Posted on Sun, Jun. 13, 2004

Girl pleads guilty in father's murder, will testify

North Carolina

Girl pleads guilty in father's murder, will testify


A 16-year-old girl has pleaded guilty to murdering her stepfather and will testify against her mother, who is accused of plotting the killing. Elizabeth Shannon admitted she shot David Shannon twice on July 23, 2002, as he slept. The Army major was 40 years old and had served in the Army since 1987. He was assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg.Shannon and her mother, Joan Shannon, were both charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy. Elizabeth Shannon pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder and conspiracy.

She will be sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison if she cooperates with the state in the prosecution of her mother, according to an agreement with prosecutors. -- ASSOCIATED PRESS

Chlorine spill at Wal-Mart sends 2 to hospital


At least two people were taken to the hospital Saturday morning after a chlorine spill at the Wal-Mart in Mooresville, fire officials said. It happened around 6:45 a.m., and people inside were evacuated for a couple of hours, authorities said. The Wal-Mart reopened late that morning. It's unclear what caused the spill. -- D?ICA COTO

South Carolina

Georgetown Steel Co. auction appears likely


GEORGETOWN -- At least three companies have filed proposals to purchase Georgetown Steel Co., making an auction this week for the company likely. Last month, International Steel Group, the nation's largest steel producer, said it hoped to buy the closed plant and reopen it next fall. Its opening bid was $16 million.An attorney for the Unsecured Creditors' Committee confirmed two other proposals were made for Georgetown Steel, but would not identify the bidders.

One offer is for the same package ISG wants, said Rick Mendoza, one of the creditors' attorneys.


Couple settle baby injury suit for $4.6 million


SPARTANBURG -- A Union couple whose baby suffered brain damage as a result of a cardiac arrest have settled a medical malpractice lawsuit for $4.6 million. Matt and Linda Parkins sued Pediatric Associates P.A. of Spartanburg, Dr. William W. Burns of Spartanburg and Greenville Hospital System. The lawsuit alleged their 20-month-old son, who suffered from a substantial adrenal insufficiency, was stricken because the defendants weaned him off the synthetic cortisone Cortef.The boy suffered "past and future irreparable brain damage" after his breathing and heart function ceased, according to the suit.

The boy, who was born in March 1997, suffered cardiac arrest in November 1998.

Spartanburg attorney William "Billy" Gunn, who represented Burns and Pediatric Associates, said the settlement agreement should not be interpreted as an admission of mistakes by his clients.




Raccoon killer wants animal cruelty case dropped


ATHENS -- A University of Georgia fraternity member arrested last year after he killed a raccoon with a pellet gun is asking to have an animal cruelty charge dropped. The motion filed by Erik Robert Zimmerman in connection with the Dec. 12 incident will be heard in Clarke County State Court Monday.Zimmerman, 20, of Marble, N.C., entered a not guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge in April.

The other students allegedly involved in the incident -- fraternity members Patrick Perry and Ivan Garcia -- do not face criminal charges because they did not participate in killing the raccoon.

Zimmerman, a sophomore, used a pellet gun to shoot the erratically acting raccoon in the fraternity's parking lot.

At a February hearing, Zimmerman testified that he was concerned the animal might have been rabid. He said he threw a construction pylon to scare it away. He said the pylon struck the animal and he didn't want it to suffer, so he shot it. -- ASSOCIATED PRESS