugi­tive hun­ters in­volv­ing Phoenix-area po­lice, county in­ves­ti­ga­tors and FBI agents. Whip­ple was iden­ti­fied as the cus­tomer­turned-as­sailant seen on video leav­ing a nail sa­lon Dec. 29 and driv­ing a black sedan that al­legedly ran over 51-yearold Ngoc Nguyen. Po­lice said Whip­ple tried to pay with a fraud­u­lent credit card and told Nguyen that she was go­ing to her car to get cash be­fore killing her as she drove away.

Men par­doned: Florida Gov. Ron DeSan­tis and the in­de­pen­dently elected state Cab­i­net granted post­hu­mous pardons Fri­day to four African Amer­i­can men ac­cused of rap­ing a white woman nearly 70 years ago near town of Grov­e­land. The men — Sa­muel Shep­herd, Wal­ter Irvin, Ernest Thomas and Charles Green­lee — were ac­cused of the 1949 rape un­der du­bi­ous cir­cum­stances. One was hunted down by a posse and shot more than 400 times. Three oth­ers were convicted. Af­ter the U.S. Supreme Court or­dered a new trial in 1951, a sher­iff shot two of them, claim­ing the hand­cuffed men were try­ing to es­cape. The two sur­viv­ing men were even­tu­ally paroled. In 2017, the state House and Se­nate voted unan­i­mously to for­mally apol­o­gize to the men’s fam­i­lies and asked then-Gov. Rick Scott to par­don them. He took no ac­tion.

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