Fla. Man Convicted

In Murder of Girl, 11

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A mechanic with a long criminal record was convicted Thursday of kidnapping, raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl whose abduction was captured by a car wash's security camera.

Joseph Smith, 39, could get the death penalty.

The jury took about five hours to find him guilty in the slaying of Carlie Brucia, who was found half-naked and strangled outside a church more than four days after the sixth-grader disappeared in February 2004 while walking home from a friend's house.

Smith was arrested after being identified as the man who was seen taking the girl by the wrist and leading her away in a low-resolution video that was broadcast nationwide during the search for the killer.

Smith showed no emotion when the verdict was read. The jury will return for the sentencing phase on Nov. 28.

* ATLANTA -- The lead attorney for the man accused of killing a judge and three others in a spree that started at a downtown courthouse said he is open to resolving the case short of a trial to save his client's life. The lawyer, Gary Parker, would not say necessarily that Brian Nichols would be willing to plead guilty to murder charges for the March 11 spree, but he noted that his goal is to make sure Nichols is not executed. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

* ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A secretary and six laboratory workers for Kaiser Permanente held the winning ticket for the $315 million Mega Millions jackpot -- but they still came into work, a company spokeswoman said. The jackpot was the second-richest prize to be won with a single ticket in a U.S. lottery.

* JONESBORO, Ga. -- The street names in suburban Atlanta's Clayton County pay homage to the Old South and the Lost Cause: Robert E. Lee Drive. Old Dixie Highway. And Tara Boulevard, named for the plantation home in "Gone With the Wind." Now, in a move that encapsulates the county's changing racial demographics, some residents want to rename Tara Boulevard for civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.

-- From News Services