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By Times Staff Writer
Published January 26, 2008
Sami Al-Arian loses appeal on testimony
A former University of South Florida professor who pleaded guilty to aiding a Palestinian group was not immune from a subpoena forcing him to testify in an unrelated investigation of Muslim charities, an appeals court ruled Friday. Sami Al-Arian, 50, had argued the terms of the plea agreement exempted him from testifying before a grand jury in an investigation of Islamic charities in Virginia. A federal judge found Al-Arian guilty of contempt when he refused to testify. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Al-Arian's appeal Friday, ruling that federal prosecutors did not violate the plea agreement by forcing him to testify in the Virginia case. Al-Arian was acquitted on eight counts of aiding the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. After a six-month trial, jurors deadlocked on nine other counts. He pleaded guilty in 2006 to one count of providing services to members of the terrorist group, rather than face a retrial.
2 teens arrestedin fatal shooting
Pinellas County sheriff's detectives have arrested two teens in connection with a killing in the 11800 block of 127th Avenue N, in an unincorporated area near Largo. Just before 11 p.m. Thursday, deputies found 18-year-old Brennon Darvane Days of Largo unconscious in the driver's seat of a 1996 Chrysler. He had been shot in the head. On Friday afternoon, deputies arrested two teens near the shooting: Cory J. Rocker, 16, of 2065 24th St. South West in Largo and Mitterrio D. Banks, 15, of 11683 129th Ave. N in Largo. Police say they were robbing Days when a gun was fired. They both face a first-degree murder charge and were taken to the Pinellas County Juvenile Assessment Center.
Woman arrested after cruiser is hit
A 54-year-old woman was arrested on charges of driving under the influence Thursday after ramming the side of a Hillsborough sheriff's deputy's cruiser. According to sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter, Deputy Jeffrey Catlin was away from his cruiser, assisting another deputy, when Jeannine Canfield sideswiped Catlin's empty cruiser, causing about $750 in damage. She continued down the road. Catlin caught up with her about a quarter-mile away. Investigators said Canfield's eyes were watery, her speech was slurred and her breath smelled of alcohol. Sheriff's officials said she was too impaired to perform routine DUI testing and refused to provide breath testing.