June 4, 2005 in Nation/World

Murder-suicide likely in 4 deaths

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review
 

Landenberg, Pa.

A middle-aged couple and their two sons were found dead in their home in what police called an apparent murder-suicide committed by the father.

State troopers found the bodies of Davis Weaver, 61, Nancy Weaver, 51, Matthew Weaver, 21, and Mark Weaver, 18, inside the family’s Chester County home Thursday evening. All had been shot to death with a revolver, police said.

Mark Weaver had been scheduled to graduate from high school Sunday and was to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in the fall, officials at his high school said. His older brother was a student at the University of Maryland.

“Everything I understand about the boys, they were good kids,” state police Trooper Corey Monthei said. “They had a lot to look forward to.”

Nancy Weaver and her sons were found dead in their respective beds, and there were no signs of a struggle, Monthei said. Police said Davis Weaver was found in bed with his wife.

Monthei said investigators had not immediately determined a motive. But the father, a longtime guidance counselor at an elementary school in Wilmington, Del., had been on leave from his job since March, school secretary Paula Booker said. She declined to say why he was on leave.

Abortion restriction ruled unconstitutional

Richmond, Va.

A Virginia law banning a type of late-term abortion is unconstitutional because it lacks an exception to protect a woman’s health, a divided federal appeals panel ruled Friday.

The 2-1 decision by a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2003 ruling by a Richmond federal judge that said the law was “unconstitutional on its face.”

The state could ask the Supreme Court or the full appeals court – one of the most conservative in the country – to review the panel’s decision.

The Center for Reproductive Rights had challenged the law banning a procedure generally performed in the second or third trimester in which a fetus is partially delivered before being aborted.

Abortion opponents call the procedure “partial-birth abortion.” The Virginia statute called it “partial-birth infanticide.”

Opponents of the law argued that it was written so broadly that it would outlaw some of the most common and safe abortion procedures.

U.S. District Judge Richard L. Williams blocked enforcement of the law the day it went into effect in 2003, calling it a “no-brain case.” Six months later, he declared the law unconstitutional.

Navajos beat veto of same-sex marriage ban

Albuquerque, N.M.

The Navajo Nation’s tribal government voted Friday to override its president’s veto of a measure banning same-sex marriage on the nation’s largest Indian reservation.

The Dine Marriage Act of 2005 defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. It also prohibits plural marriages as well as marriage between parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, brothers and sisters and other close relatives.

Dine is the Navajos’ name for themselves.

“In the traditional Navajo ways, gay marriage is a big no-no,” said Kenneth Maryboy, a delegate from Montezuma Creek, Utah. “It all boils down to the circle of life. We were put on the earth to produce offspring.”

The Tribal Council vote was 62-14, with 12 delegates abstaining or absent, to override Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr.’s veto last month.


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