April 19, 2009 in Nation/World

Murder-suicide leaves family dead

 
Associated Press photo

Law enforcement officials stand by a home in Middletown, Md., where they say a couple and their three children died Saturday.
(Full-size photo)

An accountant for a railroad operator killed his wife and their three children before fatally shooting himself in a northwest Maryland home, leaving a gruesome scene that was discovered Saturday by the youngsters’ grandfather.

Authorities didn’t specify a motive but said there was evidence the man faced psychiatric and financial problems.

When investigators arrived at the two-story home, the couple’s two sons, ages 5 and 4, lay dead in their beds, while the bodies of a 2-year-old daughter and the mother, Francis Billotti Wood, were in the master bedroom. On the master bedroom floor by the foot of the bed was the father, 34-year-old Christopher Alan Wood, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Washington

Obama puts focus on wasted funds

President Barack Obama, whose health care and economic stimulus initiatives threaten to dramatically inflate the federal budget deficit, heralded a new push Saturday to cut wasteful spending in government.

The president said that in coming weeks he would announce the elimination of “dozens of government programs.” And he would ask his Cabinet secretaries Monday for specific proposals to slash their departments’ budgets – promising “no sacred cows and no pet projects.”

The president’s declaration, delivered in his Saturday radio address, comes at a time when the administration is working to build support for his budget and his ambitious domestic policy agenda.

Los Angeles

Man held at border in hit-and-run case

A man wanted in connection with the hit-and-run death of a University of Southern California student in March was arrested as he attempted to cross back into the U.S. from Mexico, police said.

Josue Luna, 32, was booked Saturday as an accessory to a crime.

Luna was a passenger when his wife sped through a red light near USC on March 29, according to police. The 2000 Infiniti sedan struck two students in the crosswalk, killing Adrianna Bachan, 18, and severely injuring Marcus Garfinkle, 19.

Investigators said Garfinkle was carried 300 feet to 400 feet on the windshield. The car stopped and Luna pulled the student off. Luna got back in the car and held the windshield in place as his wife drove off, police said.

Luna’s wife, Claudia Cabrera, 30, has pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run.

From wire reports


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email