A 13-year-old is in a Michigan courtroom this afternoon, to be sentenced for a murder he committed when he was just eleven.
And as the strike continues at Rubatex, the company tries to get back to business as usual by hiring permanent replacement workers.
News 7 at noon is next.
He's believed to be the youngest person ever convicted of murder.
And today 13 year old Nathaniel Abraham learns his fate.
He could be sentenced to life behind bars, for a murder committed when he was just 11.
Drew Levinson reports from Pontiac, Michigan.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-Pontiac, MI; :00]
[SUPER=01-Susan Peters/Social Worker; 1:02]
[SUPER=01-Geoffrey Fieger/Abraham's Attorney; 1:23]
[SUPER=01-Drew Levinson/Reporting; 1:38]
[OUT Q=Drew Levinson, CBS News, Pontiac, MI.]
((DESPITE SPENDING MORE THAN TWO YEARS IN CUSTODY, AND BEING A CONVICTED
MURDERER NATHANIEL ABRAHAM'S ATTORNEY SAYS THE BOY STILL DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT'S HAPPENING NOR CAN HE COMPREHEND HE COULD BE PUT AWAY
FOR A LONG TIME.
A JURY CONVICTED ABRAHAM OF SECOND DEGREE MURDER IN NOVEMBER.
HE WAS JUST 11- YEARS- OLD WHEN HE WAS CHARGED WITH GUNNING DOWN 18-YEAR
OLD RONNIE GREEN JUNIOR IN OCTOBER 1997. GREEN WAS KILLED AS HE WALKED OUT OF A CONVENIENCE STORE. UNDER A NEW MICHIGAN LAW PROSECUTORS CHARGED HIM AS AN ADULT, MAKING HIM ONE OF THE YOUNGEST EVER CHARGED WITH MURDER IN THIS COUNTRY. THOUGH IT'S UP TO THE JUDGE, PROSECUTORS ARE RECOMMENDING ABRAHAM RECEIVE A BLENDED SENTENCE. THAT MEANS HE WOULD BE SENT TO A YOUTH FACILITY UNTIL HE'S 21, THEN DEPENDING ON HIS PROGRESS HE COULD BE FREED OR SENT TO AN ADULT PRISON.
THIS MORNING, WITH THE HELP OF A SOCIAL WORKER FROM THE MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, PROSECUTORS TRIED TO PROVE THEIR POINT.
(SOT SUSAN PETERS/SOCIAL WORKER)
"What it actually came down to is my belief that this offense is just to serious to take the chance that he might not be rehabilitated in the juvenile system and then at the age of 21 leave this court without any
NATHANIEL'S ATTORNEY SAYS ANY TYPE OF JAIL TIME WOULD BE UNFAIR.
(SOT GEOFFREY FIEGER/NATHANIEL'S ATTORNEY)
"Now I think the only thing that needs to be done is provide some treatment for Nathaniel for the harm that's been caused in the last two and a half years.
(NATSOUND OF PROTESTORS)
OUTSIDE THE COURTHOUSE, LED BY THE REVEREND AL SHARPTON PROTESTERS FROM
ACROSS THE COUNTRY CONDEMNED ANY TYPE OF ADULT SENTENCE.
(SOT AL SHARPTON/ACTIVIST)
"this is an issue of juvenile justice, we are not saying that children should not be punished, but that should not be punished as adults."
(STANDUP DREW LEVINSON/CBS NEWS)
"Other than the blended sentence the judge could impose a juvenile sentence and keep Nathaniel in custody until he's 21. Or he could be sentenced as an adult and spend the rest of his life behind bars. Drew
Levinson, CBS News, Pontiac, Michigan.))
There's been a delay in the sentencing of a former West Virginia governor's aide convicted of child sex charges.
59-year old Tom Rice was supposed to be sentenced at nine this morning, but it hasn't happened yet.
Rice pleaded guilty back in November.
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co./File Tape]
Rice drove to Bedford Elementary school nearly a year ago, intending to meet a 13 year old boy he chatted with on the internet.
Instead he met an undercover deputy.
He could get 15 years in prison.
Unless the governor intervenes, Virginia will carry out its second execution of the week tonight.
[TAKE FULL SCREEN BOARD]
Steve Edward Roach is to die by injection for the 1993 fatal shooting of a 70-year-old neighbor.
Roach was 17 when he killed Mary Ann Hughes in her Greene County home and took her car.
Roach doesn't have any court appeals pending but has a clemency request before Gilmore.
Four months into the strike at Bedford's biggest employer, Rubatex says it's well on its way to hiring permanent replacement workers.
The company said today, it's hired in excess of 40 people and plans to hire a total of 200.
That's fewer than half the number of steelworkers who are on strike and Rubatex says today that should the strike end, fewer than half of the union members would be re-hired.
Rubatex insists foam rubber production is at 100 percent of pre-strike levels.
The union disputes that.
Virginia is the tenth smoggiest state in the nation.
That's the finding of an environmental group studying air quality data.
According to the findings, Virginia's smog levels exceeded federal standards 43 days last year between the months of April and October.
Texas had the most smog days with 79, followed by Tennessee with 74 and Georgia with 72.
California did not report its number of days, so it was not accounted for in the survey.
A vocal minority group plans to lay down a challenge to the Botetourt County school board today.
The Botetourt Countywide League wants to change the name of William Clark Middle School back to Central Academy -- as it was known in 1959 when it was built for black children.
The School Board already rejected that name.
So the league plans to offer a compromise: call it Central Academy-William Clark Middle School.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It would be Central]
((IT WOULD BE CENTRAL ACADEMY WILLIAM CLARK MIDDLE SCHOOL BECAUSE CHRONOLOGICALLY CENTRAL ACADEMY WAS FIRST. SO WE ARE INSISTING THAT OUR NAME, IF WE ARE GOING TO SHARE IT, WOULD BE FIRST.))
[SUPER=01-Vee Hinton/Botetourt Countywide League;]
[OUT Q=would be first]
The league snubbed the school board's previous offer because it put the William Clark name first.
The school board meets tonight at six thirty.
America's spy satellites took a Y-2-K hit.
The Chicago Tribune says a computer glitch following the Year 2000 rollover all but blinded spy satellites for nearly three days.
That information differs from Pentagon reports which said the interruption lasted only a few hours.
Attorney General Janet Reno wants to see a speedy end to the custody battle over Elian Gonzalez.
But she's refusing to say what the government might do in order to return the six year old to his father in Cuba.
Yesterday the attorney general backed up immigration officials who want the child sent back to his homeland.
And she brushed aside a Florida judge's ruling to keep Elian in Miami for custody hearing.
But she rejected any suggestion that authorities might seize the boy from his relatives' home.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=The law has...]
((JANET RENO:''YOU DON'T GO IN AND PICK UP LITTLE BOYS LIKE THAT.))
[SUPER=01-Janet Reno/Attorney General;]
[OUT Q=to speak for himself.]
Meantime, Haitians took to the streets of Miami yesterday to protest U-S immigration policy.
They're upset over what they see as preferential treatment for Cubans.
Under U-S immigration policy, Haitians and others who arrive illegally are sent back to their country.
But any Cuban who reaches American soil has the right to stay.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
President Clinton prepares to visit a New York City college, even while police investigate a murder at the site.
Details on that are next on News 7 at Noon.
And some surprises and some repeats in Governor Gilmore's State of the Commonwealth speech.
We'll have the details and reaction, but first let's talk to Patrick Evans.
[music up full]
President Clinton is set to propose expanded tax breaks today for those who invest or hire in the inner city.
He's making the announcement at a college campus in New York City, the same school that is the scene of a murder investigation.
Vince Dementri has the story.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=03-New York, NY;]
[SUPER=01-Sonia Cordova/Victim's Wife;]
[OUT Q=for cbs news.]
A Radford university student is in critical condition after a late night fall in Blacksburg.
John Michael Raedel was in the Red Cross Center parking lot when he fell backwards over a railing and tumbled 15 feet onto a concrete landing.
Raedel was reportedly drinking earlier in the evening, but Blacksburg police say they don't know if alcohol contributed to the accident.
The Roanoke Chapter of the Virginia Police Benevolent Association is backing a Roanoke cop who shot a suspect.
They say it wasn't a routine traffic stop.
Kate Weidaw has more.
[SUPER=01-James Fazio/Police Benevolent Assoc.; 00]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/December 31; :16]
[OUT Q=KW NEWS 7.]
((JAMES FAZIO/VP ROANOKE CHAPTER PBA: ALL OF SUDDEN HE LUNGED AT BOUCHER AND WITH A REAL QUICK MOVEMENT WITH HIS HAND HE THREW IT TOWARDS BOUCHER AS IF HE WAS POINTING A WEAPON AT HIM AND THAT'S WHEN OFFICER BOUCHER FIRED THE WEAPON AT HIM, FIRING ONE ROUND THINKING HE WAS GOING TO BE SHOT.))
Fazio is describing Boucher's version of what happened last month when the officer tried to pull over 38 year old Wilbert Wesley Lewis on Patton Avenue. Boucher was put on administrative leave but was back on the job a short time later. That led Martin Jeffrey with the NAACP to voice concerns about the officer being back on the job. Fazio questions some of Jeffrey's statements.
((JAMES FAZIO: SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WERE SAID WERE NOT EXACTLY CORRECT AND ALSO SOME OF THE REPORTS I'VE SEEN ON TV IN THE PAPER.))
Fazio says this situation is not only hard on the department, but also on Boucher.
((JAMES FAZIO: SOMETHING LIKE THIS FOR AN OFFICER USING HIS WEAPON LIKE THIS IS NOT AN EASY THING TO DO AND NOT AN EASY THING TO DEAL WITH.))
((KATE WEIDAW/REPORTING: ALL OF FAZIO'S FACTS ARE BASED ON OFFICER BOUCHER'S VERSION OF WHAT HAPPENED NOT MR LEWIS'S.
THE PBA SAYS NOW WAS A GOOD TIME TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF BOUCHER SINCE THE POLICE DEPARTMENT CAN NOT TALK ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION UNTIL IT IS COMPLETED. KATE WEIDAW NEWS 7.))
Some ideas were repeats from last year-- like a 24 hour waiting period for abortions-- but some of Governor Gilmore's initiatives for 2000 were completely new.
He surprised the newly reconvened General Assembly with a call for a separate holiday for Martin Luther King Jr.
Current Virginia law lumps King in with civil war heroes, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=but the combination]
[OUT Q=due recognition]
The Legislative Black Caucus met briefly after the Governors State of the Commonwealth Speech-- and developed a positive consensus.
[IN Q=the chief]
[SUPER=01-Del. Jerrauld Jones/(D) Norfolk;]
[OUT Q=legacy is]
Also new in last night's speech: a call for Virginia to start registering voters by party, and to put party labels next to candidates' names on ballots.
[SOFT MUSIC UNDER]
Still ahead on News 7 at Noon, the only hospital in Patrick County is getting some financial help from the county.
And later in sports Charlotte police believe drag-racing caused the accident that killed a pro-basketball player.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #2]
Departing Lewis-Gale Clinic doctors still say they can't talk on the record ... and PhyCor, Lewis Gale's parent company, says the same thing.
But we found one doctor who would talk about why some doctors leave the clinic.
Doctor Charles Judy used to work at the Lewis-Gale Clinic in Shawsville.
He went into a private practice because he says PhyCor made "unreasonable demands" --
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=THEY TOLD ME///IF YOU GIVE]
((DR. CHARLES JUDY/FORMER LEWIS GALE DOCTOR: THEY TOLD ME THAT I HAD TO SEE QUITE A FEW MORE PATIENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE ENDS MEET -- IN ORDER TO SUSTAIN THE SALARY THEY WERE PAYING ME AT THE TIME. //////////// IF YOU GIVE INTO THOSE DEMANDS AND FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES THAT ARE GIVEN TO YOU, YOU OBVIOUSLY CAN'T PROVIDE THE SAME QUALITY OF CARE THAT YOU WOULD WANT TO.))
[SUPER=01-Dr. Charles Judy/Former Lewis-Gale Doctor]
[OUT Q=WOULD WANT TO]
18 Lewis-Gale Clinic doctors remain in top-secret talks with PhyCor.
Help may be on the way to a financially-strapped Southside hospital.
Patrick County's Board of Supervisors met for nearly five hours yesterday -
[SUPER=03-Patrick Co./November 17; ]
to find a way to help Patrick Community Hospital out of debt.
The hospital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy two months ago and has since cut its workforce by 20 percent.
An attorney for the hospital says the board decided tonight to allow the Industrial Development Authority to negotiate with the bank that currently holds the hospital's loan.
If negotiations are successful, the hospital would be indebted to the I-D-A, NOT a bank.
[take PRE PRO FULLSCREEN]
But the board's decision did come with stipulations.
Among them: the hospital must get a new board of trustees, new management, a new charter, and a business plan.
The news comes on the heels of the resignation yesterday of administrator Carol Stevens, who was just appointed in June.
On Wall Street at Noon, the Dow was UP 12 points.
[SPORTS MUSIC UNDER]
Still to come in sports, "His Airness" could be making a return to the N-B-A, but not as a player.
We'll tell you how, when we return,
and the Tech men's roundball squad returns to Blacksburg for some tough Atlantic 10 conference play.
Patrick has the highlights, next.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
[COMM BREAK #3]
If at first you do not succeed, try again. That's exactly what Michael Jordan is reportedly doing.
The Washington Post reports Jordan is involved in discussions with the Washington Wizards to become part of the team's management.
Jordan is interested in buying a share of the team and becoming its president of basketball operations.
Earlier this year, Jordan attempted to buy a part of the Charlotte Hornets, but those negotiations failed.
Charlotte police say it appears Hornets players David Wesley and Bobby Phills were drag racing at the time Phills was killed yesterday.
[SUPER=03-Charlotte, NC; :]
Police say the 30 year old Phills was driving his Porsche about 75 miles per hour when his car collided with another vehicle a half mile from the Charlotte Coliseum after practice.
A police spokesman says Wesley was driving about 75 as well, but he was not involved in the accident.
Wesley would not talk to police at the scene.
Two other people received minor injuries in the accident.
[SUPER=01-Harold Kaufman/Charlotte Hornets Spokesman; :]
[OUT Q=...just disheartening."]
Virginia Tech's mens squad welcomed Atlantic 10 rival Duquesne to the Cassell last night.
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Tech vs. Duquense; :]
The Hokies huddle at mid court before the game started.
Tech's Dennis Mims gets the rock inside, thinks about his shot for a second, then turns around and nails the short jumper with the Hokies down by 2.
Duquesne would add two more points to their lead when Devone Stephenson drives in from the corner and puts on this nice move.
The Hokies wouldn't give up as Brendan Dunlop drives in for the layup as Tech goes up 21 to 17 midway through the first half.
Tech continue to add to its lead. Brian Chase's shot is off, but Russ Wheeler tips the ball in and Tech wins it 80 to 59.