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New Haven Completes Blizzard Clean-up


For nine days, the City of New Haven has removed snow that fell during the blizzard of 2013 and the effort is now completed, according to a news release from the city.

The city recorded 34 inches of snow in a 24-hour span and crews worked around the clock in 12-hour shifts starting on Friday, Feb. 8, according to city officials.

The estimated clean-up cost is $1.6 million.

All parking bans in New Haven have ended, but city officials ask residents to use common sense when parking their vehicles on the street.

If you block the passage of an emergency vehicle, you will be towed.

“This is not an issue of convenience, this is an issue of public safety,” said Mayor John DeStefano Jr.

Garbage pick-up will resume on Tuesday, Feb. 19 and will be delayed by a day because of the holiday on Monday.

New Haven Public Schools will also re-open on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Photo Credit: Audrey Washington, NBC Connecticut

TV Anchor Accused of Choking Wife


A TV anchor for WCBS in New York has been charged in connection with a domestic incident at his Darien home early Sunday morning.

Darien police have charged Rob Morrison with strangulation, threatening and disorderly conduct after responding to the couple's home at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday. 

Morrison is accused of choking his wife, Ashley Morrison, a CBS Moneywatch anchor, and police said he became “increasingly belligerent” over the evening and used both hands to choke her.

She had red marks n her neck, but did not require medical treatment, according to a news release from police.

Ashley’s mother called police at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday to report the fight.

Morrison posted a $100,000 bond and was released, and he is due in court on Tuesday. 

"Rob and Ashley Morrison are cooperating fully with the authorities to insure (sic) that all of the information necessary to properly evaluate this unfortunate incident is made available, " said Attorney Rob Skovgaard, in a statement on behalf of the couple.  "The Morrisons are confident that a full review of this matter will show that the allegations have been greatly exaggerated."

Both Rob and Ashley Morrison are former NBC Connecticut employees.

CBS 2 declined to comment on the charges.

Photo Credit: Darien Police

Half of Parents Join Facebook to Spy on Kids: Report


Although some people believe that 30 and 40-somethings join Facebook to reconnect with old high school flames, at least one report says that half of all parents are doing it to keep tabs on their children.

According to the Education Database Online blog, about half of all parents said part of the reason they joined was to see what their kids were up to.

Another 43 percent admitted to checking their kids' status updates every day. And probably the worst of all, 92 percent on social media have "friended" their children.

Not surprisingly, one in three teens say they have been embarrassed on social media by a parent. Thirty percent of teens also responded they would de-friend parents if they could. 

At the age of 13, when teens are allowed to join Facebook, about 65 percent request their parents as friends. That number drops to 40 percent by age 20.

   Image: OnlineEducation.net

Parents obviously want to stay in touch with their children, and social networks are a way to do that. 

The only problem occurs when parents are too nosy or too involved in their kids' lives — such as posting embarrassing photos or constantly messaging.

Like most things, parents have to learn when to back away and let their children act on what they have been taught at home.

Hopefully, that means being responsible and respectful online.

Boeing Finalizing Fix for Dreamliner Battery: Report


Boeing will present a plan to temporarily fix its troubled Dreamliner battery to the government as early as this week, the Seattle Times reported Monday

The worldwide fleet of the Boeing 787 aircraft, known as the Dreamliner, has been grounded because of two fires in the lithium-ion batteries.

The temporary fix involves placing the battery in a heavy-duty steel box – with a hose to vent any gases if a fire does occur, the Times reported.
Fort Worth-based American Airlines has ordered several dozen Dreamliners with options on dozens more. The first delivery is planned for November 2014.
The fix would require the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration.
"It’s a huge problem for Boeing," said aviation safety expert Denny Kelly. "It’s a huge problem in getting it fixed, and it’s a huge problem in public relations."
Kelly said the public could soon lose confidence in the jet.
"If this goes on much longer, the airlines are going to start cancelling planes and the general public is going to come out and say, 'I don’t want to fly that airplane.'"

A Boeing spokesman did not return a call from NBC 5 DFW.

Rubio Water Bottles Make $125K In Sales


Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s water bottle became a viral sensation after his response to President Obama's State of the Union last week.

But that water bottle is not just a sensation – it’s now making his Reclaim America PAC thousands of dollars in profit.

“So far we've sold over 4,200 water bottles in the last five days, bringing in over $125,000,” Terry Sullivan with the Reclaim America PAC said on Monday.

With a minimum $25 donation, the PAC will send buyers a white water bottle that reads “RUBIO” in big red letters.

The water bottle has been advertised on the PAC’s website and on Rubio’s social media as a way to “send the liberal detractors a message that not only does Marco Rubio inspire you…he hydrates you too.”

Sullivan said the water bottle inspiration came after seeing all the hype from the media and the pundits after Rubio’s drink of water.

During his State of the Union response last week, Rubio lurched forward to grab a drink of water, took an audible gulp, returned the small Poland Spring bottle to a table and continued with his speech, causing a social media explosion. The moment was also immortalized on "SNL."

Rubio himself said via Twitter that the water bottle moment helped him gain more than 13,000 new followers and joked that he would have to start drinking water in the middle of all his speeches.

He then published the picture his own for-sale Rubio water bottle on Twitter, urging his followers to buy the water bottle and quench their thirst for conservative leadership.

Photo Credit: AP

The Darrelle Revis Breakup Dance Continues


When reports broke that the Jets wanted to trade Darrelle Revis last month, the cornerback's response was to tweet that he was speechless. 

He explained that during an interview with the NFL Network on Monday, saying he was struck silent by the fact that the Jets had not communicated with the "best player" on their team about their desire to ship him elsewhere this offseason.

While the team hasn't told him anything that makes him confident he'll remain with the team, he's since spoken with both Rex Ryan and John Idzik and had no particular bones to pick with either man. 

The same can't be said of owner Woody Johnson. Revis said Johnson will be the one deciding whether he stays or goes and that he suspects Johnson isn't interested in paying him the money it will take to keep Revis in green for years to come. 

"That might be a situation, that might be an option," Revis said. 

Revis certainly picked the right heavy for his tale. Johnson has increasingly taken on the befuddled owner role perfected in recent years by Fred Wilpon, screaming from the hilltops that all is well while his team decays and rots around him. 

The fact of the matter is that the Jets probably should trade Revis this offseason. Johnson's willingness to let Mike Tannenbaum wreak havoc on the salary cap in order to try to buy a winner in Ryan's first two seasons has left the team in a state that makes it difficult to pay elite prices for an elite player. 

Tannenbaum also negotiated the Jets into a corner by including a clause in Revis' contract that he can't be given the franchise tag after the season, which means the Jets can't wait and see how his knee holds up before deciding whether to hang onto him. They need to sign him now for big money, trade him now or run the risk of watching Revis return to full strength in 2013 before signing elsewhere without any compensation coming back to the Jets. 

Three pretty terrible choices, but a trade makes the most sense for a team that is rebuilding and still has a good corner in Antonio Cromartie. In the best case scenario, it is their Herschel Walker trade and the return vaults them back to relevance as something other than a punchline in a few years. 

Unfortunately, these are the Jets and that means things aren't quite so simple. Other teams know that the Jets would ideally want to deal Revis before the draft and the X-factor of his health after a torn ACL is going to keep the price lower than it should be for a player of Revis' ability. 

Such is the bed the Jets made for themselves and they are going to have to sleep in it one way or the other. There's no way around that and no way to make it seem like anything other than a bad turn that one of the best players in franchise history will almost certainly be wearing a different helmet in the near future. 

At the very least, though, they could handle the departure with a bit more finesse than they handled the road that brought them here. Revis should be in the loop, the Jets should stop leaking information from every pore and perhaps this can be the start of the road back to respectability instead of another chapter of the big book of Jets dysfunction. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

NYC Subway Heroes Save Stranger Who Falls onto Tracks


Three men jumped onto the subway tracks to save a man who fell off a Manhattan platform early Sunday, barely avoiding the next train rolling into the station. 

A man in his 20s hit his head and stumbled onto the tracks at the 1 train platform at about 2:40 a.m. Sunday at the Columbus Circle station. The next train was schedule to arrive in two minutes. Garrett O'Hanlon, 22, jumped onto the tracks to rescue the stranger.
"I looked over and saw him down there, and everyone started to scream," the Air Force cadet from Dallas told NBC 4 New York Monday. "After that, it was almost like a blur, it happened so quickly." 
Seeing O'Hanlon struggle with the unresponsive and bleeding man, 23-year-old Dennis Codrington jumped in to help, along with his friend from Poughkeepsie, 23-year-old Matt Foley.

O'Hanlon said the man was heavy and he couldn't lift him alone. His friend was happy to help.
"It was really surreal," said Codrington, a personal trainer for the fitness chain Equinox who lives in Manhatan's Washington Heights neighborhood. "I can't tell you what I was thinking when I was down there. The last thing I was thinking was just 'Get the guy off the tracks.'" 
The three men were still struggling to lift the man on the tracks onto the platform when other straphangers pitched in.
"The people on the platform were pulling him up, pulling us up," said O'Hanlon. "It was like collaboration of teamwork."
The three heroes got up just in time. First responders rushed the unconscious man to a hospital. His condition was unclear.

Codrington soon boarded a train to go back to work, and O'Hanlon had a flight to catch back to the Air Force Academy in Colorado.
"To witness something like that, witness someone almost being killed, it just puts a lot of things in perspective for me," said Codrington. 

Conn. Lawmakers Consider Car Smoking Ban


Connecticut lawmakers are considering a state law to make smoking in cars illegal if there is a child under 7 years old inside.

Smoking is already banned in restaurants and businesses in Connecticut and some parents welcome broadening the ban to protect children in cars. 

"We want our kids to be in safe places, always," parent Chris Liss, of Granby, told NBC Connecticut.

A 2006 Harvard University study of smoking in cars shows that even with the windows slightly opened, a single cigarette can produce hazardous levels of contaminants. 

"It's going to help," said Rep. Henry Genga, the bill's sponsor. "No question about it."

But opponents are concerned that a new law may be too intrusive and wonder how it will be enforced. Genga said he has supporters in the law enforcement community who tell him it will be as easy to enforce as the seatbelt law.

The first time someone is caught, they will get a warning. The second time will involve a penalty.

"When you put a child in, you have a responsibility," Genga said. "The right thing to do is to take care of that child."

Lawmakers on the transportation committee will hold a public hearing on the bill Wednesday morning.

Photo Credit: Deklofenak, Shutterstock

Police ID Gunman in OC Shooting Deaths


Four people are dead after a series of shootings and carjackings early Tuesday near the 55 Freeway in southern California's Orange County that began after the shooting death of a woman at a home.

Map: Shooting Investigation Locations

The gunman was identified as Ali Syed, a 20-year-old who lived at the home with his parents. Syed died from a self-inflicted gunshot at an intersection in Orange after a series of carjackings and freeway shootings, according to Orange County authorities.

"There are no other shooters and there is no threat to the community," said Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino.

Investigators responded to at least five locations in connection with the carjackings and shootings, including a home on Red Leaf Lane in Ladera Ranch where police said Syed shot and killed a woman in her 20s.

"I heard the pops, and didn’t know what it was, and then the cops showed up a couple of hours later," said neighbor Jason Glass.

The victim was "shot multiple times," Amormino said. The victim's identity and relationship to the gunman -- a student at Saddleback College -- were not available Tuesday afternoon, but Amormino said she is not Syed's mother.

"It's not known at this time what she was doing in the residence," Amormino said.

Responding deputies were notified the gunman left the residence in his parents' black sport utility vehicle.

The police response in the Tustin area -- about 20 miles north of Ladera Ranch -- began with a carjacking and shots fired report at about 5:10 a.m. near Red Hill and Nisson Road, just off the 5 Freeway. A man was waiting in a vehicle in a Denny's parking lot when he noticed Syed loading a shotgun.

"(The victim) quickly got back into his car and accelerated rapidly," said Tustin Police Chief Scott Jordan. "At the same time, Mr. Syed got out of his car and started shooting into the back of his window, almost as if he was chasing him on foot."

The driver was shot in the back of the head, but drove from the scene, police said.

Syed -- police said he has no prior criminal record -- left the location in the black SUV, which sustained damage, including a flat tire. It was not clear how the SUV was damaged.

Syed abandoned the vehicle and approached a man at a nearby fuel station.

"Mr. Syed said, 'I don't want to hurt you. I just killed somebody. Today's my last day. Give me your keys,'" said Jordan.

The man handed Syed the key to his pickup, which he drove north on the 5 Freeway to the southbound 55 Freeway. Three motorists reported injuries after Syed opened fire at vehicles on the freeway, police said.

Syed returned to the pickup and drove to the Village Way exit in Santa Ana, where a second carjacking and occurred. The carjacking victim was killed in what police described as an execution.

"He confronted our victim, who was in his BMW, and ordered him out of the vehicle," said Santa Ana Police Corporal Anthony Bertagna. "He walks him to the side of the curb and executes our victim."

Aerial video showed a pickup and several patrol vehicles on the exit ramp from the 55 Freeway. The victim was shot three times, Jordan said.

The shooting victim was identified as Melvin Edwards, 69, of Laguna Hills. Edwards was on his way to work in Santa Ana, said Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas.

The gunman drove to a nearby Micro Center electronics store parking lot near Edinger Avenue and Newport Avenue in the victim's BMW, then carjacked another driver, police said. Officers discovered two gunshot victims at the Micro Center, one of whom was pronounced dead at the scene just east of the 55 Freeway.

The deceased victim was identified as Jeremy Lewis, 27, of Fullerton.

Colleagues told NBC4 the victims at the Micro Center lot worked for a plumbing contractor in Rancho Cucamonga. Lewis was shot and killed was just arriving for work at a hotel near the Micro Center. Lewis' co-worker suffered a graze wound to the arm when he responded to the gunfire.

"It was his vehicle that Mr. Syed then entered," Jordan said. "Many calls were coming in and the California Highway Patrol got in behind the stolen vehicle."

The quickly developing situation came to an end in Orange, when Syed exited onto eastbound Katella Avenue. Syed "almost instantly" shot himself in the head when he got out of the moving vehicle, Jordan said.

A shotgun was recovered at the location, Amormino said.

Black History Month: Reporters Story Turns Personal

Black History Month 2013 | While covering a completely separate story at O'Hare, reporter Christian Farr was introduced to Tuskegee Airmen Jim Warren and learned something personal.

Nissan's Silicon Valley Robots

It's a big day for Nissan, and the auto giant is coming to Silicon Valley to celebrate. Scott Budman shows us why they picked Sunnyvale - and it has everything to do with local techies.

LAPD Chief Discusses Dorner Case Review


LAPD Chief Charlie Beck called Tuesday morning for a "rational discussion" of the issues raised during a deadly manhunt for a fired officer who outlined a revenge plot against law enforcement agents and their families.

Beck spoke about the Christopher Dorner investigation and the reward connected to the Southern California manhunt at a Tuesday morning news conference.

Manifesto for Murder: Timeline of Events | Full Manifesto | Manhunt Map

Beck was joined at the news conference by an LAPD sergeant and captain identified in former officer Christopher Dorner's manifesto. The LAPD members were under protection during the manhunt for Dorner, who outlined plans to target law enforcement officials and their families as part of the revenge plot that ended with a shootout near Big Bear.

"We all sign up for some degree of risk," Beck, whose name also appeared in the Dorner document, said at the news conference. "Our families don't sign up for that. Our children don't sign up for that. These 50 families we protected -- think about their children."

The news conference came one week after the manhunt ended at a cabin in the Big Bear area. Dorner died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a shootout with San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies, according to investigators.

Beck on Tuesday addressed the reopening of the investigation -- a move he announced during the nearly week-long search -- into Dorner's 2008 firing. The fired officer was found to have falsely reported a fellow officer for excessive use of force.

Then Chief William Bratton dismissed Dorner based on a police panel's finding Dorner had made a false excessive force report against his training officer.

"I'm very confident the board was run very well, that it was done by the rules," said LAPD Captain Phil Tingirides, who headed the panel.

His wife, Sgt. Emada Tingirides, worked Harbor Division with Dorner and recalled him asking her if racism was behind the misconduct charge against him.

"I told him flat out, 'Christopher, the complaint process is a process,'" Emada Tingirides said.

Dorner's appeals were rejected by both a superior court and an appellate court.

Chief Beck appointed attorney Gerald Chaleff to make another review and report to the LAPD Office of the Inspector General -- the body has oversight of the department's internal disciplinary process -- before it is released to the public at a police commission meeting, Beck said. The findings will be the subject of public comment so "everyone can see the transparency with which we address this," Beck said.

"Nothing should be considered closed and done," Beck said. "It's about fairness, and doing the right things for the right reasons."

Beck did not provide an estimate on the timeline for the review, but said the investigation will require at least "several months."

Beck also addressed the $1 million reward offered for information in the manhunt. The agencies -- about 30 -- involved in the reward will provide a recommendation to Beck.

"Not only is this reward the largest in local law enforcement history, it's also the most complicated," Beck said. "It is my desire that the reward money be used. We generated countless tips because of it. It had its desired effect."

The search for Dorner began when he was identified as the suspect in the  Feb. 3 shooting deaths in Irvine of Keith Lawrence and his fiancée Monica Quan. Four days later, Dorner shot and killed a Riverside police officer in what investigators described as an ambush at a stoplight during the manhunt.

Earlier Feb. 7, Dorner was involved in a shooting with LAPD officers in the Corona area. The officers were part of a security detail for one of the subjects mentioned in the Dorner manifesto.

Dorner's burned-out pickup was found near Big Bear later that morning. The search continued through the weekend before a stolen vehicle report led authorities to Dorner.

A San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputy was killed outside the cabin from which Dorner engaged deputies in a shootout. The 33-year-old's charred remains were found after the cabin burned.

Beck opened Tuesday's news conference by reading the names of the four victims.

Body Found Outside Meriden Home


Police are investigating the discovery of a body outside a home in Meriden.

The body of a man was found outside a home near the intersection of Pleasant Street and Olive street around 8:10 p.m. Monday, according to police. The victim has not been identified, but police said the man was in his mid-20s.

Investigators are treating the man's death as "untimely", but have not determined how he died. They said his death was not the result of a suicide. The man's body has been sent to medical examiner's office to determine the cause of death.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/Steve Miller

Jets Drop Several Vets to Create Cap Space


Like the other 31 teams in the NFL, the Jets have until March 12 to make the necessary moves to get their payroll under the league's $121.5 million salary cap for the 2013 season. 

They aren't waiting around to make the moves. The Jets announced four moves on Tuesday that slashed about $30 million from the cap. 

Linebackers Bart Scott and Calvin Pace, safety Eric Smith and tackle Jason Smith were all released and tight end Josh Baker was waived as the Jets tried to unravel the ugly salary cap situation left by former general manager Mike Tannenbaum's machinations. The moves bring the Jets just about in line with the cap, which means they have more work to do if they are going to be able to actually add any players in free agency. 

None of the moves were a surprise. Scott was a liability on anything other than running plays right at him and he wasn't getting any better at this point in his career. 

Pace plays a position that called for great pass rushing ability and showed almost none of it the last two years as the Jets floundered. There probably isn't a Jets fan alive who has a memory of Eric Smith that doesn't include him missing tackles that led to crushing touchdowns (Victor Cruz and Tim Tebow in 2011 are notables on that list) or getting beaten deep down the field on passing plays. 

Jason Smith was acquired simply to get rid of Wayne Hunter and the former second overall pick didn't register at all in his one season with the Jets. Baker is just a guy and the Jets already have plenty of them on the roster. 

There's an old joke about lawyers that asks what you call 1,000 attorneys at the bottom of the ocean. The punchline? A good start. 

You could say the same about Tuesday's moves by the Jets because there's still much to be done to get the Jets pointed back in the right direction. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Kellogg Recalls Special K "Red Berries"


Kellogg Company is recalling several  batches of its Special K Red Berries cereal because they might be contaminated with pieces of glass.

The recall, which is limited to the Red Berries type, was announced on Tuesday.

It involves the following packages:

* Regular retail packages, weighing 11.2 ounces, with the UPC code "38000 59923" on them and the date of Dec. 2, 2013.

* Club store packages weighing 37 ounces, with the UPC code "38000 20940" on them and the date of Nov. 30, 2013.

* Twin pack boxes weighing 22.4 ounces, with the UPC code "38000 78356" on them and the date of Nov. 30, 2013.

Kellogg said the recall was precautionary, because glass was found in a single batch of one of the ingredients. The company said that no consumer injuries had been reported as of Tuesday morning.

Consumers who purchased the items being recalled may call Kellogg's consumer center at 800-962-1413, or visit the "contact us" area of the company's website. The company will provide coupons to replace the cereal, and may make arrangements for it to be returned for examination.



Second Victim of Milford Pedestrian Accident Dies


A second victim of a pedestrian accident in Milford has died.

Brenda Tanski, 51, of Milford, died on Saturday, according to police.

Tanski was one of four family members walking along the shoulder of Bridgeport Avenue near Cowles Street on Feb. 11 around 11:20 a.m. when they were struck by a car. The accident happened just two days after the blizzard and it appeared the sidewalks weren't cleared of snow on Bridgeport Avenue, police said.

Another victim, Kevin Tanski, 53, died on Feb. 12.

Jenny Tanski, 21, was also hit, but was released from the hospital a short time later. A fourth pedestrian was not injured.

Police have identified the driver but have not filed charges. Anyone with information on the accident is asked to call Milford police at 203-783-4749.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Jeep Twitter Account Hacked


Monday it was Burger King and Tuesday it was Jeep that suffered an unsolicited Twitter makeover, courtesy of savvy hackers.

The attacks were similar. In both cases unidentified intruders adorned their target's Twitter page with a competitor's branding. A McDonald's logo popped up on Burger King's page, which proclaimed that the company "just got sold ...  because the whopper flopped," while a message on Jeep's Twitter banner said "sold to Cadillac."

Once in the driver's seat, hackers tweeted out a string of obscenity-laden messages, some bashing the brand and praising its competitors, before the pages were finally restored. Jeep's breach was repaired in under an hour, but that was enough time for the page's hijackers to tweet out more than a dozen messages. Burger King's hackers were able to pump out 53 messages before the false page was shut down.

Both companies apologized for the incidents and said they worked with Twitter security administrators to fix the problem, but so far the social media giant has not provided insight into the twin attacks. The company told NBC News Tuesday that it does not comment on individual accounts.

But the social media giant did post a security message on its blog Tuesday evening acknowledging that "over the past couple of days, there's been a fair amount of conversation about account security on Twitter." The post went on to recommend a few best practices, including using a strong password, being wary of suspicious links and keeping computers up to date with anti-virus software.

Meanwhile, MTV and BET, apparently making light of what could be a serious threat to high-profile corporations, changed their profiles Tuesday afternoon to give the appearance that they too had been hacked.

For about an hour the two companies, both owned by Viacom, swapped Twitter logos and sent out suspicious tweets before ending the ruse. We totally Catfish-ed you guys. Thanks for playing!" MTV tweeted, referring to the practice of assuming false online identities.

Kurt Patat, a vice president at MTV Networks told the Huffington Post that it was "all in the spirit of good fun."

Police Investigate Threat Against Gov. Malloy


State Police said they have contacted the man who made a threat against Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Members of the governor's staff received a phone call from someone Tuesday who claimed a letter sent to Malloy contained anthrax, according to the State Capitol Police Department.

Authorities provided mail room employees with a description of the letter. The suspected letter, which was addressed to Gov. Malloy, was located and sealed in a clear evidence bag, police said.

An test for hazardous materials was done by the Department of Energy and Environmental protection and the results were negative, according to police. The letter was sent to the State Police laboratory for further testing.

Troopers said the man later confessed the substance was just flour.

Police have not yet identified the suspect, but officials said they are planning to make an arrest soon.



Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Re-open Chandra Levy Murder Case, Say Lawyers


Lawyers for the man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy said in documents unsealed Tuesday that his prosecution was ``predicated on a lie,'' and that they intend to file a motion for a new trial.

The statements made by attorneys for Ingmar Guandique were included in approximately 200 pages of documents related to hearings held in December and January. Reporters and the public were not permitted to hear the discussion between the judge and lawyers because prosecutors argued that making the hearings open would endanger a witness.

The decision to close the proceedings was challenged by media organizations including The Associated Press. The judge in the case said some material would be unsealed.

The records show that government prosecutors asked to seal the Dec. 18 hearing to talk about information they learned about after Guandique was sentenced. Defense attorneys say the information calls into question the testimony of one witness and ``drastically undercut'' the government's case.

More than 20 witnesses testified for the prosecution during the trial. The original case hinged on a jailhouse informant who said Guandique had confessed to killing Levy. The unsealed documents show prosecutors learned a year ago about a problem with a witness but it's not clear if that person was the informant.

The Levy case was one of the most high-profile trials in Washington in years when it began in 2010. Levy, a 24-year-old intern for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, disappeared in 2001 after leaving her apartment in jogging clothes.

The case attracted particular attention because of her romantic relationship with Gary Condit, then a California congressman. Her remains were found in 2002 in a heavily wooded area of Washington's Rock Creek Park. Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, was ultimately convicted of her murder and is serving a 60-year prison sentence. He said when he was sentenced that he had nothing to do with her killing.

The documents unsealed Tuesday include transcripts from hearings on Dec. 18 and Jan. 4. They also include court documents filed by prosecutors and Guandique's defense attorneys. Significant portions of the records are blacked out, sometimes for pages.

``Mr. Guandique and the public have a right to know precisely what happened at Mr. Guandique's trial and why the government allowed its prosecution to be predicated on a lie,'' Guandique's attorneys argue in a motion unsealed Tuesday.

A transcript also shows John Anderson, one of Guandique's attorneys, said during the January hearing that the defense plans to file a motion to dismiss the indictment and request a new trial.

In a document filed with the court, defense attorneys compare the Guandique case to the prosecution of the late Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, whose 2008 conviction on corruption charges was vacated after the Justice Department admitted withholding evidence from the defense.

It wasn't clear, however, that the new information would have been admissible at trial. The unsealed transcripts seem to show that during the hearing in December, a government prosecutor, Fernando Campoamor, told the judge ``it would have been litigated whether it could have been used at trial, and if so, to what extent it could have been used at trial.'' A defense attorney, James Klein, said that was ``astounding.''

The transcripts also show attorneys wrestling with the closure of the proceedings. The defense had wanted them to be open, but the judge sealed the hearings after prosecutors argued that a witness' personal safety would be endangered if they were public. The defense has said prosecutors were not specific about the threats the witness would face.

The last hearing in the case was Thursday and its transcript was not released. The judge has scheduled another hearing for April 11.

Photo Credit: AP

Report on Lanza's Motive "Simply Not Factual": Police


Reports about an emerging motive behind Adam Lanza's rampage inside Sandy Hook Elementary School are "simply not factual," State Police Lt. Paul Vance told NBC Connecticut.

Vance called a CBS report that said Lanza wanted to outdo Norway gunman Anders Breivik "mere speculation."

Breivik killed 77 people, including teenagers, at a summer camp in Norway in 2011. CBS cited unnamed law enforcement sources in its report Monday, but Vance said he is the only one in a position to give out official information regarding the case, and that no information about a potential motive has been released by him or his office.

Lanza shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children, inside Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14. He began his shooting spree by killing his mother, Nancy Lanza, and ended it by killing himself inside the school.

"Determining a motive is a huge undertaking, especially given that Lanza is dead," Vance told NBC News. Investigators "are a long way" from determining a motive, he said.

An unnamed law enforcement official told NBC News that Lanza had collected material on previous mass shootings. "But there was nothing that outlined his plans or said he that was trying to outdo a previous shooting," the source to NBC News.

According to the Hartford Courant, investigators found news articles about Breivik in Lanza's bedroom, but are only looking as the 20-year-old's interest in Breivik as one possible theory.

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