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briefs

Woman’s execution halted in Texas

– The first woman scheduled to be executed in the U.S. since 2010 won a reprieve Tuesday, mere hours before she was scheduled to be taken to the Texas death chamber.

State District Judge Larry Mitchell, in Dallas, rescheduled Kimberly McCarthy’s punishment for April 3 so lawyers for the former nursing home therapist could have more time to pursue an appeal focused on whether her predominantly white jury was improperly selected on the basis of race. McCarthy is black.

Dallas County prosecutors, who initially contested the motion, chose to not appeal the ruling.

Girl, 8, found locked in wooden cage

A woman in Albuquerque, N.M., and her boyfriend locked up an 8-year-old girl with developmental disabilities in a wooden cage, then left her alone while they headed out to watch a movie, police said.

Cindy Patriarchias and Edmond Gonzales took her three children to an elementary school Friday to watch the movie, a police report said. Patriarchias’ estranged husband called police when he arrived at the school and learned that the 8-year-old girl was unattended at the mobile home.

Police discovered a large homemade wooden cage in the corner of a bedroom with the girl inside. The girl didn’t appear to have any physical injuries, police said.

More Scout records ordered released

A Minnesota judge has ordered the release of confidential Boy Scout records on sexual abuse from 1999 to 2008.

Ramsey County Judge Elena Ostby issued the order Tuesday in a lawsuit involving a former Burnsville scoutmaster who is serving a 21-year prison sentence for molesting four scouts. The lawsuit was filed by one of the victims.

Police: Frugal band used cheaper flares

Penny-pinching by a band known for its onstage pyrotechnic displays may have cost more than 230 people their lives at a nightclub in southern Brazil, according to a police inspector.

Inspector Marcelo Arigony said Tuesday that members of the band knowingly bought flares meant for outdoor use because they cost a mere $1.25 a piece, compared with the $35 price tag for an indoor flare.

“The flare lit was for outdoor use only, and the people who lit them know that,” Arigony said.

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