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News Scan

Holmes' University Psychiatrist Reported Alarming Behavior: Jeremy P. Meyer and Allison Sherry of the Denver Post report psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton, seeing Colorado shooter James Eagan Holmes before the massacre, notified members of the University of Colorado Denver Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment (BETA) team of alarming behavior displayed by Holmes sometime within the first ten days of June, 2012. The BETA team provides faculty, staff, and students a resource when "confronted with people they believe are threatening, disruptive or otherwise problematic," but does not include the campus police. Due to Holmes leaving the University, no further action was taken.

CA Triple-Murderer Gets Death Penalty: Paul T. Rosynsky of the Oakland Tribune reports that after only one day of deliberation, Oakland jurors sentenced David Mills to death for a triple-murder.  In 2005 Mills was supposed to return a gun he borrowed to four friends waiting in a car.  He instead walked up to the vehicle began shooting, killing three of the four.  A woman, though badly injured, survived to identify Mills as the shooter. Mills was a habitual criminal who dropped out of elementary school to sell drugs and previously plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter after the witnesses against him refused to testify.

CA County Awarded Additional $20M to Build Jail: Marga K. Cooley of the Santa Ynez Valley News reports the CA Board of State and Community Corrections awarded Northern Santa Barbara County $20M more to build a new 138,385-square-foot jail to house the increasing number of inmates being transferred to the county due to realignment. The extra $20M, increasing the award to the $80M cap for medium-sized counties, will allow for the jail to have 376 beds rather than 304.

Man Believed to be Dead to Face Death Penalty:
Holbrook Mohr of the Associated Press reports federal prosecutors have charged Thomas Sanders, who was declared dead in 1994,  with killing his girlfriend and her 12-year-old daughter outside of Law Vegas over Labor Day weekend, 2010.  Sanders allegedly stopped in the desert to let his girlfriend shoot his rifle, then shot the woman in front of her daughter.  He drove the horrified 12-year-old girl to a wooded area in Louisiana where she survived multiple gunshot wounds before Sanders finally cut her throat. Sanders was presumed dead seven years after leaving his family in Mississippi.  He remained undetected despite traveling and multiple arrests. Federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

Death Penalty Upheld in CA School Shooting: Paul Elias of the Associated Press reports the CA Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Eric Houston, a high school drop out, convicted of killing a teacher and 3 students, and injuring 10 others in a May 1, 1992 rampage through the halls of the Yuba County high school he had attended. Houston went into the school armed with a 12-gauge shotgun in hand and a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle on his back. After the initial onslaught, he rounded up about 80 students in an upstairs classroom and held them hostage for about 8 hours, releasing several through negotiations, and finally surrendered at 10 p.m.

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