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NATIONAL BRIEFS


GEORGIA: Fighting execution deadline

Supporters of Troy Davis made a last-ditch effort Monday to stop his execution for the 1989 murder of an off-duty Savannah police officer, asking the Georgia pardons board to grant him clemency. A spokesman said the board would not decide before Tuesday. Defense attorneys and the victim's family said they were cautiously optimistic the five-member panel would side with them. Davis, 42, has long claimed he's innocent of killing Mark MacPhail, and questions surrounding his case have attracted a host of high-profile supporters. Davis is set to be put to death by lethal injection Wednesday.


CONNECTICUT: Home invasion trial begins

The trial of a man charged with killing a woman and her two daughters during a gruesome home invasion opened Monday in New Haven with a defense attorney blaming his co-defendant for the slayings. Joshua Komisarjevsky, 31, faces a possible death sentence if convicted. His co-defendant, Steven Hayes, was sentenced to death last year. Komisarjevsky did not intend to kill the three, said his attorney, Walter Bansley. Komisarjevsky had a short haircut and wore a dark blue suit for the trial, expected to last up to three months. The sole survivor, Dr. William Petit, sat in the front row with family members. Authorities say Komisarjevsky and Hayes, two paroled burglars, broke into a Cheshire home in July 2007, beat Petit and tied up his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and the couple's daughters, Michaela, 11, and Hayley, 17. Hayes forced Hawke-Petit to withdraw money from a bank before he raped and strangled her in the home. The girls, pillowcases placed over their heads, died of smoke inhalation after the house was set on fire.


CALIFORNIA: Fatal crash set off brush fire

Firefighters made progress against a brush fire sparked when a helicopter crashed Monday during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton, killing two Marines. The blaze had burned 120 acres, but is 80 percent contained. The two Marines were pronounced dead at the scene.

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