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News Scan

Accused Killer was on Probation: Authorities report that the Alabama man accused of killing an Auburn University football player over the weekend had a lengthy criminal history, and was on active probation at the time of the murder.  Jay Reeves of the Associated Press reports that 22-year-old Markale Hart is accused of murdering the college athlete after an argument broke out at a party.  Hart pled guilty in 2012 to a second-degree burglary charge and was originally sentenced to six years in jail, but under his plea agreement, he spent just six months behind bars with three years of probation.

Hundreds of Americans Kidnapped in Mexico in 2014: According to the FBI, nearly 200 Americans were kidnapped in Mexico in 2014, a figure that is alarming tourists and residents in several border towns.  Ildefonso Ortiz of Breitbart reports that according to a study conducted by the National Citizens Observatory, a kidnapping takes place every six hours in Mexico.  American citizens are often targeted for ransom paid by relatives in the states.  The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning to Americans traveling to Mexico to avoid using highways at night.

OH High Court Upholds Death Sentence: The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for a man convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and two young children in 2010.  Kathleen Maloney of Court News Ohio reports that Mark Pickens appealed his conviction and death sentence based on the claim that jurors were improperly questioned and that there was prosecutorial misconduct.  Pickens broke into his ex-girlfriend's home and killed her, her 9-month-old son, and a 3-year-old child she was babysitting.  Police report that the day prior to the killings, the woman accused Pickens of raping and beating her. 

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