Killer Is Ordered to Pay $907 Million to Family

PHILADELPHIA -- A counterculture guru convicted in absentia of killing his girlfriend, Holly Maddux, and stuffing her body in a steamer trunk 22 years ago was ordered by a jury yesterday to pay her family $907 million.

The wrongful-death verdict in the civil case against Ira Einhorn came after a two-day trial in which Einhorn -- who lives as a free man in France, where he is fighting extradition -- put up no defense.

The Maddux family's lawyer said the point was not necessarily to get the money but to prevent Einhorn from profiting from any book or movie deals. A prominent anti-war campaigner and activist in the 1960s, Einhorn, now 58, fled the United States and was sentenced to life in prison after his 1993 trial. He has said he did not kill Maddux.

NASA Discovers Holes Related to Fuel Leak

CAPE CANAVERAL -- NASA found three little holes in an engine nozzle of space shuttle Columbia after its return to Earth, confirming fears that the ship leaked hydrogen fuel during liftoff.

NASA's engine manager, George Hopson, called the leak "too close for comfort," and the space agency vowed to discover how it happened. Officials said that there was never any danger of an explosion but that if the leak had been bigger, it could have caused an engine shutdown and forced an unprecedented emergency landing in either Florida or Africa.

Indiana Man Charged In More Church Arsons

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indiana man already charged with setting fire to 12 churches has been indicted in an additional 17 church arsons, including one in which a firefighter died, authorities said.

Federal grand juries in Indiana and Georgia handed up indictments Tuesday charging Jay Ballinger, 36, with the arson fires.

Ballinger faces 12 arson-related charges and one count of conspiracy related to 14 fires set in Indiana and 10 more counts involving 15 church fires in other states. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 215 years in prison.

Addenda

CHICAGO -- The toll from the deadly heat wave rose to 36 in cities across the Midwest as officials renewed pleas for neighbors to keep a watchful eye on the infirm. "Check friends, relatives and neighbors to make sure they're okay," said Terry Levin, a spokesman in Chicago, where 11 people have died in the heat.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The elderly brother-in-law of the late Robert F. Kennedy must testify before a grand jury investigating the 1975 murder of a teenage girl in Greenwich, Conn., a Florida appeals court ruled. Prosecutors believe Rushton Skakel, 74, may have information about the death of Martha Moxley, who was bludgeoned on her family's estate with a golf club that Skakel admitted two decades ago came from a set in his home in Greenwich.