Man free after brother admitted to ’99 killing

A Kansas man who served more than 15 years of a life sentence for the 1999 shooting death of his sister-in-law was freed Tuesday after a judge overturned his conviction when new evidence implicated the man’s brother as the likely killer.

Floyd Bledsoe, 39, broke into a broad grin after Jefferson County District Court Judge Gary Nafziger, who presided over his murder trial and sentencing, announced that “the defendant is to be released.”

The decision came after a Jefferson County sheriff’s investigator testified that Bledsoe’s brother, Thomas, killed himself last month after DNA evidence implicated him in the death of 14-year-old Camille Arfmann. Thomas Bledsoe left behind suicide letters admitting he killed the girl.

Thomas Bledsoe initially confessed, then recanted and blamed his brother, who always maintained his innocence. Floyd Bledsoe was convicted of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated indecent liberties. Thomas Bledsoe testified at Floyd Bledsoe’s trial.

— Associated Press

Denver officer is shot during a traffic stop

A Denver police officer was in critical but stable condition after he was shot multiple times during a traffic stop on Tuesday on the city’s northwest side that also left a suspect wounded and put area schools on lockdown, authorities said.

Denver Police Chief Robert White told reporters that the officer exchanged gunfire with at least one of the suspects after pulling over a vehicle shortly before 11:30 a.m. local time.

White said that one suspect, who had an apparent gunshot wound to the leg, was arrested and that a search was underway for possibly two other suspects believed to have fled the area.

The wounded officer, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was rushed to Denver Health Medical Center, where he underwent surgery, emergency department physician Christopher Colwell told reporters.

Colwell said the officer, identified by police as Antonio Lopez, was expected to live.

— Reuters

White officer acquitted in assault of black man

A white police officer who kicked a black suspect in the head and broke his jaw was acquitted of assault Tuesday by a Delaware jury.

Jurors deliberated for about 16 hours over three days before acquitting Dover police Cpl. Thomas Webster IV of felony assault. They also declined to convict Webster on the lesser charge of misdemeanor assault.

Webster, 42, testified that he didn’t intend to kick Lateef Dickerson in the head in the August 2013 encounter and instead was aiming for his upper body. Webster also said he feared for his safety and the safety of others because officers were told Dickerson was armed with a gun, and Dickerson was slow to comply with repeated commands to get on the ground.

Dashboard camera video from another officer’s vehicle shows Dickerson had placed his hands on the ground but wasn’t fully prone when Webster kicked him.

Prosecutors argued that Dickerson was not a threat when Webster kicked him and that the officer acted recklessly and used excessive force.

— Associated Press

FBI probing pig head thrown at Philadelphia mosque: U.S. authorities are investigating an incident in which a pig’s head was thrown at a mosque in Philadelphia early Monday morning, as worries grew over a rise in Islamophobia after a Muslim couple killed 14 people at a holiday party in California. The FBI is examining the incident, spokeswoman Carrie Adamowski said Tuesday. Surveillance video showed a red truck driving past the Al-Aqsa mosque in North Philadelphia on Sunday night and someone throwing an object from the window, police said. A caretaker discovered the pig’s head early Monday, they said.

Cases of sickness at Chipotle linked to norovirus: Tests of a temporarily shuttered Boston outlet of the Chipotle Mexican Grill chain tied to reports of dozens of sickened college students indicated the presence of norovirus, the Boston Public Health Commission said Tuesday. So far there are 65 known cases that include Boston College students, the commission said. Chipotle has been under a microscope since Oct. 31, when it was first linked to an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 52 people in nine states.

— From news services