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MASSACHUSETTS: Prof charged in brother's slaying

It was "obviously" a homicide case, a former prosecutor says, but authorities didn't have the evidence to present it to a grand jury at the time. Three other killings occurred and 24 years lapsed before another prosecutor did. Amy Bishop, the biology professor charged with killing three colleagues at an Alabama university, has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the 1986 shooting death of her brother, prosecutors announced Wednesday. Prosecutors who originally concluded that she accidentally killed Seth Bishop, 18, now say police failed to share vital evidence. They reopened the case after Bishop was charged in February with gunning down six colleagues at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, killing three. Bishop had told police that she accidentally shot her brother in trying to unload her father's 12-gauge shotgun in the family's Braintree home. Her mother, Judith, the only witness, confirmed Bishop's account to police.

4 in family found dead in home

Four family members were found dead Wednesday in what a prosecutor called a "horrific" scene at their home in Winchester, an affluent Boston suburb. The husband of one of the victims was being sought for questioning. The dead were identified as Ellen Stone, 64, her daughter, Laura Stone Mortimer, 41, and Laura's children, Thomas Mortimer V, 4, and Charlotte, 2. Laura's husband, Thomas Mortimer IV, was unaccounted for.

ILLINOIS: No gag order for Blagojevich

Rod Blagojevich's trial judge accused the talkative former governor Wednesday of making a "backhanded play for sympathy" in comments about a witness' testimony, but stopped short of imposing the gag order federal prosecutors requested. Judge James B. Zagel made it plain he was unhappy with what Blagojevich said to reporters after his former chief of staff, Alonzo Monk, left the stand. Blagojevich claimed Monk said "things that he knew weren't true" and mentioned "the shame his father probably feels." Zagel said he wants statements by lawyers and defendants to be accurate, but a gag order for Blagojevich and his attorneys would be a last resort. Blagojevich, 53, has pleaded not guilty to trying to get a payoff in return for the appointment to the former Senate seat of President Barack Obama.

WASHINGTON STATE: 5 charged in slaying of Afghans

Five Stryker Brigade soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord killed three civilians in separate shootings in Kandahar province earlier this year, charging documents released Wednesday by the Army allege. The Army says all three victims were shot and two of them were hit by thrown grenades. The brigade, first deployed to Afghanistan in July, saw heavy fighting and suffered 33 combat deaths.


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