Nation roundup for November 16


Man charged in porch shooting

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit homeowner was charged Friday with second-degree murder in the death of a 19-year-old woman who was shot in the face while on his front porch nearly two weeks ago.

Theodore P. Wafer, 54, of Dearborn Heights, also faces a manslaughter charge in the death of Renisha McBride, who was killed in the early-morning hours on Nov. 2, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said.

Police say McBride, a former high school cheerleader, was shot a couple hours after being involved in a nearby car accident. Family members say she likely approached Wafer’s home for help.

The shooting has drawn attention from civil rights groups who called for a thorough investigation and believe race was a factor in the shooting — McBride was black; prosecutors said Wafer is white. Some have drawn comparisons between this case and that of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old Florida boy shot in 2012 by a suspicious neighbor.

But Worthy insisted Friday that race wasn’t relevant in her decision to file charges and wouldn’t compare the case to Martin’s death.

“It’s always interesting to me what the public makes their decisions on when it comes to one way or another,” Worthy said. “We have the facts. We have the evidence. We make our decision on that and that alone.

Biofuel mandate might be reduced

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Friday proposed to reduce the amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply for the first time, acknowledging that the biofuel law championed by both parties in 2007 is not working as well as expected.

While the proposal highlights the government’s struggle to ramp up production of homegrown biofuels that are cleaner-burning than gasoline, it is unlikely to mean much for consumers at the pump.

The change would reduce by almost 3 billion gallons the amounts of ethanol and other biofuels blended into gasoline in 2014 than the law requires.

The 2007 law tried to address global warming, reduce dependence on foreign oil and prop up the rural economy by requiring oil companies to blend billions of gallons of biofuels into their gasoline each year. But politicians who wrote the law didn’t anticipate fuel economy to improve as much as it has in recent years, which reduced demand for gasoline.

Desert bodies may be missing family

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — Human remains found this week in the Southern California desert are believed to be a San Diego-area family of four who disappeared more than three years ago, and their deaths appear to be homicides, authorities said Friday.

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon confirmed that 40-year-old Joseph McStay and his 43-year-old wife, Summer, were found in shallow graves near Victorville, about 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

The couple and their two sons — ages 3 and 4 — disappeared in February 2010.

Authorities believe the other remains belong to the two boys, but they have more work to do to confirm it, McMahon said at a news conference.

“Their DNA evidence is on file with the DOJ (Department of Justice), and we will be sending that information to the DOJ for positive identification,” he said.

McMahon added the manner of death appears to be homicide.

LAPD will probe airport shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles Police Department official says an internal investigation will be done into an allegation that an LAPD officer delayed medical aid when he told responders that an airport security officer was dead after being shot.

Cmdr. Andrew Smith said Friday the department always investigates allegations against its officers.

Marshall McClain, president of the airport police union, claims LAPD Officer John Long told responding officers that Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez was dead as he lay in a terminal on Nov. 1 after a gunman targeted TSA officers.

It’s unclear how that determination was made or whether Long was qualified to do so. Long declined comment.

McClain says an airport police officer later thought he detected a light pulse and wheeled Hernandez to paramedics — 33 minutes after he was shot.

 

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