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National news briefs — compiled Dec. 20

TALLAHASSEE, FLA.

Man charged in escape plot

A Florida man was charged with helping his brother’s killer and another murderer escape from prison with bogus court documents, authorities said Thursday in announcing more charges in the scheme. Willie Slater Jr. helped Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins escape from a Panhandle prison this fall because he owed Jenkins a favor, Florida Department of Law Enforcement special agent Danny Banks said. Jenkins and Slater were behind bars together, and Jenkins helped get Slater out of prison in 2009 by giving false testimony that he committed a home invasion Slater was convicted of, Banks said. Walker murdered Slater’s brother, Cedric, in 1999.

FALLBROOK, CALIF.

Dozens hurt in bus crashes

Three bus crashes in rainy Southern California killed one person and injured dozens of others Thursday. The California Highway Patrol said a tour bus heading to a casino in San Diego County overturned on southbound Interstate 15 near Fallbrook. CHP Officer Robert Catano said one person died and 19 suffered minor to severe injuries. At almost the same time, 30 people suffered minor to moderate injuries when a tour bus coming from another casino overturned in the freeway’s northbound lanes about 50 miles away in the Corona area of Riverside County. Another crash involving a transit bus in Riverside County sent 14 people to hospitals. Most of them had minor injuries.

DALLAS

Sheriff’s deputy gunned down

A sheriff’s deputy was killed Thursday after gunfire erupted while he was serving a warrant at a home in Central Texas, authorities said. Sgt. Adam Sowders was part of a team of officers entering a rural residence east of the town of Somerville to serve a warrant, Burleson County Sheriff Dale Stroud said. He was shot as the team entered just before 6 a.m. and later died of his injuries. No other officers were injured. One suspect was in custody, Stroud said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. The sheriff did not identify the suspect. The warrant was served at a rural residence east of the town of Somerville.

Compiled from wire reports.



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