SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Prosecutors will no longer seek the death penalty against a southwest Missouri man who is charged with killing a classmate.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that they dropped the possibility of capital punishment after 20-year-old Gabriel Roche of Republic agreed to have his case decided by a judge, not a jury.
Roche is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the December 2011 death of 17-year-old Weston North. Roche took his classmate to a secluded area and stabbed him before slitting his throat.
Prosecutors say Roche believed North was a police informant.
The Springfield News-Leader reports Roche's attorneys didn't dispute that their client killed North. They asked the judge to consider charging him with second-degree murder, arguing that Roche was on drugs and hallucinating during the killing.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt are taking different approaches to buying health care policies through new online marketplaces.
The federal health care law requires members of Congress and their staff to get insurance through a health insurance exchange.
Blunt says he already has selected a plan through the District of Columbia's exchange. He will receive an employer contribution to put toward the purchase price, but the Republican senator says he will donate an equal amount to charity.
McCaskill says she plans to shop next week for a policy for herself and two daughters on the Missouri exchange, which is run by the federal government. The Democratic senator won't receive an employer contribution for her policy.
FREEBURG, Ill. (AP) - A state arbitrator says a southwestern Illinois village acted appropriately when officials fired two police officers who pulled pranks on colleagues, broke into the evidence locker and damaged police property.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports arbitrator Gerard Fowler has ruled the conduct of John Blomenkamp and Steve Burrows "was so egregious and so harmful to the prosecution of future cases that the village was well advised to terminate their employment as police officers."
A lawyer for the officers had argued that 4,300-resident St. Clair County village's actions against his clients may have been politically motivated by their union activities.
Blomenkamp and Burrows had sought their jobs back and pay retroactive to their firings in August of last year.