WASHINGTON, D.C.

U.S. won't prosecute Lerner for contempt

The Justice Department won't seek criminal contempt charges against Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of a controversy over how the agency treated conservative political groups.

Ronald Machen, the outgoing U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, announced the decision in a letter to House Speaker John A. Boehner.

The GOP-controlled House had referred the case to federal prosecutors after lawmakers voted last year to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for her refusal to testify before a pair of committee hearings.

Lerner directed the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. She set off a political firestorm in 2013 when she disclosed that agents had singled out applications from tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny. - AP
NEVADA

No death penalty

The district attorney in Las Vegas said prosecutors won't seek the death penalty against two men charged with killing a mother of four in what was initially described as road rage. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said Wednesday that he and a panel of supervisory deputies decided capital punishment isn't warranted in the case against Erich Milton Nowsch Jr., 19, and Derrick Andrews, 26. Nowsch is accused of killing Tammy Meyers, 44, in February in a spray of gunfire from a car with Andrews at the wheel. It eventually became evident that the shooting stemmed from a tragic series of coincidences and misperceptions. - AP

NORTH CAROLINA

Noose on campus

Duke University's president said the elite North Carolina school was trying to find out who hung a rope noose from a tree. The noose was found about 2 a.m. Wednesday in the plaza outside a building that houses a student commons area. - AP