PHOENIX - Jurors in the Jodi Arias murder trial told the judge Wednesday they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on whether the convicted murderer should be sentenced to life in prison or death for killing her onetime boyfriend, prompting the judge to instruct them to try to work through their differences.
The jury reported its impasse after about 21/2 hours of deliberations that began Tuesday afternoon.
Under state law, a hung jury in the death-penalty phase of a trial requires a new jury to be seated to decide the punishment. If the second jury cannot reach a unanimous decision, the judge would sentence Arias to spend her entire life in prison or be eligible for release after 25 years. - AP
LOS ANGELES - City Councilman Eric Garcetti defeated Controller Wendy Greuel to become the next mayor of Los Angeles after a caustic campaign in which he depicted his fellow Democrat as a pawn of powerful labor bosses.
With all precincts reporting Wednesday, Garcetti had 54 percent of the vote to Greuel's 46 percent.
During the campaign, Garcetti, 42, promised to increase jobs and patch up the city's battered streets and sidewalks. He will be the city's first elected Jewish mayor when he takes office July 1. - AP
CHICAGO - The Chicago Board of Education voted Wednesday to close 50 schools and programs, a plan that has sparked protests and lawsuits and could help define - for better or worse - Mayor Rahm Emanuel's term in office.
"The only consideration for us today is to do exactly what is right for the children," schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said before the board's vote.
Critics have blasted Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff, and Byrd-Bennett, saying the closings disproportionately affect minority neighborhoods and will endanger children who may have to cross gang boundaries to get to a new school.
Emanuel and Byrd-Bennett say the nation's third-largest school district is facing a deficit of about $1 billion. - AP
SPOKANE, Wash. - A man was arrested Wednesday in a case involving last week's discovery of a pair of letters containing the deadly poison ricin.
A grand jury indictment accuses Matthew Ryan Buquet, 37, of mailing a death threat to U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle in Spokane on May 14.
A search of federal court records turned up no indication that Buquet had ever appeared before Van Sickle or had any connection to the judge. Little information about Buquet was immediately available. - AP