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Teen faces kitten cruelty charges

NORTH HOLLYWOOD - Animal cruelty charges are pending against a North Hollywood teenage boy who allegedly tossed a kitten into traffic from his family van, Animal Services officials said Monday.

The boy was arrested Sunday after he was seen by an Animal Services Department officer dropping the four-week kitten in the 13100 block of Sherman Way, department spokeswoman Capt. Karen Knipscheer said.

The teen had found the cat and was upset his parents wouldn't let him keep it, she said.

- Daily News

Identity thief sentenced to jail

A Nigerian national involved in a security breach at ChoicePoint Inc. that foreshadowed a recent larger-scale identity theft at the personal information databank was sentenced Monday to 5 1/2 years in prison.

Adedayo Benson was living in Encino when he was arrested five years ago. Federal prosecutors said Benson and his sister were involved in the theft of thousands of people's personal information, causing a loss of more than $1 million.

Benson, now 38, was sentenced in downtown Los Angeles by U.S. District Judge Gary Feess.

His sister, Bibiana Benson, was previously sentenced to 54 months in prison. She is currently appealing her sentence, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Krause.

- City News Service

Music teacher misses verdict

A man who taught music classes in the Los Angeles Unified School District was convicted in absentia Monday of sexually abusing a young family member and physically abusing another.

A judge issued a no-bail bench warrant for David Gray after he failed to show up for the verdict, said Deputy District Attorney Ann Marie Wise.

The jury deliberated just over a day before convicting Gray, 54, of two counts of lewd conduct with a child and one count each of forcible lewd act with a child, aggravated child molestation, corporal injury to a child and child abuse. All of the charges are felonies.

He is due to be sentenced Friday, when he faces a minimum of 15 years to life in state prison, according to Wise.

- City News Service

LAPD identifies shooting victim

NORTH HOLLYWOOD - Police on Monday identified a man shot to death last weekend during an argument.

Tony Thomas, 45, of Pacoima, was shot during during the confrontation in an alley near the intersection of Lankershim Boulevard and Morrison Street around 10 p.m. Saturday, said LAPD Detective Mike Coffey.

He suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died later at Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. Thomas was with between five to 10 people when he was shot. But police had no suspects or a motive.

- Daily News

Jury ends first day of deliberations

VAN NUYS - Jurors in the Robert Blake trial ended their first full day of deliberations Monday in an attempt to decide whether to convict the actor of charges that he murdered his wife nearly four years ago.

The seven-man, five-woman jury remained behind closed doors for the entire day and did not send any communications to the court.

Blake's attorney, M. Gerald Schwartzbach, passed the day waiting alongside reporters in the courtroom in anticipation of any potential developments.

The jury, which includes a postal worker, a retired machinist, a legal secretary and a truck driver, will deliberate daily between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. until a verdict is reached or an impasse declared.

- City News Service

Veterinarians sue West Hollywood

WEST HOLLYWOOD - A veterinary medical association sued West Hollywood on Monday, alleging that a city ban on animal declawing conflicts with the state's professional veterinary code.

The California Veterinary Medical Association's lawsuit alleges that the April 21, 2003, ordinance is invalid because it conflicts with the California Veterinary Practice Act and the Business and Professions Code.

Mayor John Duran defended the law and said it prohibits animal cruelty.

- Associated Press
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 8, 2005

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