PHOENIX – The same jury that convicted Jodi Arias of first-degree murder last week took less than three hours Wednesday to determine that the former waitress is eligible for the death penalty in the killing of her one-time lover.
The swift verdict sets the stage for the final phase of the trial to determine whether the 32-year-old Arias should be sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty for the 2008 murder of Travis Alexander.
Prosecutors will call Alexander’s family and other witnesses in an effort to convince the panel Arias should face the ultimate punishment.
WHO warns of deadly new virus
A deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS has apparently spread from patients to health care workers in eastern Saudi Arabia, health officials said Wednesday.
The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia told world health officials that two health care workers became ill this month after being exposed to patients with the virus. One is critically ill. Since September 2012, the World Health Organization has been informed of 40 confirmed cases of the virus, and 20 of the patients have died.
Fishes flee warmer native habitats
Fish and other sea life have been heading toward the Earth’s poles for more than three decades, a mass migration to cooler waters that provides more evidence of a rapidly warming planet and has repercussions for fish harvests around the globe, according to a first-of-its-kind study released Wednesday.
The study, in the journal Nature, found that significant numbers of 968 species of fish and invertebrates examined by University of British Columbia researchers moved to escape the warming waters of their original habitats.
LA police blow up homemade bombs
A police bomb squad detonated 17 homemade explosive devices found in an apartment after a routine traffic stop revealed a potentially dangerous liquid in a man’s car, authorities said. Robert Wilson, 29, was taken into custody and booked on felony possession of a destructive device, police said.
West, Texas, rescuer enters firearms plea
A first responder who helped evacuate people ahead of a deadly explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a charge he possessed bomb-making materials. Bryce Reed was arrested last week and indicted Tuesday on a charge of possessing an unregistered firearm. Authorities have not announced any link between Reed and the April 17 blast in West, Texas, that killed 14 people.