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OFFICER KILLING TRIAL
Man pleads guilty to Memphis officer's murder
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A former death row inmate is set to be released from prison after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of a Memphis police officer.
Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said Tuesday that she has accepted Timothy McKinney's guilty plea.
McKinney was convicted of first-degree murder for the fatal shooting of Officer Don Williams. The officer was killed outside a comedy club in December 1997.
McKinney appealed and won a new trial, which ended with a deadlocked jury. A third trial earlier this year also ended in a hung jury.
The Commercial Appeal reports that McKinney was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Since he's already served more than 15 years - including 11 on death row - McKinney will be released this week.
Williams' family opposed the settlement.
$22,000 reward offered in bald eagle shootings
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Officials are offering up to a $22,000 reward for information leading to convictions in the shooting of 2 bald eagles in eastern Tennessee.
1 of the eagles was shot near Soddy-Daisy in March and the other was shot near Madisonville this month. Both survived and are recovering at the American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge.
Bald eagles are protected under federal law. Violations can carry penalties of up to $100,000 and a year in prison.
The reward money has been donated by the American Eagle Foundation, the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust
Anybody with information is asked to call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (865) 692-4024 or the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at (800) 262-6704.
Pharmacist admits misbranding dialysis drugs
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Tennessee pharmacist has admitted distributing a misbranded Chinese-made drug that was given to kidney dialysis patients in Kansas.
The U.S. Attorney's office says 53-year-old Robert Harshbarger Jr., of Kingsport, Tenn., pleaded guilty Tuesday in Topeka to one count each of distributing a misbranded drug and health care fraud.
Harshbarger admitted that from 2004 to 2009, he substituted a cheaper Chinese import for an iron sucrose drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The drugs were given to patients of Kansas Dialysis Services. Prosecutors say there were no reports of harm, but patients were put at risk because the FDA could not assure the drugs' effectiveness and safety.
Harshbarger's plea deal calls for four years in prison, restitution of nearly $849,000 and a forfeiture of $425,000.
Medtronic cuts 2,000 jobs worldwide, 500 in Minn.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Medical device maker Medtronic confirms it is eliminating 2,000 jobs worldwide, including 500 in Minnesota.
About half of the jobs being eliminated are in the U.S.
A Medtronic spokeswoman tells the Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/10Mn866 ) about 65% of the job cuts have already occurred. The rest will be eliminated in the current fiscal year that ends next April.
Most of the job losses are in the Fridley-based company's Cardiovascular Group and in its spine business, with nearly half related to Medtronic's efforts to consolidate manufacturing.
The total of 2,000 jobs to be cut includes 230 job cuts Medtronic announced earlier this month at the company's Memphis-based spine facility.
Medtronic shares rose 5% Tuesday after the company reported better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings on sales of implantable heart defibrillators and pacemakers.
DAM FISHING RESTRICTIONS
House passes 2-year moratorium on dam barriers
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The U.S. House has passed legislation that would put a 2-year moratorium on an Army Corps of Engineers plan to erect barriers to prevent people from fishing below dams on the Cumberland River.
U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield heralded final passage of the Freedom to Fish Act on Tuesday. Whitfield was a leading proponent of the measure in the House.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., was co-sponsored by Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Bob Corker of Tennessee.
Whitfield said the bill thwarts, at least temporarily, an effort to "take away some of the best fishing in Kentucky." Passage of the measure, Whitfield said, allows time to work out a permanent solution.
The measure now goes to President Barack Obama for consideration.
HOMICIDE SUSPECT ARRESTED
Texas arrest of suspect in Nashville homicide
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Police in Nashville say Texas state troopers and deputy U.S. marshals have arrested a homicide suspect in Lyford, Texas.
Eric Lozano, who is 31 years old and from Lyford, was arrested Monday night in the killing of Mitchel T. Moreno in a Nashville motel room. Moreno was 52 and was from the Denmark community in Madison County, Tenn.
Police said Lozano is a long haul truck driver.
A maintenance worker at the Cumberland Inn found Moreno dead on May 9. He died of an apparent beating.
If Lozano waives extradition, he will be returned to Nashville to face a criminal homicide charge.
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