Crime

Prosecutor seeks to vacate man's conviction in mom's death

A Missouri prosecutor is seeking to vacate the conviction of a man who spent nearly two decades behind bars for the 1998 death of his mother — a crime he and others insist he did not commit. The Kansas City Star reports that Washington County Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Hedgecorth has asked a judge to set aside 38-year-old Michael Politte's second-degree murder conviction. Politte was just 14 when Rita Politte died in a fire at the family home in the eastern Missouri town of Hopewell. The Midwest Innocence Project and the MacArthur Justice Center have worked to exonerate Politte, saying he was convicted based on debunked science and a biased investigation. Politte was released on parole last month.

Buffalo shooter targeted Black neighborhood, officials say

The 18-year-old gunman who authorities say killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket had previously threatened a shooting at his high school and was sent for mental health treatment. A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that Payton Gendron had appeared on the radar of police last year after he threatened to carry out a shooting around the time of graduation. Officials also say the gunman had researched the local demographics and arrived in the area a day in advance to conduct reconnaissance with the “express purpose” of killing as many Black people as possible. He's been arraigned on a murder charge.

Woman arrested in 2002 Missouri hospital patient's death

Authorities say they've arrested a former respiratory therapist who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of a patient 20 years ago. The Livingston County Sheriff's Office says deputies in northeastern Kansas arrested 41-year-old Jennifer Hall on Thursday evening, under the name Jennifer Semaboye, of Overland Park, Kansas. She was charged this month in the 2002 death of Fern Franco — one of nine people who died at Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe over several months in 2002. Authorities say Hall worked as a respiratory therapist at the hospital when the patients all died from cardiac collapse. Matthew O'Connor, who has represented Hall in the past, said no evidence exists to connect Hall to the deaths. Hall has previously denied any involvement.

Fugitive inmate captured after manhunt, ex-jail officer dead

Authorities say a former Alabama jail official has died and the murder suspect she is accused of helping escape from custody has been apprehended in Indiana after more than a week on the run. The two fugitives were caught Monday in Evansville, Indiana, after U.S. Marshals pursued their vehicle and then crashed into it. Officials say Casey White surrendered and Vicky White shot herself, and was taken to a hospital. The two are not related.  Vanderburgh County Coroner Steve Lockyear said White died from her injuries. The arrests ended a nationwide manhunt that began April 29.