Youth Is Charged in Slaying

MARTINEZ, Calif. -- A teenager described by former classmates as a nonconformist was charged as an adult with the murder of the wife of a prominent defense lawyer.

Scott Dyleski, 16, was held in Contra Costa Juvenile Hall after his first court appearance Friday in the beating death of Pamela Vitale, 52. He did not enter a plea or speak as the judge set bail at $1 million.

Defense lawyer and TV legal pundit Daniel Horowitz found his wife's body Oct. 15 at the couple's hilltop estate, where they were building their dream house. Dyleski lived with his mother down the hill in Lafayette, about 20 miles east of San Francisco.

The San Francisco Chronicle, quoting unidentified law enforcement sources, reported Friday that Dyleski was running a credit card scam and went to Horowitz and Vitale's estate trying to track down some marijuana-growing equipment he had ordered. He got into a fight there with Vitale, who was hit dozens of times in the head with a piece of crown molding, the newspaper reported. Dyleski was arrested on Wednesday. If convicted of murder as an adult, he could face up to life in prison; he is too young to face the death penalty.

Former classmates described Dyleski, who will turn 17 later this month, as a nonconformist who tested out of Acalanes High School early. Some described him as gothic, dyeing his brown hair black and often wearing dark clothes and a long trench coat.

Spanish Newspaper to Fold

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Jose Mercury News, which has won accolades for the diversity of its newsroom and coverage, announced Friday that it plans to drop its Spanish- and Vietnamese-language newspapers because the free publications are not profitable.

The paper plans to stop printing Nuevo Mundo and is selling Viet Mercury to a group of businessmen. Their last editions as Mercury News publications will be issued on Nov. 11, Mercury News Publisher George Riggs said.

The Viet Mercury, launched in 1999, became the leading Vietnamese-language paper in the area, with a circulation of 35,000. But Nuevo Mundo, launched in 1996, is fourth among six Spanish-language competitors, Riggs said.

The Mercury News will also close zoned editions of the Guide, weekly sections on five Silicon Valley communities, Riggs said. Mercury News parent company Knight Ridder Inc. recently announced that it is acquiring Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, publisher of eight weeklies in the same coverage area.

* LITTLE ST. GEORGE ISLAND, Fla. -- A historic lighthouse collapsed a decade after Hurricane Opal left it leaning at about a 10-degree angle. The 153-year-old Cape St. George Lighthouse, which had stood 20 feet from shore because of erosion, was found toppled on Friday, Florida officials said.

-- From News Services