crime

Oscar Pistorius, the South African double-amputee Olympian accused in the shooting death of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, has been acquitted of the most serious charge of premeditated murder.

But South African Judge Thokozile Masipa has yet to announce her final verdict in the jury-less trial, although she has hinted that culpable homicide would be a "competent verdict."

As tears streamed down Pistorius' face, Masipa told the court in Pretoria that the athlete did not plan to kill Steenkamp on the night he fatally shot her through a closed bathroom door.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images News / Thinkstock

Mathew Martoma, a former portfolio manager with Stamford-based SAC Capital Advisors, has been sentenced in New York to nine years in prison. He was convicted earlier this year of helping the firm earn more than $250 million illegally through insider trading.

Now that Virginia GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell has been found guilty of corruption, fraud and bribery, his name could be added to a long list of top state officials who have had to take the walk from the statehouse to the big house.

Plymouth Public Schools

Plymouth officials have accepted the resignation of the town's school superintendent, and agreed to pay her $70,000 in severance, as she faces allegations of stealing public funds in her previous job leading Hebron schools. 

CT Mirror

Former Governor John Rowland is back on trial today as he faces charges of election-fraud. Former President Bill Clinton  was in his old stomping-grounds of New Haven to raise money for Governor Dan Malloy and former Congressman Rob Simmons is getting back into politics!

After years of criticism for being too lax on campus sexual assault, some colleges and universities are coming under fire from students who say the current crackdown on perpetrators has gone too far.

Dozens of students who've been punished for sexual assault are suing their schools, saying that they didn't get a fair hearing and that their rights to due process were violated. The accused students say schools simply are overcorrecting.

An appeals court in Cincinnati has overturned the hate-crime convictions of 16 Amish who cut the beards and hair of their fellow Amish.

An investigation out on Tuesday documents the abuse of more than 1,400 children in Rotherham, England, and says local authorities were aware of the problem for years and did not respond.

Alexis Jay, who authored the report, used to be chief inspector of social work in Scotland.

The motorcade of a Saudi prince was hit by thieves Sunday night, as armed men burst from two BMWs and carjacked a vehicle that contained 250,000 euros (about $335,000). The motorcade had been headed from a luxury hotel in Paris to an airport; police suspect the gunmen had inside knowledge.

In a city where public safety consistently ranks as the top issue in public opinion polls, a veteran Springfield city councilor caused a buzz this week when he suggested people had become complacent about violence.

In an op-ed published on MassLive.com, Springfield City Councilor-at-large Tim Rooke called on the “silent majority” to speak up and help dismantle the violent drug gangs that he said are causing families to move out of Springfield and hurting businesses.

Neil Conway / Creative Commons

After spending years, sometimes decades behind bars, inmates leave prison with little direction for moving forward. They face difficulties obtaining employment, education, and housing. Although Connecticut is a national leader on re-entry programs, a recent study finds nearly 80 percent of inmates released in 2005 were re-arrested within five years.

Connecticut U.S. District Court

Support courts for defendants with substance abuse issues have existed for over two decades in many states, including Connecticut. They give people an opportunity to seek treatment to avoid the cycle of repeated incarceration. In recent years, federal courts have begun similar programs. 

Connecticut Innocence Project

Kenneth Ireland was released in 2009 after DNA tests exonerated him for a crime he didn't commit. Now the state of Connecticut is holding hearings about how much to compensate him.

When police questioned 17-year-old Kenneth Ireland for the rape and murder of a Wallingford woman in 1986, he thought it all would pass. "I figured they would figure this out and that it would just go away," he said. "I just went on with my life. I joined the National Guard to get the grant for college. I had gotten a decent job for my age. I was heading down this path where I was constructing a life."

The U.S. Sentencing Commission on Friday voted unanimously to reduce terms for drug traffickers already in prison.

More than 46,000 drug offenders will be eligible for early release, unless Congress makes a move to stop the plan by Nov. 1.

On average, sentences could be reduced by more than two years.

BBC

A British citizen imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism was sentenced in federal court in New Haven today.

Babar Ahmad was given 12 and half years in prison, with credit for the ten years he’s already served.

Shawn Sienkiewicz / The Hartford Courant

Federal prosecutors allege that former Governor John Rowland used his radio show on WTIC-AM to prop up Lisa Wilson-Foley's candidacy during the 2012 race in Connecticut's Fifth Congressional District. 

Wikimedia Commons

Philippe Petit made his walk between the towers of the World Trade Center 40 years ago. He stayed up on that wire for 45 minutes, made 8 passes between the towers, got down on his knees, and he even laid down on it! But it's more than that one feat - it was a placeholder for a much broader philosophy of risk and creativity, and evidence of who the man really is.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Lawyers for former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland argue that some of the federal charges he faces are unconstitutional.

They filed new arguments Monday night seeking to have much of the case against the 57-year-old former governor dismissed.

Israeli officials say they have found the bodies of three teens captured earlier this month.

Yeshiva students Gil-Ad Shaer,16, Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, were kidnapped late at night on June 12 from a hitchhiking point in Gush Etzion. Fraenkel is a dual Israeli-American citizen.

Underneath the charm of Martha's Vineyard's picturesque beaches, peaceful woods and luxury homes is a problem: Since August, there have been six overdose deaths on the island.

"That's a phenomenal rate for a community of 16,000 people — and that's not to mention the overdoses that haven't been fatal," says Charles Silberstein, an addiction specialist and psychiatrist at Martha's Vineyard Hospital. "We've had overdoses for years, but I don't think we've ever seen this kind of number or frequency."

WalkingGeek (Flickr Creative Commons)

Metro-North Railroad said train service was temporarily suspended through Fairfield while authorities investigated a suspicious package near the station.

Emily Stanchfield / Creative Commons

The Second Amendment is just 27 words long, but it has caused more debate than just about anything else in the Constitution. "It’s confusing and self-contradictory and we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what its clauses and commas mean," said Michael Waldman, author of the new book The Second Amendment: A Biography. We talk to him about the history and odd syntax of this Amendment and the debate over it that was renewed by the tragedy in Newtown.

Toy stores in Australia have been hit by a series of high-dollar Lego heists, and a police detective thinks the thefts might be the work of a crime syndicate specifically targeting the toys.

Ebay

Connecticut's attorney general is working with other states to try and prevent data breaches like the ones that happened to eBay, Target, and Neiman Marcus.

Connecticut Department of Correction

A Connecticut man was sentenced to death for gunning down two adults and a nine-year-old girl on a Bridgeport street in 2006. 

Online marketplace eBay says it was the target of a cyberattack in which hackers accessed a database of its encrypted passwords. The auction site says no financial data were revealed — but it's urging its users to update the passwords on their accounts.

EBay says that it hasn't seen any sign of fraudulent activity since the problem was first detected "about two weeks ago." It also said that it stores financial data and customer records in different places and that accounts of its direct-payment subsidiary, PayPal, were not affected by the data breach.

nwcc.commnet.edu

Three Torrington High School students have been charged with painting racist and sexual graffiti on the school in March.

Jeffrey Beall / Creative Commons

Prosecutors say former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez, who already faces a murder charge in a man's shooting death last year, has been indicted on new murder charges in an unrelated 2012 double slaying in Boston.

The victims in that killing, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, were shot to death as they sat in a car in Boston's South End on July 16, 2012. Police have said they were shot by someone who drove up alongside in an SUV and opened fire. 

Vernon Police Department

Police have found three missing boys in Bangor, Maine after issuing a multi-state Amber Alert.

The group that took more than 200 girls from a Nigerian school last month released what it says is a video of the girls, along with demands that the government release militants from prison. The group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, says the video shows around 130 of the girls.

In the undated video released Monday, a crowd of girls is seen outdoors, arranged as if for a class photo. They are wearing the full-length hijab; some portions of the footage show them praying.

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