Libby drops his conviction appeal

WASHINGTON - Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is no longer appealing his conviction in the leak case involving CIA operative Valerie Plame, a tacit recognition that continuing his legal fight might only make things worse.

Libby, 57, former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the case. President Bush commuted his 30-month prison term in July. As a convicted felon, Libby will lose his law license and, in some states, cannot vote. He might have had a chance to avoid those consequences had he won on appeal, but at a new trial his commutation would be meaningless and Libby again would face potential prison time.

Libby's attorney, Theodore Wells, said: "The burden on Mr. Libby and his young family of continuing to pursue his complete vindication is too great to ask them to bear."

- AP

Jailed man admits cold-case murders

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - A man already behind bars and with a long history of sex crimes has admitted killing nine people in cold cases dating back at least 30 years, authorities said yesterday.

Timothy Krajcir, originally from Allentown, Pa., pleaded guilty in Illinois to first-degree murder in the 1982 strangling of a Southern Illinois University student. Later in the day, Cape Girardeau officials said Krajcir had already admitted killing five women there in 1977 and 1982.

Cape Girardeau police also said Krajcir, 63, admitted to three killings "in other jurisdictions." Krajcir was sentenced yesterday to 40 years for the Illinois killing. He agreed to admit to the Missouri killings in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without parole.

- AP

Prosecutor: Pair tortured maids

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - Two Indonesian housekeepers were subjected to "a cruel form of torture," a prosecutor said yesterday at the trial of a millionaire couple charged with modern-day slavery.

In his closing statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Lesko said the women were scalded, forced to eat vomit, stabbed, and forced to take freezing showers. Varsha Mahender Sabhnani and her husband, Mahender Murlidhar Sabhnani, pleaded not guilty to charges including conspiracy and involuntary servitude.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Hoffman said that complaints the maids voiced in letters to relatives in Indonesia were "gross exaggerations" intended to get better-paying jobs in the United States.

- AP

Elsewhere:

Jurors said they were

still deadlocked in the trial of seven Miami men accused of plotting to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices, but U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard ordered them to keep deliberating.

A Missouri man

who lied about being the father of sextuplets so he and his wife could solicit donations was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison for violating probation. Kris Everson, 35, and his wife, Sarah, 46, had been sentenced in August 2006 to four years probation after each pleaded guilty to felony stealing by deceit. After failing to pay $3,661 restitution, he was ordered to prison.