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News Scan

Another Southern California Gang Shooting: A stray bullet fired during a gang shootout Tuesday evening took the life of a woman driving home from church.  According to Fox News. Police in the San Diego area community of Escondido report that Catherine Kennedy, 55, was driving home from church when she was shot at around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday. The bullet came from gunshots fired between what authorities believed to be two opposing gang members. Catherine was struck in the head which caused her to swerve into an unoccupied vehicle.  No suspects have been arrested. 

Illegal Immigrant Charged with Beheading Mother:  North Carolina police have charged an 18-year-old illegal Honduran immigrant with the murder of his mother. According to Douglas Ernst at the Washington Times, Oliver Mauricio Funes-Machada, was arrested in Pilot on Monday shortly after he called 911. Franklin County officials who arrived at the residence found him holding the severed head of his mother, 35-year-old Yesenia Funes Beatriz Machada. If convicted, Funes-Machada may face the death penalty given the brutal nature of his mothers death.

DA Challenge to Victims Statements: Prosecutors in the Eric Frein case are seeking to have a judge bar the defense from using court allowed victims statement to unfairly bias the sentencing jury. Frein is facing charges of capital murder for the 2014 Pennsylvania sniper shootings which took the life of police Cpl Bryon Dickson and wounded Trooper Alex Douglass. Terrie Morgan-Besecker at The Times-Tribune reports that family members of the victim have been vocal about their forgiveness of Frein. Prosecutors believe that the defense may call on the family testify about their opposition of capital punishment in order to persuade the jury not to impose a death sentence. In a preemptive move, the prosecutors have petitioned the judge to disallow such testimony.  The judge has yet to rule on this motion.  

Davis Murder Suspect Was Free on Probation: A 52-year-old man with an extensive criminal history was arrested last Friday as a suspect in the death of a 37-year-old woman. Lauren Keene and Tanya Perez at the Davis Enterprise report that John Paul Johnson was taken into custody Friday around 3pm by officers responding to a report of a woman had been found deceased in her bedroom. Johnson had recently been released on probation as a low risk offender under California law.  His criminal history includes charges of petty theft, grand theft, possession of a controlled substance, battery, and the brandishing of a weapon. Johnson was arraigned Tuesday evening and now awaits trial for the charges.

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