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News Scan

Mom Charged With Attempted Murder: The South Carolina woman who drove her minivan into the Atlantic Ocean with her young children inside has been charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder. Erin McClam of NBC News reports that 32-year-old Ebony Wilkerson locked the doors of her vehicle, rolled up the windows and told her three children to close their eyes and go to sleep as she drove the family vehicle into the ocean earlier this week.  Witnesses ran into the surf and managed to pull the woman and children to safety.  Wilkerson, who is nearly seven months pregnant, has also been charged with three counts of aggravated child abuse. 

Teen Charged in Murder of 12-Year-Old Friend: A 15-year-old New Mexico boy accused of killing his 12-year-old friend last month has been indicted by a grand jury and charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence.  The Associated Press reports that the boy will most likely be charged as an adult, but the presiding judge will have the option to sentence him as a youthful offender.  New Mexico law allows the state to charge minors as adults as long as they are at least 14 years old.

Rare Death Penalty Trial Set to Begin in Hawaii: A murder trial is scheduled to begin next week in Hawaii for a man accused of beating his daughter to death.  If convicted the murderer could be sentenced to death even though Hawaii abolished capital punishment more than 50 years ago.  Jennifer Sinco Kelleher of the Associated Press reports that because the murder occurred on a military base, the defendant, Naeem Williams could face a possible death sentence, which is available under federal law.  It is rare for the federal government to seek the death penalty in a state that doesn't allow it. Currently, only seven of the 59 federal inmates on death row come from states that had abolished the death penalty at the time of their sentencing.

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