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Stalker Released From Jail to Kill ex-Girlfriend: A Northern California woman was shot and killed Monday by an ex-boyfriend who had been stalking her. 32-year-old Renne Pinkston was shot and killed as she sat in her vehicle in downtown Winters on Monday morning.  Pinkston leaves a young daughter.  Lauren Keene of the Daily Republic reports that the suspect, 30-year-old William Carl Gardner III, was allowed to repeatedly post bail and be released back into the community despite a lengthy history of failing to appear in court and repeatedly violating the terms of his probation related to a separate domestic-violence involving another woman.  Pinkston had gotten a restraining order to prevent his continued and sometimes violent harassment. Gardner had been released from jail on a no bail warrant last Friday.  An alert sent out Friday to warn Pinkston of Gardner's release was not received until Monday, at about the time she was killed.  Gardner is still at large. 

Jury in Cop Killing Case Recommends Death Sentence: A Florida man convicted of killing two Tampa police officers in 2010 must now wait for a judge's final penalty decision after the jury presiding over his case unanimously recommended a death sentence.  Beau Zimmer of CBS Tampa Bay reports that the defendant, 28-year-old Dontae Morris, an habitual criminal,  was convicted earlier this year for a murder he committed just 30 days before killing the two Tampa officers.  In Florida, a judge has the final say when it comes to sentencing an individual to death, but is required to give great consideration of the jury's recommendation.

Mandatory Testing for Drug Felons on Welfare:  Residents of St. Louis County, Minnesota who receive state welfare benefits and who have been previously convicted of a felony drug crime are now required to take a mandatory drug test in order to receive benefits.  John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune reports that those drug felons receiving benefits will be subject to a random urinalysis prior to their eligibility reviews every 6-12 months. A positive test will result in a sanction under the state Department of Health and Human Services policy.  A second failure requires disqualification from receiving benefits. About 4 percent of the 4,616 individuals in St. Louis County receiving welfare benefits have been identified as convicted drug felons.

Serial Killer Executed in Missouri: Convicted serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin was put to death Wednesday morning after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted two stays that were granted Tuesday evening seeking to delay his execution.  Karen Brooks of Reuters reports that Franklin was the first Missouri inmate to be executed under the state's new execution protocol which allows the Department of Corrections to use pentobarbital created in a compounding pharmacy rather than in an FDA approved pharmaceutical factory.  Franklin was the 35th death row inmate in the U.S. to be executed this year.

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