National news briefs: 1/12/13

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NYC to review rape cases

NEW YORK -- The New York City medical examiner's office confirmed Friday that it is reviewing hundreds of rape cases for possible errors in DNA analysis.

Officials said it appears so far that the testing in the vast majority of the cases was valid. But in one instance, the review uncovered evidence that resulted in an indictment last year accusing a man of raping a minor more than a decade ago in Brooklyn.

Local politicians responded to news of the mishandled sex crimes evidence, first reported in The New York Times, by saying it suggests more victims may have been denied justice. The City Council announced it would hold an oversight hearing later this month.

The review began after the medical examiner's office discovered errors by an unidentified laboratory technician, who was hired in 2001 and resigned in 2011.

Boy abducted in 1994 found

INDIANAPOLIS -- A boy abducted from northeastern Indiana by his paternal grandparents 19 years ago has been found in Minnesota.

Indiana State Police say Richard Wayne Landers Jr. was abducted in July 1994 during court proceedings over his custody in Wolcottville.

Police say a 24-year-old man with the same Social Security number and birth date as Mr. Landers but living under a different name was located in October in Long Prairie, Minn.

His grandparents also were living under aliases nearby and confirmed his identity.

The grandparents were initially charged with custody interference, but charges were dropped in 2008 after the case went cold.

Judge delays shooter's case

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- James Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people during a rampage in July, was given two months to enter a plea by the trial judge.

If, as many anticipate, he enters a plea of not guilty by insanity, Mr. Holmes would undergo lengthy evaluations at a state mental hospital before trial.

If the case goes to trial and he's found not guilty by reason of insanity, Mr. Holmes could conceivably be released from a mental hospital someday if he is deemed to have recovered, but that is considered an unlikely possibility.

A guilty plea or conviction could mean life in prison or the death penalty.

Motive sought in shooting

TAFT, Calif. -- A Taft Union High School student targeted and shot by a classmate was on life support and in intensive care Friday but is expected to recover, hospital officials said, as law enforcement authorities sought to decipher a motive for the attack.

The 16-year-old male victim, who authorities have not identified, suffered internal injuries to the lungs and liver after bullets hit his chest and abdomen, officials at Kern County Medical Center said.

Law enforcement officials said the suspect, also aged 16, would be charged with attempted murder. They did not give his name because he is a minor.

They said they were investigating what role bullying may have had in motivating him to fire a 12-gauge shotgun at students in his science class.

Beating death of teen

GARY, Ind. -- A Gary, Ind. man charged with keeping his 13-year-old son in a dog cage, then beating the boy to death and burying the body in a shallow grave near the family's home in a trailer park was sentenced Friday to 80 years in prison.

Riley Choate, 40, entered a plea deal with Lake County, Ind., prosecutors this month with an agreed sentence that spares him some 40 years off the 120-year sentence he faced on charges tied to years of brutal abuse of his son, Christian, that led to the boy's death in 2009.

The boy, who weighed less than 50 pounds when he died, had lived the last two years of his life confined to a 3-foot high dog cage, and was beaten regularly by his father.

Condom law challenged

LOS ANGELES -- Adult film producer Vivid Entertainment is seeking to overturn the newly passed Los Angeles County ballot measure requiring porn performers to wear condoms during filming.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court Friday on behalf of Vivid, one of the nation's most prominent adult film makers, along with two porn performers. The suit argues that the condom-porn measure violates the First Amendment protection of free expression. The ballot measure was passed with 57 percent of the vote in November.

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