APNewsBreak: Border prosecutions to be restored
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The top federal prosecutor in San Diego says prosecutions of immigrant and drug smuggling offenses will be fully restored Friday, three days after they were curtailed in response to the federal government shutdown.
U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said late Thursday that prosecutions would return to normal after the Justice Department agreed restore staff.
A U.S. official told The Associated Press that Duffy's office issued guidelines that immigrant smuggling cases would only be prosecuted only if they involved death or serious injury. The felony offense of re-entering the country after deportation was accepted for prosecution only for suspects previously convicted of a violent crime.
The guidelines were strengthened on Wednesday.
The U.S. official spoke on condition of anonymity because the guidelines are not public.
Man gets death for shooting into crowd, killing 2
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 48-year-old man has been sentenced to death for killing two people and injuring three others during a gang dispute at a crowded Compton transit station in 2008.
City News Service reports that Ronald Earl Brim maintained his innocence in front of Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler on Thursday, saying he didn't pull the trigger.
Brim was convicted in July 2012 along with co-defendant 31-year-old Leo Lloyd Adams for the first-degree murder of 20-year-old DeBruce Smith and 24-year-old Terry Dozier.
Adams was sentenced Thursday to two consecutive life prison terms without the possibility of parole.
Brim fired an assault rifle with armor-piercing bullets, striking Smith and Dozier in the back. Brim had a prior conviction for voluntary manslaughter in a 1989 killing.
Calif school apologizes for removal of NRA shirt
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Officials at an Orange County high school have apologized to a 16-year-old student who was forced to take off a National Rifle Association shirt or face disciplinary action.
The Los Angeles Times reports staff at Canyon High School in Anaheim changed course Thursday after demanding that Haley Bullwinkle put on a different shirt after she recently wore the NRA shirt to school.
The shirt had an American flag and a silhouette of a hunter with a rifle. The school's dress code prohibits clothing that promotes or depicts violence, criminal activity and anything that is degrading to ethnic values.
Bullwinkle complied and took off the shirt but she felt her First Amendment rights were being violated.
School officials determined the shirt's images didn't promote violence after a review.
Ex-official pleads no contest to Bell corruption
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The attorney for Robert Rizzo says the disgraced former city manager of Bell, Calif., has pleaded no contest to all 69 state corruption counts against him because he wants to take responsibility for mistakes he made and put his legal troubles behind him.
Attorney James Spertus said Thursday he expects Rizzo will be given 10 to 12 years in prison when he is sentenced March 12. He remains free on bail until then.
Rizzo was charged with looting the modest Los Angeles suburb he managed of more than $5 million. Authorities say he used the money to pay himself and other top city officials huge salaries. Rizzo himself had an annual salary and compensation package of $1.5 million.
Five former city council members have been convicted of similar corruption charges.
2 men await extradition for counterfeit art sales
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Two men who own a Southern California art gallery are in jail awaiting extradition to New York for allegedly selling counterfeit art.
City News Service reports that 48-year-old Vincent Lopreto and 49-year-old Ronald Bell both of Laguna Beach are being held Thursday on warrants alleging identity theft and operating a scheme to defraud. The pair is accused of selling counterfeit artwork of wealthy English artist Damien Hirst. Lopreto was previously convicted of art fraud in 2008.
Authorities say the buyers purchased the works online and received pieces with forged signatures and phony letters of authenticity. Investigators believe other counterfeits were sold to people as far away as South Korea and Italy and they lost tens of thousands of dollars.
Authorities say they found counterfeit works and tools to create them in the suspects' studio.
Calif pastor Chuck Smith dies at 86
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Chuck Smith, a pastor who helped fuel an evangelical movement and was at the helm of Orange County's Calvary Chapel for nearly 50 years, has died. He was 86.
The church's website says Smith died early Thursday. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago.
Smith was hired at Calvary in 1965 when the church had only a couple dozen parishioners. Under his stewardship as senior pastor, the congregation has grown to more than 10,000 and Calvary has more than 1,000 church nationwide and hundreds more overseas.
Smith is also known for training other prominent ministers, such as Greg Laurie, founder of the annual Harvest Crusade that fills Angels Stadium.
He is survived by his wife and four children.