2 women die in supermarket shootings; an Ohio prisoner’s execution draws criticism

January 16
INDIANA
Gunman killed after grocery shootings

A man fatally shot two women in a northern Indiana grocery store and was waving a gun at a kneeling store manager when police arrived and killed the gunman, authorities said Thursday.

The manager and another employee at the Martin’s Super Market in Elkhart escaped unharmed despite confrontations with the gunman Wednesday night, State Police Sgt. Trent Smith said.

Smith said city police received a call about a gunman in the store shortly after 10 p.m. Officers who were nearby on an unrelated call arrived within three minutes and found the shooter brandishing a semi-automatic handgun at the manager, who was on his knees on the floor as if in prayer.

Police identified the shooter as Shawn Walter Bair, 22. Officers found the bodies of Krystle Dikes, 20, an employee stocking shelves, and customer Rachelle Godfread, 44, about 12 aisles apart.

— Associated Press

OHIO
Attorney criticizes execution method

A condemned man appeared to gasp several times and took an unusually long time to die — more than 20 minutes — in an execution carried out Thursday with a combination of drugs never before tried in the United States.

Dennis McGuire’s attorney Allen Bohnert called the convicted killer’s death “a failed, agonizing experiment” and added: “The people of the state of Ohio should be appalled at what was done here today in their names.”

McGuire’s lawyers had attempted last week to block his execution, arguing that the untried method could lead to a medical phenomenon known as “air hunger” and cause him to suffer “agony and terror” while struggling to catch his breath.

Ohio prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith had no comment on how the execution went but said a review will be conducted as usual.

Prison officials in Lucasville gave intravenous doses of two drugs, the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone, to put McGuire, 53, to death for the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of a pregnant newlywed, Joy Stewart. The method was adopted after supplies of a previously used drug dried up because the manufacturer declared it off limits for capital punishment.

— Associated Press

UTAH
Same-sex couples can jointly file taxes

Utah state officials said Thursday that newly married gay and lesbian couples can jointly file their taxes for 2013.

Tax commission spokesman Charlie Roberts said the ruling announced Thursday also pertains to same-sex couples legally married in other states.

The announcement comes a week after the federal government said it would honor Utah’s gay marriages, allowing couples to file federal taxes jointly.

— Associated Press

It’s estimated that more than 1,000 same-sex couples got married after a federal judge struck down the state’s gay marriage ban Dec. 20. The U.S. Supreme Court put a halt on the marriages Jan. 6. The case is before a federal appeals court.

— Associated Press

California woman cleared in Google Glass driving case: A San Diego traffic court has thrown out a citation against a woman who was stopped for driving while wearing the Google Glass computer-in-eyeglass device. Commissioner John Blair ruled Thursday that Cecilia Abadie was not guilty because there was no proof beyond reasonable doubt that the device was in operation when a California Highway Patrol officer pulled her over in October. Abadie is believed to be the first motorist cited for wearing Google Glass while driving.

— From news services

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