Samantha Runnion's killer gets death penalty

Saturday, July 23, 2005

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Alejandro Avila, a 30-year-old former factory worker convicted in April, did not speak as Superior Court Judge William R. Froeberg endorsed the jury's recommendation to impose the death penalty. The sentence comes more than three years after 5-year-old Samantha Runnion was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered. Avila was or-dered to San Quentin state prison within 10 days. His sentence automatically will be appealed.

Privacy laws broken during collection of info

WASHINGTON -- The Transportation Security Administration violated privacy protections by secretly collecting personal information on at least 250,000 people, congressional investigators said Friday. The Government Accountability Office sent a letter to Congress saying the collection violated the Privacy Act, which prohibits the government from compiling information on people without their knowledge.

Pilots sent to prison for operating jet while drunk

MIAMI -- Two airline pilots who got behind the controls after a night of heavy drinking at a sports bar have been sentenced to prison. Thomas Cloyd, 47, of Peoria, Ariz., and co-pilot Christopher Hughes, 44, of Leander, Texas, were drunk when they got into the cockpit of an America West jetliner in 2002. They were arrested before the plane took off but after it had pushed away from the gate. They were fired and found guilty June 8 of operating an aircraft while drunk. Cloyd was sentenced to five years in prison. Hughes was ordered to serve 2 1/2 years behind bars. The pilots had argued at trial that they were not drunk.

-- From wire reports

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