Church elder charged in boy's death
MILWAUKEE, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- A Milwaukee minister was charged Tuesday with physical abuse of a child in the death of an 8-year-old autistic boy who died during a prayer healing session.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said pastor Ray Hemphill sat on Terrance Cottrell, Jr.'s chest during the Friday healing service. The Milwaukee medical examiner said the child suffocated.
Hemphill, 45, was charged with physical abuse of a child causing great bodily harm, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
Cottrell died during the healing service at the Faith Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith -- a Milwaukee storefront church.
The Journal-Sentinel said it learned Hemphill told investigators he would sit on the boy's chest for up to two hours at a time during the nightly prayer services that started three weeks ago.
Three women -- including the boy's mother -- sat on the child's arms and legs while Hemphill tried to remove "evil spirits" from him.
According to jail records, Hemphill weighs 157 pounds. The boy's weight was not disclosed.
DNA clears man of three rape convictions
ST. LOUIS, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- He spent 17 years in a Missouri prison for three rapes he didn't commit, but thanks to DNA tests Lonnie Erby became a free man this week.
Erby was freed after genetic testing proved he had not committed two of the three rapes for which he was convicted, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said. Officials accepted his innocence of the third crime.
The 1985 serial rapes of three girls occurred in separate St. Louis incidents.
The newspaper said Erby won the right to DNA testing with the help of the Innocence Project, a non-profit group formed by defense lawyers, but over the objections of prosecutors.
He had been sentenced in 1986 to 115 years in prison.
"I've got dreams, you know. I want to go places and do things that I never got the chance to do," the 49-year-old Erby told the Post-Dispatch.
U.N. council denounces Iraqi POW slayings
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council Tuesday denounced as a "grave violation of human rights" killings of Kuwaiti prisoners by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime.
A recent report from Secretary-General Kofi Annan said bodies of some of the 605 Kuwaitis missing since Iraq's 1990 invasion had been found in Iraq.
"Members of the council strongly condemned the grave violation of human rights and the killing of Kuwaiti and other third-country nationals by the former regime of Iraq also in disregard of the provisions of international humanitarian law," the council said in a statement issued after a closed-door briefing by the High-Level Coordinator on the issue, Yuli Vorontsov.
"They expressed their deep condolences to the families of those missing persons who have now been identified," said the statement, read by Deputy Permanent Representative Fayssal Mekdad of Syria, this month's council president.
"Members of the Council expressed their continuing concerns for the plight of the families of those missing persons whose whereabouts are still unknown," the statement added.
U.N. council protects staff, humanitarians
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council Thursday unanimously approved a resolution saying attacks on humanitarian workers in conflict situations are war crimes.
The vote came just one week after the bombing of U.N. headquarters in Iraq killed 23 and injured about 100 people.
The United States objected to a paragraph in the original draft resolution saying such intentional attacks against humanitarian workers or peacekeeping mission personnel were war crimes, "in accordance" with the charter of the United Nations and the recently formed International Criminal Court, which the U.S. opposed.
The 15-member council eventually agreed on a U.S.-sponsored substitute paragraph eliminating the court reference.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, "Last week's vicious attack on our headquarters in Baghdad ... has brought this vital issue to the forefront of our priorities. It shows us what we must expect if we allow the impression to continue gaining ground that international workers are a soft and cost-free target."