AH: Oklahoma suspect's dismissal plea denied

Denver A judge rejected a defense motion to dismiss the death penalty for an Oklahoma City bombing suspect, saying no laws were broken when Attorney General Janet Reno said those responsible should be executed.

U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch threw out a challenge by lawyers for Terry Nichols, ruling Wednesday that Reno was doing her job when she announced her intention to seek the death penalty before any suspects were arrested.

Nichols' lawyers had argued that Reno showed bias.

Matsch said Nichols' attorneys had incorrectly assumed the protocol for seeking the death penalty protects Nichols' rights. "It does not," he wrote.

Airline bomb suspect

wants to defend self

New York A judge was to decide Thursday whether an alleged Islamic militant could represent himself at a trial in which he's accused of plotting to bomb U.S. airliners.

Ramzi Yousef, who also is charged with masterminding the deadly World Trade Center explosion, told federal Judge Kevin Duffy Wednesday that he wanted to be the architect of his own trial defense.

Duffy warned him that it would likely guarantee his conviction.

In its opening statement Wednesday, the government promised a huge arsenal of evidence against Yousef and his two co-defendants, including fingerprints, bombing materials and witnesses.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said Yousef was plotting to blow up 11 jumbo jets carrying 4,000 Americans during 48 hours in January 1995. Yousef's aim, the prosecutor said, was to pressure the United States to stop supporting Israel.

Husband found guilty

in courthouse killings

Seattle A former computer-repair technician has been convicted of aggravated, first-degree murder for the 1995 courthouse slayings of his estranged pregnant wife and two other women.

A Snohomish County Superior Court jury found Timothy Blackwell, 48, guilty of three counts of murder Thursday.

Blackwell shot his Filipino mail-order bride, Susana Blackwell, 25, and two friends March 2, 1995, in a hallway outside the Seattle courtroom where the couple's divorce trial was being held after their brief marriage.

The other victims, Phoebe Dizon, 46, and Laureta Johnson, 42, had testified in the trial.

N.Y. court dismisses

1,200 implant suits

Albany, N.Y. A state court has dismissed more than 1,200 lawsuits filed in New York against Dow Chemical Co. over breast implants made by Dow Corning Corp.

The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court ruling upheld a lower court's decision that dismissed the Michigan-based company from all silicone breast-implant claims against it in the state.

In Tuesday's decision, the Appellate Division court said that last September Justice Joan Lobis of the New York State Supreme Court properly declined to follow a federal judge's ruling that Dow Chemical could be held directly liable for ailments attributed to breast implants.

Woman in videotaped

beating files suit

Los Angeles A suspected illegal Mexican immigrant beaten by sheriff's deputies in an incident captured on videotape has filed a suit claiming her civil rights were violated, her lawyers say.

Alicia Sotero Vazquez's suit names Riverside County and the two deputies, Tracy Watson and Kurt Franklin, as defendants. It was the third suit stemming from the incident and seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Settlement offer over

HIV tainting improved

New York Hemophiliacs who refused to settle claims that drug companies sold them HIV-tainted blood-clotting products may give the deal a second look now that tight restrictions have been removed.

The four companies making the $100,000-per-person offer have lifted a demand that nearly all victims accept it or risk having it withdrawn.

The companies proposed Wednesday that the offer be sent to a federal judge in Chicago who is overseeing the lawsuits.<