November 8, 2005 in Nation/World

Nobel winner gets prison sentence

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review
 

Santa Maria, Calif. A Nobel laureate in physics was sentenced Monday to two years in state prison for causing a fatal wreck while driving 111 mph on U.S. Highway 101.

John Robert Schrieffer, 74, made no statement at the brief hearing in Santa Barbara Superior Court. His attorney later said the renowned scientist, whose breathing was labored and who had to be supported by others when he walked to the defense table, is in failing health.

Schrieffer pleaded no contest to a charge of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for his role in the 2004 crash just south of Santa Maria. Driving from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, where he once had led the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Schrieffer slammed into a van carrying eight people from Ridgecrest.

With two other physicists, Schrieffer was awarded the Nobel in 1972 for a groundbreaking explanation of superconductivity – the disappearance of electrical resistance at very cold temperatures.

Radio talker accused of poisoning his wife

Cambridge, Mass. A Missouri radio talk show host was arrested on murder charges Monday for allegedly poisoning his wife by spiking her Gatorade with a chemical found in antifreeze.

Prosecutors said James Keown, 31, began poisoning his wife when the couple moved to Massachusetts in January 2004, after he lied to her about being accepted to Harvard Business School.

Keown was arrested at the radio station where he worked in Jefferson City, Mo. He later made a court appearance via video and said he would not fight efforts to return him to Massachusetts.

Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley said the motive for the killing may have been financial: The couple was broke, and Julie Keown, 31, had a $250,000 life insurance policy. Her husband was never able to collect because the death came under investigation.

Pond drained in search for tornado victims

Evansville, Ind. Crews began draining a pond next to a smashed mobile-home park in a search for bodies Monday after a twister ripped through Indiana and Kentucky and killed at least 22 people.

The tornado struck early Sunday with winds estimated at more than 200 mph, reducing houses to splinters and obliterating mobile homes.

At least 18 people died at the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park in Evansville, and four others were killed in neighboring Warrick County. Dozens remained hospitalized.

A list of some 200 people feared missing from the mobile home park had been whittled down to a couple of dozen by late Monday afternoon, said Eric Williams, Vanderburgh County chief deputy sheriff.

After turning over debris in the mobile home park and listening for signs of life in the ruins, searchers turned their attention to the drainage pond, where four bodies were found over the weekend.

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