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Man guilty in plot to kill ex-wife, girlfriend

Published July 23, 2006

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - A jury convicted a man of trying to persuade his girlfriend to kill his ex-wife, then trying to hire a hit man from behind bars to kill both.

Stuart Shader, 35, was found guilty of three counts of soliciting to commit first-degree murder and two counts of attempting to commit murder. He faces as long as 24 years in prison on each of the five counts when sentenced Sept. 15.

Last year, Shader wanted his then-girlfriend Shawna Nelson, who practiced witchcraft, to sneak into his ex-wife's house and put pits of the poisonous belladonna plant into a can of ground coffee, according to court records. He told Nelson he would "understand" if she chose to kill herself or go to Mexico afterward.

Nelson went to the authorities instead, and Shader landed in jail. There he tried to have both of them killed, prosecutors said. An inmate tipped investigators, so when Shader thought he was hiring an Aryan Brotherhood hit man, he was really dealing with an undercover police officer.

Two Kansas girls found starving in the basement

WICHITA, Kan. - Two emaciated girls who told police they ate only when their father wasn't traveling on business were hospitalized after police found them in an advanced state of starvation.

"It's the worst case of malnutrition I've ever seen," said police Lt. E.J. Bastian. The 6- and 7-year-old girls were found Friday in a home's basement, were they were kept.

The girls' stepmother, whose biological children were found healthy and well-fed upstairs, was taken in for questioning. Their father, traveling on business, was to be questioned when he returned, police said.

Social workers discovered the girls after receiving a tip and checking on their welfare. They then called police.

The two girls told police they ate whenever their father was home, which wasn't a lot. With the father gone this week and next week, "they were really hoping they could eat this weekend," Bastian said.

The house had plenty of food, and the stepsiblings, a 4-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy, were well cared for, Bastian said. They have been placed in protective custody, where the emaciated girls also will go once they leave the hospital.

City may evict Boy Scouts council over policy on gays

PHILADELPHIA - The city said it will evict a Boy Scout council from its publicly owned headquarters or make the group pay a fair rent price unless it changes its policy on gays.

The Boy Scouts' Cradle of Liberty Council, the country's third-largest, has been battling with the city for more than three years over the policy, which like the national Scouts organization forbids gays from being leaders.

City Solicitor Romulo L. Diaz Jr. wrote a letter to William T. Dwyer III, president of the Cradle of Liberty Council, saying the council's "discriminatory policies" violate city policy and law, and that city officials have not been assured the group will not discriminate.

Unless the city gets a "fair-market rent agreement," the council will be evicted, the letter says.

The group has made its headquarters on a half-acre owned by the city in the upscale Philadelphia Art Museum area since 1928, when the city council voted to allow the Scouts to use the property rent-free "in perpetuity." The Scouts pay for building upkeep.

Council spokesman Jeff Jubelirer criticized the move.

"With an epidemic of gun violence taking the lives of Philadelphia's children every day, it is ironic the administration chose this time to destroy programming that services 40,000 children in the city," Jubelirer said.

[Last modified July 23, 2006, 01:33:23]

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