National news briefs
Worker admits cutting babies' spines at abortion clinic
Philadelphia • A medical assistant admits she cut the spines of at least 10 babies during unorthodox abortions at a Philadelphia clinic.
Adrienne Moton says Kermit Gosnell, a doctor and the clinic owner, did the same to terminate pregnancies. Gosnell is on trial for murder in the deaths of a patient and seven babies.
Prosecutors say he killed late-term babies after they were born alive, in violation of state abortion laws. Gosnell's lawyer denies the murder charges and disputes the gestational ages, calling them inexact estimates.
Moton, 35, says she took a cellphone photograph of one baby because she thought he could have survived, given his size and pinkish color. She had measured the fetus at nearly 30 weeks. Jurors saw the photograph Tuesday.
Moton has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and awaits sentencing.
School shooter insults victims families as he gets 3 life sentences
Chardon, Ohio • A teenager cursed and gestured obscenely as he was given three life sentences Tuesday for shooting to death three students in an Ohio high school cafeteria.
T.J. Lane, 18, had pleaded guilty last month to shooting at students in February 2012 at Chardon High School, east of Cleveland. Investigators have said he admitted to the shooting but said he didn't know why he did it.
Before the case went to adult court last year, a juvenile court judge ruled that Lane was mentally competent to stand trial despite evidence he suffers from hallucinations and psychosis.
Lane calmly unbuttoned his blue dress shirt Tuesday to reveal a T-shirt reading "killer," which the prosecutor noted was similar to one he wore during the shooting.
At one point, he swiveled around in his chair toward the gallery where his own family members and those of the slain teenagers were sitting and spoke suddenly, surprising even his lawyer.
"The hand that pulls the trigger that killed your sons now masturbates to the memory," he said, then cursed and raised his middle finger toward the victims' relatives.
Grandma convictedof shooting grandson to death at her home
Pontiac, Mich. • A 75-year-old woman was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder for killing her teenage grandson last spring in her Detroit-area home, after jurors rejected her claim that she shot him six times in self-defense.
Sandra Layne cried quietly when she heard the verdict, which was delivered during the first full day of jury deliberations. She was also found guilty of using a firearm during a felony and likely faces at least 14 years in prison for the death of her grandson, Jonathan Hoffman.
Layne fired 10 shots at her 17-year-old grandson, striking him six times over a six-minute span during an argument last May in her home in West Bloomfield Township. She never disputed that she killed him, but she testified that she did so because he had hit her and she feared for her safety.
The evidence included a recording of Jonathan Hoffman's desperate 911 call in which he pleads for help, even as more shots are fired.
"My grandma shot me. I'm going to die. Help. I got shot again," he told the dispatcher as he gasped for air.
Jurors declined to comment following the verdict, but they told attorneys during a private meeting that the 911 call was crucial to their decision. It revealed that Layne had left Hoffman bleeding but then returned with more gunfire.
"They said they played it over and over and over again" in the jury room, prosecutor Paul Walton said. "One of the big things they said is when you hear the shots on the [call] there's no struggle."