Corpus Christi Caller-Times from Corpus Christi, Texas on April 13, 1997 · 5
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Corpus Christi Caller-Times from Corpus Christi, Texas · 5

Corpus Christi, Texas
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 13, 1997
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Corpitf Cftfeti CalltMunt Sunday April 13 1997B11 tv Briefs African youths cheer Texan’s round-the-world attempt DAKAR Senegal - School-children danced and prayed Saturday for Texas pilot Linda Finch who took off for Spain on her attempt to follow the round-the-world route of Amelia Earhart “This is great - it makes the trip easy” Finch told students from Martin Luther King secondary school who gathered at Leopold Seddar Scnghor Airport in this West African country to cheer her on before she lifted off for Las Palmas Spain Finch a 46-year-old Texas businesswoman said she hoped the trip would be an educational tool to rekindle hope in children around the world Finch left Oakland Calif on March 17 the same day Earhart took off in 1937 She hopes to finish the journey that Earhart had hoped would make her the first woman to circumnavigate the globe Dallas man charged after admitting to coin scheme DALLAS - A 36-year-old Dallas man has been charged with mail fraud for using his business to steal $9389 in coins from an Iowa man Sam Christopher Zabbia signed court documents Friday adm' imitting that he solicited coins from collectors promising appraisals and a search for buyers He said he sold the Iowa man’s coins in 1993 and never forwarded the money to his customer The FBI determined that Zabbia caused losses totaling as much as $411000 to at least 27 victims many of them elderly Three other indictments are pending against Zabbia alleging he pocketed valuable coins as long ago as 1975 ‘Zabbia who will be sentenced later is the third defendant arrested in a Dallas-area ring of rare-coin thieves IMgger man gets 45 years for racially motivated killing TYLER - The trigger man in the racially motivated murder of a homeless black man has been sentenced to 45 yean in prison Todd Rasco 23 of Whitehouse received the sentence late Friday as part of a plea agreement with the prosecution Prosecutors recommended the sentence in exchange for his cooperation as a witness for the prosecution in the trial of Chad Crow who was sentenced on Tliesday Crow who is also from White- house received 37'i yean for shi encouraging Rasco to shoot Holland Man charged In murder got immunity In earlier case DALLAS - A man now charged with the murder of a truck driver had murder charges dropped against him once before at the request of the victim's family Adonis Baxter exchanged his testimony in a 1994 murder case for immunity I le agreed to testify in a civil lawsuit the victim's family filed against the apartment complex where the murder occurred the family ended up getting $250000 Now Baxter is again charged with murder this time in the January slaying of Stephenville truck driver Nobile Butler ' Jputler! 58 was killed outside a harden milk plant in south Dallas duringan attempted robbery pplice said Investigators said four ipen jumped on Butler’s tro£k and orte shot him in the back Baxter was arrested in AuroraCola From The Associated Press For a Limited Time fs L'-- ' ' T r -At is- ' ' I find inspiration in the fun dramatic play of light a Still no leads Father believes 12-year-old is being held against her will Volunteers continued their search Saturday Marine Corps reservists and Texas State Guard and National Guard units are also searching By Terri Langford Associated Press FRIENDSWOOD - The night before Laura Kate Smither vanished from her home she and her family were celebrating the homecoming of her stepmother Gail at a local restaurant A snowstorm in the Northeast had extended Gail Smither's four-day stay in Boston to a week Finally a break in the weather on April 2 allowed her to return home to her husband Bob her 9-year-old son David and her 12-year-old stepdaughter Laura Tney were about 12 hours from a family ordeal They picked up Gail Smither at Ellington Field the airstrip closest to home then went out for dinner Laura appeared to be her usual happy adolescent self according to her father The next morning April 3 Laura left for a jog down the fam- ily's rural Ware Dairy Road She hasn't been seen since The plight of the Smithers’ has shocked Friendswood a woodsy community dose to NASA’s Johnson Space Center about 20 miles southeast of Houston The 23000 who live here are used to quick mobilization in times of trouble However trou- ble for this area - 30 miles from Galveston Bay - usually comes in 1 the shape of torrential rainstorm or hurricane "I’ve got two daughters I have a 17-year-old and a 14-year-old” said Ken Brown of Friendswood one of the hundreds of searchers looking for Laura over the weekend "I just know how I’d be feeling if it were me” Brown said as he combed through brush near a canal "Everybody always helps everybody out” said volunteer Brad Shelton Despite the good face the community puts on the longer Laura is missing the more grows the fear that the girl smiling through her braces on posters and fliers may not return alive No one in Friendswood wants to consider that possibility so they continued their search Saturday helped by Marine Corps reservists and Texas State Guard and National Guard units - on horseback in cars on foot Laura’s 52-year-old father just shakes his head when asked if his daughter - an aspiring ballet dancer with a love of history -showed any unusual behavior in the days before she disappeared He said he is convinced that his child is being held against her will Smithera yellow ribbon pinned to his chest said he can’t recall if he saw Laura the morning after her stepmother returned "It’s so routine” he said of the family's morning habits - so routine that he found them hard to remember "I'm not clear if I saw her at all that morning” he said Laura Kate Smither was bprn on April 23 1984 to Miles A “Bob” Smither and Carol L “Don’t Kill The Appetite IJO ) Heal The Appetite” BARIATRIC System of Weight Loss Lose Up To 20 Pounds Our Exciting New Designer Lines are available at Special Savings of stertint silver and in the on simple lines m Rigoberto No I in search for girl missing Bob Smither (right) father of missing Laura Kate Smither believes she is being tab'll '' ’ 1 WAi US Marines search a field inFriendswood Saturday looking for missing 12-year-oid Laura kate Smither More than 550 people have joined the search Smither Eighteen months later Carol Smither died of breast cancer and the widower was left to care for Laura with the help of a nanny from Zimbabwe - Gail E Orsmond Since 1978 shortly after aim- plcting a doctorate in electrical engineering at the University of Houston Smither has operated an electronic design company Circuit Concepts Inc from his home His doctoral dissertation titled “Contribution to the Study of Electron Interactions” is dedicat- In 4 Weeks! Call 855-5888 Unmistakably Rigobcrto Jewelry Designs The Marriage of Silver & Gold redefined with flair & elegance iiiiim Crossroads Village 5830 McAidlc Mds village j ' i I ! - "-'if ' '" t ' iffy-'- & '£: ed to his first wife - ‘To Carol who knows why' But when Carol became ill they sought a nanny and hired Gail After his wife's death his depen- dcnce on Gail evolved and deep- ened According to records they were married in Houston on July 2 1986 and Gail immediately sought to adopt Laura a fact San Marcos Baptist Academy Windows Of Opportunity San Marcos Baptist Academy is a private boarding school for boys in grades 6-12 and girls in grades 8-12 Day school enrollment is available fqr boys and girls in grades 6-12 Our goal at the Academy is to guide assist and inspire our students to discover appreciate and realize their potential in a Christian environment Yfe offer college prep for a wide range of student abilities leadership opportunities through JROTC and the girls COEDS program a full athletic program various student activities Quality Education in a Christian Environment For more information contact the Admissions Office at: 2801 Ranch Road 12 San Marcos TX 78666 Phone: 1-800428-5120 or Fax (512) 7508031 There will be an information session at the Omni Bayfront Hotel (900 N Shoreline Blvd) on Monday April 14 at 7:00 pm Come and learn about curriculum campus life and admissions for the upcoming Fall enrollment PUBLIC INVITED nine days held against her will Smither emphasized “She’s the adoptive mother” he says A few years later their son David was born and the four lived happily until April 3 That morning Gail Smither and David were in the kitchen getting a breakfast of pancakes ready Smither said Laura told Gail Smither she was going out for a run part of the strength conditioning she was pursuing as part of her ballet lessons Gail Smither told the girl to be back in 20 minutes for breakfast When Smither came to the breakfast table about 9:25 or 9:30 am Laura had not returned Then began the search for Laura he said Six days later the FBI took from the Smithers’ home a computer Laura used for electronic mail and cruising cyberspace Agents shipped it to Washington DC to examine it for dues As the search entered its ninth day Saturday police and the FBI said they had no developments “Whoever has Laura could have anybody's child” Smither said Salinas ordered to testify Mexico’s ex-president can fight subpoena Associated Press MEXICO CITY - Carlos Salinas de Gortari has been ordered to testify in his brother’s murder trial in the first subpoena ever issued to a former president of modern Mexico The subpoena was issued Friday by federal Judge Ricardo Ojeda Salinas already voluntarily answered prosecutors' questions he met with them in January in Dublin where he has lived since 1995 Ojeda said C Salinas Carlos Salinas would be able to present his testimony on murder and other charges against his brother Raul Salinas at a Mexican consulate in Ireland j Legal experts cited Saturday by the Mexican daily La Jornada said Carlos Salinas could appeal the subpoena under a federal law that says witnesses cannot be required to testify against a relative ! A spokesman for the federal attorney general’s office said it was the first subpoena issued to a for mer president in modern Mexican history ) Raul Salinas is in a high-security prison charged with murder in the Sept 28 1994 killing of Jose Fran-! cisco Ruiz Massicu then the second-ranking leader of Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party Authorities said Wednesday they had evidence indicating that Car-i los Salinas knew his older brother’s name came up repeatedly during an investigation into the death of Ruiz Massieu ! Carlos Salinas acknowledged under questioning by Mexican investigators in Dublin in January that the prosecutor then handling the murder case told him about Raul Salinas' alleged involvement in October 1994 while he was still in office Through a lawyer Friday Carlos Salinas rejected “any insinuation” he might have intervened in the investigation that led to his brother's arrest Saturday Mexican authorities reported that a fugitive former! prosecutor accused of tampering with evidence may have also lied on financial disclosure reports required of all federal officials The Federal Comptroller’s Office said former prosecutor Pablo Chapa Bezanilla engaged iq omissions and irregularities in his personal financial report the Mex ico City daily El Universal report-1 ed The former prosecutor is already sought for questioning on accusa-i tions he planted a skeleton at the home of Carlos Salinas’ brother in a bid to incriminate him Wv I’-1' ' 1 1 n MFtfMUMMto i t 1 d d r I £ v 1 J i f t f K V i I r l i i i 1 1 ' ' ‘ I i ' I V L

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