Andre 3000 charged with driving over 100 mph

People_Andre_3000_NY108AndrĂ© Lauren Benjamin, also known as Andre 3000 of the hip hop duo Outkast, is free on bond after police charged him with driving 109 mph on a highway in suburban Atlanta.

Henry County police claims Benjamin, 33, was speeding in his Porsche in a 65-mph zone south of Atlanta about 12:30 a.m. Saturday.

Benjamin is free on $1,200 bond pending a court date April 29. Here is the report.

The real Charlie Free

Hazen You may have read Sunday's story about Jack Hazen (left), a man who robbed a Pompano Beach 7-Eleven back in 1975, escaped from prison, then lived 32 years on the lam under the name Charles Danny Free until being caught again in 2008.

 He's being released today from Dade Correctional Institution in Florida City and will be paroled to Panama City, where he'll have a job and his wife and grown daughters will take care of him.

A colleague who read my story raised a good question: Has anyone ever tracked down the *real* Charles Danny Free, the man whose ID Hazen lifted in order to start his second life? 

A few keystrokes later, I found Charles Danny Free, 63, a nice Southern gentleman living in his hometown of Anderson, S.C. He picked up on the second ring. 

 "I lost my driver's license, and several people used it as their own," he said, explaining he had never been to Jacksonville, where Hazen said he picked up Free's ID at a motel.

Hazen's quiet life as Charlie Free in Las Vegas turned out to be the least of the real Free's problems. Free was a truck driver, and he got fired from two jobs because other people who stole his identity racked up several DUIs.

"It took several weeks to clear that up, but by then they had taken my truck away from me," Free said.

He didn't seem too impressed by Hazen's double life.

"What he did doesn't concern me," Free said.

Woman kills 2 family members, tells police she's Jesus

Kern1 A Georgia woman who killed two relatives sat in an interrogation room - blood streaked on her hands and face - and told police she was Jesus.

Amy Kern, left, said she drove 400 miles overnight to Port St. Lucie to kill her father because he was Satan and she was Jesus.

When she couldn't find him, she started down Interstate 95, shooting at vehicles.

She then decided she needed to kill her grandmother, but first she stopped at her aunt's house.

She fatally shot her aunt's boyfriend, William Chapman, 59, before continuing to the home of her grandmother, Donna Kern, 80.

She beat her grandmother - who fought back - with a tire iron.

Family members said Amy Kern is bipolar schizophrenic, who suffered from post partum depression after having a baby.

She had tried to check herself into a mental hospital in Georgia after midnight on Saturday.

 The Palm Beach Post has the story.

Heroin has presidential seal

  0123091obama1Barack Obama's inauguration was a real rush for some people, including some drug-slangers in upstate New York, who took the opportunity to brand their baggies with the new president's name.

The Smoking Gun has the story.

Reminds me of one of my favorite posts from this here blog -- the green crack bust on St. Patrick's Day.

'Burn his penis so it belongs to me'

Heartonfirescreensaverscreenshot An Australian woman has been charged with murder after setting her husband's penis on fire, killing him.

Rajini Narayan, 44, allegedly got jealous after seeing her husband hug another woman. After her husband went to sleep, Narayan doused his genitals in alcohol and lit him on fire.

The blaze also caused about $700,000 worth of damage to their townhouse.

Police said Narayan told them: "I just wanted to burn his penis so it belongs to me and no one else." 

This story takes last week's penis-biting several steps too far.

*Thanks to Lisa's lede list for the tip

Drugged holy water makes Top 10 border busts

Everyone loves Top 10 lists as we head into the New Year. Here's one from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, highlighting its newsiest busts of 2008:

Download cbps_top_10_enforcement_events_of_2008.htm

Think my favorite is No. 10, where a dude tried to bring bottles of "holy water" in through the U.S.-Canada border in upstate New York.

Upon further review, the holy water turned out to be liquid ketamine, the animal tranquilizer sometimes used as a human date-rape drug.

Oldest prisoner's rap sheet "like a book"

Naau837_rememb_dv_20081219165015 The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting obit over the weekend, memorializing Nicholas Montos, who died this month at 92 -- the oldest prisoner in Massachusetts.

Montos' criminal career began when he stole a saxophone at age 14 and stretched seven decades. He served time in Alcatraz, escaped from chain gangs and twice found himself on the FBI's Most Wanted list.

His specialty was cracking safes -- and it turned out to be his last act of criminal mischief.

According to the obit, Montos was 78 years old in 1995 when he tried to break in to the safe at a Newton, Mass., antiques store. The granny who owned the shop smacked Montos over the head with a bat, and the coppers hauled him off to jail, where he died Dec. 3, 2008.

*Thanks to Taylor for the tip.

Simpson jury foreman speaks to The Herald (UPDATED)

85413391a2aa47748196b530407ace72 We were the first (and, so far, only) media outlet to interview one of the jurors who convicted O.J. Simpson and a co-defendant of armed robbery and kidnapping this weekend in Las Vegas.

I spoke with Paul Connelly, the jury foreman, on Saturday afternoon about the case, the closed-door deliberations and the verdict.

We'll be posting the story and the exclusive interview later tonight at (UPDATE: Here it is.)

A snippet: Connelly said jurors debated Simpson's role first, reaching unanimous guilty decisions on each count, before finding the same conclusions for co-defendant C.J. Stewart.

They decided to press on through the night Friday because they were close to a verdict and did not want to risk having a juror be tainted or not show up if deliberations carried over the next day.

"That's not to say we rushed it," Connelly told The Miami Herald. "We wanted to make dang sure in our
hearts that the verdict was pertaining to the charges and evidence and laws in this case."

"We were robbed by f-in' O.J."

340correction_oj_simpsonsffstanda_2 O.J. Simpson's armed robbery and kidnapping trial is underway in Las Vegas, and the theatrics are already in full force (Crime Scene will soon be there, reporting live).

Memorabilia dealer Bruce Fromong had chest pains on the witness stand, delaying his testimony while paramedics attended to him. The judge has scolded lawyers and cops alike during the proceedings.

And the biggest thing to come out yet: A 202-page transcript of secret recordings made by Thomas Riccio, a convicted felon who set up the Sept. 2007 confrontation at the Palace Station Hotel-Casino and then sold portions of the tape to (Scroll down to "Documents" on the link above for the transcripts.)

In the audio recording immediately after the alleged robbery, Fromong and Riccio are in the hotel room, and Fromong accuses Riccio of setting him up, then Fromong says,

"I guess we'll all have a good story to tell our f-ing grandkids. We were robbed by f-in' O.J."

The Courthouse News Service has a fuller review of the recordings, and the Associated Press has the latest from inside the courtroom.   

(Pool photo of Simpson and his Miami attorney, Yale Galanter.)

Teacher busted on prostitution charge

Laurieannlewis I know public educators don't make a lot of money, but sheesh.

Laurie Ann Lewis, a drama teacher in Cleveland, Texas, apparently tried to earn a little extra scratch with the world's oldest profession, according to the Houston Chronicle.

According to authorities, an undercover cop arrested Lewis at a hotel after the two met online.

Ready for the money quote? "She looks like your typical soccer mom. She's a very nice, quiet neighbor."

I played rec soccer as a kid. Don't think I ever saw anyone quite like her.

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