Pregnant mom, three children die in house fire

Published May 22, 2007

DETROIT - In the deadliest of three Detroit fires within 24 hours, a pregnant woman and her three children died Monday in a house fire that was apparently sparked by an unattended barbecue grill, a fire official and neighbors said. Fire department spokeswoman Katrina Butler said the fire was classified as accidental, but there were no working smoke detectors in the house. Butler said the children's father, David Soto, was hospitalized in critical condition with burns over about 80 percent of his body. Killed were Maria Soto, pregnant with her fourth child, and children Istel, Isis and Johan - ages 8, 6 and 2, respectively. Two other fires on Sunday claimed one life each.


Man accused of trying to kill family

BOSTON - A father accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill his estranged wife, mother-in-law and 7-year-old daughter appeared in federal court Monday. John Orlowski, 49, is charged in an attempted murder-for-hire plot uncovered last week when the mother of the gang member who was asked to do the killing called the FBI. Orlowski was ordered held without bail pending a detention hearing Thursday, and his lawyer says he intends to plead not guilty.


Storms head for devastated town

GREENSBURG, KAN. - Residents and workers cleaning up since Greensburg was nearly flattened by a tornado this month were asked to evacuate Monday as severe wind, rain and hail were forecast to move into the area. Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the adjutant general, said the lack of shelter and the piles of debris left after the May 4 tornado have officials concerned about what would happen if severe weather were to strike again. The National Weather Service said there was a chance for severe storms Monday and today. The May 4 storm killed 12 people in south-central Kansas.


Man enters plea in boys' cases

POTOSI, MO. - A former pizzeria manager accused of abducting two boys pleaded not guilty Monday to kidnapping, sexually abusing and trying to suffocate the one he is suspected of holding for four years. Michael Devlin, 41, heard the charges against him from a jail cell in Potosi via a video feed. Devlin faces charges including kidnapping and forcible sodomy in three Missouri counties, plus federal charges of pornography and transporting a boy across state lines.


Houston: A woman who rode in the cab of a truck during the nation's deadliest human smuggling attempt and testified against the driver was sentenced Monday to the three days in jail she had already served. Fatima Holloway of Ohio had pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge related to the 2003 smuggling attempt that resulted in the deaths of 19 illegal immigrants.

Farmers Branch, Texas: A federal judge on Monday blocked enforcement of a voter-endorsed ordinance preventing apartment rentals to most illegal immigrants in this Dallas suburb, set to take effect today.

Moscow, Idaho: Police said Monday that the man suspected of killing two people and himself late Saturday first killed his wife at home. Jason Hamilton, 36, said during a court-ordered mental evaluation three months ago that if he committed suicide, he would try to take a large number of people with him, police also said.