AP News in Brief 01-12-19

Wisconsin man arrested in teen’s abduction, parents’ deaths

BARRON, Wis. — A 21-year-old man killed a Wisconsin couple in a baffling scheme to kidnap their teenage daughter, then held the girl captive for three months before she narrowly managed to escape and reach safety as he drove around looking for her, authorities said.

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Jayme Closs, 13, was skinny, disheveled and wearing shoes too big for her when she approached a stranger and pleaded for help Thursday near the small, isolated north woods town of Gordon, where police said she was being held by Jake Thomas Patterson.

Within minutes, Patterson was pulled over and jailed on kidnapping and homicide charges for what authorities said was his meticulously planned shotgun attack at the girl’s home in October.

The news that Jayme was safe set off joy and relief 60 miles away in her hometown of Barron, population 3,300, ending an all-out search that gripped the state, with many people fearing the worst the longer she was missing.

“My legs started to shake. It was awesome. The stress, the relief — it was awesome,” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said, describing the moment he learned Jayme had been found.

US starts withdrawing supplies, but not troops, from Syria

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military said Friday it has started pulling equipment, but not troops, out of Syria as a first step in meeting President Donald Trump’s demand for a complete military withdrawal. The announcement fueled concern about how quickly the U.S. will abandon its Kurdish allies, amid contradictory statements recently by administration officials on an exit timetable.

The withdrawal began with shipments of military equipment, U.S. defense officials said. But in coming weeks, the contingent of about 2,000 troops is expected to depart even as the White House vows to keep pressure on the Islamic State group. Once the troops are gone, the U.S. will have ended three years of organizing, arming, advising and providing air cover for Syrian, Kurdish and Arab fighters in an open-ended campaign devised by the Obama administration to deal the IS group a lasting defeat.

Uncertainty over the timing and terms of the Syria pullout have raised questions about the Trump administration’s broader strategy for fighting Islamic extremism, including Trump’s stated intention to reduce U.S. forces in Afghanistan this summer.

U.S. airstrikes against IS in Syria began in September 2014, and ground troops moved in the following year in small numbers.

Rookie cop following in dad’s footsteps shot at crash scene

DAVIS, Calif. — Natalie Corona was a rising star in her police department with a sparkling smile and a huge heart who had followed in her father’s footsteps and became an officer, fulfilling a lifelong dream just a few months ago when her dad pinned the badge on her uniform.

On Friday, her father and a stunned community mourned the 22-year-old who was shot and killed on duty while responding to a multi-vehicle crash in the small college town of Davis, California.

“She’s the cop that any community would want,” said Lt. Paul Doroshov, a spokesman for the Davis Police Department. “Everybody who met her liked her.”

The shooter opened fire as Corona was investigating a three-car crash in the city west of Sacramento, a college town that is home to the University of California, Davis where there has not been a fatal police shooting in nearly 60 years.

The suspect, who has not been identified, was later found dead inside a home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a short standoff with officers, the Davis Police Department said Friday.

From wire sources

New Florida governor suspends sheriff over school massacre

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — New Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel on Friday over his handling of February’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, saying he “repeatedly failed and has demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership.”

The Republican governor flew to Fort Lauderdale three days after taking office to remove the Democratic sheriff, appointing a former police sergeant to serve as acting sheriff. Gregory Tony, 40, worked for Coral Springs police for 12 years before leaving in 2016 to start a company specializing in active-shooter training. He is the first African-American to serve as Broward’s sheriff.

DeSantis said during a news conference outside the sheriff’s office headquarters that Israel failed to keep families and children safe before and during the Feb. 14 shooting that left 14 students and three staff members dead inside the three-story freshman building.

“The neglect of duty and incompetence that was connected to the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has been well documented, and I have no interest in dancing on Scott Israel’s political grave,” DeSantis said. “Suffice it to say, the massacre might never have happened had Broward had better leadership in the sheriff’s department.”

During the shooting, then-Broward Deputy Scot Peterson, who was assigned to the school, drew his gun but took cover instead of charging inside. Seven other deputies who arrived within minutes also failed to enter, even as officers from neighboring Coral Springs went into the building.

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Hamilton’s star reprising role in Puerto Rico to raise funds

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Lin-Manuel Miranda is reprising his lead role in the hit musical “Hamilton” on Friday night to start a two-week run in Puerto Rico expected to raise thousands of dollars for artists and cultural groups struggling in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Dozens of fans chatted excitedly outside the show’s venue in San Juan as they waited in line to pick up tickets that ranged from $10 to $5,000.

Among them was Yolanda Hernandez, a nurse from the northwest coastal town of Aguadilla who drove nearly two hours to the island’s capital for the show.

“He’s a Boricua and we want to see that Boricua!” she exclaimed, using the popular nickname for a Puerto Rican. “We’re waiting to hear that beautiful voice. I’ve never been to a musical.”

Hernandez, like several other Puerto Ricans who waited for the doors to open, snapped up her ticket thanks to a lottery launched by “Hamilton” organizers who are selling 275 tickets for every performance at $10 each.

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Jury decides to strip Mongols biker gang of trademark logo

LOS ANGELES — A California jury decided Friday that the Mongols motorcycle gang should be stripped of its trademarked logo in a first-of-its-kind verdict, federal prosecutors said.

The jury in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana previously found Mongol Nation, the entity that owns the image of a Mongol warrior on a chopper, guilty of racketeering and conspiracy.

The verdict caps an unusual decade-long quest by prosecutors to dismantle the gang responsible for drug dealing and murder by seizing control of the trademark they said was core to the gang’s identity.

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Gang members were “empowered by these symbols that they wear like armor,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Welk said.

The forfeiture still needs to be approved by a federal judge and the practical effect of such an order was not immediately clear. When prosecutors announced the charges in 2008 they said a forfeiture order would allow any law enforcement officer to stop a gang member and “literally take the jacket right off his back,” according to court papers.