Boy influenced by plot in television show
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A 10-year-old boy told police that he figured that if he killed his neo Nazi father, he might not get in trouble because that's what happened on a television program he had watched.
"A bad father did something to his kids and the kid did the exact same thing I did — he shot him," the boy said in a videotaped interview with detectives, as reported by the Riverside Press-Enterprise. "He told the truth and wasn't arrested and the cops believed him. He wasn't in trouble or anything. I thought maybe the exact same thing would happen to me," he said of the episode of "Criminal Minds."
Prosecutors played the video in court on Wednesday, the second day of the boy's murder trial. He is accused of shooting Jeff Hall with a .357 Magnum at point-blank range while he slept on a sofa in their home.
If a judge finds the boy murdered his father, he could be jailed until he is 23. The Associated Press is not identifying the boy because he is a juvenile.
The prosecution claims the boy, now 12, killed his dad to keep him from splitting up with his stepmom, while the defense says the stepmother manipulated the boy to shoot Hall because she was angry he might leave her for another woman.
The boy says in the video that he wanted to end his father's abuse and to ensure he would live with his stepmother because he thought the couple was going to divorce. He said he was scared and angry about his father's temper and threats.
"I thought it would be a good idea to end it — to shoot my dad in the head," he said in the video. "I shot him because I was upset. He was always taking off. He also hit me."
At one point in the video, the boy says he thought his dad would recover. "I was choosing who should leave and I chose my dad," the boy said. "I thought he would get out of the hospital and maybe we could go back to being friends and start over."
As the video was shown, the boy clanked his ankle chains and rested his head on the table. The judge stopped the video at one point because the boy was falling asleep
The little sister of the boy tearfully testified earlier in the day that her brother had plotted the shooting days in advance.
At the time of the shooting, the girl was asleep, but she said her brother told her of his plans four days earlier.
"Did you know ahead of time that someone planned to shoot your father?" Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Soccio asked her.
"Yes," she said quietly.
The girl, now 11, also testified that she lied to authorities that stepmother Krista McCary told the boy to shoot Hall.
McCary initially told police she killed Hall but testified Tuesday that she was lying to protect the boy. She has pleaded guilty to one felony count of child endangerment and criminal storage of a firearm.
Soccio said the white supremacist beliefs of Hall, an unemployed plumber who was a regional leader of the National Socialist Movement, had nothing to do with the crime and that the boy's history of violence dated to his first day of kindergarten when he stabbed a teacher with a pencil.
The defense claims the boy was influenced by being raised in an abusive, violent, racist environment where he was taught to shoot, attended Nazi rallies and was taken to the border once on a mission to learn how to keep Mexicans out of the U.S.
Napolitano warns of cyberattack on utilities
by Tony Romm
A debilitating cyberattack on power plants or water systems could produce the same sort of rampant outages and widespread disruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned Wednesday.
“If you think a control-system attack that takes down a utility even for a few hours is not serious, just look at what is happening now that Mother Nature has taken out those utilities,” Napolitano said at a Washington Post cybersecurity event, noting the effects in some cases can be “life threatening.”
Napolitano's remarks are only the latest example of the administration's efforts to highlight the country's cybersecurity vulnerabilities. In doing so, federal leaders have emphasized the need to boost the digital defenses of the nation's critical infrastructure while facilitating the exchange of information between government and the private sector.
The Senate, for now, plans to take another shot at legislation next month — though stakeholders are less than optimistic the chamber will pass a bill. Meanwhile, the administration is still at work on a possible executive order that would advance key cybersecurity reforms — but that move now hinges on the election.
Asked how the president might address cybersecurity if he does beat Mitt Romney next week, Napolitano said Obama “shares our concerns,” is “very up to speed” on the threats and would likely act.
“I think he will have to consider an executive order that covers many of the areas legislation would cover, but it's not a complete substitute for legislation,” Napolitano said. “There are some things only legislation can provide.”
Beyond that, Napolitano stressed the Obama administration's commitment to the issue, which she said had been illustrated by the fact he's “putting money into cybersecurity” at the agency while growing its cyber workforce.
Dentists Buy Back Halloween Candy for Troops
Collected candy will be shipped to U.S. Military overseas.
by William Callahan
Do you have too much Halloween candy around the house after last night's trick-or-treating?
Parents and children can get rid of some of the excess sugar coming in around the holiday and earn some money in the process, all while giving back to U.S. Military servicemen and women deployed overseas.
Local dentists participating in Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to members of the military, will buy back residents' Halloween candy and ship it in holiday care packages to troops overseas. In return, children receive cash and toothbrushes. According to the program's website, most dentist's offices pay $1 per pound of candy.
For 2012, the program has also launched a promotion for donors to give goodie bags with tooth brushes and toothpaste, so service members can stay cavity-free, too.
Operation Gratitude has sent upward of 800,000 care packages to troops since it was founded in 2003. Last year, the program shipped 125 tons of candy to troops.
Here are those offices participating within 5 miles of Vienna, but you can click here and input your ZIP Code to find a participating dentist near you. Parents are encouraged to call dentist's offices to confirm participation.
Aesthetic Dental Spa
8233 Old Courthouse Rd, Suite 160
Vienna, VA, 22182
Fairfax Corner Ortho/Pedo
4210 Fairfax Corner
Fairfax, VA, 22030
Phone: (703) 424-7678
4210 Fairfax Corner Ave, Suite 245
Fairfax, VA, 22030
Phone: (703) 424-7678
JPD Dental, PLLC
10680 Main Street, Suite 150
Fairfax, VA, 22030
Phone: (703) 385-4569
Pediatric Dentistry of Reston
1984 Isaac Newton Sq
Reston, Va, 20190
Phone: (703) 435-1500
Reston Serenity Smiles
11717 Bowman Green Drive
Reston, VA, 20190
Phone: (571) 313-8415
Nevada City police survey aimed at taking pulse of community
Officers in Nevada City are asking the public for input to determine their concerns and views on crime and police service.
The short and anonymous survey about police service was sent to a cross section of the community in early October, and already, 200 surveys have been sent back to the Nevada City Police Department.
“Hopefully in early November, we're going to start putting together the results and a plan of action,” said Chief Jim Wickham.
Concurrently, Wickham said the department divided the city into six regions, assigning each officer to a beat and using the survey as an excuse to go door-to-door and get to know the community, he said.
“It gives them a chance to get out of cars and get to know their community. It has been really positive,” Wickham said. “Some of these people have never had contact with their police offers before.”
“This is just one of many things we're trying to improve in community relations.”
— Nevada City Police Chief Jim Wickham
The survey is one of the department's recent endeavors to alter its approach to policing the city.
Most prominent has been allocating a foot-patrol officer to the downtown historic district, giving merchants a point of contact.
The department has also adopted a shared-operations agreement with Grass Valley, pushed an expanded smoking ban downtown and is in the process of developing further regulations for camping in the city.
The department has also joined Facebook as a means of outreach.
“This is just one of many things we're trying to improve in community relations,” Wickham said. “We have to join with a committed, supportive constituency to make the idea of community policing more than just a concept in Nevada City.”
As the 30-day survey period draws to a close, Wickham said the department will use the results to further shape the department's focus in the short and long term.
“Our next goal is for the officer responsible for the area to eventually be assigned to monitor that area,” Wickham said.