Nation Briefly

NEW YORK – A grand jury Friday voted to indict three of the five police officers involved in the killing of an unarmed black man on his wedding day, according to attorneys in the case.

The incident in November sparked widespread accusations of racism and police brutality and was followed by weeks of rallies in memory of 23-year-old Sean Bell, who died in a torrent of 50 bullets.

The official grand jury decision is sealed until Monday, when the district attorney’s office will announce the criminal charges against the three officers who were responsible for firing the most shots: Michael Oliver, who fired 31 times, Gescard Isnora, who fired 11, and Marc Cooper, who fired four.

The city is doing what it can to compensate the families of the two auxiliary police officers killed during Wednesday night’s shooting rampage in Greenwich Village, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday. Because volunteer officers Nicholas Pekearo and Eugene Marshalik, were not eligible for line-of-duty death benefits, Bloomberg said he would grant a special award for heroic acts that carries a $66,000 payment for each of their families. Bloomberg said the city would help the families apply for other benefits, estimating each would receive about $411,000.

A major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, Safeway, Kroger and other store brands recalled 60 million containers of canned pet food in North America on Friday after reports of kidney failure and deaths. An unknown number of cats and dogs suffered kidney failure and about 10 died after eating the affected pet food, Menu Foods said. Menu Foods said a full list of brand names and lot numbers covered by the recall was supposed to be posted at early today. Consumers can also call 866-463-6738.

A man accused of stabbing his 11-month-old son in the back with a kitchen knife faces four felony charges, including attempted murder, after police arrested him Friday morning. Kevin Chandler, 30, was captured in suburban Lawrence, according to police in Speedway, where the boy was injured Wednesday outside his mother’s apartment. Chandler allegedly stabbed his son, dumped the boy out the window of a parked car and onto the pavement, then drove off, police said. The baby was in good condition Friday after surgery.

A woman who set a devastating Reno hotel fire was sentenced to 12 consecutive life terms Friday, one for each person killed in the blaze. Valerie Moore pleaded guilty in January to the Halloween night murders but said at her sentencing hearing that she did so only to avoid the death penalty. Prosecutors could seek the death penalty if Moore seeks an appeal. Twelve people died of asphyxiation and 31 were injured in the fire at the Mizpah Hotel.

The man accused of setting a blaze that killed five firefighters last fall is being charged with additional counts linking him to 13 other fires, authorities said Friday. Raymond Lee Oyler was charged in an amended complaint filed this week with 19 additional counts of arson and of using an incendiary device in setting the other fires, a district attorney spokeswoman said. The 36-year-old mechanic faces 23 arson counts, 17 counts of using an incendiary device and five counts of first-degree murder.

A military panel at Fort Campbell found a 101st Airborne soldier guilty of three counts of negligent homicide but not guilty of premeditated murder in the deaths of three Iraqi detainees. The panel returned the verdict in the court-martial of Staff Sgt. Ray Girouard, 24. He was also found guilty of obstruction of justice for lying to investigators and a conspiracy charge for trying to conceal the crime.

From Herald news services

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