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1 killed, 2 hurt as ferry, boat collide off Florida

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. (AP) -- A ferry carrying 120 passengers collided early Monday in heavy fog with a smaller boat about 15 miles off Marco Island, killing one person and injuring two others, one seriously, authorities said.

The ferry was making its regular run from Fort Myers Beach to Key West when it collided with a 22-foot pleasure craft off the mouth of the Marco River in southwest Florida.

The person killed and the two injured were on the smaller boat, said Jorge Aguilera, spokesman for Collier County Emergency Medical Services. Their names were not immediately available.

The 116-foot ferry Atlantis returned to its dock at Fort Myers Beach under its own power.

Man with Bible fatally shot in confrontation with police

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) -- A man who claimed to be armed when he charged at police officers who shot and killed him was carrying a Bible, not a weapon, authorities said.

Investigators were trying to determine whether Mark Venuti, 36, tried to provoke police into using deadly force, prosecutor Richard Rodbarts said.

Officers responding to a dispute between neighbors at an apartment complex Saturday night were met by Venuti holding a dark object above his head, police said. A neighbor said Venuti told officers that he was armed.

One officer shot him in the stomach. Venuti then charged toward another officer, demanding to be shot again, police said.

Venuti died in a hospital early Sunday.

No weapon was found at the scene, and police later discovered that the dark object Venuti was holding was a Bible.

Venuti's wife, April, said her husband suffered from depression and recently had tried to hang himself. But she questioned the need for deadly force.

"When he came out, he had a Bible in his hand, and a Bible doesn't look like a gun," she said.

Gallaudet student ordered held in double-murder case

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Gallaudet University students and officials packed a courtroom Monday as a judge ordered freshman Joseph Mesa Jr. held without bond on charges of murdering two fellow students at the nation's best-known school for the deaf. Four sign-language interpreters helped in the proceedings.

Mesa, 20, is awaiting trial Nov. 5 on charges of killing 19-year-old freshmen Eric Plunkett on Sept. 28 and Benjamin Varner on Feb. 3 -- cases that shocked the university that caters to the deaf and the hearing-impaired.

Outside the courtroom, Mesa's father expressed his regrets to the families of Varner and Plunkett.

District of Columbia Police Officer Darryl Richmond testified that Joseph Mesa Jr. had confessed in a videotaped statement a day after the young man was told that his family would be "embarrassed and humiliated" if he did not tell the truth.

Mesa described Varner and Plunkett as friends and said robbery was the reason he killed them, the policeman testified. Evidence indicates that Mesa used a credit card taken from Plunkett, the policeman said.

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