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Arkansas Department of Correction via AP
Arkansas will reach the end of an aggressive execution schedule Thursday as it prepares for a fourth lethal injection in eight days after initially planning twice as many over an 11-day period.
Kenneth Williams, 38, is set to die for killing a former deputy warden following an escape. Each of several stay requests has been rejected or overturned, and it will take a court order to prevent his execution at 7 p.m. Thursday. Among the claims Williams' lawyers made Thursday was that a double execution this week was flawed and raised concerns that their client could suffer an exceptionally painful death.
With one of its lethal injection drugs set to expire at the end of April, Arkansas had scheduled eight executions over the final two weeks of April. That would have been the most in such a short period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.
AP Photo/John Minchillo
An Ohio man with mental health problems kidnapped a neighbor who had reported receiving harassing phone calls from him and kept her trapped in a small pit in his backyard shed, where her cries for help alerted others and led to her rescue, police said.
Police in Blanchester, about 40 miles northeast of Cincinnati, said the owner of the shed, Dennis Dunn, was arrested Wednesday morning and was jailed. They said Dunn has a history of mental health issues.
The woman's mother initially reported her missing about 2 a.m. and called police about 4 a.m. to report cries from a shed behind Dunn's house, police said. A responding officer arrived to find the woman in the shed, crouching in a pit about 2 feet wide by 2 feet long and about 3 1/2 feet deep with wood over the top of it.
A Hollywood producer testified Wednesday that a friend claimed to have impersonated the first wife of real estate heir Robert Durst in a telephone call that prosecutors say took place after the wife was dead.
Lynda Obst, whose films include "Sleepless in Seattle" and "Interstellar," took the stand during a pre-trial hearing for Durst, who is charged with shooting Susan Berman in 2000 at her Los Angeles home.
Obst said that Berman, a mutual friend, confided that she had pretended to be Kathleen Durst in a 1982 telephone call to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Center in New York.
Arkansas Department of Correction via AP
Family members of a man whose death was caused by Arkansas condemned killer Kenneth Williams said they've forgiven him — and bought plane tickets so the condemned man's daughter and granddaughter could visit before his scheduled execution Thursday.
Michael Greenwood was killed in a 1999 traffic wreck with Williams, who had escaped from prison, where he was serving a life sentence for killing a cheerleader. Williams faces execution Thursday for killing another man, Cecil Boren, while on the run.
Michael Greenwood's daughter, Kayla Greenwood, told the Springfield News-Leader that she learned a few days ago that Williams has a 21-year-old daughter, Jasmine, whom he hasn't seen for 17 years and a 3-year-old granddaughter he's never met.
Jim Rogash/Getty Images, File
Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL player and convicted murderer found hanging by a bedsheet in prison last week, will be the subject of an upcoming true crime book by best-selling author James Patterson.
An armed, overnight standoff with a suspect in the deadly shooting of a Delaware state trooper in a Wawa parking lot ended Thursday at a house 15 miles away. Police shot and killed the suspect who had shot at officers multiple times, Delaware State Police said.
The barricade situation unfolded after Cpl. Stephen Ballard, 32, was shot dead shortly after noon Wednesday in the parking lot of the Wawa Wawa convenience store in Bear, Delaware. A struggle ensued as Ballard had investigated two men in a car. Ballard, an 8-plus year veteran assigned to Troop 2, Glasgow, never had the chance to pull his weapon, authorities said.
Police caught up to one unidentified suspect a short time later but the second suspect got away on foot.
The fleeing suspect eventually arrived at a home in the Brick Mill Farm Development in Middletown, Delaware.
Charles Dharapak/AP, File
President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order creating an accountability and whistleblower protection office at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Trump, who made improving veterans' care a prominent issue as he campaigned for office, was issuing the order Thursday while visiting the VA. It will create a new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection in the department. The eventual head of the office will report directly to VA Secretary David Shulkin.
Shulkin said the purpose is to help identify "barriers" that make it difficult to fire or reassign employees deemed unfit to work at the department and serve veterans.
Bloomberg via Getty Images, File
Britain must answer questions about its plans to exit the European Union before negotiations on the split can begin, and can't be under any illusions that it will retain the same rights and privileges as a member of the bloc, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday.
Speaking to German lawmakers ahead of a weekend summit in Brussels to discuss the so-called Brexit, Merkel said in unusually frank language that she had "the feeling that some in Britain still have illusions, and that is a waste of time."
While Europe still envisions Britain as a close partner, Merkel said once it leaves the EU it will be an outsider and as such "can and will not have the same rights or be in a better position than a member of the European Union."
NBC 5 / Family Photo
A 16-month girl who went missing from her home in a southwest suburb of Chicago was found dead early Thursday morning.
After 30 hours of searching, the body of Semaj Crosby was discovered inside a home in the 300 block of Louis Road in Joliet Township around 12 a.m., according to the Will County Sheriff's Office.
An evidence van could be seen parked outside the home where Semaj was found and yellow crime tape surrounded the area early Thursday.
The house is right in the center of what had been a massive search area scoured by more than 100 officers, multiple teams of bloodhounds, divers and volunteers
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
Gift Ngoepe might not have had the weight of the world on his shoulders but he felt like a continent was counting on him.
Ngoepe, the first African to reach the major leagues, singled in his first plate appearance and Josh Harrison led off the bottom of the first with a home run Wednesday night to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Ngoepe was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and entered the game in fourth inning as part of a double switch and finished 1 for 2 with a walk. The 27-year-old South African, who signed with the Pirates in 2008 as an amateur free agent, led off the fourth with a hit off winless Cubs ace Jon Lester.
AP Photo, File
The bell atop the Pike County Courthouse last tolled the fate of a condemned killer in the 1980s.
On Wednesday, it rang again.
Eric Frein, the would-be revolutionary who shot two Pennsylvania troopers, one fatally, in a late-night attack at their barracks, was sentenced to death late Wednesday. The jury's decision that Frein should die by lethal injection brought a shouted "yes!" from a gallery that included high-ranking state police brass, the slain officer's mother and the trooper who suffered debilitating injuries after Frein shot him with a high-powered rifle.
Getty Images, File
A union representing Walt Disney World workers said 500 Haitian workers at the theme park resort could be affected by a Trump administration proposal to end protective status for Haitians.
Union officials and Haitian workers on Wednesday demanded that the Trump administration extend the protected status for about 50,000 Haitian workers living in the United States under temporary protected status.
The designation is given to citizens of other countries who face economic hardship because of natural disasters or conflicts.
The world’s largest Starbucks is coming to Chicago.
The coffee chain announced Wednesday that it will open a Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago on North Michigan Avenue in 2019.
According to company, the four-story roastery will be a “fully sensorial coffee environment dedicated to roasting, brewing and packaging its rare, small-batch Starbucks Reserve coffees from around the world.”
AP Photo/Eric Risberg
President Donald Trump is lashing out at a judge's ruling blocking his attempt to strip funds from "sanctuary cities" that don't cooperate with U.S. immigration authorities, calling it "ridiculous" and vowing to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
It was the third Trump executive order on immigration to be thwarted by the federal courts.
Here is a look at Tuesday's ruling and what lies ahead: