The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 25, 1998 · Page 6
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 6

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Monday, May 25, 1998
Page 6
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'.AC MONDAY. MAY 25. 1998 JUSTICE THE SALINA JOURNAL Mother's murder trial resembles Greek tragedy Mother claims husband's abuse drove her to jump from •10-story window with girl ; By LINDA DEUTSCH . The Associated Press . TORRANCE, Calif. — A suicidal mother leaps from a window with her small daughter. The child dies; the mother lives on in a ;. shattered body and is tried for murder. *' At her trial in a courtroom in this Los • Angeles suburb, Farinoosh "Roya" Dalili lies prone in a hospital bed facing her jury, a box of tissues at hand to wipe her copious tears. Dalili's body was broken in so many places by her fall from a 10-story window that some 200 pins hold her splintered bones together. She's allowed to listen to testimony lying down because she cannot sit for long periods without pain. It's the stuff of a classical Greek tragedy, and her Iranian family and members of the immigrant community stand by as the chorus, alleging she was an abused spouse whose victimization is continuing in the courts. Prosecutors, who see no evidence of abuse, say she must pay for the death of her 3-year-old daughter, Nagen Natalie Dalili. So does her estranged husband, Nader Dalili, who's divorcing her and suing her for wrongful death. "She's responsible for what happened," Deputy District Attorney Alex Karkanen said. "She's lost a daughter but she did it." On March 3, 1997, Dalili went to the Torrance Marriott Hotel and requested a room on a high floor. The prosecution contends the 31-year- old woman held her daughter in her arms as she leaped from the window. Dalili's lawyer, Alex Kessel, said that theory is pure speculation and probably wrong. Kessel will present evidence beginning Tuesday that Dalili and her little girl were so emotionally attached that the child probably saw her mother jump and followed her out the window. Karkanen said he, too, believes the mother and child were close but says Kessel's theory is not supported by physical evidence. "Based on our psychological reports, "What are we going to do if we convict her? The answer is we're human. We don't know. It will require a lot of soul searching." Alex Karkanen deputy district attorney they were so close she wanted them to be together in death," he said. "It's our feeling that's not her choice to make." Kessel points out that Dalili tried suicide twice before. Once she slashed her wrists; the second time she tried to grab a doctor's needle and inject air into her veins. Her husband testified that she had seemed "a little bit depressed" in the weeks before his daughter's death. Dr. Ronald Markman, a forensic psychiatrist who testified for the defense, said someone as focused on suicide as Dalili would not have thought about the fate of her daughter. "I think the daughter's presence essentially is irrelevant to her state of mind," Markman said. "Her only concern was her own demise. That's what she was looking for." Nagen was dead on arrival at a nearby hospital. Her mother, who landed 10 feet away from her child, had internal injuries and shattered feet, hips, pelvis, knees, an ankle and an elbow. Dalili wept in court as the prosecutor displayed pictures of her dead child. Kessel will seek to show how Dalili was driven to despair by her husband's verbal, physical and sexual abuse, which escalated when her baby turned out to be a girl — Nader Dalili wanted a boy. The prosecutor said he has found no credible evidence of domestic abuse. Negotiations for a plea bargain broke down after prosecutors offered was manslaughter with 11 years in prison. They also suggested commitment to a psychiatric hospital, which the defense rejected. If there is a murder conviction, the degree is up to the jury. The chance of a first-degree murder conviction is remote, according to Loyola University Law School Dean Laurie Levenson. "Unless you have the world's coldest jurors, it's doubtful," she said. "But you can't give parents license to hurt a child. I think jurors are upset anytime a child is a victim and they want someone held responsible. But it's certainly not your typical first degree murder case." Even the prosecutor seems troubled by the prospect of a harsh sentence. "I don't think any normal person jumps off the 10th floor of a hotel," Karkanen said. "It comes down to the question: What are we going to do if we convict her? The answer is we're human. We don't know. It will require a lot of soul searching on the part of the district attorney's office." Lose & Dress Sizes In Days! WEIGHT LOSS CLINICS Clinic Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m 2450 S. 9th- Suite #208A, Salina Help Support Your 9th St. Merchants. THE SAUNA JOURNAL AGRICULTURE MONDAY, MAY 25. 1998 A7 Blight-resistant potatoes developed New strains of blight seen on all Continents except Australia and have hit hard parts of Africa By CURT ANDERSON The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Researchers have developed potato varieties that are highly resistant to late blight fungus, which triggered the 19th century Irish potato famine that killed a million people and sent waves of Irish emigrants to Noitth America. " Although chemicals can control the disease, it stiU cuts worldwide potato production by 15 percent a year at a cost of $7 billion. New strains of blight are more resistant to the fungicides, which can damage the environment and cost too much for many poor farmers. "Finding a new potato with lasting resistance to late blight is important for feeding the - developing world and protecting the environment," Ismail Serageldin, president of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, said last week. - • Serageldin and Wanda Collins, director of the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru — where potatoes originated — have bred 60 Between 1845 and 1851, blight destroyed potato crops in Ireland, triggering a famine that killed 1 million people and forced 2 million to emigrate, 80 percent of them to the United States. potato varieties using a combination of Peruvian genes that appear to resist blight over the long term, according to a study from the Group released Sunday. The varieties were cloned and tested in 1997. "We've been able to go back to the native varieties of Peru. All the genes you need are here," Collins said. Wet El Nino conditions in 1997 were particularly conducive to late blight, and the disease struck many potato fields near those where the new varieties were tested. But the new clones were "sound and healthy," Collins said. "That is what gives us so much hope for the future," she said. Late blight arrives in fields on spores, which become a fungus that attacks foliage. More spores are produced and are carried by wind or rain to neighbor plants to start new infections. Potatoes often rot in the fields or in storage. Between 1845 and 1851, blight destroyed potato crops in Ireland, triggering a famine that killed an estimated 1 million people and forced 2 million more to emigrate, 80 percent of them to the United States. The new strains of blight have appeared on all continents except Australia, but have hit sub-Saharan Africa particularly hard. Poorer countries once grew only 10 percent of the world's potatoes but will grow 40 percent by 2000, Serageldin said. Today, potatoes rank behind only rice, wheat and corn in importance as a staple food crop around the world. The International Potato Center intends within five years to make the genetic material available to anyone who wants it for plant breeding. The varieties researchers have developed will grow in a wide range of conditions, from high mountains to hot, humid areas. "We're in an excellent position to have a dramatic impact on this devastating problem," Serageldin said. Princess™ Beanie Baby . Giveaway Sign up once a day beginning May 19th Drawings to be held: : Ihesday, May 26 Wednesday, May 27 Saturday, May 30 Total of 9 Princess Beanie Babies to be given away! Just Arrived! New Shipment of Beanies! 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Expect great results without the use of chemicals that damage your backyard habitat. Wild Bird Crossing Your ultimate backyard nature I/ore™" Galaxy Shopping Center • Salina 2306 Planet Avenue Mon.-Sat. 10-6 (785) 452-WILD HARDWARE 2106 S. NINTH STREET Open Mon - Fri 8-8:30 Saturday 8-6 Sunday 10-6 Vanna White- Sleep Fitness Enthusiast and Spokesperson for Spring Air Tr |jjp "' "- 'JUSHsnly American Furniture 901 West Crawford - Salina • 800-214-5716 • 825-6544 Mon.-Sat. 10am-7pm, Sun. 1-5:30pm Bedroom Showpiece Central Mall - 2259 S. 9th • 800-536-9541 • 825-9541 Mon.-Sat. 10am-9pm, Sun. 1-6pm WtulCuidj With the Hair Suite Manicures & Pedicures May 26 thru June 6th » * * *l * « N Wallnfaper HoME CONNECTION 20% OFF All Florals Take An Additional 10% OFF EVERYTHING In The Store! Shop Today Only 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 2322 Planet Ave. Galaxy Center (785)81 Price Silks & Silk Arrangement Dont Forget Dad June IV. 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