April 24, 2007 in Nation/World

Man acquitted of kidnapping, rape

The Spokesman-Review
 

A jury acquitted a convicted sex offender Monday of raping two teenage girls who police say escaped after they were left to die in an underground bunker he had built.

Kenneth Glenn Hinson, 48, appeared to cry after the jury read its verdict, which followed about four hours of deliberations over two days.

Authorities accused Hinson of snatching the 17-year-old girls from their bedroom last year and dragging them one at a time to the underground room, raping them and binding them with duct tape. Prosecutors said Hinson expected the girls to die because the room, under a tool shed, had no air supply.

“We are shocked and stunned. We believed Mr. Hinson was guilty as charged. We still believe he is guilty as charged,” said Attorney General Henry McMaster, who helped prosecute the case.

Hinson testified that the girls had consensual sex with him. He said they made up the story so they would be able to take drugs from the bunker, which he used to store marijuana.

WASHINGTON

Wolfowitz hires lawyer for job fight

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has hired a prominent attorney as he fights to keep his job, in jeopardy for arranging a generous compensation package for a bank employee with whom he has been romantically linked.

“I want to be sure that he receives appropriate treatment and fair treatment,” Robert Bennett, a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, said Monday.

Bennett said he was retained Saturday, one day after the World Bank’s board ordered a special panel on whether, among other things, Wolfowitz properly handled the promotion of Shaha Riza to a high-paying job at the State Department in 2005.

Wolfowitz, who has said he made a mistake and has apologized, said he got involved in Riza’s job transfer shortly after he took the helm with the hope of avoiding a conflict of interest.

CAMDEN, N.J.

Aides: Corzine will lead as he recovers

Aides to injured Gov. Jon S. Corzine said Monday they hope he will be able to run the state as he recovers, even if it means governing by video.

Corzine was upgraded from critical condition Monday and will be moved out of intensive care, doctors said. Dr. Steven Ross, head of trauma at Cooper University Hospital, said Corzine would be in the hospital for at least another week.

Corzine’s chief of staff, Tom Shea, said Corzine probably would not resume his duties as long as he is in the hospital.

Spokesman Anthony Coley said Corzine – still unable to govern 11 days after a car crash – may use technology to help him run the state when he is ready.

Corzine has been at the hospital since the April 12 car crash on the Garden State Parkway. He was in the front passenger seat, his seat belt unbuckled, when the state SUV driven by a state trooper at about 90 mph was clipped by a pickup.


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