Nation briefs 1/30/05

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Connecticut officials postpone execution

SOMERS, Conn. -- The execution of a serial killer who has become the strongest advocate for his own death was postponed with an hour to spare early Saturday, delaying what would be New England's first execution in 45 years. The decision came hours after the Supreme Court cleared the way for Connecticut to put Michael Ross to death. But state officials postponed the lethal injection until 9 p.m. Monday at the request of Ross' attorney, T.R. Paulding. Ross, who terrorized eastern Connecticut and New York in the early 1980s, had been scheduled to die by injection at 2 a.m. Saturday. Ross hired Paulding last year to help expedite his execution.

Mourners bid farewell to slain Wal-Mart clerk

TYLER, Texas -- More than 1,000 mourners gathered Saturday at a funeral service for a Wal-Mart clerk whose chilling abduction was captured on surveillance videotape. Friends and family remembered Megan LeAnn Holden, 19, as a beautiful, compassionate young woman known for her smile. Holden had attended only one day at Tyler Junior College before she was abducted on Jan. 19 after her shift at Wal-Mart. Her body was found two days later in a ditch 380 miles away. Police said she had been shot. Police arrested Johnny Lee Williams, 24, two days later at an Arizona hospital.

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