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WEST VIRGINIA: Murder charged in 4 deaths

A man was charged Monday with murder in the deaths of four people, including two young children, whose bodies were found in a wooded part of central West Virginia, authorities said. James Belknap, arrested Monday afternoon, faces four counts of first-degree murder. Belknap was arrested at a roadblock not far from a crime scene that State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous described as "gruesome." He confirmed that the bodies found Saturday were those of a man, his girlfriend and children, ages 6 and 4, missing since May 19. The slain man and woman were identified as Steven Hendrix and his girlfriend, Amber Martin.


TEXAS: Standoff on SMU campus

Police tried Monday to coax a man from a crane cab on the Southern Methodist University campus after he threatened to shoot anyone who approached. The crane towers about 150 feet over the campus in University Park, a north Dallas enclave. "Fortunately, the campus is closed for the Memorial Day holiday," SMU spokesman Brad Cheves said. Kent Best, another SMU spokesman, said earlier that the man was a suspect fleeing Dallas police.


NORTH CAROLINA: Edwards jury to resume

With deliberations at the John Edwards trial set to resume for a seventh day Tuesday, speculation grew that the jurors may be deadlocked. Edwards faces six felony charges in a case involving nearly $1 million provided by two wealthy political donors to help hide the Democrat's pregnant mistress as he sought the White House in 2008. The jury must sift through notes from 17 days of testimony and 500 trial exhibits, many of them phone and financial records. They must not only determine whether the candidate knew about the secret payments, which he has denied, but whether he realized he was violating federal law. U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles said the issue appeared straightforward to her, but jury instructions took nearly an hour to read and left many jurors looking dazed.

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