Missing girl's mom rearrested in slaying
PHOENIX - The mother of an Arizona girl missing for nearly a year was rearrested in the case Thursday on suspicion of first-degree murder and child abuse.
Police in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale announced at a news conference that Jerice Hunter was taken into custody without incident at her home in Mesa.
Hunter, 38, was indicted earlier in the day by a Maricopa County grand jury, even though the body of 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley hasn't been found.
County Attorney Bill Montgomery said his office "has successfully prosecuted cases in which the victim's body was never found."
Investigators believe Shockley's body was disposed of days before Hunter reported her missing Oct. 11 and told police that she left Jhessye with the girl's older siblings while she ran an errand and returned to find her gone.
3rd Yosemite visitor dies of hantavirus
LOS ANGELES - Two more cases of hantavirus have been linked to Yosemite National Park, including one that resulted in the death of a West Virginia resident, officials announced Thursday.
Three people have now died of the rare, rodent-borne disease after visiting the park this summer; five others have been sickened.
Public health agencies across the United States have been warned about the outbreak, and alerts were issued internationally this week.
85 mph speed limit is highest in US
AUSTIN - Texas will soon open a stretch of highway with the highest speed limit in the country, giving eager drivers a chance to rip through a trip between two of the state's largest metropolitan areas.
The Texas Transportation Commission has approved a speed limit of 85 mph for a 41-mile toll road several miles east of the increasingly crowded Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio. The new road opens in November.
Most highways in the U.S. top out at 75 mph, and there are no longer any roads in the U.S. with no speed limit. Some highways in rural West Texas and Utah have 80 mph speed limits.
Fort Hood suspect offered guilty plea
FORT HOOD - The Army psychiatrist charged in the 2009 Fort Hood massacre twice offered to plead guilty and "accept full responsibility" for the crime earlier this year, his lead defense attorney said Thursday.
After the government turned him down in January, Maj. Nidal Hasan offered to plead guilty again last month without a deal - and also tried to challenge Army rules that prohibit a judge from accepting a guilty plea to murder in a death penalty case, said Lt. Col. Kris Poppe.
The revelations came before the judge, Col. Gregory Gross, ruled Hasan must be clean-shaven or have his beard forcibly shaved before his murder trial, which is on hold again because Hasan's attorneys will appeal the order.
Drew Peterson guilty in 3rd wife's death
JOLIET - Drew Peterson - the crass former Illinois police officer who gained notoriety after his much-younger wife vanished in 2007 - was convicted Thursday of murdering a previous wife.
Peterson, 58, sat stoically looking straight ahead and did not react as the judge announced jurors had found him guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Her relatives gasped, then fell into each other's arms and wept.
Illinois has no death penalty, and Peterson faces a maximum 60-year prison term when sentenced on Nov. 26.
After Peterson's fourth wife, 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, vanished in 2007, Savio's body was exhumed, re-examined and her death reclassified as a homicide.