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News Scan

Police Officer Fatally Shot in St. Petersburg:  Tamara Lush of the Associated Press reports that Officer David Crawford, 46, was fatally shot Monday night after investigating a report of a suspicious person.  Police are still searching for the suspect while nearby schools and streets have been closed.  Crawford is the third officer in the last month to be killed in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Appeals Court Blocks Parole for 73-year-old:  Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle has this story about a First District Court of Appeal ruling which has denied parole for Jimmie Sole, 73.  In 2008, the State Parole board granted parole to Sole but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger overruled the board in 2009.  Sole pleaded guilty to second degree murder in 1980 and was sentenced to 15 years to life for murdering his ex-wife Joyce Williams.  Sole had been convicted of assaulting Williams prior to her death and his extensive criminal record has been linked to alcohol abuse.

Killer Sentenced to Death in Beheading:  AP writer Brent Kallestad reports that a jury has recommended the death penalty for Gary Michael Hilton, 64, for the 2007 killing of Cherly Dunlap, 46.  Hilton is already serving a life sentence for pleading guilty to killing Meredith Emerson, 24, about a month after Dunlap's disappearance.  Both victims were beheaded and their remains were found in forests in Georgia where Hilton camped.  Hilton is also a suspect in three other murders, two in North Carolina and one in Florida. 

Prosecutors May Seek Death Penalty in Arizona Case:  A story by Nogales International writer Jonathan Clark reports that Juan Antonia Villa, 38, is being charged with the first degree murder of his wife Christina Carrizoza Villa, 35, after fatally stabbing her in their Nogales apartment.  Villa allegedly confessed to killing Carrizoza and was carrying a 3-inch blade when he was arrested.  Superior Court Judge Kimberly Corsaro will determine if there is probable cause for Villa to be tried for first degree murder at the preliminary hearing on March 4th.  While the determination to pursue the death penalty against Villa will largely be a law-and-order issue, Silva said, prosecutors also plan to reach out to Carrizoza's family members for their feelings.

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