James Edward Reid got an extension on his life just hours before he was scheduled to die.
Reid is the convicted killer of Annie Lester, an 87-year-old Christiansburg woman.
A federal appeals court issued a stay of his execution on Wednesday.
Last night, just two hours before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection, the U-S Supreme Court upheld the stay.
Reid is arguing that lethal injection constitutes a form of cruel and unusual punishment.
[IN Q=IT APPEARS TO BE AN ILLUSION]
((STEVEN BENJAMIN/CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: IT APPEARS TO BE AN ILLUSION NOW THAT LETHAL INJECTION IS A VERY PEACEFUL NICE PROCESS WHEN IN FACT ITS BEGINNING TO APPEAR THAT ITS ANYTHING BUT. WHAT WE'RE FINDING IS THAT IT'S AN HORRIFYING PROCESS INVOLVING SOMEONE BEING ABSOLUTELY PARALYZED AND SLOWLY FEELING THE TREMENDOUS PAIN OF SUFFOCATION AND DEATH WHILE BEING UNABLE TO COMMUNICATE.))
[SUPER=01-Steven Benjamin/Criminal Defense Attorney]
[OUT Q=BEING UNABLE TO COMMUNICATE.]
The U-S Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case similar to Reid's in June.
Reid's future will likely hinge on that outcome.
Jurors will decide the future of Lee Malvo now that they've found him guilty in last year's sniper attacks.
The jury found the teenager guilty on two counts of capital murder.
Today jurors begin the sentencing phase, which will determine if Malvo lives or dies.
The judge is allowing family members of sniper victims to talk about their loss.
Bob Meyers lost his brother, Dean, who was fatally shot at a gas station.
Malvo's accomplice, John Muhammad was convicted in that murder.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=We are extremely]
((BOB MEYERS/VICTIM'S BROTHER:WE ARE EXTREMELY PLEASED WITH THE VERDICT BELIEVE THAT JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED AND WE APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY NOW TO MOVE INTO THE SENTENCING PHASE. ))
[SUPER=01-Bob Meyers/Victim's Brother;]
[OUT Q=sentencing phase.]
During the penalty phase, defense attorneys are expected to describe Malvo's abusive childhood-- something that could win sympathy with the jury.
Witnesses say two American soldiers were killed when a U- S military tanker truck exploded today on a road outside Baghdad.
They say it was a homemade bomb that blew up the tanker, which also wounded an American soldier.
However, the U-S military hasn't yet confirmed anything..
Television footage in Iraq showed clouds of black smoke rising from the tanker, about 20 miles outside the capital.
The Bush administration says it'll challenge two rulings by two different courts.
First a federal appeals court ruled President Bush has no authority to hold U-S citizens as enemy combatants-- and for that reason, former gang member Jose Padilla should go free.
He was accused of being involved in a plot to detonate a dirty bomb.
Another federal appeals court ruled that Guantanamo Bay prisoners should have access to attorneys.
It's a plan that could take 500- thousand trucks a year off Interstate 81.
A state study says major improvements to Virginia's rail system could make a major difference on the highway.
The State Department of Rail and Public Transportation commissioned the study.
It suggests that 492- million dollars in improvements could reduce tractor-trailer traffic on the interstate by five percent by the year two thousand- 20.
Officials say I- 81 typically handles more than twice the truck volume it was designed to handle.
Some old neighborhoods in Roanoke are about to get a new lease on life.
It's all part of the city's Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.
Those on tap for a facelift are the Gainsboro and Gilmer Avenue neighborhoods in Northwest Roanoke.
Last night, residents gathered for an informational meeting at Lucy Addison Magnet School.
They heard how the city has already spent more than six million dollars making improvements between Jamison and Bullitt Avenue in southeast Roanoke.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It's an improving]
((CARL COOPER/ROANOKE NEIGHBORHOOD ADVOCATES: IT'S AN IMPROVING COMMUNITY AND IT'S A COMMUNITY WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF OTHER NEIGHBORHOODS IN ROANOKE AND THE CITY ADMINISTRATION AND COUNCIL IS BEGINNING TO TAKE BACK IT'S FORMER GLORY DAYS.))
[SUPER=01-Carl Cooper/Roanoke Neighborhood Advocates;]
[OUT Q=former glory days]
To accomplish that, residents can apply for no interest loans to help fix up their homes.
The city also plans to buy vacant lots and fill them with new houses.
Other improvements include easing traffic, increasing green space, and providing grants to area businesses.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It really does a lot]
((EVELYN BETHEL/GAINSBORO AREA RESIDENT: IT REALLY DOES A LOT FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND IT IMPROVES THE OVERALL APPEARANCE OF THE CITY FROM HOTEL ROANOKE UP TO ST. ANDREWS CATHOLIC CHURCH.))
[SUPER=01-Evelyn Bethel/Gainsboro Area Resident;]
[OUT Q=St. Andrews Catholic Church]
The city plans to spend nearly 20 million dollars in the Gainsboro - Gilmer Avenue areas.
Construction is set to begin this summer and the entire project will take nearly three years to complete.
In business news, Stocks rallied yesterday.
Alexis Christoforous has that story and more in this morning's Marketwatch.
[SUPER=01-Alexis Christoforous/Reporting; :00]
[OUT Q=in New York, I'm AC.]
((> THE STOCK MARKET LOOKS TO END THE YEAR WITH A BANG... THE DOW CLOCKED
> ANOTHER TRIPLE DIGIT GAIN ON MORE GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE ECONOMY.
> THE DOW POWERED AHEAD 102 POINTS.. TOPPING THE 10-THOUSAND 2 HUNDRED
> THE NASDAQ BENEFITED FROM A TECH RALLY TO RISE 34 POINTS
> MICROSOFT IS BEING SUED BY ITS LONG TIME RIVAL... REALNETWORKS. THE
> INTERNET MEDIA COMPANY CLAIMS MICROSOFT VIOLATED ANTITRUST LAWS. IT
> ACCUSES THE SOFTWARE GIANT OF ILLEGALLY USING ITS WINDOWS MONOPOLY TO
> LIMIT CONSUMER CHOICE IN DIGITAL MEDIA.
> NIKE IS A STOCK TO WATCH TODAY.. THE COMPANY RAN PASSED WALL STREET PROFIT
> ESTIMATES... STRONG SALES OF ITS SNEAKERS AND APPAREL PUSHED PROFITS UP 18
> KEEP YOUR EYE ON MEDIA STOCKS.. MGM RALLIED YESTERDAY ON A REPORT THAT
> TIME WARNER IS IN TALKS TO BUY THE MOVIE STUDIO.
> AND WALMART IS BREAKING INTO THE ONLINE MUSIC WORLD. THE DISCOUNT RETAILER
> STARTED TESTING A NEW 88 CENT PER SONG ONLINE MUSIC SERVICE.. IT'S TRYING
> TO CAPTURE MORE OF THE MUSIC MARKET AT A PRICE THAT UNDERCUTS THE 99 CENT
> STANDARD OF ITS COMPETITION. WALMART PLANS TO ROLL OUT ITS ONLINE MUSIC
> STORE NATIONWIDE NEXT YEAR.
> IF YOU HAVEN'T LOCKED IN THAT MORTGAGE RATE YET.. GOOD NEWS... RATES
> INCHED DOWN AGAIN THIS WEEK. THE AVERAGE FOR A 30 YEAR RATE IS 5.82
> PERCENT DOWN FROM 5.88 PERCENT... THE 15 YEAR, POPULAR AMONG REFINANCERS
> FELL TO 5.14 PERCENT FROM 5.24 PERCENT.
> TRACK YOUR STOCKS AT CBS.MW.COM.. IN NY I'M ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS.))
(tape tosses to stocks)
Authorities have made an arrest in the murder of a Roanoke woman.
[VO-NAT - :31.5]
23-year old Neesha Edwards was shot to death while sitting in a car outside of her apartment on Bennett Drive around four o-clock yesterday morning.
According to police, two hours before she was killed Edwards obtained a warrant against 26 year old Carl Lamonte Richardson, saying he had threatened to kill her. He was arrested a few hours after the shooting, and is being held on a murder charge at the Roanoke City Jail without bond.
Neesha Edwards was a student at the BarPalma Beauty Careers Academy, and school officials say she will be missed.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT - 12:55:07]
[IN Q=Well liked by...]
((WALT HODGES/BARPALMA BEAUTY CAREERS DIRECTOR; WELL LIKED BY THE STUDENTS AND SEEMED TO HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS HERE. OBVIOUSLY FROM THE REACTION OF EVERYONE THIS MORNING SHE WAS VERY WELL LIKED, AND SEEMED TO BE A VERY POSITIVE STUDENT WHILE SHE WAS HERE.))
[SUPER=01-Walt Hodges/BarPalma Beauty Careers Director;]
[OUT Q=while she was here.]
[VO-NAT - :11+]
An acquaintance of Edwards, 22 year old Shawn Webb was wounded in the shooting.
He is in fair condition at Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
A Roanoke man will spend the next 76 years in prison after shooting a Florida tourist back in March.
27- year- old Derrick Wakie (Wah'-KEY) Smith pled guilty to shooting Ryan Taboada several times during a robbery attempt and then stealing the man's vehicle while his little girl was still inside.
The mother of one of Smith's children testified on his behalf.
Kiana (Key- ana) Howard says Smith should pay for his crimes, but doesn't want her little boy to grow up without a dad.
Ryan Taboada was not at the sentencing, but is said to be recovering from his wounds in Florida.
A week- long trip to the Middle East ended with some tense moments for Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte.
The plane carrying Goodlatte out of Baghdad yesterday took evasive action after equipment detected a possible missile launch.
It turned out to be a false alarm, and the Roanoke Republican says he was encouraged by what he witnessed in Iraq.
Goodlatte travelled with five other members of Congress to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq.
In a conference call with reporters yesterday afternoon, he said he believes coalition forces are making steady progress with the security challenge there.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=One of the strongest]
((ONE OF THE STRONGEST INDICATIONS OF THAT IS THE FACT THAT THE ATTACKS THAT ARE STILL GOING ON , ALTHOUGH THEY REACHED A PEAK DURING RAMADAN AND THEY'RE NOW BELOW ABOUT HALF OF THE ATTACKS THAT WERE OCCURING EACH DAY DURING RAMADAN.))
[OUT Q=each day during Ramadan.]
Goodlatte said he also enjoyed the chance to visit with many Virginians who are serving in Afghanistan and Iraq... including Doug Richards of Roanoke, an airman stationed in Baghdad.
Senator George Allen is helping a local University reach a new goal.
Virginia Tech is trying to be one of the top 30 schools in the nation for research.
Senator Allen says he's pushed Congress to come up with an estimated 13-million dollars in recent weeks just for Tech.
The money will be used for dozens of projects at the University that will focus on new technologies, homeland security, medical research and agriculture.
Allen says the money will mean more jobs for the New River Valley.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=From the capabilities]
((SEN. GEORGE ALLEN/(R) VIRGINIA: FROM THE CAPABILITIES SPAWN SMALL BUSINESSES THAT COMMERCIALIZE SOME OF THESE APPLICATIONS. THEY END UP WANTING TO BE NEAR THE RESEARCH UNIVERSITY. WHERE YOU HAVE THE PROFESSORS, WHERE YOU HAVE THE STUDENTS. WHERE YOU HAVE THE LABORATORIES AND OF COURSE THIS CORPORATE RESEARCH IS A GREAT EXAMPLE.))
[OUT Q=great example.]
Tech leaders say for every million dollars invested in research, 60-new high paying jobs are created.
(Kim tosses to bump)
Two years after Roanoke's downtown New Year's Eve celebration was canceled another outdoor event is in the works.
Event Zone is promoting "Midnight on the Market", a gathering to be held the night of December 31st in the parking lot behind Billy's Ritz.
Organizers describe the event as a "party" whereas the former First Night celebration was more of a "festival".
(///// SOTat :15 /////)
[IN Q=It's gonna be very casual...]
((KATIE LUCAS/"MIDNIGHT ON THE MARKET": IT'S GONNA BE VERY CASUAL, VERY INEXPENSIVE FOR THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO THROW ON THEIR BALLGOWN AND SPEND ALOT OF MONEY, PEOPLE THAT WANT TO THROW ON THEIR JEANS AND HAVE A GOOD TIME AND NOT STRESS OUT.))
[SUPER=01-Katie Lucas/"Midnight on the Market";]
[OUT Q=and not stress out.]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/December 31, 2000;]
Organizers of First Night canceled the celebration in 2001 citing leadership changes, problems finding volunteers and money issues.
The event typically drew about 10-thousand people.
Lucas says she hopes "Midnight on the Market" will draw at least half that many.
[Desk 2-Shot Kim and Steve]