The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee on May 14, 1997 · Page 1
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee · Page 1

Nashville, Tennessee
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 14, 1997
Page 1
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WEDNESDAY to" J Yearvvood fails at being ordinary Star shines at Ryman tonight 'Houston, you have a problem' Rockets lose, go back to Seattle 77 m 53 Complete weather forecast on 6B 4 NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE A GANNETT NEWSPAPER VOLUME 93, NO. 134 5 SECTIONS ) Copyright, 1997 SECOND CLASS POSTAGE PAID IN NASHVILLE, TN i .lHE 1 1 n, oth 6 cam from in i pract 1991., His fied a iipport for abortion M strong n lOOthGeneral Assembly Parents arrested as they dine in, baby stays outside It would ban partial-birth procedure By DUREN CHEEK Staff Writer So-called partial-birth abortions would be banned in Tennessee under legislation unanimously approved by a House committee yesterday after the sponsor explained the procedure in graphic detail. "In this case, we are talking about a procedure that claims the life of a child that is unmistakably alive, unmistakingly human, and a procedure that results in a child being unmistakingly destroyed," Rep. Doug Jackson told the House Health and Human Resources Committee. Deleted from the bill was a controversial provision that no woman carrying a fetus more than 23 weeks old could receive an abortion in Tennessee except to save her life. The American Civil Liberties Union blasted the legislation because it contains no exemption to allow a woman to have a partial-birth abortion a type of late-term abortion for health reasons. "We need to recognize that women, because of very tragic circumstances, need to have this procedure," said Hedy Weinberg, the state ACLU director. "It is not up to anti-choice or the prochoice ft Turn to PAGE 2A, Column 1 I Bill listing students' broad religious rights advances, on 1B. ft Power play for THDA dies in Senate panel; lawmaker denies secret meetings on education bill, on 48. NEW YORK (AP) - A Danish mother who left her child in a stroller outside a restaurant quickly learned how New York reacts to such a lack of street smartsj jail for her and the father, foster (fare for the youngster. ' The case has become something of an international incident and has shocked people on both sides of the Atlantic. In Denmark, parents leave children unattended while they phop or dine. But that's unheard of in New York, where people chain up outdoor garbage cans and flower pots to prevent theft. I "I wouldn't leave a dog outside a restaurant in New York," said Leah Wells as she played with her 20-month-old son in a playground near LOT the Dallas BBQ cafe, where the incident took place Saturday. Annette Sorensen, an actress visiting New York for a month, left her 14-month-old daughter, Liv, in a stroller on the sidewalk next to the restaurant's plate-glass window, amid outdoor tables and chairs. She went inside with Liv's father, Exavier Wardlaw, a film production assistant who lives in New York, and sat 6 feet from the window. Waiters and customers suggested she bring the baby and stroller inside. "But she said the baby was fine," said waiter Peter Piano. Then, a customer called 911. Officers charged both parents with endangering the welfare of a child; the father was also charged with disorderly conduct. The couple spent three days in jaiL Family : Court Judge Sheldon Rand ordered T the child returned to Sorensen by ; today and set a hearing for May 21. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani told reporters that police intervened because "patrons in the restaurant were complaining that the baby was left alone, that the baby was crying and the baby was being neglected." Parents in Denmark were astonished. "Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Denmark is a safer place to live in than New York," said Tue Hoejbjerg, who left his son on a Copenhagen sidewalk for a few minutes as he ate in a fast-food restaurant Aunt's slaying not a crime 01 passion t i M. 9 Prosecution maintains Shawnda James planned to shoot Kelly James more than a week in advance By BETH WARREN Staff Writer PULASKI, Tenn. Prosecutors say Shawnda James coldly planned her aunt's slaying for a week, but the teen-ager's attorney maintains the incident was triggered just hours before the shooting by a physical confrontation with her uncle. Shawnda, now 16, buried her face in her hands and sobbed yesterday as Assistant District Attorney General Richard Dunavant described her as "a cold person and a cold murderer" during the state's opening arguments. The teen-ager is on trial on charges of first-degree murder in the March 5, 1995, shooting death of Kelly James, 26, and the kidnapping of Doug and Kelly James' 22-month-old son, Corey. "This was not a crime of passion or a snap thing," Dunavant told the jury. "The defendant was determined to kill Kelly. "She had planned this a week before this happened, ... waited until Doug James went to work, . . . until Kelly went to sleep. "She tried to load the gun with ammunition that didnt fit and pve up on that one, but again, she was determined and found another rifle." Her fingerprints were on both a .35-cali-ber rifle authorities found in the house and a .22-caliber rifle, which was used in the shooting and hidden under Corey's crib mattress, prosecutors said. "The defendant fired a practice shot with this gun .. . and witnesses will testify that she went into that room several times and pointed that pn at Kelly," Dunavant said. A somber Doug James, the victim's hus- band and brother of Shawnda's late mother, fought back tears as he took the witness stand to recount the night he came home from work to find his wife dead. i.1 irtww ..... ,''""... . , ; i - BILL STEBER STAFF Defendant Shawnda James, 16, cries as opening statements describe her aunt's slaying, which she is accused of committing. "As I took off my jacket, I noticed my wife in the doorway laying front down," Doug James said amid anguished cries from the victim's family. Dunavant told the jury earlier that Shawnda had intended to drag Kelly's body to the basement but dropped it in the bedroom doorway after it made a gasping sound. It was there that Doug James found his wife. "I ran over to her, hollered 'Kelly' and went to pick her up," Doug James testified. "She was cold and stiff. "I laid her on the couch . . . called the sheriff's department and tried to give her mouth-to-mouth. "I had no idea where my son was." Doug James did not see his son, Corey, until the following night in Nashville, when a friend brought the boy back from Michigan, where police had intercepted Shawnda. Defense Attorney Robert Massey acknowledged the teen-ager shot her aunt, but said her age, lack of maturity and mental condition prevented her from thinking through the slaying. Massey said Shawnda, who was adopted by her grandmother at age 8, was influenced by several losses in her life, espe- ft Turn to PAGE 2A, Column 1 Woman making a nuisance out of herself in, out of court man. 1 - By BETH WARREN Staff Writer A Pulaski woman who hit two cars and wandered into a room where prospective jurors were being kept, and who has been "bugging" the defense outside the courtroom, was banned from Shawnda James trial yesterday. "Judge, we've gotta do something," defense attorney Robert Massey told Circuit Court Judge Robert L Jones during a recess in the trial. "She's probably called my office about 10 times today, buggin' the hell out of us." No one is sure why Donna Sands, 39, has been attending the trial, but .Massey said: "Her present fixation is on Joyce James Shawnda James' grandmother, contrary to the wishes of the entire James family." Sands, who was seen driving erratically around the town square, hit Joyce James' car Monday night after leaving the courtroom, police said. Yesterday, she bumped her vehicle into a car belonging to Mas-sey"s secretary, Gina Wallace, before court. Wallace said she wasnt going to press charges, but she was going to drive an older car for the rest of the week as a precaution. Monday, Sands, of 5220 Beech Hill Road, told the judge she had recently befriended Joyce James and came to offer support to Shawnda's family. Jones had asked Sands to identify herself after she had walked slowly around the courtroom during jury selection and had gone into the county commission chambers where potential jurors were being sequestered. Witnesses said Sands also approached upset family members of shooting victim Kelly James. "She's weird," said Jeff James, Shawnda's uncle. "I'd like for her to just leave, and I asked her to." Sands has served time in prison, officials said, and has been charged with harassment and aggravated assault in unrelated cases, but those charges were eventually dropped. She could not be reached for comment yesterday. B VU student psychs out Cybersitter Anti-censorship advocate fires back with Peacefire By JON YATES Staff Writer The Vanderbilt University student, who launched a campaign to educate Internet users about the perils of censorship has created a program allowing consumers to see which sites are blocked by a popular software program. Bennett Haselton, a junior from Denmark, said he created the program to decrypt Cybersitter, a blocking device used mostly by parents to shield their children from certain Internet materials. Haselton, co-founder of the anti-censorship Web site Peacefire, said Cybersitter and similar blocking software not only prevent children from viewing pornography and profanity, but often block sites parents might not have intended gay rights pages, AIDS information and, at least in one case, the National Organization for Women. The student's program, which can be downloaded from his Peacefire Web site, does not disable Cybersitter; it creates a list of blocked sites. "I think that's important for reasons that have to do with truth in advertising, truth In labeling, because Cybersitter advertises that it blocks sites in a certain criteria," Haselton said. "We think that people should have the right to verify that their statements are accurate." Officials at Solid Oak Software Inc. disagree. Brian Milburn, president of the Santa Barbara, Calif., company offering Cybersitter, calls Haselton's program unlawful."' In a letter sent to Haselton in April Milburn demanded he stop posting his program because it "illegally modifies and decodes data." Milburn, who has feuded with Haselton since the college student targeted Cybersitter months ago, said yesterday he's ready to move on. "I'm sick and tired of this," he said. This is a joke and we're not going to give him any more credibility, and it's as simple as that He's not worthy of it . . ." ' .: On his Peacefire page, Haselton critiques other content-blocking programs, such as Cyber Patrol and Net Nanny. He said he targeted Cybersitter specifically in creating his decrypting program because Milburn became antagonistic "The problem is people are using these software tools as mind control on their children," he said. World Wide Web sites are for Peacefire and . for Cybereitter.'v NATION RL A Ryder truck key was a piece of i iivey evidence yesteraay tied h the Oklahoma City lice Dombing trial. Prose-recogntors allege Timothy MemonVelgh left It In the have bey he used to stash can flag getaway car. The Murfreetence was intended cers, Inclolster star prose-trolman n witness Michael bert McCt's testimony. On rec. 16, " r s V -if MCVEIGH COMPANIES A Striking electronics manufacturer could spark a shutdown at Saturn Corp.'s plant In Spring Hill. The automaker has about a one-week backstock of parts from GM's Delphi Packard Electric Systems complex In Warren, Ohio. On 1E. Corrections Corporation of America's chairman and chief executive officer said yesterday that odds of passing legislation to privatize Tennessee's prisons were 50-50. Doctor Crants spoke at the annual shareholders meeting. On 1E. i m DAM CONTENTS Brad About You..-., nmlnm Classified Comics. Crossword Dear Abby Deaths Editorials. SA Entertainment.-. 30 V4 Living HO .. 4-16E Local News 14B . SO Movies. 40 .. 20 Scoreboard 7C . 2D Shortcuts.- 80 SB 8 ports 1-BC S-9A Television 70 On 2A: The World m 5 Minutes LOCAL NEWS A SlIRinCr County school board member wants to find out what parents think about his proposal to condense the first six years of elementary school education into five. On 1B. Metro's tree ordinance has no teeth, according to key Metro tree advocates. Trees can be stripped from a site as long as a developer gets a $10 permit and plants new ones. It's about time to consider some stricter rules, advocates say. On 1B. RUNNING Ron Merville Jr. has withdrawn his name from the official results of the Boston Marathon after race officials notified him his race number failed to appear on a videotape. The Nashvillian, Tennessee's top finisher In Boston, said he wore a shirt over his number for part of the race. On 1C. MMJIPSUOI., iii. I MERVLLE

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