Man pleads guilty to leaving bomb in mall
DENVER (AP) -- A man has acknowledged planting a homemade bomb at a Colorado shopping mall on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings.
Earl Albert Moore, 56, pleaded guilty in Denver federal court Friday to one count of using a destructive device in a crime of violence.
An April 20 fire at the Southwest Plaza Mall in Littleton and the discovery of the bomb raised fears it was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the 1999 school shootings at nearby Columbine, in which two students killed 13 people and then themselves.
Moore later told investigators the bomb had nothing to do with Columbine and that he did not realize it was the anniversary of the shootings, according to a plea deal released Friday. In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a second charge of arson. The U.S. attorney's office said Moore faces a mandatory prison term of at least 30 years when he is sentenced in March.
Asked in court why he planted the device, Moore said he was upset about "a domestic thing."
Moore said he drained the propane tanks connected to the device before leaving it.
Moore once lived in Colorado and has bounced around the federal prison system for the last 27 years. He was released from prison in Estill, S.C., a week before placing the bomb.
Judge puts stop to church's parties
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Late-night dance parties at a downtown church here were halted Friday by a judge, just days after nine people were shot leaving a gathering early Christmas morning.
The pastor of the nondenominational Christian church said the dance parties are an essential part of the ministry while the city said they were a dangerous nuisance and asked a judge to shut them down.
Judge Jeff Hollingsworth granted a 15-day restraining order that includes strict limits on the number of people who can be in the church's space and the hours it can operate.
"We definitely question the constitutionality of them telling us how we can worship, what is considered the right way to worship by the government," said Mosiac Church pastor Tim Reid. "It'd be different if something illegal were happening."
While city attorney Phil Noblett would not address Reid's assertions, he did say: "Some of the activities I've observed are not church activities."
Chattanooga police have responded to at least 19 assault calls involving the church-sponsored parties, called Fathom, over the past five years, including a rape and two other shootings, according to the city's court complaint.
Turkey farm accused of animal cruelty
SHANNON, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina deputies are investigating a farm that raises turkeys for Butterball after an animal rights group said it captured undercover video showing animal cruelty.
Investigators on Thursday looked through the two barns and roughly 2,000 turkeys inside at the farm in Shannon, near the South Carolina state line.
Deputies say it could be weeks before the investigation is finished.
They came to the farm after Chicago-based Mercy for Animals sent prosecutors three weeks of undercover footage by a member of the group who worked at the farm. The group says the videos show workers throwing, kicking, dragging and beating turkeys.
In a statement, Butterball said it has zero tolerance for abusing animals and is working with deputies.
Suspected formula cleared by agencies
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Four incidents of infants sickened by a rare bacteria sometimes linked to powdered formula, including two who died, are not related and parents can continue using the products to feed their babies, two federal agencies announced Friday.
Scientists with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration tested various types of powdered infant formula and distilled water and found no cases of contamination by Cronobacter sakazakii.
Four babies, including one in Missouri and another in Florida who died, were sickened by the bacteria that are found naturally in the environment.
Walmart and several other national retailers pulled Enfamil Newborn formula from 3,000 stores until the batches could be tested for contamination. Those tests came back negative.