JODHPUR, India (AP) — An Indian appeals court on Friday overturned the conviction of a U.S. teenager who had been accused of killing his mother while on vacation in Western India, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
Joncarlo Patton was sentenced last year to three years in an Indian juvenile detention facility after he was found guilty of slitting his mother's throat at a desert resort in the western state of Rajasthan in August 2010. Prosecutors accused Patton of killing his mother because he was traumatized over his parents' divorce.
Police said he left the wrapped body of Cindy Iannarelli, of Cecil, Pa., on a sand dune near the Osian resort and was arrested at the airport as he tried to fly home.
The Rajasthan High Court on Friday threw out Patton's conviction and ordered his immediate release from detention, according to PTI. It was not immediately clear on what grounds the court overturned the conviction.
His lawyer Rahul Mehra said Patton had been turned over to U.S. Embassy officials for repatriation.
Patton, who was 16 when he was arrested, has said he is innocent and has accused police of forcing him to confess.
Messages seeking comment from Patton's father, G. Richard Patton, a professor of business administration at the University of Pittsburgh, were left by phone and email.
2 cousins plead guilty to shooting Philly city bus
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two cousins have admitted shooting up a Philadelphia city bus, a strafing captured by dramatic surveillance video that went viral.
Stunningly, no passenger was hit by the multitude of bullets fired into the bus last June.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports 20-year-old Karon Patterson and 22-year-old Raheen Patterson didn't comment during their court hearing Friday.
Each pleaded guilty to charges including aggravated assault, attempted murder and gun offenses. They'll each serve 15 to 30 years behind bars.
The incident began after one passenger chided another for disciplining her son on the bus. The scolded woman made a cellphone call, and the cousins were waiting for the bus when she got off.
Bus-mounted cameras recorded the men brandishing guns and passengers hitting the floor.
Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer
3 killed, 1 injured in W. Pa. crash
BULGER, Pa. (AP) — Officials say three people were killed and one injured in a head-on car crash Friday morning, about 25 miles west of Pittsburgh.
Smith Township police chief Bernie LaRue says 60-year-old John Alouise and his wife, 51-year-old Debra Alouise died in the crash and their son Scott Alouise was flown to Allegheny General Hospital with unknown injuries. All are from Smith.
18-year-old Aaron Herriott of Smith also died in the crash, which happened at about 7:45 a.m.
Herriott was apparently late for school when his car hit the Alouise's van. Police say the car was going at least 70 mph in a 40 mph zone.
Burgettstown Area High School Superintendent Deborah Jackson says Herriott had planned to attend the senior prom Friday evening.
New Haven man charged in murder of basketball star
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A New Haven man has been charged with murdering a 25-year-old former Hamden High School basketball star who went on to play for two colleges.
The Hartford Courant reports that New Haven police served an arrest warrant Thursday on 20-year-old Kenta Wilson in the shooting death of Timothy Mathis last September. Mathis was found shot in the back in a vehicle at a New Haven housing project.
Wilson is currently serving a 42-month prison sentence for an unrelated weapons crime conviction. He's expected to be arraigned Friday in New Haven Superior Court.
After high school, Mathis played for Morgan State University in Baltimore and Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa.
The New Haven public defender's office, which has represented Wilson in several cases, didn't immediately return a message Friday morning.
Information from: The Hartford Courant
Pa. agency releases report on child abuse cases
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A new report on child abuse in Pennsylvania says there were 34 deaths last year, one more than in 2010, while total reports were down slightly.
The Department of Public Welfare study released Friday said there were more than 24,000 reports of suspected abuse in 2011, a decline of less than 1 percent.
The number of substantiated reports dropped by 248, to just over 3,400.
Authorities say one out of every 1,000 Pennsylvania children was found to be an abuse victim last year.
Judge denies DeWeese request to delay prison term
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Former Democratic legislative leader Bill DeWeese has lost a bid for a postponement of his prison sentence for corruption.
Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover on Friday denied DeWeese's request to delay the start of his 2 ½-to-five-year prison term until Hoover decides if he can remain free on bail while appealing his conviction. Hoover ordered the 62-year-old former Greene County lawmaker to surrender to the state Department of Corrections on Monday, as scheduled.
DeWeese served in the House for 35 years, including a two years as speaker. He was unopposed for the Democratic nomination in his district and remains on the Nov. 6 general-election ballot.
A jury convicted him of conspiracy, conflict of interest and three counts of theft for using public resources for political purposes.
Pa. man convicted in killing outside concert
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — A central Pennsylvania man could face the death penalty in the fatal shooting of an aspiring rapper outside a concert two years ago.
A Lancaster County jury on Friday convicted 22-year-old Jakeem Towles of first-degree murder in the May 2010 killing of Cornell "Young E-Z" Stewart.
Prosecutors said Towles shot Stewart in the head while firing at another man he'd had a dispute with earlier, leading him to be kicked out of the show at a Columbia concert hall. Towles was also convicted of attempted murder for firing at the other man.
The Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era reports a penalty hearing will be held Monday. Jurors will decide if Towles should get the death penalty or life in prison.
Police say several witnesses identified Towles as the shooter.
Information from: Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era