February 3, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Principal killed; janitor arrested

 

Placerville, Calif. – A school janitor was arrested Wednesday in the killing of a Northern California elementary school principal who was hailed as a role model for other educators.

No children were hurt in the late-morning shooting in the office at Louisiana Schnell Elementary School in Placerville, but one student may have witnessed the shooting, Police Chief George Nielson said.

Principal Sam LaCara, 50, died in the attack, Nielson said.

Authorities said they arrested janitor John Luebbers, 44, at his home about an hour after launching a manhunt. Investigators were trying to determine a motive for the shooting about 50 miles east of Sacramento.

New trial sought in Levy case

Washington – Lawyers for the man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy are asking for a new trial by claiming juror misconduct and an inappropriate closing argument by prosecutors.

Lawyers for Ingmar Guandique filed the motion for a new trial Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court. The filing says that one juror improperly used the notes of others in reaching a verdict during Guandique’s trial late last year. In addition, prosecutors improperly appealed to the jury’s emotions and facts that weren’t part of trial evidence in making a graphic final statement, the lawyers contend.

“It was as if the prosecutor were narrating a horror movie, with its tricks of foreshadowing to whip up fear in the audience. But this was not a movie; it was supposed to be a trial during which the jury clinically evaluated the facts,” Guandique’s lawyers wrote.

Guandique’s conviction came nearly a decade after Levy disappeared in May 2001. Her disappearance drew widespread attention when she was romantically linked with Gary Condit, then a California congressman.

A year after the disappearance, Levy’s remains were discovered in Washington’s Rock Creek Park, where she had gone jogging.


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

Get stories like this in a free daily email