Students take over college head's office
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Anger boiled over on the University of California San Diego campus Friday, where students took over the chancellor's office to protest the hanging of a noose in a campus library.
Students wearing red handkerchiefs over their faces blocked the doors to Chancellor Marye Anne Fox's offices for hours, while more students inside chanted "Real pain, real change."
The noose found dangling from a light fixture on the seventh floor of Geisel Library on Thursday night was the latest in a string of racially charged incidents in the university community, authorities said Friday.
A University of California statement said a student admitted she and two other people were responsible. The statement did not identify the students or their race or include a motive.
In a news conference Friday afternoon, Fox said the student has been suspended but declined to discuss her motive or other students involved.
"This person admitted her involvement in what we consider to be an abhorrent act," Fox said.
Jailed couple now allowed to converse
PLACERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — The Northern California couple charged with kidnapping Jaycee Dugard and holding her captive for 18 years must be given the opportunity to speak to each other while in jail, a judge said Friday.
Phillip and Nancy Garrido have been held separately since their arrests in August and denied access to each other. Their lawyers argued they had a constitutional right to visit to talk about the case, their finances and their hopes for Dugard and the two daughters Dugard had with Phillip Garrido.
Prosecutors and jail officials strongly opposed the request. Jail officials had said arranging such visits would overburden the staff, while the county district attorney scoffed at the suggestion that the Garridos had any role to play in promoting Dugard's well-being.
But El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Douglas C. Phimister on Friday scolded the county sheriff's department, which runs the jail, for being unwilling to facilitate communication between the two inmates. Phimister argued that jail officials routinely find ways to arrange calls and visits to inmates that are monitored "when it is to our advantage."
"These are two people who are potentially facing the rest of their lives in prison," he said. "To allow them 10 minutes to talk to each other is not unreasonable."
Woman linked to 3 deaths found dead
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A 19-year-old whom police called a person of interest in the deaths of three people found in a burning Milwaukee home has been found dead.
A statement from police spokeswoman Anne Schwartz says Brittney Robertson was found about 6:15 p.m. Friday on the city's northwest side.
The statement contained no details about how Robertson died or where she was discovered, and Schwartz didn't immediately offer further explanation.
Police say Robertson lived in the home where a mother and two young boys were found dead earlier in the day after a suspicious fire. Investigators were treating the deaths of 24-year-old Rachel Thompson and her 3- and 4-year-old sons as homicides.
Thompson's 6-week-old son was found in good condition outside a church hours after the fire.
Demonstration turns violent at Berkeley
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — A late-night demonstration over budget cuts turned violent in Berkeley when protesters broke into a campus building, torched trash cans, smashed windows and threw rocks and bottles at police, authorities said Friday.
Police arrested two people near the University of California, Berkeley campus, said Officer Andrew Frankel, a spokesman for the Berkeley Police Department.
The unrest began around 11 p.m. Thursday after a crowd of more than 100 people gathered on campus for an open-air dance party to build support for an upcoming statewide protest over education funding cuts.
Students and activists have staged demonstrations in recent months at public colleges across California to protest deep budget cuts that have led to steep tuition hikes, enrollment cuts and faculty furloughs.
Speaker in sweat lodge case out of jail
CAMP VERDE, Ariz. (AP) — A motivational speaker charged with manslaughter in the deaths of three people at an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony is out of jail.
Yavapai County Jail Sgt. Dee Huntley says James Arthur Ray gained his freedom Friday, one day after a Yavapai County Superior Court judge reduced his bond from $5 million to $525,000.
Ray had to surrender his passport. He also cannot organize, supervise or conduct any activities that might harm others.
Ray has pleaded not guilty to three counts of manslaughter stemming from an October sweat lodge ceremony. Prosecutors allege Ray recklessly crammed more than 50 people inside the sweat lodge, a small heated enclosure used in traditional American Indian ceremonies.
Family says 1986 killing was accident
BOSTON (AP) — The attorney for the parents of a woman accused of a triple murder at an Alabama college said Friday there's "no question" it was an accident when she fatally shot her brother in Massachusetts in 1986, despite doubts now being raised by the district attorney there.
"The DA has not gotten his facts right, but that's characteristic of the whole proceeding," said attorney Bryan Stevens.
He made the comments a day after Norfolk District Attorney William Keating announced he had ordered an inquest into the death of Amy Bishop's brother, 18-year-old Seth Bishop, in their Braintree home in suburban Boston.
Bishop's mother, Judith Bishop, was the only other witness to the shooting, and both she and her daughter told police the shotgun went off accidentally. The 1986 shooting has come under scrutiny since Amy Bishop, 45, was accused of shooting to death three colleagues at the University of Alabama in Huntsville on Feb. 12.