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Paul Curry Convicted in 1994 Nicotine-Poisoning Death of His Wife


iStock/Thinkstock(ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.) -- Paul Curry was convicted of murder Tuesday in the 1994 nicotine-poisoning death of his wife.

Closure into the death of Linda Curry, who was 50 when she died, eluded investigators for years.

Jurors in Orange County, Calif. Superior Court reached the verdict after a day of deliberations -- guilty of first-degree murder, with special circumstances for poisoning and murder for financial gain. He was also convicted of insurance fraud.

Curry stared forward as the verdict was read.

Prosecutors argued that Curry, 57, poisoned his wife in order to collect more than $500,000 in insurance money and other benefits. He injected his wife with nicotine after sedating her with the sleep drug Ambien, a prosecutor said during the trial.

Paul and Linda Curry met in 1989 while working at the San Onofre nuclear power plant in northern San Diego County. The couple was married for 21 months when Linda died mysteriously in their Orange County home.

She was a non-smoker, but tests revealed fatal levels of nicotine in her system.

Curry’s defense attorney argued that Linda Curry had battled health issues for years -- even before the couple married -- and that Curry was a loving husband.

Linda Curry’s relatives and friends were in court Tuesday, hopeful for justice.

“This is really about Linda and what a beautiful person she was,” her friend Bruce Brandt told KABC-TV. “We can’t bring her back, but at least some justice is here now that he has to pay and think about her for the rest of his life.”

A key witness during the trial was another of Curry’s ex-wives, Leslie Curry, who testified in court that she was frequently sick during their marriage and that Curry suggested they sign up for life insurance policies.

After the life insurance policy for Leslie Curry was denied, the couple separated. Soon after, her health problems stopped, she said.

It took 16 years for prosecutors to build their case against Curry. Curry moved to Nevada and later, Kansas, where he was remarried and working a government job when he was arrested in 2010.

Prosecutor Ebrahim Baytieh was thankful with the outcome of the trial.

“I think we had a very smart jury that went through all the evidence and kept thinking that for 16 years, he was enjoying the fact that, in his mind, he thought he got away with murder,” Baytieh said.

Curry will be sentenced Oct. 31, and could spend the rest of his life in state prison.

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Bell Gardens, California, Mayor Daniel Crespo Shot, Killed at Home


Alex_Schmidt/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BELL GARDENS, Calif.) -- Bell Gardens, Calif., Mayor Daniel Crespo was fatally shot at his home Tuesday afternoon in what appeared to be a domestic dispute with his wife, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said.

The mayor, 45, was shot at a gated complex in the 6300 block of East Gage Avenue shortly after 2:30 p.m. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

"Daniel Crespo Sr. became involved in an argument with his wife, Levette Crespo. Their 19-year-old son, Daniel Crespo Jr., tried to intervene and ultimately became involved in a physical altercation with Daniel Crespo Sr. During that time, Levette Crespo produced a firearm and shot her husband multiple times in the torso," according to the statement.

Levette Crespo, 43, has been detained by the Bell Gardens Police Department, according to the Sheriff’s Department statement.

Crespo, who had been a county deputy probation officer for the past 15 years, was first elected to the City Council in 2001, according to the bio posted on the City of Bell Gardens website.

According to the bio, Crespo married "his high school sweetheart" in 1986 in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he grew up. They moved to Bell Gardens after they married, and had two children.


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One Injured in Louisville School Shooting, Suspect in Custody


John Roman/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- A suspect is in custody in connection with a Louisville school shooting that left one person hospitalized on Tuesday.

The MetroSafe Louisville Police Department believes that the shooter at Fern Creek High School acted alone and initially fled the scene after the shooting. He was identified only as a juvenile male.

The school initially went to a level-five lockdown with students sheltering in place. They were later evacuated to Fern Creek Park, where they were reunited with their parents.

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Where a Volcanic Eruption Like Japan's Mount Ontake Is Mostly Likely in the US


cpaulfell/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Could a deadly volcanic eruption like Mount Ontake's in Japan happen here in the United States?

It's possible, U.S. Geological Survey scientist John Ewert told ABC News Tuesday. Luckily, most of the active volcanoes in America aren't near homes, businesses or schools, he said.

"When you look at the Cascade Volcanoes, which are most like Ontake, you find that these are all on federally managed lands, national parks or national forests and wilderness areas. We don't have much in the way of built environment nearby. An exception to that might be a place like Mt. Hood, which has ski lodges on the side, but these are not up by the crater."

Ewert added that while eruptions are dangerous, "they don't tend to affect large areas."

"The area of lethal effect for a phreatic explosion is as little as a radius of half a mile or less," he said, noting that the damage area varies.

Americans are allowed to climb some active volcanoes, but many require a climbing permit, like Mount St. Helens in Washington, and it doesn't allow climbers to enter the crater.

"Mount St. Helens is a very risky place. It's not open to the general public just to take a hike and walk into," Ewert said, adding that officials also have the authority to shut down access altogether if volcanoes are at a higher level of alert.

The USGS tracks volcanoes to warn people of when they're exhibiting unusual activity. Right now, there's a warning for Kilauea in Hawaii and a watch for Shishaldin in Alaska.

"In Kilauea, lava flows are moving toward an inhabited area," Ewert said. "Shishaldin is producing some low-level eruptive activity."

But he suspects the most dangerous volcano in the country is Mount Rainier in Washington, based on the number of people in the surrounding area, "areas we know could be hazardous when that volcano is coming active," Ewert said.

While scientists can tell when a volcano is more active than usual, it's difficult to pinpoint exactly when an explosion will occur. And sometimes, there's no warning at all -- like at Mount Ontake.

"The alert level on that volcano had not been raised ahead of time so there was no reason to think there was an increase of explosive potential," Ewert said. "These things are very difficult to foresee."

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Eric Frein Manhunt Finds Two 'Fully Functional' Pipe Bombs


Pennsylvania State Police(NEW YORK) -- Police searching for accused cop killer Eric Frein in the dense woods of the Poconos Mountains have found two pipe bombs that could have been rigged to explode with a trip wire, police said Tuesday.

The bombs were described as "substantial explosive devices" by Lt. Col. George Bivens. He said the metal nuts attached to them are “used to create shrapnel,” and were designed to be detonated with either a fuse or a trip wire.

"These devices are consistent with Frein's non-confrontational and gutless efforts to kill and injure law enforcement from a distance," Bivens said.

"We found them along with a number of other supplies available to be deployed," Bivens said. "It was in a site that he was using and had used for some overnight accommodations."

The officer said the two pipe bombs were located "in close proximity" to where police spotted a man they believe was Frein within the last 24 hours. Bivens said the suspect was 75 to 100 yards away from officers when spotted, but was able to escape yet again in the thick woods.

The manhunt for Frein has entered its third week. Police have previously said they were being cautious searching cabins and caves near the border of Pike and Monroe counties in eastern Pennsylvania for fear that Frein may have set booby-traps.

Frein, 31, is accused of shooting two state troopers, killing one, at the Blooming Grove police barracks on Sept. 12, before fleeing into the woods. The hunt is focused on a few square miles and recently moved slightly south, Bivens said.

Police have also found the suspect's abandoned Jeep, soiled diapers, Serbian cigarettes and an AK-47 in the search. He's been spotted several times but has evaded police capture.

Bivens said he doesn't believe Frein left his weapons behind on accident.

"I believe that was done because he was under pressure and he abandoned them," he said.

Bivens called on Frein to surrender.

“You are clearly stressed,” he said. “You’re making significant mistakes. We continue to take your supplies and your weapon stockpiles. While you are no doubt weakening, our troopers’ resolve is very strong. We are not going anywhere.”

Searchers found other supplies that police won't reveal, although Bivens did say that searchers have found ammunition "for a .308 rifle that we believe he has in his possession."

Bivens said he released information about the bombs because the public deserves to know.

Police got an initial lead when Frein turned on his cellphone in an attempt to call his parents, sources close to the investigation told ABC News. The phone was only on for a few seconds, but it was long enough for searchers to track the location, the source said. Bivens, who said he believes the suspect has a radio and access to the media, declined to discuss the phone call.

Dogs flushed Frein from a hiding place one evening, Bivens said, but he was able to escape deeper into the woods as darkness fell.

Frein, from Canadensis, is a skilled survivalist and war reenactor with a specific interest in Eastern European armies. He is also an expert on weapons who learned to shoot from his father, a retired Army major.

He belonged to a military simulation group called the Eastern Wolves.

Frein allegedly killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson when police say he opened fire at the barracks. Another trooper, Alex Douglass, was shot but is recovering.

State police and the FBI have been scouring the woods ever since, focusing on a few square miles where they believe Frein is hiding. The search recently moved slightly south, Bivens said.

Investigators will soon have to consider deer hunters in their search. Bow-hunting season will start on Saturday as scheduled, the Pennsylvania Game Commission told ABC News. Certain areas will be restricted, based on the search.

The FBI has added Frein to its 10 Most Wanted Fugitive List and last week announced a new reward for $100,000 for information leading to his capture. That's in addition to a $75,000 reward from Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers.


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Oklahoma Beheading Suspect Charged with First-Degree Murder


AndreyPopov/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MOORE, Okla.) -- Alton Nolen, the man accused of stabbing two women and beheading one of them during a rampage at a Moore food processing plant, was charged with murder on Tuesday.

According to court documents, Nolen left the human resources office after being suspended on the day of the attack. He drove to his residence to retrieve a knife, which he hid in his shoe prior to returning to the Vaughan Foods facility. The Moore Police Department said that Nolen "became angry" after being let go from his job.

Police said Nolen severed the head of the first woman he attacked with a knife that is commonly used by employees at the plant. He then stabbed the second victim multiple times.

Nolen was then shot by an off-duty Oklahoma County Reserve officer who also works at Vaughan Foods.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said on Tuesday that Nolen was charged with first-degree murder, and that he intends to file two charges of assault with a deadly weapon against the 30-year-old as well.

Nolen was convicted of assault and battery on a police officer in 2011 and was imprisoned until his release in 2013. He is still on parole.

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Ark. Real Estate Agent Targeted Because She Was 'Woman that Worked Alone'


Pulaski County Sherrif's Office(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) -- The man accused of kidnapping and killing Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter said Tuesday she was targeted because she was "a woman that worked alone."

Aaron Lewis, an ex-con, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of capital murder, robbery and kidnapping in connection with Carter's death. He is being held on $1 million bail.

Lewis, 33, admitted during police questioning to kidnapping Carter, 50, Pulaski County Sheriff's Lt. Carl Minden told ABC News. Lewis did not admit to the slaying and did not provide any details about Carter's whereabouts, Minden said.

The suspect spoke briefly to reporters Tuesday morning as he was taken from the jail to the sheriff's office, where he was to be interviewed again after spending more than 12 hours with investigators Monday.

When asked by reporters why Carter was targeted, Lewis responded: "Because she was just a woman that worked alone -- a rich broker." He denied killing her.

Carter's body was found in a shallow grave at the Argos Concrete Co., about 20 miles from the town of Scott, Arkansas, where Carter had an appointment to show a house for sale.

Carter's family issued a statement Tuesday, saying, "We are devastated at the loss of our precious Beverly. There is now a hole in our hearts that will never be filled. Mr. Lewis robbed us of an amazing wife, loving mother and grandmother. Her grandkids will never get to the know the magnitude of her greatness."

The real estate agent's disappearance had rattled her colleagues, most of them women, who routinely agree to meet strangers at empty homes that are for sale.

"They're scared, and I need someone to give them some reassurance," said Brenda Rhoads, the principal broker at the real estate company where Carter worked.

Rhoads, who was good friends with Carter and worked with her for nine years, told ABC News that she arranged for a police detective to come and speak to her colleagues at Crye Leike Real Estate Services Monday to try and calm their fears.

Some have said that Carter, a 50-year-old grandmother, should not have met the prospective buyer alone, but Rhoads dismissed those critiques, saying, "That's our job."

"I would say that 80 percent of my agents are women, but the men, they are devastated, too," she said.

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Arsonist Suspected of Setting 23 Fires in Washington State


iStock/Thinkstock(SPOKANE, Wash.) -- Fire officials in Washington state suspect an arsonist is responsible for igniting 23 fires in the past few weeks, including one that burned through eight acres and put Spokane County residents on edge.

Nearly all of the fires happened in the Greenacres area. Most were small brush fires, but several homes have been threatened, ABC News affiliate KXLY reported.

"We're blessed that nobody has been injured yet, but that's just a matter of time," Greenacres resident Carolyn Staples told KXLY.

Two of the fires were set in vacant model homes. The first blaze was the Saltese Lake Fire on Sept. 18.

Officials have asked the public to be vigilant, report any suspicious persons and keep an eye on their security cameras.

The hunt for an arsonist was a personal mission for one Spokane firefighter.

Greg Godfrey, an assistant chief of Spokane County Fire District #8, worked in California when a fellow firefighter was convicted of setting about 2,000 fires in the Los Angeles area in the 1980s and 1990s. John Orr, who was a captain and arson investigator at the Glendale Fire Department, is now serving life in prison.

"The fire department is a family," Godfrey told KXLY. "We're a very tight-knit group of individuals. We have to trust each other.

"He betrayed that," Godfrey added. "He put our people in jeopardy."

One of the California fires killed four people, but Godfrey hopes officials catch the Washington arsonist before anyone gets hurt.

"We've been lucky," he told the station. "We've had small fires and one that started to get big, but we've been extremely lucky."

Spokane County Fire District officials did not immediately return a call from ABC News.

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University of Michigan AD Admits Mistakes in Handling of Quarterback


Leon Halip/Getty Images(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) -- University of Michigan quarterback Shane Morris suffered a mild concussion Saturday, but was kept in the game because of miscommunications and confusion among sideline personnel, athletic director Dave Brandon said in a statement Tuesday.

Brandon said the university is changing its procedures to prevent a similar situation in the future.

"We have to learn from this situation, and moving forward, we will make important changes so we can fully live up to our shared goal of putting student-athlete safety first," Brandon said in the statement, which was released Tuesday morning.

Brandon’s statement was issued roughly 12 hours after coach Brady Hoke said he’d been given no indication that Morris was diagnosed with a concussion.

Much of the confusion involved an ankle injury Morris sustained earlier during the 30-14 loss to the University of Minnesota.

During the fourth quarter, he was steamrolled by Minnesota’s Theiren Cockran, leaving Morris visibly dazed and wobbly. The quarterback leaned on a teammate for support, but remained in the game for the next play, and even waved off someone on the sideline, possibly signaling that he wanted to play.

“From the field level and without the benefit of replays, medical and coaching staffs did not see the hit,” Brandon said in the statement. “Because they did not see the hit, the athletic training staff believed Shane stumbled because of his ankle injury.”

Since the athletic trainer on the sidelines was unaware that a neurological evaluation was necessary, the quarterback was cleared for an additional play, Brandon said.

Morris was diagnosed with a probable, mild concussion Sunday, Brandon said. That diagnosis was not shared with Hoke before the coach’s Monday news conference, when he defended his team’s handling of the situation.

"We would never ever put a guy on the field when there is a possibility with head trauma," Hoke said Monday.

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NFL: Chiefs Player Should Not Have Been Penalized for Prayer


Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The Kansas City Chiefs player who was penalized after kneeling to pray in the end zone Monday night should not have been flagged, an NFL spokesman said Tuesday.

Kansas City Chiefs' safety Husain Abdullah, a devout Muslim, was penalized 15 yards for "unsportsmanlike conduct" after he kneeled in prayer. He had run 39 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter in the team’s 41-14 victory over the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium.

"Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct following his fourth quarter touchdown," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told ABC News in a statement.

He said the NFL's Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d) states "players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground."

"However, the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play," the NFL's statement read.

Abdullah speculated to the Kansas City Star that the referee may not have liked that he slid on both knees.

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Police Recover Body of Missing Arkansas Real Estate Agent


Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) -- The body of missing Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter has been found, authorities have confirmed to ABC News. 

Police found Carter's body overnight in Cabot, Arkansas, one day after arresting the case's main suspect, Arron Lewis.

Lewis admitted to kidnapping Carter after police questioned him all night. He did not admit to murder, nor did he provide any details of Carter's whereabouts, leaving police to recover the missing realtor using other information, which they have declined to disclose.

Lewis now faces a capital murder charge in addition to kidnapping.  He is scheduled to appear in court later Tuesday morning.


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Kansas City Chiefs Fans Reclaim Guinness World Record for Crowd Noise


Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Kansas City Chiefs fans were as loud as a jet engine Monday.

Fans at Arrowhead Stadium reclaimed the Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd roar during the team's victory against the New England Patriots: 142.2 decibels, similar to the intensity of a jet engine at takeoff.

The roar topped the previous record, 137.6 decibels, at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field last year.

Kansas City’s fans registered a roar of 137.5 decibels earlier last season.

 

We did it. #LoudAndProud #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/qrNHbXc5MA

— Kansas City Chiefs (@KCChiefs) September 30, 2014

 

The Chiefs handed out ear plugs as fans entered the stadium gates Monday, a chance for attendees to preserve their hearing.

The team matched the fan intensity on the field, topping the Patriots 41-14. Running back Jamaal Charles led the way with three touchdowns.

It marked the Chiefs’ first home victory since last season, Oct. 27.

After the win, Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith reflected on the team’s fan support. “It’s been a little while since we won here,” he told ESPN. “We’ve got the best fans in the country, and they proved it again tonight.”

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Texas Hospital Evaluating Patient for Possible Ebola


Creatas/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- A patient at a Texas hospital has been isolated and is being evaluated to determine whether or not he or she has contracted the Ebola virus.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said the patient was placed into strict isolation because of the patient's symptoms and recent travel history.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects to have preliminary test results on the patient Tuesday, the hospital said.

The Ebola virus has killed at least 2,909 in West Africa and infected at least 3,000 more, according to the World Health Organization.

International and U.S. health officials have warned the outbreak could infect 1.4 million people in West Africa by January if more is not done to stop the disease.


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Seattle: The Number One City for Coffee Snobs


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you had to select any city in the U.S. with the most discerning coffee addicts, chances are Seattle would be at the top of most people’s lists.

That’s the case of a combined Redfin and Foursquare survey, which picked Seattle as number one in the ten best cities for so-called “coffee snobs.”

Just to clarify, Redfin and Foursquare based their findings on indie coffee shops, that is, those with under ten locations in a given city.

So although Starbucks is excluded, Seattle still winds up as the ultimate U.S. mecca for picky coffee drinkers.

Here's the rest of the top 10:

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. Portland, OR
  3. Boulder, CO
  4. San Francisco, CA
  5. Denver, CO
  6. San Diego, CA
  7. Madison, WI
  8. Austin, TX
  9. Minneapolis-ST. Paul, MN
  10. Sacramento, CA

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Contract Employee Accused of Setting Fire That Grounded Chicago Flights Appears Before Magistrate


Vladek/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Brian Howard, the 36-year-old man who allegedly started the fire at a Federal Aviation Administration facility near Chicago that prompted the delay or cancellation of hundreds of flights, appeared before a federal magistrate on Monday.

Howard said he understood the charges against him and the possible penalties he faces before waiving a preliminary hearing. The case will next be assigned to a federal district court judge, though no start date was scheduled.

Howard was not asked to enter a plea at Monday's hearing.

He was arrested on Monday after being released from a local medical center.

After the hearing, Howard's attorney Ron Safer said that his client had attempted to end his life on Friday when he set the fire, calling those actions a "tragic mistake."

Safer did not say whether Howard will contest the charges against him, noting that "only someone who is deeply troubled would do that."

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