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News Scan

Convicted Felon Murders his Six Grandchildren: A Florida man who spent time in prison a decade ago for the accidental shooting death of his son killed his six grandchildren, his adult daughter, and himself Thursday afternoon in a gruesome murder-suicide.  Corinne Lestch of the New York Daily News reports that 51-year-old Don Spirit had a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1990. He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2003 for being a felon in possession of a gun when he accidentally shot his 8-year-old son during a camping trip.  Spirit called an emergency dispatcher yesterday to warn police that he may harm himself or others, but when the authorities arrived, he had already killed his six family members and himself.

Execution Date set for Convicted Killer: The Missouri Supreme Court has set an execution date for a man convicted of murdering a mother and her two children more than a decade ago.  Jeff Phillips of KSPR News reports that Mark Christeson killed the woman and her children after she refused his sexual advances. His co-defendant in the case agreed to testify against him and was given a life sentence in exchange for prosecutors dropping the death penalty.  Christeson is scheduled to be put to death October 29. If the execution is carried out as planned, he will become the ninth death row inmate executed in Missouri this year. 

Murder Rate on the Rise in South Africa: Authorities in South Africa are reporting that 17,000 murders took place between March 2013 and March 2014, resulting in a 5% increase over the previous year.  Christopher Torchia of the Associated Press reports that along with the increase in murders, South Africa is also experiencing an increase in home robberies and carjackings as well.  Police say it has been hard to control the escalating murder rate because in most cases, the victim and the murderer know one another.

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