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POSTED October 7, 2013 9:37 p.m.

 

WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN SPAGHETTI SAUCE STICKUP: MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — A 53-year-old woman accused of using cans of spaghetti sauce to simulate a bomb when she robbed a bank has pleaded guilty.

Police say 53-year-old parole absconder Ophelia A. Neal robbed a Fifth Third Bank branch in Macomb County's Clinton Township on April 6. It's about 15 miles north-northeast of Detroit.

Neal pleaded guilty Monday in Oakland County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens to bank robbery and explosives charges. Judge Jennifer Faunce is scheduled to sentence her Nov. 19.

Police say Neal told bank employees she had a bomb in her cloth bag and demanded money. They say she took an undisclosed amount of money and escaped in a car with a man at the wheel.

RETRIAL BEGINS IN BATTLE FOR GIANT EMERALD: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A dispute over an 840-pound emerald has been renewed in a Los Angeles courtroom with a judge trying to decide if a businessman is the rightful owner to the gem that has been appraised at $372 million.

City News Service says an attorney representing one of three parties staking claim to the rare Bahia emerald made his arguments Monday in a non-jury retrial. Lawyer Steven Smith says his client Anthony Thomas paid $60,000 for the emerald but he never received the jewel and thought it had been stolen.

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CALIF. DEATH ROW INMATE WHO KILLED 2 DEPUTIES DIES: SAN QUENTIN  (AP) — An inmate on death row for gunning down two Riverside County sheriff's deputies outside his desert home in 1997 has died in a suspected suicide at San Quentin State Prison, officials said Monday.

Timothy Russell, 53, was found unresponsive in his cell late Friday and declared dead at the prison early Saturday, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement.

Russell was sentenced to death in January, 1999, two years after the ambush killings of the two Riverside County deputies, James Lehmann Jr., 41, and Michael Haugen, 33. Each was survived by a wife and two young children.

The deputies had responded to a domestic violence call at 3 a.m. in the remote desert area between Cabazon and Palm Springs where Russell lived in a trailer. Russell fired on them with an M-1 carbine rifle just after they got out of their patrol cars.

Russell's attorneys said during trial that he had fired shots into the dark to scare deputies so he could flee.

 

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