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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: religion

Cops: Pa. robber prayed w/ disabled victim

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) — Police say a man stopped to pray while robbed a woman in a wheelchair after breaking into her western Pennsylvania home.

Thirty-two-year-old Christopher Perretti II, of New Castle, is in the Lawrence County Jail awaiting a hearing on charges including burglary and robbery. Court records don't list an attorney.

The New Castle News reports Perretti forced open a door at the woman's house about 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 30. Once inside, he demanded money and the woman gave him $5, but he wanted more. The woman told police she began praying as Perretti pushed past her to take $20 from her purse. Perretti apologized — though he didn't give the money back — and knelt down as she prayed before running away.

Police found him a short time later.

Steele may sue over jail book policy

SANDPOINT, Idaho — A North Idaho attorney convicted by a federal jury for his role in a plot to kill his wife has filed a tort claim against Bonner County, alleging the jail’s policy for providing books to inmates violates his religious freedoms. 

Edgar Steele, 65, was convicted on four counts in U.S. District Court in Boise earlier this month in a murder-for-hire plot to kill his wife and mother-in-law last year.

He faces at least 30 years in prison and is being held in the Bonner County Jail pending sentencing scheduled for August. Steele, who once represented the Aryan Nations, is now taking aim at the jail’s book policy, claiming Bibles are the only religious texts delivered to inmates, a limitation he said infringes on his right to religious freedom.

Steele said he is a Taoist, a philosophical and religious tradition that emphasizes compassion, moderation and humility with roots in sixth century China.

In his claim, Steele also contends the jail essentially censors other inmate reading materials because they are passed out by chaplains and heavily influenced by Christian fundamentalist themes.

Read the rest of the Associated Press story here.

Nuns deny devilish claims of skulduggery

Accusations of stolen cash and silver, forged business records and slander have been hurled between two groups of nuns.

The episode has resulted in a police investigation at the request of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Ghost, who claim that two members of their convent left, but not before stealing the items and turning them over to a rival convent at Mount St. Michael.

Read the rest of John Stucke’s story here.

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