Newtown probe: Shooting took under 5 minutes
Authorities say Adam Lanza killed himself after killing 20 students and six women at a Connecticut elementary school.
March 28th, 2013
01:51 PM ET

Newtown probe: Shooting took under 5 minutes

  • Prosecutors release new documents related to December's shootings at school in Newtown, Connecticut
  • Documents: Investigators found a gun safe in shooter Adam Lanza's room
  • Documents: 1,600 rounds of ammunition found in Lanza's home
  • Police say Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother, then 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut before killing himself
  • People who knew Lanza described him as quiet, smart, socially awkward. Connecticut's medical examiner has said he was told that Lanza had Asperger's syndrome.
  • Live updates below. Also, read the full story; and see the documents

[Updated at 1:51 p.m. ET] This live blog is wrapping up, but please check out our full story for the latest about today's document release.

[Updated at 1:48 p.m. ET] One of the warrants released Thursday cites an interview with a person who said that Lanza rarely left his home, that he was a shut-in, "and an avid gamer who plays Call of Duty, amongst other games." "Call of Duty" is a military-style war game.

In the house, according to the documents, were several books - one titled "NRA guide to the basics of pistol shooting," another about Asperger syndrome and one on autism. Both are developmental disorders that are not typically associated with violence.

Police also found a 2008 New York Times article about a shooting at Northern Illinois University. Police took from the house an NRA certificate for Nancy Lanza, a receipt for a shooting range in Oklahoma, a book titled "Train your brain to get happy," and three photographs "of what appears to be a deceased human covered with plastic and what appears to be blood."

As noted below, the NRA issued a statement today saying neither Lanza nor his mother were members.

[Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET] The main details of the shooting have long been known: The carnage began on the morning of December 14, when Lanza fatally shot his 52-year-old mother, Nancy Lanza, with a .22 caliber rifle.

But some of the details are new. "There was no indication of a struggle," according to a statement from Stephen J. Sedensky III, state's attorney for the judicial district of Danbury. The statement came with Thursday's release of five search warrants and related documents.

Lanza shot his mother in the forehead, one of the search warrants says.

Laden with weapons and ammunition, Lanza then went to the elementary school, shooting his way into the building where he killed the 26 victims with a Bushmaster .223 caliber model XM15 rifle, according to Sedensky.

The rampage ended when Lanza, using a Glock 10 mm handgun, shot himself.

Attached to the rifle police found a 30-round capacity magazine that still had 14 bullets Sedensky said, and a search of Lanza's body found that he was carrying more ammunition for the handguns as well as three more 30-round magazines for the Bushmaster, each fully loaded.

"Located in the area of the shootings were six additional 30-round magazines," Sedensky said in his statement, three of them empty and the others holding 10, 11, and 13 rounds. Police found 154 spent .223 caliber casings at the school.

All of the guns appear to have been bought by Lanza's mother, the state's attorney said.

[Updated at 12:59 p.m. ET] We've gotten all the documents together in one place. Here are the documents that Connecticut prosecutors released today in the Newtown investigation.

[Updated at 12:35 p.m. ET] Back to today's Newtown document release. The National Rifle Association has issued a statement, apparently reacting to what the papers say about investigators finding NRA certificates for Lanza and his mother, Nancy.

"There is no record of a member relationship between Newtown killer Adam Lanza, nor between Nancy Lanza, A. Lanza or N. Lanza with the National Rifle Association," the NRA statement said. "Reporting to the contrary is reckless, false and defamatory."

This page from one of the search warrants released in the Newtown case Thursday mentions investigators found an "Adam Lanza National Rifle Association certificate."


Holmes' lawyers blast Colorado insanity laws
Lawyers for James Holmes say parts of the state's insanity defense laws are unconstitutional.
March 1st, 2013
10:02 PM ET

Holmes' lawyers blast Colorado insanity laws

Lawyers for James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado, mass shooting suspect, took aim against the state's insanity defense laws in court documents made public Friday.

"Colorado's statutory scheme regarding the affirmative defense of insanity, and the introduction of any 'mental condition' evidence at trial or sentencing, is unconstitutional in many individual respects," they wrote in a 60-page motion and brief filed Thursday.

The lawyers said parts of the state's insanity defense laws are unconstitutional.

Among other issues, they cited the requirement that a defendant "cooperate" with examining psychiatrists as a violation of the defendant's privilege against compelled self-incrimination.

Prosecutors have not said whether they will pursue the death penalty against Holmes, who is charged with 166 counts, including murder, attempted murder and other offenses in the July 20 shooting rampage in a movie theater that left 12 people dead and scores injured.

Holmes is awaiting formal arraignment on the charges.

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Filed under: Colorado • Courts • Death Penalty • Justice
March 1st, 2013
05:05 PM ET

Car bombs kill 5 in Iraq

Five people were killed and 34 were wounded when two car bombs exploded Friday at a livestock market in Diwaniya, about 140 kilometers south of Baghdad, Iraq, police and health officials said.

Diwaniya is a predominantly Shiite city.

On Thursday, a car bomb exploded at a livestock market in al-Aziziya, about 80 kilometers north of Kut, killing two people and wounding 19 others.

Suit filed over corpse in rooftop cistern
February 28th, 2013
06:16 PM ET

Suit filed over corpse in rooftop cistern

Two former guests have filed suit against the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, where the body of a 21-year-old woman was found in mid-February in a rooftop water tank.

Steve and Gloria Cott filed suit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Elisa Lam's decomposing body floated inside a water tank for as long as 19 days while guests used water from it to brushed their teeth, bathe and drink.

The hotel did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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Filed under: California • Courts • Justice • Los Angeles • Uncategorized
Aide: CIA director vote to be held Tuesday
The Senate Intelligence Committee vote on the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director is expected to take place Tuesday.
February 27th, 2013
06:50 PM ET

Aide: CIA director vote to be held Tuesday

The Senate Intelligence Committee vote on the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director is expected to take place Tuesday, a congressional aide said. The vote had originally been planned for Thursday.

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Filed under: Politics
Jack Lew approved as Treasury secretary
The Senate has approved Jack Lew, 57, as Treasury secretary.
February 27th, 2013
06:13 PM ET

Jack Lew approved as Treasury secretary

The Senate voted on Wednesday to confirm Jack Lew as U.S. Treasury secretary. Lew, 57, most recently served as the White House chief-of-staff.

As a former budget director for Presidents Obama and Bill Clinton, Lew has overseen budget talks in times of deficits and also surpluses.

As the secretary of the Treasury, Lew will run U.S. domestic financial policy and is charged with collecting federal taxes and managing public debt, among other duties.

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Filed under: Economy • Politics
2 police officers killed in Santa Cruz
Police arrive on the scene in the aftermath of the shooting Tuesday of two police officers in Santa Cruz, California.
February 26th, 2013
10:07 PM ET

2 police officers killed in Santa Cruz

Two officers with the Santa Cruz Police Department in California were fatally shot Tuesday, as was the lone suspect, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak told reporters.

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Filed under: California • Crime • Gun violence
February 26th, 2013
08:33 PM ET

Shooting on campus of Coastal Carolina University

Police were searching for whoever shot an individual Tuesday night on the campus of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina.

The incident took place at 7:22 p.m. at University Place Apartments, which is one of the school's residence halls, Doug Bell, a school spokesman, told CNN.

The suspected shooter left in a vehicle, said Bell, who added that the school was asking students and university personnel to stay inside.

The victim was taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, he said.

"The shooting is not ongoing," the dean of students' Twitter page said. "Police continue to search for one suspect. Stay indoors."

More than 9,000 students attend the school, which is located on 630 acres about 15 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach.

Coastal Carolina University was founded in 1954 as Coastal Carolina Junior College. It became an independent university in 1993.

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Filed under: South Carolina • U.S. • Uncategorized
Senate OKs Hagel as defense chief
Hagel's challenges include winding down U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan
February 26th, 2013
05:12 PM ET

Senate OKs Hagel as defense chief

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Chuck Hagel as defense secretary after a bruising political fight. The former Nebraska senator, a Republican, will succeed Leon Panetta at the Pentagon.

Hagel's nomination was subject to harsh criticism from some Republicans over past statements on sensitive political and national security matters. His shaky performance at his confirmation hearing and subsequent political wrangling over his selection and on unrelated matters did not help his case.

But efforts to further delay his nomination were swept away on Tuesday as the Senate confirmed him, 58 to 41.

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Peterson gets 38 years for ex-wife's death
February 21st, 2013
04:52 PM ET

Peterson gets 38 years for ex-wife's death

Former Chicago-area police sergeant Drew Peterson was sentenced Thursday to 38 years in prison - with credit for nearly four years in jail - for the 2004 murder of his ex-wife, Kathleen Savio, a prosecution spokesman in Illinois said.

Peterson plans to appeal the sentence, one of this lawyers said.

Peterson was convicted of murder last September. Savio - Peterson's third wife - was found dead in her dry, clean bathtub on March 1, 2004

The headline-grabbing case did not arise until after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared in October 2007. It was during the search for Stacy Peterson - who has not been found - that investigators said they would look again into Savio's death, which was initially ruled an accidental drowning.

In February 2008, authorities altered their judgment and ruled Savio's death a homicide. Peterson was later arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

February 20th, 2013
09:53 PM ET

Plane carrying 7 crashes in Georgia

A jet carrying seven people crashed Wednesday in east Georgia, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The Hawker Beechcraft 390/Premier I jet landed at about 8:30 p.m. at Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport in Thomson, and ran off the end of the runway, said FAA's Kathleen Bergen.

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Filed under: Aviation • Georgia
February 15th, 2013
03:13 PM ET

Passenger sues Carnival over 'floating hell' cruise

Not even 24 hours after reaching land, a passenger on this week's infamously crippled Carnival cruise in the Gulf of Mexico has filed a lawsuit.

Passenger Terry Cassie of Texas has filed a lawsuit against Carnival in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida. The suit describes Carnival's Triumph cruise ship as a "floating hell."

The Triumph was towed into port in Alabama late Thursday night, five days after it lost power in a engine-room fire. More than 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members lived in squalid conditions after the outage, with overflowing commodes splashing floors with waste as the ship listed, passengers reported.

After more than 2 decades, U.S. recognizes Somalia
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on Thursday in Washington.
January 17th, 2013
04:29 PM ET

After more than 2 decades, U.S. recognizes Somalia

For the first time in more than two decades, the United States has granted official recognition to the Somali government in Mogadishu.

"There is still a long way to go and many challenges to confront, but we have seen a new foundation for that better future being laid," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday in a joint news conference with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who stood beaming at her side.

Clinton praised Somalia's actions in reducing the level of extremism since she took office in January 2009, when "(militant Islamist group) Al Shabaab controlled most of Mogadishu and south and central Somalia, and looked like it would gain more territory."

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January 14th, 2013
02:30 PM ET

Coroner amends Natalie Wood's death certificate

Citing questions about bruises on the body of actress Natalie Wood, whose body was found floating off Catalina Island in 1981, the Los Angeles County coroner's office has changed the cause of death from "accidental drowning" to "drowning and other undetermined factors."

"With the presence of fresh bruises in the upper extremities in the right forearm/left wrist area and a small scratch in the anterior neck, this examiner is unable to exclude non-accidental mechanism causing these injuries," wrote Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran, the chief medical examiner.

"The location of the bruises, the multiplicity of the bruises, lack of head trauma, or facial bruising support bruising having occurred prior to entry in the water. Since there are unanswered questions and limited additional evidence available for evaluation, it is opined by this medical examiner that the manner of death should be left as undetermined."

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Filed under: California
January 4th, 2013
02:42 PM ET

Congress passes scaled-back Sandy aid bill

[Updated at 2:43 p.m.] After days of controversy surrounding a canceled vote on a Superstorm Sandy aid package, the new Congress has approved part of the plan.

The U.S. House on Friday approved a $9.7 billion Superstorm Sandy aid package, 354-67, and the Senate gave its own approval, unanimously and without debate, in the afternoon.

Lawmakers from both houses will weigh in on $51 billion in additional Sandy aid on January 15, but that larger portion will likely face much closer scrutiny in a Congress anticipating more acrimony over spending and debt.

Frustrated victims of the massive October storm in the Northeast watched this week as a vote on a $60 billion measure was canceled just before the previous Congress wrapped up its work. Politicians from hard-hit New York and New Jersey blasted House GOP leadership for canceling the vote, until House Speaker John Boehner promised to hold the new votes this week and January 15.

May 14th, 2012
12:49 PM ET

Colorado legislature meets on civil unions

The Colorado legislature met Monday in extraordinary session to consider a number of bills that were not brought to the floor last week, chief among them a civil-unions bill that has strong bipartisan support.

House Speaker Frank McNulty, who opposes civil unions, made no secret that he also opposed the special session, which was called by Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat.

"Planting corn today," the Republican speaker tweeted on Sunday. "What I should be doing tomorrow insread (sic) of a special session for the legislature."

He expressed similar sentiments on Monday, when he tweeted, "Special legislative session on same sex marriage brought to you by Colorado Gov @hickforco and cost picked up by Colorado families."

But the bill is not about same-sex marriage, which is banned under Colorado's constitution. Instead, it is about civil unions. And that was not the only bill that Hickenlooper said he wished would have passed during the regular session.

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Filed under: Colorado • Politics • Same-sex marriage
January 27th, 2012
04:32 AM ET

Truth Squad: Fact checking Thursday's debate

CNN examines statements by Republican presidential candidates during Thursday night's CNN/Republican Party of Florida debate in Jacksonville, Florida.

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich both accused each other of having financial interests in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The statements: "We discovered, to our shock, Gov. Romney owns shares of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Governor Romney made $1 million off of selling some of that. Governor Romney has an investment in Goldman Sachs, which is, today, foreclosing on Floridians." - Gingrich

"First of all, my investments are not made by me. My investments, for the last 10 years, have been in a blind trust, managed by a trustee. Secondly, the investments that they have made, we learned about this as we made our financial disclosure, have been in mutual funds and bonds. I don't own stock in either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. There are bonds that the investor has held through mutual funds. And, Mr. Speaker, I know that sounds like an enormous revelation, but have you checked your own investments? You also have investments through mutual funds that also invest in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." - Romney FULL POST

January 24th, 2012
03:47 AM ET

Truth Squad: Fact checking Monday's debate

CNN examines statements by Republican presidential candidates during Monday night's CNN Republican debate in Tampa, Florida.

Mitt Romney said Newt Gingrich lobbied during Medicare Part D battle

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney accused former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of having lobbied in favor of Medicare Part D, the federal program that provides drugs for senior citizens. Romney said other congressmen said they were lobbied by Gingrich at the time.

The exchange between the two candidates included the following  statements: "You have congressmen who say that you came and lobbied them with regards to Medicare Part D." - Romney

"I didn't lobby them." - Gingrich

"It is not correct to describe public citizenship, having public advocacy as lobbying. Every citizen has the right to do that." - Gingrich

"If you're getting paid by health companies, if your entities are getting paid by health companies that could benefit from a piece of legislation and you then meet with Republican congressmen and encourage them to support that legislation, you can call it whatever you'd like. I call it influence peddling. It's not right." - Romney FULL POST

December 29th, 2011
02:39 AM ET

Tick tock! Iowa lottery jackpot deadline nears

year ago Thursday, someone walked into a QuikTrip in Des Moines, Iowa, picked up a lottery ticket and hit the jackpot: $16.5 million.

For the next year, officials with the Iowa Lottery waited for the person or persons to come forward.

That wait ends at 4 p.m Thursday.

If the ticket goes unclaimed, it will be the second time this week that someone has forfeited a mega payday. On Monday, a $77 million lottery ticket went unclaimed in Georgia.

"Someone legitimately won this money and we want them to take it home," Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said in a news release. "But you must present the winning ticket to the lottery in order to claim the prize."

Few financial advisers would consider the $1 spent on the ticket to have been a wise investment. The buyer overcame 1 in 10.9 million odds to win, said Mary Neubauer, a spokeswoman for the state lottery. If the ticket is redeemed, the winner would owe 25% in federal taxes and 5% in state taxes, she said.

But the possibility of taxes and the absence of a ticket haven't deterred the hopeful from lining up - just in case. "We've been getting calls from the public all day long today," Neubauer said Wednesday night. "The closer that the deadline gets, the more people seem to be calling."

Some of the calls are from people who say they may have lost the ticket, or put it through a washing machine, she said. They are walked through a series of questions to de

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Filed under: U.S.
April 13th, 2010
05:57 PM ET

Jury holds Boy Scouts negligent in sex-abuse case

Jurors in Portland, Oregon, awarded a former Boy Scout $1.4 million after finding Tuesday that the organization was negligent in allowing a Scout leader who was a sex offender to have contact with him.


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