Hilton, Others Sued

Over Erroneous Arrest

NEW YORK -- An Egyptian student jailed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on suspicion of having an aviation radio in his hotel room sued the Hilton Hotels Corp. and an FBI agent yesterday, alleging they caused his false arrest.

Abdallah Higazy, who was imprisoned for more than a month, asked for $20 million in punitive and compensatory damages. The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court, also named as defendants the Hilton's Millennium Hotel, where Higazy was staying, and two of its security guards.

A Hilton spokeswoman said the company does not comment on pending litigation. The FBI could not be reached for comment.

Higazy, 31, a graduate student, was arrested after authorities were told a ground-to-air radio was found in his room, which overlooked the site of the airliner attack on the World Trade Center. He was released Jan. 16 after another hotel guest, a pilot, came forward and claimed the radio. The criminal complaint against him was dismissed at that time.

Ronald Ferry, who was a security guard at the Millennium Hotel, pleaded guilty in February to wrongfully telling FBI agents that he had found an aviation radio inside a locked safe in Higazy's room. Ferry was named as one of the defendants in Higazy's suit.

Hotel employees found the radio when they inventoried items left by guests who were evacuated because of the nearby attacks.

Yosemite Killer

Sentenced to Death

SAN JOSE -- A California judge sentenced Yosemite killer Cary Stayner to die by injection for the brutal murders of three female tourists at the famous park in 1999.

Stayner, 41, received the sentence for the murders of Carole Sund, 42, her daughter Juli, 15, and Silvina Pelosso, 16, a friend from Argentina. The three were killed while on a Valentine's Day visit to Yosemite Valley.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Thomas Hastings, who earlier in the day denied a defense motion to grant Stayner a new trial, upheld a jury's recommendation that the former motel handyman should die for his crimes.

* DALLAS -- Kenneth Atkinson was sentenced to life in prison for abusing his 8-year-old stepdaughter by locking her in a squalid closet in the family's trailer for months at a time. The girl's mother, Barbara Atkinson, received a life sentence in January.

* RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- The federal government closed its investigation into the 1998 fatal shooting by four white police officers of a black woman in a parked car, citing insufficient evidence to support criminal charges. The investigation examined not only the shooting of 19-year-old Tyisha Miller but also allegations that Riverside police officers made racially insensitive comments about Miller and her family after the shooting, the Department of Justice said.

* LEVELLAND, Texas -- A former police officer convicted of shaking to death his infant son, Matthew, was sentenced to the maximum 10 years in prison, 17 years after the child died. The jury took just four minutes to decide the sentence for Robert Sharp. The same panel a day earlier returned an involuntary manslaughter conviction against him after rejecting a charge of murder, which could have meant a life sentence. * MIAMI -- Florida voters who supported a constitutional amendment to protect pregnant pigs are getting a small lesson in the law of unintended consequences -- because of their vote, the pigs will be killed. Responding to a campaign led by animal rights activists, voters made it illegal to confine pigs in small cages during pregnancy. But, now, the only two Florida hog operations not in compliance with the change are getting out of the business -- and sending their pigs to the slaughterhouse.

* ST. LOUIS -- A federal appeals court rejected American Indian activist Leonard Peltier's request for reductions in the two consecutive life sentences he got in the 1975 killings of two FBI agents. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit said his appeal came far too late.

-- From News Services