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News Scan

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TX Ex-Justice of The Peace Suspected of Murdering DA, Wife:  FOX News and the Associated Press report that Eric Lyle Williams, a former justice of the peace in Texas, was arrested Saturday on charges of making a terrorist threat. Williams is now a prime suspect in the murders of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife. Williams, 46, was arrested after agents investigating the killings found multiple weapons and a car similar to one described leaving the neighborhood of the murders in a storage unit linked to him. An email threatening another attack against Kaufman County officials was traced back to Williams' computer. McLelland and Mark Hasse, also recently slain, were both crucial to prosecution against Williams over theft charges last year. The trial resulted in Williams losing his justice of the peace position. Williams has a reputation of making violent threats. He is known to have threatened his ex-girlfriend Janice Gray with a gun on multiple occasions. Continued from this News Scan.

Court to Review Order Blocking CA Executions:  Howard Mintz of the Mercury News reports that on Tuesday, the 1st District Court of Appeal will review a Marin County judge's 2011 order halting executions. The ruling announced that the state had failed to adequately follow the Administrative Procedures Act when revising its execution protocol.  The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation appealed the ruling.  The State Attorney General office argues CA satisfied the rules and did more than was required, including holding public hearings and considering 29,000 public comments. Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, said such administrative rules should not take precedence over enforcement of a state law such as the death penalty statute. Continued from this News Scan.

CO Teen Enters Not Guilty Plea for Murder of Girl:  Thomas Peipert of the Associated Press reports  that Austin Sigg, 18, pleaded not guilty to murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and robbery on Friday. Allegedly, Sigg earlier confessed that he kidnapped, murdered, and dismembered Jessica Ridgeway, 10. Some of her remains were also found at Sigg's home. He also pleaded not guilty to attacking a 22-year-old jogger in the same neighborhood as Jessica, in May. Three counts of sexual exploitation of a child have also been entered by prosecutors based on the alleged discovery of child pornography in the investigation. Because he was 17 when the slaying occurred, he is ineligible for the death penalty. A maximum sentence would give him life in prison with possibility of parole after 40 years. Continued from this News Scan.

OK Court Set to Hear Murderer's Appeal:  Tim Talley of the Associated Press reports that Oklahoma Death Row inmate Roderick Lynn Smith will have his appeal heard on May 7. Smith was convicted of the 1993 murders of his wife Jennifer Smith and her four children.  Two of the children, Glen Carter Jr., 9, Ladarian Carter, 7, were stabbed to death. The other two, Shemeka Carter, 10, and Kanesha Carter, 6, had been strangled. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals will hear arguments that Smith's death sentence should be overturned because the jury failed to consider evidence that Smith is mentally retarded. His defense attorney alleges he was deprived of his constitutional rights because of improper jury instructions. Smith, 47, first went to death row in November 1994 when he was convicted on five counts of first degree murder. His five death sentences were overturned in 2004 by the Tenth Circuit ruling finding ineffective assistance of counsel at sentencing.  Resentencing resulted in Smith receiving two death sentences for the girl's murders and LWOP for the stabbing of his step sons and wife.

CA Child Killer Suspect in Several Cold Cases:
KTVU News reports that the FBI is looking for six more victims of convicted child killer Curtis Dean Anderson. In 2007, one month before he died, Anderson told investigators he had killed six other victims. Anderson had been convicted of kidnapping and murdering 7-year-old Xiana Fairchild in Vallejo. He also confessed to the kidnap-murder of Amber Swartz.  From 1986 to 1999, Anderson had been arrested and released from prison 10 times. Anderson told the federal investigator he would have continued killing more women if released. The FBI is out of leads and is seeking help from the public to solve these murders.

Transient Boxer is a Suspected Serial Killer: Russell Goldman of ABC News reports that career criminal Samuel Little, 72, is being investigated as a possible serial killer. Little had been arrested in Kentucky in September for the possession of drug paraphernalia. He was extradited to Los Angeles after his DNA was linked to three 1989 unsolved murders. In all three cases, the victims were knocked out and strangled. Little's criminal record covers 56 years of crimes across 24 states. There have been a significant number of unsolved cases matching Little's method of operation in areas and at times when he resided nearby.  

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