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Midday News Update

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

(Grand Junction-AP) -- Convicted killer Michael Blagg has been
turned over to the state Department of Corrections to begin serving
a life prison sentence for murder.
Mesa County sheriff's deputies flew with Blagg from Grand
Junction to Denver yesterday. He was admitted into the Denver
Reception and Diagnostic Center.
A jury convicted the 41-year-old Blagg of first-degree murder
last week in the November 2001 death of his wife, Jennifer.
Michael Blagg will undergo several evaluations and interviews
before officials decide where he'll be imprisoned.
Inmates are usually assigned to a prison within 30 days of
arriving at the center in Denver.

(Golden-AP) -- Authorities have opened a homicide investigation
after finding a dead man on the estate of Colorado Rockies player
Larry Walker.
The man was identified as 36-year-old James Martinez Junior of
Denver.
The results of an autopsy were not immediately released.
Walker discovered the body Sunday while four-wheeling with his
daughter. He is not considered a suspect.
Police say the body could have been there five or six days. It
was found about 350 yards from Walker's house near Evergreen.
Asked jokingly whether he did it, Walker replied angrily that he
was shaken by the discovery.
Walker is recovering from a groin injury and has not played yet
this season.

(McAlester, Oklahoma-AP) -- The star prosecution witness in the
Terry Nichols murder trial is under cross-examination by defense
attorneys today in Oklahoma.
Michael Fortier says he never spoke to Nichols about the plan to bomb the Oklahoma City federal building. He also says he didn't talk with Nichols about anti-government views or the 1993 government siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.
Prosecutors say the bombing was a twisted plan to avenge the
deaths of about 80 Branch Davidians at the end of the siege.
Fortier testified yesterday that bomber Timothy McVeigh told him
Nichols was deeply involved in the bomb plot.
Nichols has already been convicted of federal charges in Denver.
He now faces 161 state counts of first-degree murder.

(McAlester, Oklahoma-AP) -- An Oklahoma judge has denied a
request to drop state murder charges against Oklahoma City bombing
conspirator Terry Nichols.
Nichols' attorneys requested dismissal of the case, saying
prosecutors failed to provide them with evidence crucial to the
defense.
The evidence includes alleged security videotapes of the bombing
of the Oklahoma City federal building. There was a report the tapes
showed more than one person getting out of the truck driven to the
scene by Timothy McVeigh moments before the bombing.
Federal authorities say there are no such tapes, and judge
Steven Taylor says there's no evidence the tapes exist.
Nichols has already been convicted on federal charges in Denver.
He now faces 161 state counts of first-degree murder.

(Knoxville, Tennessee-AP) -- A University of Colorado official
was eliminated today during final interviews for the presidency of
the University of Tennessee.
John Petersen of the University of Connecticut was chosen
instead.
Fifty-one-year-old astronomer Jack Burns is C-U's number two
administrator as vice president for academic affairs and research.
He had pledged to be a president for the entire Tennessee
system, to work with the Legislature, donors, staff and students
and to ``celebrate'' accomplishments from athletics to academics.
The U.T. system includes five campuses and 42-thousand students.

(Littleton-AP) -- Classes are back in session at Columbine High
School, after a day off to remember the victims of a deadly
shooting there five years ago.
Some 12-hundred people attended a memorial service at a park
near the school last night.
Shooting survivor Anne Marie Hochhalter received a standing ovation as she addressed the crowd from her wheelchair. She was paralyzed from the waist down in the attack.
Hochhalter told the audience of losing all feeling in her lower
body after being shot in the back, and of losing her mother to
suicide six months later.
Still, she spoke of moving forward and being strong.
The mother of slain valedictorian Lauren Townsend -- Dawn Anna
-- also read to the crowd from a collage of remembrances honoring
the dead.

(Denver-AP) -- Two Fremont County men have been indicted on
charges of stealing bank account information from the mail and
using it to write more than 21-thousand dollars worth of checks.
Twenty-nine-year-old Donald Ray Brozek of Penrose and
24-year-old Bryan Lynn Brozek of Canon City each face 84 federal
counts of bank fraud.
Each charge carries up to 30 years in prison and one million
dollars in fines.
Donald Brozek was also indicted on a charge of possession of
methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and one million dollars in fines.
The indictments allege the bogus checks were written between
October and December of last year, mostly at Wal-Mart and home
improvement stores.


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