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NATIONAL BRIEFS


CALIFORNIA: Body found in hunt for teen

A body found in a shallow grave Tuesday is believed to be that of Chelsea King, 17, whose disappearance last week led to the arrest of a registered sex offender, authorities said. The remains were found buried in a park about 10 feet from the shoreline of a tributary to Lake Hodges, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said. The body was spotted by search divers working their way up the tributary. Police, meanwhile, said the suspect in King's disappearance probably assaulted a jogger in Dec. 27 in the same park. A 22-year-old Colorado woman fended off her attacker in Rancho Bernardo Community Park on the northern edge of San Diego, where King's 1994 BMW was found, police said. They said evidence links John Albert Gardner III, 30, to both cases.


IOWA: Guilty in coach's slaying

Mark Becker stood passively Tuesday as a jury in Allison found him guilty of murder in the shooting of a nationally known high school football coach. He seemed far removed from the man whose mind was filled with images of angels and horned demons, telling him the community was plotting against him and that Aplington-Parkersburg coach Ed Thomas, known for his winning record, was Satan. Becker, 24, had said that after months of torment, he shot Thomas six times in the school weight room, then kicked his body before walking away. Jurors deliberated for four days before convicting Becker of first-degree murder, rejecting his insanity plea.


WASHINGTON: A win for gay marriage law

The Supreme Court refused on Tuesday to block the District of Columbia's gay marriage law, freeing the city to issue its first marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday. Opponents of gay marriage in the nation's capital had asked Chief Justice John Roberts to stop the city from issuing the licenses Wednesday while they appealed. They argued that D.C. voters should have been allowed to vote on the issue. "It has been the practice of the court to defer to the decisions of the courts of the District of Columbia on matters of exclusively local concern," said Roberts, writing for the court.

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