Mississippi High Court Justice

Acquitted in Bribery Case

JACKSON, Miss. -- A federal jury found a Mississippi Supreme Court justice not guilty of bribery charges Friday but could not reach a verdict on several counts against the lawyer accused of bribing him and two former judges, who were also on trial.

Paul Minor, one of the state's most politically active lawyers, was accused of using cash, loans and gifts to secure favorable decisions in cases before Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. and former judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on several counts, including racketeering charges against Minor. Diaz was the only one found not guilty on all counts, and prosecutors have indicated they could retry the others on the charges in which the jury was hung.

* NEW YORK -- The Fire Department released thousands of pages of oral histories recorded by firefighters about Sept. 11, 2001, and hours of radio transmissions, a vast mine of records that evoked anew the chaos and horror of the attack, in which 2,749 people died, including 343 firefighters. Firefighters described seeing people leaping to their deaths from the upper floors of the World Trade Center. Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fitzpatrick said, "Based on the number of jumpers, we could only assume that hundreds of people were trapped."

* PHILADELPHIA, Miss. -- Former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen, 80, was released from jail Friday on $600,000 bond while he appeals his manslaughter convictions and 60-year sentence in the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers. During the bond hearing, two black jailers who booked Killen into the Neshoba County Jail after his conviction testified that one of them asked Killen whether he was suicidal. Jailer Kenny Spencer said Killen told him, "I would kill you before I killed myself."

* COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The couple accused of killing a Tennessee corrections officer objected to being sent back to the state to face charges. At a hearing, Jennifer Hyatte appeared dazed and her husband, George Hyatte, declared, "I don't want to leave without her." Meanwhile, more than 1,000 people attended the funeral for the guard, Wayne "Cotton" Morgan, 56.

* LUVERNE, Ala. -- A judge ordered a death sentence for a Westley Devon Harris, 25, who was convicted of gunning down six members of his girlfriend's family at their rural home. Circuit Judge Ed McFerrin rejected the jury's recommendation that Harris's life be spared.

* SEATTLE -- Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire declared a wildfire emergency and said the National Guard may have to be called up to help fight "a siege of wildfire across our state." The largest fire, near Pomeroy, has spread over 48,000 acres.

* MIAMI -- Tropical Storm Irene strengthened but could eventually curve away from the East Coast, forecasters said. The National Hurricane Center predicted that Irene would be about 350 miles east of the mouth of Chesapeake Bay by Tuesday, moving northward.

* NEW YORK -- John "Junior" Gotti's mob trial got a jolt when a loud sound like a gunshot crackled from a malfunctioning sound system. The noise frightened those in the courtroom until they heard a smiling Gotti shout, "I didn't do it!"

-- From News Services