2 bodies found after standoff in New Jersey; suspect killed
TRENTON, N.J. | A registered sex offender who barricaded himself for days in a home with his girlfriend's three children was shot to death Sunday as police rescued the captives and recovered the bodies of their mother and another sibling, authorities said.
Police officers initially went to the South Trenton home Friday afternoon after a relative of Carmelita Stevens, 44, said she hadn't spoken to her in weeks and was worried, authorities said at a news conference Sunday. Upon further investigation, authorities then discovered her children hadn't been to school in 12 days.
Officers entered the home through a rear door and found 38-year-old Gerald "Skip" Tyrone Murphy in an upstairs bedroom. He told them he was armed with a gun and explosives and had three children with him, Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini Jr. said.
Police remained in contact with Murphy throughout the 37-hour-long standoff, state police Col. Rick Fuentes said. Officers stormed the home at around 3:45 a.m. Sunday after noting Murphy's "deteriorating state of mind" and deciding it was necessary to enter to help ensure the captives survived, Fuentes said. An officer shot Murphy because he was threatening one of the children, he said.
Authorities found the bodies of Stevens and her 13-year-old son in separate bedrooms. Three of Stevens' children — an 18-year-old woman, a 16-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy — were rescued and taken to a medical center for evaluation and treatment.
17 are wounded along parade in New Orleans, police report
NEW ORLEANS | New Orleans police say 17 people have been wounded in a shooting during a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans on Sunday.
Police spokeswoman Remi Braden said in an email that many of the 17 victims were grazed and most of the wounds weren't life-threatening. No deaths were reported.
Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas told reporters that a 10-year-old girl grazed by a bullet was among those wounded in the shooting around 2 p.m. She was in good condition. He said three or four people were in surgery, but he didn't have their conditions.
Diplomat: Benghazi review thorough; Hillary is absolved
WASHINGTON | The seasoned diplomat who penned a highly critical report on security at a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, defended his scathing assessment but absolved then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. "We knew where the responsibility rested," Thomas Pickering said Sunday.
"They've tried to point a finger at people more senior than where we found the decisions were made," Pickering, whose career spans four decades, said of Clinton's critics.
The Accountability Review Board, which Pickering headed with retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, concluded last December that the decisions about the consulate were made well below the secretary's level.
Pickering's defense of his panel's conclusions, however, failed to placate Republicans who have called for creation of a special select congressional committee to investigate the Sept. 11, 2012, assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Body found in Kansas believed that of missing 18-month-old
OTTAWA, Kan. (AP) — A body recovered amid an intensive search is believed to be that of a missing 18-month-old girl whose mother was found dead along with two men on a Kansas farm days ago, authorities said Sunday.
Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards said in a statement that remains recovered in eastern Kansas on Saturday are believed to those of Lana Leigh Bailey, a child authorities previously reported as presumed dead.
"It is with great sadness that I report a body found in Osage County, Kansas, is believed to be the remains of 18-month-old Lana Bailey," Richards said in the statement.
Richards said the body was discovered by an Osage County sheriff's deputy who was searching an area for items that could be connected to the deaths reported May 6 at a farm home in nearby Franklin County.
Mother calls slaying suspect, 12, 'protective of his sister'
VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif. | The mother of an 8-year-old girl who was found stabbed to death in her Northern California home and of the 12-year-old boy accused of killing her describes the boy as "protective of his sister."
In an interview with Sacramento television station KOVR on Friday, Priscilla Rodriquez said her son "could never hurt his sister."
The boy — who has not been named by authorities — was arrested Saturday. He will be charged with homicide, Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz said.
The April 27 attack on Leila Fowler shook the tightknit Valley Springs community of about 7,400 people and set off a massive manhunt.
The boy had told police he found his sister's body and encountered an intruder in the home while their father and stepmother were at a Little League game.