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ATLANTA (AP) — The two Atlanta police officers killed in a weekend helicopter crash are being remembered as public servants who died honorably as they searched for a missing 9-year-old boy. Atlanta Police spokesman Carlos Campos identified the two officers Sunday as 48-year-old Richard J. Halford of Lithia Springs, who had been with the department for 26 years, and 40-year-old Shawn A. Smiley of Lithonia, who joined the department two years ago.
ATLANTA (AP) — A low-flying police helicopter scanning a bustling neighborhood not far from downtown Atlanta for a runaway 9-year-old boy suddenly plummeted to the ground and exploded, killing both officers on board but leaving those on the ground unharmed. Federal authorities are investigating what caused the aircraft to descend into power lines, knocking out electricity to some residents nearby in the district filled with shopping plazas, fast food restaurants and homes. The boy was found safely a couple of hours after the helicopter crashed late Saturday night. Atlanta police spokesman Officer John Chafee said Sunday that the boy ran away after being scolded by his mother and was later found wandering on a city street.
PHOENIX (AP) — A new report into a shooting that left a U.S. Border Patrol agent dead says three agents responding to an alarm were apparently in radio contact as they approached from opposite directions before opening fire on each other in the Arizona desert. A sheriff's report released Friday says it was a clear night and the agents were on patrol separately when the call came in at about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 2 that an underground sensor aimed at detecting smugglers and illegal immigrants had been tripped.
PHOENIX (AP) — Three U.S. Border Patrol agents responding to an alarm from an underground sensor were apparently in radio contact as they approached from opposite directions before opening fire on each other in the Arizona desert, leaving one agent dead, according to a sheriff's report released Friday. It was a clear night and the agents were on patrol separately when the call came in at about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 2 that the sensor aimed at detecting smugglers and illegal immigrants had been tripped.
WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly six years, a senior Secret Service agent kept his extramarital affair with a Mexican woman a secret from the agency responsible for protecting the president. But in the wake of an embarrassing prostitution scandal involving 13 agents and officers, Rafael Prieto's secret was revealed by a fellow employee amid concerns the Secret Service wasn't enforcing its rules consistently. With an internal investigation ongoing, Prieto apparently committed suicide last week, people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior Secret Service agent who was being investigated by the government for failing to disclose a long-standing relationship with a foreign citizen killed himself last week in Washington, people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Rafael Prieto, a married father assigned to the security detail for President Barack Obama, had acknowledged to U.S. investigators that he had been having an affair for years with a woman from Mexico, these people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Prieto's death or the investigation. Prieto's relationship was revealed to Secret Service investigators by an agent who had been entangled in the Colombian prostitution scandal earlier this year, these people say. That agent was concerned that the Secret Service wasn't enforcing its rules consistently.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawyers for two black men wrongly convicted in the 1977 murder of a retired white Iowa police officer told jurors in a civil trial Thursday that investigators coerced witnesses into fabricating testimony. Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee are suing Council Bluffs and two retired police investigators for more than $100 million. The men were sent to prison for life for the shotgun killing of John Schweer, a retired police captain who was working as a security guard for local car dealerships. Harrington and McGhee were freed in 2003 after 25 years in prison after the Iowa Supreme Court found prosecutors committed misconduct.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday considered curbing police use of drug-sniffing dogs as lawyers argued that using a dog's hypersensitive nose outside a home to indicate the possibility of illegal substances inside amounts to an unconstitutional breach of privacy. Justices also are considering making states prove in court how well-trained and effective those drug-sniffing dogs are before prosecutors can use evidence turned up by the dog — something police departments say could put a crimp in their use of canines in law enforcement. It "puts the dog on trial," said lawyer Gregory Garre, who represented the state of Florida in both cases.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Tina Curl was so eager to see her 9-year-old daughter's killer executed Tuesday night that she couldn't even take her seat in the witness room. "I was right up to the glass," she told The Associated Press after the execution. "I wanted to see it up close."
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota inmate was executed Tuesday night for the 1990 rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl who disappeared after leaving her home to buy sugar at a nearby store so she could make lemonade. Donald Moeller, 60, received a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls, marking South Dakota's second execution this month in an unusual surge for a state that has carried out just two other death sentences since 1913.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of violent crimes reported to police decreased 3.8 percent last year to 1.2 million, the fifth straight year of declines, the FBI announced Monday. Meanwhile, the total number of property crimes reported to law enforcement agencies went down by 0.5 percent to 9 million, the ninth consecutive year that figure has fallen. Property crimes resulted in estimated losses of $156.6 billion.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Two off-duty Florida law-enforcement officers fatally shot an armed, naked woman who confronted them at a social gathering Saturday, authorities said. The shooting occurred at about 1:15 p.m. Saturday in Hernando County, north of Tampa. The county sheriff's office said in a news release that the men were approached by an "armed, naked and irrational female." The news release does not identify the weapon, but it says "one or both of the law enforcement officers fired their weapons, striking the female." She died at the scene.
DALLAS (AP) — A federal judge in Texas has blocked an attempt by the Los Angeles Police Department to use a search warrant to obtain decades-old tapes of conversations between a Manson family disciple and his now-deceased trial attorney. U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell's ruling stopped authorities from executing a search warrant earlier this month for the office of the bankruptcy trustee who has eight cassette tapes containing hours of conversations between Charles "Tex" Watson and attorney Bill Boyd.
O'BRIEN, Ore. (AP) — There's no room in the county jail for burglars and thieves. And the sheriff's department in a vast, rural corner of southwest Oregon has been reduced by budget cuts to three deputies on patrol eight hours a day, five days a week. But people in this traditionally self-reliant section of timber country aren't about to raise taxes to put more officers on the road. Instead, some folks in Josephine County, larger than the state of Rhode Island, are taking matters into their own hands — mounting flashing lights on their trucks and strapping pistols to their hips to guard communities themselves. Others have put together a virtual neighborhood watch, using Facebook to share tips and information.
KENNEBUNK, Maine (AP) — The first batch of men charged with being clients of a woman accused of turning her Zumba dance studio into a brothel included a former mayor and men from more than a dozen towns in Maine, as well as one each from Massachusetts and New Hampshire. After initial confusion caused by the release of names without ages or addresses, a judge on Tuesday granted a request for additional information about the first 21 names out of what's believed to be more than 150 men accused of paying a fitness instructor for sex.
DOS PALOS, Calif. (AP) — Cannon Michael is a folk hero across California's agriculture heartland, where these days the price of scrap metal influences a farmer's bottom line as much that of the fine pima cotton he grows. When thieves tore up yet another pricey water pump for the few dollars' worth of copper wire that energize it, the frustrated farmer considered taping $100 bills to the rebuilt system hoping crooks would just grab the easy money next time.
PHOENIX (AP) — A teenage boy apparently killed this week by a U.S. Border Patrol agent was hit seven times by gunfire and died on a sidewalk just across the Arizona-Mexico border, a mayor in Mexico said Friday. "It was a burst of gunfire," Nogales Mayor Ramon Guzman Munoz told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "It was a hail of bullets."
MIAMI (AP) — In the latest embarrassing spectacle for the Secret Service, one of its officers was found passed out and apparently drunk on a Miami street corner less than 12 hours after President Barack left the city following a day trip to campaign, police in Florida said. Aaron Francis Engler, an officer with the storied agency's uniformed division, was not on duty when he was found unresponsive on a sidewalk near a popular nightlife area in downtown Miami about 7 a.m. Engler was in Miami in a support role for Obama's trip, which included an afternoon campaign rally at the University of Miami and an evening fundraiser. His exact duties during Obama's visit were unclear, but he was not part of the president's personal security detail.
MIAMI (AP) — A Secret Service officer was arrested early Friday after being found passed out and apparently drunk on a Miami street corner several hours after President Barack Obama left the state following day trip to the city, police in Florida said. A Miami police officer found Aaron Francis Engler around 7 a.m., lying near an intersection not far from a popular night spot in downtown Miami. According to an arrest affidavit, Engler had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol. He was arrested on two misdemeanor counts after becoming combative with the arresting officer. Police say Engler started throwing his arms around while he was being searched and hit the officer in the chin.
PHOENIX (AP) — A U.S. Border Patrol agent opened fire on a group of people throwing rocks from across the Mexican border, killing a teenage boy and eliciting outrage from the Mexican government over the use of lethal force, authorities said Thursday. The agents in Nogales, Ariz., had responded to reports of two suspected drugs smugglers near the border at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. The agents watched the two abandon a load of narcotics, then run back to Mexico, according to the Border Patrol.