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Alberto Morales had escaped custody while being transferred. Miami Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Dept., AP
Alberto Morales had escaped custody while being transferred. Miami Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Dept., AP
Posted: February 17, 2013

Texas officers kill escapee

GRAPEVINE, Texas - The Florida prisoner who escaped in Texas on Monday after stabbing a detective with his eyeglasses was fatally shot early Saturday after refusing to cooperate with officers and lunging at them, police said.

Alberto Morales, 42, was shot in a wooded area of Grapevine, a community near the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Grapevine Police Sgt. Robert Eberling said at a Saturday news conference that officers instructed Morales to lie on the ground and show his hands, but he rushed toward them. Morales, 42, was unarmed at the time of the shooting and was not wearing handcuffs. He was holding some sticks, Eberling said.

The stabbed detective, who was one of two transferring Morales by car to Nevada to serve time for a sexual assault, was released from the hospital Saturday, a spokeswoman said. - AP

Man arrested in 2006 death

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. - A California man has been arrested in southwest Florida on an outstanding murder warrant in the death of his ex-wife, who went overboard from an Italian cruise ship seven years ago.

Lonnie Kocontes, 55, was taken into custody Friday night by federal marshals and was being held without bail at the Pasco County Jail, authorities said.

He was charged with one count of special-circumstances murder for financial gain, according to Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

Kocontes' ex-wife, Micki Kanesaki, 52, plunged into the Mediterranean on May 26, 2006, off the Island Escape, which was sailing between Sicily and Naples, according to the FBI. Her body washed ashore the next day in Calabria, Italy.

Prosecutors said Saturday that Kocontes strangled Kanesaki and threw her overboard. The investigation started in 2008 when Kocontes began transferring more than $1 million from Kanesaki's accounts into accounts he held with his new wife. - AP

Retrial ordered in child deaths

MOBILE, Ala. - An Alabama appeals court has thrown out the 2009 conviction and death sentence of a man in the killing of four small children tossed off a coastal bridge. The court ruled that publicity surrounding the case made it impossible for Lam Luong to have a fair trial in Mobile, where the crime occurred.

The state Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a new trial for Luong, whose wife testified he laughed when he told her their children - ages 4 months to 3 years - would never be found.

Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich and a spokeswoman for the state attorney general did not immediately return phone calls Saturday.

Greg Hughes, Luong's lead defense attorney, applauded the decision. "Maybe this will save his life," Hughes said. At the trial, Hughes told jurors Luong was on drugs when he threw the children into the Mississippi Sound. - AP

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