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CALIFORNIA: Exonerated after 19 years

A judge cleared a former Los Angeles gang member Monday of a murder that kept him in prison for 19 years, as prosecutors said they were convinced their lone eyewitness, who recanted, had been lying about the 1993 killing. Applause and shouts of "we love you" from family and friends erupted in the courtroom as Judge Patricia Schnegg vacated the murder conviction of John Edward Smith. Among those cheering was pop star Chris Brown, whose probation hearing in the 2009 beating of Rihanna, his then-girlfriend, followed Smith's case.

Body found during wildfires

Firefighters recovered a body from a burned house Monday as they raced the winds to contain Southern California wildfires that destroyed 20 homes and threatened several hundred more in rural areas. Crews battled the blaze amid winds gusting up to 20 mph in southeastern San Diego County.

ALABAMA: Life sentence for ex-professor

A Harvard-educated biologist was sentenced to life in prison without parole Monday on conviction of going on a shooting rampage during a faculty meeting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2010, killing three colleagues and wounding three others. Amy Bishop showed no reaction, but her attorney said she has often expressed great remorse for the victims and their families. "She is shattered beyond belief," attorney Roy Miller said. Bishop avoided a death sentence by pleading guilty to the Feb. 12, 2010, shootings. She still could face a trial in Massachusetts, where she is charged in the 1986 killing of her brother. The death of Seth Bishop, 18, had been ruled an accident after she said she shot him in the family's Braintree home as she tried to unload her father's gun. The Alabama shootings prompted a new investigation and charges.

TEXAS: Shooting suspect in hospital

The Army psychiatrist charged in the November 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage that killed 13 people has been hospitalized for undisclosed reasons, military officials said Monday. Maj. Nidal Hasan, 42, was listed in good condition in the post's hospital. He faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted in the attack.


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