EX-JUDGE IN VENEZUELA TO BE SENTENCED IN US DRUG CASE
A former Venezuelan judge faces sentencing in Miami federal court in a cocaine trafficking case linked to the government of former President Hugo Chavez. A Friday afternoon hearing is set for Benny Palmeri-Bacchi, who pleaded guilty in November to charges of extortion, conspiracy to obstruct justice and money laundering conspiracy. Each charge carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING MOTHER, INJURING 2 NIECES
Authorities say a mentally ill Tampa Bay area man killed his mother and seriously injured two nieces at their New Port Richey home. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office reports that a SWAT team took 23-year-old Jason Rios into custody Thursday after a three-hour standoff at an unoccupied neighboring house.
19-YEAR-OLD KOALA BEAR DIES AT ZOO MIAMI
A 19-year-old koala bear named Cobber has died at Zoo Miami. The Miami Herald reports Cobber was put to sleep on Thursday because of ailing health including limb stiffness and labored breathing. The zoo’s communication director Ron Magill says Cobber was “like a kid in a koala suit,” eating up attention. Cobber came to the Miami zoo in April 1999. His name is Australian slang for “friend.”
DEPUTIES: MAN BEATS WOMAN, TELLS HER TO DIG HER GRAVE
A South Florida man is accused of punching, choking and shooting at his girlfriend before handing her a shovel and telling her to dig her own grave. Broward County Sheriff’s deputies say 36-year-old Ryan Yescas and his girlfriend were driving home early Tuesday when he became angry. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports Yescas told his girlfriend he was going to kill her before firing a gun at her. The bullet missed her, but shattered the front passenger window. When they got to their house in Dania Beach, authorities say Yescas took her out back and told her to dig.
LATE GOAL LIFTS FLORIDA PANTHERS PAST LA KINGS
Brandon Pirri scored with 3:05 remaining to lift the Florida Panthers over the struggling Los Angeles ings 3-2 on Thursday night. Nick Bjugstad and Aleksander Barkov also scored for the Panthers, and Roberto Luongo stopped 29 shots. Pirri grabbed a loose puck in the left circle and fired the puck past Jonathan Quick. He scored for the fourth consecutive game and the sixth in his past seven. The Panthers have won their past two games and Luongo beat the Kings for the first time in nine games.