Tuesday, November 23, 1999


Man deemed competent for trial in train attack

        CLEVELAND — A man accused of stabbing three people on an Amtrak train was insane at the time of the attack but is now competent for trial, according to a psychiatric evaluation.

        Judge Mary Jane Boyle on Monday announced the conclusions of the psychiatric clinic staff of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

        Aaron Hall, 41, of Ontario, Calif., is accused of wounding two Amtrak conductors and a passenger Aug. 26 in Olmsted Township, about 15 miles west of Cleveland.

        Mr. Hall has said that he acted in self-defense after he was threatened with a gun.

        Assistant Prosecutor Dan Kaseris was granted a second independent evaluation of Mr. Hall's mental condition during the train ride. Another hearing is scheduled for Dec. 22.

Man accused of dog theft
        SPRINGDALE — An Illinois man was arrested Monday, accused of shoplifting a dog from a pet store.

        Police charged Gordon Wallace, 29, of Des Plaines, Ill., with theft. Mr. Gordon, police said, walked out of the Petland store in the Tri-County Mall about 6 p.m. with a dog under his coat. He was apprehended just outside the store.

        The Pomeranian is valued at $900, according to the police report. When confronted by police, Mr. Gordon said he “just got caught doing something stupid.”

House fire kills 3
        YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Two sisters and a friend who was sleeping at their house died early Monday in a fire that apparently started in the kitchen.

        Killed were Kristla Hills, 10; her 16-year-old sister, Beverly; and their friend, La-Tisha Gibbs, also 16, firefighters said.

        Fire Chief John O'Neill said the mother of the sisters, also named Beverly Hills, and her 5-year-old godchild, Erica Bernard, were hurt.

        Erica was listed in guarded condition at St. Elizabeth Health Center, while Mrs. Hills was listed in stable condition at Forum Health Northside Medical Center.

        The cause of the fire was still under investigation, but the Mahoning County coroner's office ruled that the deaths were accidental.

Concert for lunch
        OXFORD — Music by Francis Poulenc headlines a lunchtime con cert today. Sandra Seefeld, flute, and Ron Matson, piano, will perform the composer's Sonata for Flute and Piano, and pianist Heather MacPhail will accompany narrator Elizabeth Knight in a rendition of “The Story of Babar,” for which Poulenc composed music.

        The performance is to be from 12:10 to 1 p.m. at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 25 E. Walnut Street in Oxford. Those attending are invited to bring a bag lunch. A $2 contribution is suggested.

        Information: 523-6969.

Gun seized at preschool
        PAINESVILLE — A preschooler brought a loaded .22-caliber semiautomatic handgun to class Monday, and the teacher seized it without incident.

        The youngster in the Lake-Geauga Head Start class for 3- and 4-year-olds brought the gun to show classmates, who told the teacher.

        The teacher alerted the office, which called police.

        Police Sgt. Ed Rasmussen said there was no round in the chamber, but the gun had an easy trigger that a child could pull.

        Police said the weapon apparently belonged to a 16-year-old living at the same address as the boy. No charges were immediately filed.


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