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News Scan

Triple Murderer could face Death Penalty:  A Washington state man accused of shooting four people, three of them fatally, earlier this month could face the death penalty, prosecutors announced Wednesday.  Jessica Prokop of the Columbian reports that Brent Ward Luyster, 35, who has several white supremacist tattoos and a criminal background, faces three counts of aggravated first-degree murder with the use of a firearm and first- and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm for the July 15 murders of two men and one woman.  Another woman was shot in the side of the face but survived.  Luyster's girlfriend, Andrea Sibley, 27, is charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance for being present at the time of the shooting, driving Luyster away from the scene and helping him flee the area.  The motive for the crime has not yet been disclosed.  In Washington state, where Gov. Jay Inslee suspended capital punishment in 2014, prosecutors may pursue aggravated murder and the death penalty if any one of 14 aggravating factors apply to the case.  Luyster's case involves two aggravating circumstances: multiple victims and motivation to conceal a crime.

DNC Invites Mike Brown's Mother, but No Relatives of Fallen Officers:  The mother of Michael Brown and other mothers of black men and women who have died during police encounters appeared on stage Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, angering local and national police groups who didn't see any relatives of fallen police officers present.  Chuck Raasch and Christine Byers of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch report that the inclusion of "Mothers of the Movement" without a presence of relatives of officers killed in the line of duty made police "very concerned" that the choice to include one and not the other may "perpetuate a message of hate that we've seen so often by some of the current movements."  The St. Louis County Police Organization and the St. Louis Police Officers' Association criticized Hillary Clinton and DNC organizers for ignoring families of fallen police officers, saying that the Democratic party is on the wrong side of this issue.  Michael Brown was fatally shot in 2014 by then-Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, prompting the "hands up, don't shoot" lie and galvanizing the Black Lives Matter movement.  A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict Wilson in the shooting, and an investigation by the Department of Justice found that Wilson was justified in shooting Brown because he reasonably feared for his life as Brown was attempting to attack him. 

Teens in 'Slender Man' Stabbing to be Tried as Adults:  Two 14-year-old girls will be tried as adults for stabbing their friend in order to please the fictional horror character known as the "Slender Man."  Emma Patton of the Washington Times reports that Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier were only 12 at the time of the 2014 attack when they lured their friend, Payton Leutner, into the Wisconsin woods and stabbed her 19 times as homage to the Slender Man, but Leutner miraculously survived.  The myth of the Slender Man was born after he was photoshopped into pictures portraying him as a long, slender, black figure with tentacle-like arms and has since become an internet sensation.  Users of the internet can access games and stories featuring the Slender Man, who does not necessarily participate in killings, but encourages it.  If convicted, Geyser and Weier could face up to 65 years in prison for attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

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