May 11, 2008 in Nation/World

Nation in brief: Five bodies found on property

The Spokesman-Review
 

The bodies of five people, including three children, were found Saturday afternoon on a sprawling property with a house and other structures in northeast Houston, police said.

A neighbor made the discovery after seeing a man’s body on a porch next to a .22-caliber rifle, investigators said.

The bodies of a woman between 20 and 30 years old and a boy thought to be about 10 were found in one part of the home, Houston police Sgt. John Chomiak said.

The bodies of a young boy and girl were found in another part of the home.

Investigators declined to speculate on the causes of death, although they said there were no obvious signs of a struggle. They also declined to release identities of the victims.

PHOENIX

Crash that killed 10 results in life term

A man who crashed an overloaded sport utility vehicle, killing 10 illegal immigrants while fleeing U.S. Border Patrol agents, has been sentenced to life in federal prison.

Mexican citizen Adan Pineda Doval, 22, was convicted in October by a Phoenix jury of 10 counts of transporting illegal immigrants causing death and two lesser charges.

Pineda was driving a Chevrolet Suburban packed with 20 illegal immigrants outside Yuma on Aug. 7, 2006, when border agents spotted him. He fled, ignoring pleas of the passengers to stop, swerved to avoid a spike strip that agents had placed in the road, and crashed.

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla.

Divnig pelican strikes swimmer

A swimmer is recovering after a pelican apparently diving for fish slammed into her face off Florida.

Debbie Shoemaker of Toledo, Ohio, was in the water Thursday near St. Petersburg when the pelican’s beak opened a gash in her face. She needed 20 stitches. The bird died.

The 50-year-old woman returned home Friday.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.

Justice cites Derby, rips death penalty

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens says the euthanized Kentucky Derby horse Eight Belles probably died more humanely than death row prisoners do.

Stevens’ comments Friday night came a month after he voted with a majority of the Supreme Court to approve the most widely used method of lethal injection, while saying for the first time that he now believes the death penalty is unconstitutional.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Stevens told an audience of judges and lawyers that he checked into the procedure used to kill Eight Belles and was surprised to learn it is against the law in Kentucky to kill animals using one of the drugs in a three-drug lethal injection cocktail that many states, including Kentucky, use to execute prisoners.

Stevens drew a round of applause for the comments to the 50 federal judges and more than 800 attorneys at the 68th conference of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Eight Belles was euthanized after breaking both front ankles a quarter-mile after the finish at Churchill Downs a week ago.

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