3 Found Guilty in 1970 Killing

Of Mississippi Sharecropper

BELZONI, Miss.--Three white men were found guilty yesterday of killing a black sharecropper who was beaten by a mob and dumped off a bridge almost 30 years ago.

The jury deliberated about six hours before returning the verdict. Earlier in the day, they had reported that they were deadlocked. The judge urged them to continue deliberating despite the apparent impasse.

James "Doc" Caston, 66, his brother, Charles E. Caston, 64, and their half brother, Hal Crimm, 50, were charged in the death of Rainey Pool, a one-armed man who was killed in 1970.

They face a maximum of 20 years in prison each. Sentencing was set for Wednesday.

Pool was beaten by a white mob, his larynx was crushed and his body was dumped off a bridge into the Sunflower River.

The pathologist who performed the autopsy said it was unclear whether Pool was alive or dead when he hit the water, but testified that the beating eventually would have been fatal.

A total of seven white men were blamed for the brutal attack. Two are dead, one was acquitted in June and a fourth, Joe Oliver Watson, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter and agreed to testify against the others.

Last Call for 911 Dispatcher

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.--A 911 dispatcher who allegedly ignored emergencies while taking lengthy personal calls has been fired.

Andrea Willingham, 35, had been suspended five times, reprimanded or counseled nine times and investigated 21 times in nearly nine years on the job, authorities said. She was fired Friday.

In July, Willingham interrupted a 48-minute personal call to send paramedics to a man who was in shock after severing a finger, officials said. Then, she went back to her conversation instead of following department rules requiring her to stay on the line and give medical advice to the victim until paramedics arrived.

During the same call, Willingham failed to get a phone number from a woman who feared there was an intruder in her home, officials said.

In another chat, Willingham allegedly said she wasn't going to answer any 911 calls that day.

"We've only just begun," she said after being fired from her $27,000-a-year job. "I'm not going to disclose anything else at this moment."

Herbalist Charged in Girl's Death

ASHEVILLE, N.C.--An alternative medicine practitioner has been charged with manslaughter in the death of an 8-year-old diabetic after allegedly urging her mother to use herbs as treatment.

Helena Rose Kolitwenzew died Oct. 21 after her mother, Marion, stopped administering insulin, Lt. Sam Constance said Friday.

Lawrence Perry, 46, who operates the General Health Care Facility for Preventive and Alternative Medicine in Columbus, was being held on a manslaughter charge Friday at the Buncombe County Jail on $50,000 bond.

A grand jury will be asked to decide whether to indict Perry on a charge of practicing medicine without a license, Constance said. A decision has not been made whether to charge the child's mother.

Hit-List Rumor Disrupts School

OKLAHOMA CITY--Rumors that two girls with a hit list planned to take action Friday caused mass absences at Webster Middle School as parents kept their children home out of fear.

A list was found Wednesday and two girls who were removed from the school are awaiting a hearing on a long-term suspension.

Cynthia Reid, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City School District, said 380 of the 850 students in the middle school were absent.

Webster Middle School, which is for sixth through eighth grades, is under heightened security through this week as a precaution, she said. The school already has metal detectors, closed-circuit cameras and a police officer on duty. Extra police were on campus Friday.