National briefs 09/11/01

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

No clemency for killer who chose the chair

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Gov. Bob Taft denied clemency Monday to a convicted killer who has chosen the electric chair over lethal injection to illustrate what he says is the brutality of capital punishment.

John W. Byrd Jr., 37, is scheduled to die Wednesday morning in Ohio's first execution by electric chair in 38 years. He claims an accomplice stabbed a clerk to death in a 1983 robbery at a Cincinnati convenience store.

The governor followed the recommendation of the Ohio Parole Board, which voted 10-1 on Aug. 23 against clemency.

Ohio lets condemned inmates choose between electrocution and lethal injection. Byrd chose the electric chair, saying through his attorneys that he wants to make it harder on his executioners .

Dole will announce run for Jesse Helms' seat

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Elizabeth Dole will announce today that she is entering the race for the Senate seat being vacated by Jesse Helms, according to a Republican source.

Dole is expected to make the announcement in her hometown of Salisbury, said the source, who spoke to the Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity.

"She is running. She's going to let everyone know then," said a GOP officeholder who had spoken to Dole earlier in the day.

Dole was in Washington Monday and not immediately available for comment.

Man stranded for two nights after accident

DENVER -- An accident left a man stranded for two nights in his car in a swampy field with a fractured pelvis and broken leg before he managed to crawl to a highway and flag down help.

Lou Iaconetti, 38, was returning home from his job as a chef at a casino after midnight Saturday when his car hydroplaned and plunged down an embankment, he told authorities.

Iaconetti's family and co-workers searching for him two days before he made it to the road Sunday afternoon.

"He probably crawled about 100 feet, but I would call it pretty extraordinary," said Colorado State Patrol Cpl. Jon Oliver.

Iaconetti was in fair condition Monday at St. Anthony Central Hospital.

Airman robs bank, kills self when surrounded

PANAMA CITY, Fla. -- An enlisted man stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base robbed a bank and then killed himself after police surrounded him, authorities said.

Senior Airman Tony Lamar Montgomery Jr., 22, of Panama City, walked into the Guarantee National Bank in Tallahassee on Thursday with a semiautomatic handgun and escaped with an undisclosed amount of money, police said.

Tallahassee Police officer Chuck Perry saw Montgomery get into a vehicle after Thursday's holdup and pursued him, firing several shots.

Another officer cut off Montgomery's escape with her car, and Montgomery stopped his vehicle and shot himself in the head, police said.

Two men arrested in drinking death

CHICO, Calif. -- Two college students have been arrested in the death of a 22-year-old woman who police say died after combining alcohol and the drug GHB.

The students allegedly supplied the drug to Soraya Ali-Omar, who was found dead in her bedroom Saturday, Sgt. Dave Barrow said.

Christopher Law, 21, a student at California State University, Chico, and Adam Orr, 24, a student at nearby Butte College, face charges of involuntary manslaughter, police said. Both were in jail Monday pending arraignment.

Gamma hydroxybutrate, or GHB, is known as a date rape drug because it can be slipped into drinks undetected and leave people vulnerable to sexual assault.

-- From wire reports

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