INDIANAPOLIS MAN CHARGED WITH BAKING DOG TO DEATH: INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man faces felony charges alleging that he killed a friend’s dog by putting the canine in a sweltering oven.
Joel Clark, 37, was being held Thursday at the Marion County Jail on charges of killing a domestic animal and torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal.
Prosecutors say Clark was on house arrest and living with two friends. One of the friends found Zane, a Miniature Pinscher, dead on May 18 in the bottom of a trash can and dog hair and a toenail on a cookie sheet and pizza pan in the oven, court documents said.
A necropsy found that the dog’s whiskers were burned, it had burn marks on its legs and feet and blood on its snout and mouth.
Court documents say Clark told one of the friends that he had killed the dog about 30 minutes before its body was discovered, but the friend did not believe him. The dog’s owners had no idea of Clark’s motive.
He also told one of the friends that he “could take care of that dog, too” when a pitbull walked past them, the documents said.
The friends ordered Clark to leave their home after they found Zane dead, court documents said.
MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER OF 82-YEAR-OLD GRANDMOTHER: SANTA ANA (AP) — Orange County authorities have charged a man with the 2009 murder of his 82-year-old grandmother and trying to get someone to kill a witness in the case four years later.
The district attorney’s office says 32-year-old Michael Wesley Baker was arrested Thursday in Santa Clara County and charged with murder and three counts of solicitation to commit murder.
Prosecutors say Baker killed Sara Mowrey in her Laguna Niguel home and attempted to dispose of her body the next day in an apartment complex trash bin. Authorities say a witness confronted Baker but did not report the incident to police.
Mowrey’s family reported her missing. Her body was never found.
Prosecutors say Baker solicited undercover sheriff’s deputies to murder the witness in 2013 while in custody on an unrelated case
2 BITCOIN OPERATORS PLEAD GUILTY IN SILK ROAD CASE:
NEW YORK (AP) — The top executive of a New York City-based Bitcoin company and a Florida Bitcoin exchanger pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges, admitting that they enabled the digital currency to be funneled to the black market website Silk Road.
Charlie Shrem, 24, of Manhattan, pleaded guilty in federal court there to aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business, while Robert Faiella, 54, of Cape Coral, Florida, pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed money transfer business.
Sentencing was set for Jan. 20, when each faces as much as five years in prison.
The case grew from the government’s shutdown of Silk Road. Shrem was chief executive officer of BitInstant; Faiella operated an unlicensed money transferring business.
They were accused of letting more than $1 million in Bitcoins reach the website. Both admitted during their pleas that they knew narcotics were bought and sold on the website.
U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff asked Faiella whether he knew from December 2011 through last October that his Bitcoins would be used to buy and sell drugs and that it was illegal.
PHOENIX HOSPITAL SAYS VISITOR FATALLY SHOOTS SELF: PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities say a person visiting a family member at a Phoenix hospital has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Officials at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center say the shooting occurred about 4 p.m. Thursday.
Hospital officials say the area was quickly secured and no patients or staff were injured.
The Phoenix Police Department’s crisis team and the hospital’s chaplains were meeting with patients and staff Thursday night.
Hospital officials say St. Joseph’s has a no firearms policy and there had never been a shooting incident in the hospital’s nearly 120-year history.
MORE THAN 8 IN 10 US HOMES FORBID SMOKING: NEW YORK (AP) — Smoking is banned in more than eight out of 10 U.S. homes — nearly twice as many as two decades ago, according to a new government study.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found smoking is even forbidden in nearly half of homes where an adult smoker resides, up from one in 10 households with smokers in the early 1990s.
CDC experts attribute the changes to shrinking smoking rates and altered attitudes.
“People no longer see it as socially acceptable to smoke around nonsmokers,” said Brian King, a CDC expert on smoking issues.
The adult smoking rate fell from 25 percent in 1993 to 19 percent in 2011. Helping that trend has been a boom in smoking bans in restaurants, bars and other public places, King noted.
The home is the main place that children are exposed to secondhand smoke. The CDC says secondhand smoke causes breathing problems in children, and causes an estimated 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults each year, mainly through heart disease and lung cancer.
ROBBERS CAUGHT SELLING STOLEN JEWELRY AT PAWN SHOP: SAN LEANDO (AP) — Two Northern California men are facing criminal charges after allegedly stealing some jewelry from a mall and selling it to a pawn shop.
San Leandro Police say 25-year-old Antoine Howell of Richmond and 23-year-old Gregory Brown of Oakland were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of commercial burglary.
Police say Howell entered a jewelry store in the Bayfair Center in San Leandro and asked to see a gold necklace worth around $3,000 after handing a clerk a fake ID Card.
Police say Howell then ran from the store and hopped into getaway car being driven by Brown. The suspects later sold the necklace for about $950 at a “Cash for Gold” pawn shop in neighboring Oakland.
The men were arrested during a traffic stop as officers recovered the stolen jewelry.