Son of Sam, former lawyer settle over property
NEW YORK -- "Son of Sam" serial killer David Berkowitz has settled a lawsuit in which he accused his former lawyer of stealing and profiting from his personal property, including his bar mitzvah photos and his typewriter. Berkowitz's current attorney, Mark Jay Heller, said Thursday that the former attorney, Hugo Harmatz, agreed to return copies of letters Berkowitz wrote and received, photographs, court papers, a typewriter he used in prison, and other items. Berkowitz had given the materials to Harmatz for safekeeping. Berkowitz, 52, sued in June 2005 after he learned Harmatz was using the materials to produce a self-published book titled "Dear David ...." Heller said that Berkowitz is going to get his property back and that Harmatz has agreed to give profits from the book to the state Crime Victims Board.
Manatee in Memphis eludes would-be rescuers
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A manatee that took an unheard-of swim 700 miles up the Mississippi River eluded a rescue team Thursday that hoped to return the animal to the sea. The sea cow, about 8 feet long and 1,000 pounds, has been hanging around since at least Sunday in a three-mile channel along the downtown riverfront. Rescuers, including marine biologists and Coast Guardsmen, began searching the channel early Thursday and had not spotted the manatee by afternoon. It was last seen Wednesday.
Mom to serve time for ignoring child's infection
BOSTON -- A mother whose 13-year-old daughter nearly died from an infection caused by a bellybutton piercing was sentenced Thursday to 2 1/2 years in prison for failing to seek medical attention for several weeks. The girl wrote to the judge seeking leniency for Deborah Robinson, who was convicted this month of wantonly or recklessly permitting substantial bodily injury to a child under 14. Prosecutors said Robinson watched as her daughter dropped from 115 pounds to 75 pounds and became incontinent and weak from an infection that began after she reinserted a belly ring she had removed months earlier.
Nicaraguan Congress votes to ban all abortions
MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Nicaragua's Congress voted Thursday to ban all abortions, including those that could save a mother's life. If signed into law by President Enrique Bolanos, the measure would eliminate a century-old exception to Nicaragua's abortion ban that permits the procedure if three doctors certify the woman's health is at risk. Fifty-two lawmakers voted for the measure. Nine lawmakers abstained and 29 others did not attend the legislative session. Bolanos has proposed increasing prison sentences for illegal abortions -- currently around six years -- to 10 to 30 years for women who have the procedure as well as those who assist them. It was unclear whether he would sign the bill approved Thursday after lawmakers decided not to increase the penalties.
-- From wire reports