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News Scan

Convicted 'Southside Slayer' Faces Death Penalty: AP reports in the Washington Post that serial killer Micheal Hughes, 55, was convicted Thursday of three counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances for strangling two prostitutes an a 15-year-old in a Southern California killing streak that spanned from the 80s-90s. Hughes was serving a life sentence for killing four women in 1992-3 when he was charged with the additional murders. Authorities said DNA evidence linked Hughes to the killings. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty when the sentencing phase of his trial begins Monday.

Maryland High Court Upholds Conviction For Child Abuser: Peter Hermann of the Baltimore Sun reports that Erik Stoddard convicted of the 2002 fatal beating of three-year-old Calen Faith Dirubbo was denied a chance for a fourth trial by the Maryland Court of Appeals, who decided to uphold the 40-year prison sentence the child abuser. Stoddard was first convicted of second-degree murder in March 2003 and has been appealing for nearly a decade. According to police, Stoddard beat the child to death because he was unable to toilet-train her.

Lawyers Stabbed: Druggie Convicted:  Joshua Monson, 28, who forfeited his right to legal counsel after he stabbed his attorneys with writing tools was convicted of drug possession Thursday. Surrounded by Snohomish County corrections officers and confined in a restraint chair, Monson told the jurors he'd been framed. Monson still faces a second-degree murder charge connected to the Jan. 2 shooting of Brian Jones, and two counts of fourth-degree assault for the attorney stabbings. AP reports in the Seattle Times.

Arkansas Supreme Court Rules For Criminal Code Review: Andrew Demillo of AP reports on the Arkansas Supreme Court's decision on Thursday to review the state's criminal code because of conflicting laws regarding habitual offenders. Chariel Ali Glaze was convicted as a habitual offender and faced a sentence of 20-30 years from jurors, when he argued that a more recent law required a sentence of between 5-40 years. The court found the conflict between the two laws "irreconcilable." Justice Robert L. Brown wrote in the opinion, "Even though this court has found no repeal by implication in several recent cases, the argument is still consistently being raised by defendants, making at least a review, if not a revision, of our criminal code warranted."

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