The Springfield News-Leader from Springfield, Missouri on September 30, 1995 · Page 1
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The Springfield News-Leader from Springfield, Missouri · Page 1

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Saturday, September 30, 1995
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Fcotcall Hillcrest falls from the ranks of the unbeaten, 22-14 1C GOOD MORNING : Saturday September 30, 1995 T Y NEWS Springfield LEAEER 1 Springfield, Missouri 35? 3 f The Associated Press Prosecutor Christopher Darden points at a chart during the O.J. Simpson trial Friday. Behind him is prosecutor Marcia Clark. Nicole's voice played last time; case goes to jury The Associated Press LOS ANGELES A year after his murder trial began, the fate of O.J. Simpson was placed in the hands of 12 anonymous people Friday by a judge who ordered them to ignore lawyer warnings that "the world is watching." The jurors were expressionless when they filed into the jury room, where they will have more than 857 pieces of evidence to consider. The beaten face and the desperate voice of Nicole Brown Simpson were the last pieces of evidence presented as prosecutor Marcia Clark implored the majority-black panel to find the sports legend guilty of murdering his ex-wife and her friend. As crowds gathered outside the courthouse for the climactic turn in the case that has captivated the nation, Judge Lance Ito told the 12 jurors inside his courtroom that their sworn duty was to "reach a just verdict regardless of the consequences. " "You are not partisans or advocates, but impartial judges of the fact," Ito said. The panel quickly chose a foreperson and then retired for the weekend without beginning formal deliberations. They were to reconvene Monday morning. Details on Friday's arguments. 11 Single-copy price of paper to rise Effective Sunday, the Springfield News-Leader Sunday price will be $1.75 for purchase at vending machines and stores. This is the first Sunday single copy price change since January 1991. Effective Monday, the daily price for purchase at vending machines and stores will be 50 cents. Stores in the cities of Springfield, Ozark and Nixa will be an exception with a 40 cent price. This is the first daily single copy price change since August 1985. Increased costs associated with producing the News-Leader has made the increase necessary. The home delivery prices will remain unchanged. Seven-day home delivery is a 42 percent savings off the newsstand price. mm mm MR' -1 A -3 H i) v. ' ,t ft IV A Pardoned, he leaves prison a free man after 9 years, 5 months behind bars. By Terri Gleich News-Leader Dean Curtis News-Leader Johnny Lee Wilson (fight) and his mother, Susan, are hugged by a family friend Friday afternoon after they arrived in Aurora. Supporters greet Wilson in Aurora By Laura Bauer Menner News-Leader AURORA Offering a lopsided smile and waving to three dozen supporters, Johnny Lee Wilson came home Friday. ; ' , ' ' No more one-man cell in Jeffer-sonCity.Nomoreprayingtobefree.; . Wilson was back in his home-, town, where friends have shouted ' his innocence since he was jailed nine years ago. "'I'm in great debt to them," said Wilson, 30. "I don't know ho w to re-' pay them." . ; ' Residents say he already has. -; He's their reminder that good can win out in a sometimes bad world. "He'll definitely be a popular person for a very long time," said Ray Dennison, who showed up to wel come Wilson. Dennison's father was good friends with Pauline Martz, the woman who local lawmen still say Wilson killed in 1986. After a four-hour ride home and a stop for a double Big Mac and a double order of fries, Wilson looked tired but eager to visit supporters. "Is anyone going to answer my question?" he asked, grinning. "Where's the party?" JEFFERSON CITY When Johnny Lee Wilson awoke in prison Friday morning, he had no idea that by 11:55 a.m. he would be a free man. That's when Wilson crossed through the gates of the Jefferson City Correctional Center after Gov. Mel Carnahan took the extraordinary step of pardoning him for the 1986 murder of Pauline Martz. "I'm trying just to block all those years out," Wilson said after a tearful reunion with his mother and grandmother at a nearby hotel. "I'm trying to get on with my life." Wilson said he had no inkling of what was happening until his attorneys told him of the pardon shortly before they whisked him out of the prison. Wearing a blue Dallas Cowboys sweat shirt his attorneys bought for him the night before, the 30-year-old Wilson said he planned to return to Aurora and try to resume a normal life after nine years and five months behind bars. The first thing he wanted to do when he got home? "Take a nap." Carnahan said an investigation by his attorney, Joe Bednar, convinced him the mildly retarded Wilson had been wrongly imprisoned. He said he was swayed by facts, See PARDON, Page 6A The lawyer who recommended Wilson go free talks about his investigation. 6A Reactions from residents. 6A Time line Key dates: I April 13, 1986: The body of Pauline Martz, 79, is found in the charred ruins of her Aurora home. Five days later, police arrest Johnny Lee Wilson, a janitor, and question him for several hours until he confesses. I April 30, 1987: Wilson enters an Alford plea, meaning he admits no guilt but agrees the state has enough evidence to convict him. I May 5, 1987: Wilson becomes a state prisoner. I February-July 1988: Convicted murderer Chris Brown-field, in a Kansas prison, says he killed Martz; Wilson recants his confession. I July 23, 1991: The Missouri Supreme Court upholds Wilson's sentence but says he may seek a pardon. I May 1993: Wilson's lawyers request a pardon, but then ask Gov. Mel Carnahan to make no decision until they provide more information. I Nov. 29, 1993: From his prison cell, Brownfield writes to Carnahan saying that he not Wilson killed Martz. I Aug. 15, 1994: Wilson's lawyers furnish additional information to the governor's office, which starts a more than yearlong review. I Sept. 13, 1995: The Rev. Larry Rice begins a water-only fast to support Wilson. I Sept 29. Wilson pardoned. Teen pleads guilty in vagrant's brutal death By Ron Davis News-Leader "Me and Jason was walking on Commercial and we saw this bum. He hit the dude a couple of times with his fist and he dragged him behind this building. He was kicking him and stuff. ... I handed him a brick and he hit the dude with the brick. I kicked him and (Jason) went to get some sticks." With those words 17-year-old Dea-drick Rocket on Friday admitted that he helped beat a man to death. Gerhard "Gary" Jones, a 39-year-old transient, was the victim. He died April 16, 1994. He was found behind a business in the 900 block of West Commercial Street. Said prosecutor Cynthia Rushefsky: "He basically had his head crushed in." Rocket and a co-defendant, Jason Cunningham, were arrested and certified as adults. Both were 15 when Jones died. The "why" behind the crime still eludes. If there is a motive, it could come out next month, when Cunningham, 17, is tried on a charge of second-degree murder, which carries a life sentence. Rocket has agreed to testify against his friend. In exchange for his words, Rocket got some leniency. He pleaded guilty Friday to involuntary manslaughter; the plea agreement calls for seven years in prison, the maximum, with the state opposing probation. Sentencing is set for Dec. 1. '. Rocket gave no reason for the attack as he spoke to Circuit Judge Da- : J i I Steve J.P. Liang News-Leader Deadrick Rocket, 15, told a judge he helped beat Gerhard "Gary" Jones to death in 1994. vid Anderson. . A ninth-grade dropout with an IQ of 70, Rocket couldn't spell his middle name Dwayne when asked by Anderson. But Rocket said he understood what was going on in court, and Anderson accepted his guilty plea. To hear Rocket tell it, Jones wasjust someone to beat. The "sticks" that Rocket mentioned in his confession were actually railroad ties. ' "Pretty big sticks," Anderson noted.- ; "Yes, sir," Rocket replied. AIDS Project having to refuse service Workers are angry that patients won't get help because of how the state handled funds. By Amy Lavalley News-Leader The funding crisis at AIDS Project of the Ozarks is so dire that the agency has stopped accepting new clients. "We have established a priority list. For those who are in desperate need, we will try and meet their needs," Director Dave Peters said Friday. Five or six people are already on a waiting list for services. Earlier this month, the state Department of Health announced that in just five months, it spent a year's worth of federal money, allocated by the Ryan White Care Act. And even though the Health De-partmentis reevaluating how it handled the program, the funding crisis continues to devastate peo ple with AIDS Peters and HIV who need the money for ev erything from medicine to grocer ies. AIDS Project of the Ozarks has 257 clients in a 29-county area who relied to some extent on that money. A woman tells how to survive, even thrive, when HIV positive. 5A Peters spent Thursday in Jefferson City learning about what the Health Department plans to do about the dilemma. The program actually went more than $1.6 million in debt before it stopped filling funding requests on Sept 18. The Health Department plans expense cuts and hiring freezes to make up the deficit. It will also work with the state Social Services and Mental Health departments to find other funding. AIDS-related grants will be redirected, and reserve Health Department funds will be released. See AIDS, Page 5A Republicans rebuff House leadership New York Times News Service WASHINGTON - House Republicans who are angry over issues like abortion and mining rights joined the Democrats to defeat two major spending bills Friday, a significant rebuff to the Republican leadership. The House refused to pass House-Senate compromises on bills for the defense and interior departments, which account for roughly a quarter of the budget Such compromises are usually adopted routinely; Friday's vote reflected the increasing difficulty that Republicans have had with spending bills complicated by ideological overtones, troubles they will face again when Congress returns from next week's recess. The votes onbothbills 267 to 151 on defense and 277 to 147 on interior were by large enough margins to stiffen the administration's resolve and give it a stronger hand as House and Senate negotiators go back to the drawing board to work out new compromises. y '1 Dole Details on the spending showdown and Bob Packwood's last day. A The situation was only slightly less chaotic in the Senate, where the majority leader, Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas, spent the day in what Democrats called a futile exercise to pass a $26.5 billion bill for the departments of Commerce, Justice and State. The debate dragged on all day before Dole interrupted it In an exercise that took less than a minute, Dole allowed members to give final approval to a deal to keep the government running in the new fiscal year that starts Sunday. INSIDE Marketplace: Don't panic if you receive a notice from your employer before year's end saying that your company's pension plan is underfunded. 7A Ozarks: Attorney General Jay Nixon says he will do everything possible to prevent land-based casinos from coming into Missouri, 1B WEATHER Today promises to be partly cloudy with a high in the low 80s. Tomorrow: cooler. 2A 6i r ' LOTTERY INDEX PICK 3 1-4-6 SHOW-ME S 4-13-15-16-29 Vol. 105. No. 273 ' 1995. News-Leader Across Ozarks 2B Classified SC Comics 9B Crossword SB Deaths 48 Martiets 7A Movies 7B Neighbors 3B Opinion 10A Ozarics IB Sports 1C Weather 2A PImm RECYCLE. The News-Leader is printed partially on recycled paper and is 100 recyclable. A Gannett Newspaper Precipitation: 40 I40901"42035I i

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