February 4, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Janitor tells police principal fired him

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A school janitor told investigators he went home and got a gun before returning to an elementary school and killing the principal who had fired him several hours earlier, authorities said Thursday.

John Luebbers, 44, was arrested at his home Wednesday after Sam LaCara, 50, was shot at Louisiana Schnell Elementary School in Placerville.

No children were injured in the shooting, but police said one child might have seen the attack in the school office.

Placerville Union School District Superintendent Nancy Lynch said LaCara had only sent Luebbers home for the day after the janitor became upset over a personnel matter.

Vicki Barber, superintendent of the El Dorado County Office of Education, said the two men apparently had a dispute about the district’s selection of a new nighttime custodian. Luebbers was the daytime custodian and supervised that employee.

Luebbers’ mother, MaryAnn Phillips, said her son was friends with LaCara, and the two had gone golfing Sunday.

Kelly to announce decision today

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The astronaut husband of wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will announce today whether he’ll fly on space shuttle Endeavour’s final voyage – and all signs are go.

Mark Kelly will take part in a press conference this afternoon at Johnson Space Center in Houston, NASA said late Thursday. The astronaut who has been substituting for Kelly during training, however, is not among the three participants, suggesting that Kelly has decided to fly in April.

His identical twin, Scott, currently commander of the International Space Station, hinted in an interview this week that his brother would choose to fly.

Mark Kelly took a leave from training after Giffords was gunned down at a Tucson, Ariz., shopping center on Jan. 8. She’s been undergoing rehab in Houston for the past two weeks.

Garrido ruled competent for trial

PLACERVILLE, Calif. – A California judge ruled Thursday that a man charged with kidnapping Jaycee Dugard and holding her captive for 18 years is competent to stand trial.

Phillip Garrido’s lawyer had expressed doubts last fall about his mental fitness to stand trial along with his wife on 18 counts each of kidnapping, lewd acts on a child, rape and false imprisonment, among other charges.

El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Douglas Phimister issued his ruling based on two psychiatric evaluations, a sworn statement from Garrido’s lawyer and the report of a county investigator.

Garrido, 59, and his wife, Nancy Garrido, 55, are accused of abducting Dugard from a bus stop in 1991 when she was 11.

Authorities said the Garridos kept Dugard and her two daughters fathered by Phillip Garrido confined to the backyard of the couple’s home.


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