DeLay lawyer will seek an early trial

Austin, Texas An attorney for U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay said Monday that he will request an early December trial date for the former House majority leader, if the case gets that far.

Attorney Dick DeGuerin said in a letter that “time is of the essence” in the case that has temporarily forced DeLay to step down from his top House post.

Judge Pat Priest has set a Nov. 22 hearing to consider requests to drop the charges against DeLay and his co-defendants. Defense attorneys have asked that the charges be dropped for various reasons, including alleged misconduct by a prosecutor.

“Should the indictments survive the hearings of November 22, we will request a trial date in early December,” DeGuerin wrote in his letter to Priest.

DeGuerin is also asking that Priest, a visiting judge, move the trial out of left-leaning Travis County to DeLay’s home Fort Bend County.

DeLay and two of his associates are charged with criminal conspiracy and money laundering in the case, which stems from fundraising and spending in the 2002 Texas legislative races.

D.A. charges woman who married boy, 15

Gainesville, Fla. A 37-year-old woman has been charged with child molestation for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy whom she married last week.

The woman also is allegedly pregnant with the boy’s child, though paternity hasn’t yet been determined, his grandmother and guardian told the Associated Press on Monday.

“You hear about stuff like this from the TV, but it’s not reality,” Judy Ann Hayles said. “But (this) happened. And this won’t be over because a baby is on the way.”

Lisa Lynnette Clark was arrested Wednesday and remained in custody Monday. A preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 30.

District Attorney Lee Darragh said Georgia law on child molestation says that a person under 16 legally cannot consent to a sexual act. Darragh would not comment further on the case.

Teens arrested after chase, crash

Belleville, Ind.

Her interests included Jesus, soccer, her youth group and her dog. He was preoccupied with a new computer system, his hairstyle and deer hunting.

David G. Ludwig, 18, and Kara Beth Borden, 14, shared their favorite pastimes on Web postings, apparently kindling an adolescent romance in eastern Pennsylvania. But the teens’ parents disapproved of the relationship because of their age difference.

That disapproval may have cost them their lives.

On Monday, the two teens was captured by police in Indiana who suspected Ludwig of killing his girlfriend’s parents in an argument over her curfew. Kara was in his car after a police chase that ended in a crash.

Authorities confronted the two after he crashed his parents’ car head-on into a tree in Belleville, some 600 miles from where the killings took place. Kara was not hurt, authorities said.

Police were questioning Ludwig but had not spoken with Kara. Because of her age, Indiana and Pennsylvania law requires a relative, guardian or attorney to be present.

Sexually altered fish found off Pacific Coast

Los Angeles Scientists have discovered sexually altered fish off the Southern California coast, raising concerns that treated sewage discharged into the ocean contains chemicals that can affect an animal’s reproductive system.

So-called intersex animals are not new, but most previous instances were in freshwater. Environmentalists say this is among the first studies to document the effects in a marine environment.

Last year, federal scientists reported finding egg-growing male fish in Maryland’s Potomac River. They think the abnormality may be caused by pollutants from sewage plants, feedlots and factories.

Scientists do not yet know how such sexual defects affect the overall fish population.

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