HARRISBURG, Pa. – A newlywed couple charged in the stabbing death of a stranger they lured through a Craigslist ad offering companionship pleaded guilty to murder Tuesday and face mandatory sentences of life without parole.
Miranda Barbour, 19, and Elytte Barbour, 22, previously had pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges that carried a possible death penalty upon conviction. They changed their pleas to guilty of second-degree murder at what was to have been a routine status conference in Northumberland County Court in Sunbury.
The victim, Troy LaFerrara, was choked and stabbed about 20 times.
Elytte Barbour later told police the couple killed LaFerrara, who was 42, because they wanted to kill someone together.
The Barbours are scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 18.
Newborn girl found in trash can critical
KEARNS, Utah – A newborn baby was in extremely critical condition Tuesday after her 23-year-old mother left her in a neighbor’s trash can in Utah, a state that allows mothers to drop off newborns at hospitals without consequences, police and health officials said.
Authorities arrested Alicia Marie Englert on Tuesday night on suspicion of attempted murder, Unified Police in Salt Lake City said in a statement.
A woman heard what she thought was a kitten meowing in the trash bin in the Salt Lake City suburb of Kearns on Tuesday morning and found the baby, Unified Police Detective Jared Richardson said.
Police said she was born Monday, and they don’t think she has received any medical care or food.
Shooting protests migrate to St. Louis
ST. LOUIS – Protests over the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in suburban St. Louis migrated to the city Tuesday as demonstrators pressed for broad reforms to local and federal law enforcement – including the revival of a proposed civilian police oversight board.
About 100 protesters marched from City Hall to the downtown federal courthouse several blocks away to call attention not only to Brown’s death Aug. 9 but also the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Kajieme Powell by St. Louis police 10 days later. Police have said Powell threatened two officers with a steak knife after stealing two energy drinks and a bag of doughnuts from a convenience store.
Suspected shooter called ‘serial killer’
LOS ANGELES – A man in custody is a serial killer who is suspected of randomly shooting seven people, leaving four dead, over five days in the Los Angeles area, authorities said Tuesday.
Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said at a news conference that the three other victims were critically injured and two dogs also were shot and killed before the arrest of 34-year-old Alexander Hernandez, of Sylmar.
Los Angeles police SWAT officers took Hernandez into custody Sunday evening with a pistol-grip shotgun in his possession that they believe was used in the attacks.
Hurricane offers surfers big waves
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Sand bags and surfers populated Southern California beaches Tuesday in anticipation of potentially damaging surf spawned by Hurricane Marie spinning off Mexico’s Pacific coast.
At The Wedge in Newport Beach, a famous surfing spot, dozens of gawkers lined the beach and watched bodysurfers get pounded by storm-driven waves up to 10 feet high.
Would-be big-wave surfers who came out said they were hoping for swells up to 30 feet when the storm system peaks today. If that materializes, it will be the biggest wave event at The Wedge since 1997, when Hurricane Linda produced monster swells, said Tim Burnham, who’s making a documentary about the famed surfing locale.