ORLANDO, Fla. — A grand jury will not look into the Trayvon Martin case, a special prosecutor said Monday, leaving the decision of whether to charge the teen’s shooter in her hands alone and eliminating the possibility of a first-degree murder charge.
That prosecutor, Angela Corey, said her decision had no bearing on whether she would file charges against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who has said he shot the unarmed black teen in self-defense. Corey could still decide to charge him with a serious felony such as manslaughter, which can carry a lengthy prison sentence if he is convicted.
A grand jury had been set to meet Tuesday in Sanford, about 20 miles northeast of Orlando.
Corey has long had a reputation for not using grand juries if it wasn’t necessary. In Florida, only first-degree murder cases require the use of grand juries.
Martin was killed Feb. 26 during a confrontation with Zimmerman in a gated community in Sanford.
Zimmerman has claimed self-defense, and Florida’s self-defense law gives wide leeway to use deadly force and eliminates a person’s duty to retreat in the face of danger.
Wave of bomb threats at Pitt leaves campus on edge
PITTSBURGH — Dozens of bomb threats at the University of Pittsburgh, including at least four on Monday, have made professors start holding classes outside and forced security officials to put in new building access measures and offer a $50,000 reward for information.
Some students “are definitely afraid,” said Brian Haughwout, a junior who had one of his final exams changed to a take-home because of the disruptions.
“But I think just shutting down the university would be a mistake,” he said, adding that’s probably what the person making the threats wants.
The threats began in mid-February, at first targeting a landmark building at the center of campus. But in recent weeks numerous buildings have been threatened. Four threats had been made by midafternoon Monday, starting at about 4 a.m.
University police, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service have said they have a person of interest in the investigation. Authorities say some of the threats have been traced to or through computers in Austria, but nobody has been charged with making them.
Md. winner claims share of $656M jackpot
BALTIMORE — The holder of a winning Mega Millions ticket sold in Maryland claimed a share of the record-breaking $656 million prize on Monday, but will remain anonymous, state lottery officials announced.
The winner claimed the prize at lottery headquarters with a ticket matching all six numbers: 2-4-23-38-46 and the Mega Ball, 23, said Maryland Lottery spokeswoman Carole Everett. The winner will remain anonymous, but officials will share some details at a news conference Tuesday morning, she said. Maryland does not require lottery winners to be identified.
The jackpot was the biggest in Mega Millions history, and the three winners — one each in Maryland, Illinois and Kansas — will each receive more than $218 million before taxes. Kansas’ winner claimed a share of the jackpot Friday, but also decided to remain anonymous.
Feds accuse Indiana man of exploiting boys
An Indiana computer company owner is being held on two federal counts of sexually exploiting a child in what authorities on Monday said could become the nation’s biggest case of “sextortion” — blackmailing minors into becoming the objects of sexually explicit photographs or videos.
Richard Leon Finkbiner, 39, was arrested Friday at his home in Brazil, Ind., and charged with forcing at least two minors to engage in sexually explicit activity that Finkbiner allegedly captured with a webcam, said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Joseph H. Hogsett at a news conference Monday. Finkbiner is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.
Although Finkbiner has been charged with two counts, investigators have discovered “thousands of sexually explicit images and videos depicting hundreds of individuals, which may indicate the existence of many other victims,” officials said. Hogsett told reporters the case could become the largest of its kind in the nation.
Yemen: 64 killed in clashes with al-Qaida fighters
SANAA, Yemen — An al-Qaida attack on a Yemeni army post in the south set off clashes that left 64 people dead on Monday and prompted local civilians to take up arms alongside the military to beat back the militants, said army officials and residents.
The dawn attack is the latest in a series of bloody battles in recent months that mark an escalation in al-Qaida’s efforts to expand its control around a swath of land it seized last year. The group took advantage of the country’s political turmoil to overrun cities and towns in southern Yemen.
The militant movement appears to be on the offensive, assaulting and sometimes overrunning army positions, although it also suffers reverses.
The officials said this latest assault fell on an outpost in the town of Lawder in Abyan province, some 155 miles southeast of the capital of Sanaa.