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Witness: Man killed by police told officers ‘shoot me’

(AP) — Two witnesses said an unarmed Mexican immigrant fatally shot by police in Washington state fought with an officer, threw rocks and told officers to shoot him before they opened fire, documents released Wednesday show.

A prosecutor is deciding whether the three officers who shot Zambrano-Montes should face criminal charges, a process likely to take months.

The newly released data included video from witnesses and raw audio files.

In one audio file, witness Benjamin Patrick told investigators he yelled at officers after Zambrano-Montes was shot.

Authorities say Zambrano-Montes had been throwing rocks at passing motorists and police, and a stun gun failed to subdue him before he was shot.

Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant issued a statement with the document release, saying he was still deciding if the three officers would be charged with any crimes.

An independent autopsy commissioned by attorney Charles Herrmann, who represents Zambrano-Montes’ parents, showed the man suffered seven entrance wounds, including one to his buttocks and one to the back of his right arm.

Attorney George Trejo Jr., who represents Zambrano-Montes’ estranged wife and daughter, said the prosecutor’s decision seems simple.

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California cities show biggest water savings yet in drought

(AP) — California’s drought-stricken cities set a record for water conservation, reducing usage 29 percent in May, according to data released by a state agency Wednesday.

Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board enforcing Brown’s order, said the results show it’s possible to meet steep conservation targets.

California is in a four-year drought that has devastated some rural communities, prompted some farmers to leave fields unplanted or tap expensive water supplies and dented fish populations.

Many cities have avoided the brunt of the dry spell because of backup supplies and preparation, but the governor wanted conservation efforts ramped up with no clear end to the drought in sight.

As SC fire investigated, stats show church fires not unusual

GREELEYVILLE, S.C. (AP) — The Rev. John Taylor feared the worst when he learned his church was on fire, only days after a mass shooting at a black church in Charleston prompted Southern leaders to call for removing Confederate flags.

The Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church was burned to the ground by the Ku Klux Klan in 1995, one of many arsons at black churches that prompted President Bill Clinton to create a federal task force that led to hundreds of arrests.

Preliminary indications suggest the Mount Zion fire was not the result of arson, according to a federal official who spoke with The Associated Press Wednesday on condition of anonymity, for lack of authority to discuss the case publicly.

More than a half-dozen fires at black churches have burned in the days since a white gunman was charged with murder in the shootings of nine black churchgoers in Charleston.

According to the best available national statistics, if these have been the only church fires happening recently, this would be a relatively safe time.

An average of 31 houses of worship burned every week from 2007 through 2011, according to a 2013 estimate by the National Fire Protection Association, which analyzed government data and survey results.

Was someone looking to make a statement after President Barack Obama called for an honest accounting of America’s racial history during his eulogy in Charleston on Friday?

The Clinton task force found whites represented 63 percent of the people arrested for bombing or burning black churches in the late 1990s, but 37 percent were black.

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Polygamous Montana trio applies for wedding license

(AP) — A Montana man said Wednesday that he was inspired by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to apply for a marriage license so that he can legally wed his second wife.

Montana, like all 50 states, outlaws bigamy — holding multiple marriage licenses — but Collier said he plans to sue if the application is denied.

Chief Justice John Roberts said in his dissent that people in polygamous relationships could make the same legal argument that not having the opportunity to marry disrespects and subordinates them.

Anne Wilde, a co-founder of the polygamy advocacy organization Principle Voices located in Utah, said Collier’s application is the first she’s heard of in the nation, and that most polygamous families in Utah are not seeking the right to have multiple marriage licenses.

Wilde said most polygamous families are satisfied with the judge’s ruling and believe taking it further to include multiple marriage licenses would bring them under the unwanted jurisdiction of the government.

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Boy chained up with dead chicken around neck tells his story

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Handcuffed and shackled to a block of steel, the young boy would brace himself when he heard footsteps outside his bedroom door.

For years, he was whipped with belts, his face was burned with electrical wires and his fingers were broken with pliers — all to “teach him a lesson.”

The abusers, who have since pleaded guilty, were his legal guardian — a supervisor with the Department of Social Services in Union County, North Carolina — and her longtime boyfriend, an emergency room nurse.

The abuse ended in November 2013 after police discovered the boy in handcuffs, chained to the front porch of the house with a dead chicken hung around his neck.

When police entered the roach-infested house “covered with urine and animal feces,” they found something else: four other children, ages 7 to 14, who had been adopted by the couple over the years.

Harper, 58, was sentenced to up to 10 ½ years in prison after pleading guilty March 17 to maiming, intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury and assault with a deadly weapon.

Wearing a green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-shirt and blue gym shorts, he sat on a couch in his living room, patiently answering questions.

Barely 5 feet tall and slender, with brown hair and brown eyes, he looked younger than 13.

Court documents say he was put in foster care a decade ago after problems arose at the home of an aunt where he had been staying while his mother was moving from another state, and he ended up with Larson.

Eventually, Larson and Harper pulled the children out of a Union County school, saying they’d school them at their secluded home where they also kept farm animals.

The boy says he was handcuffed and chained to a steel anvil in his locked room where he slept on the floor.

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Confederate emblems ‘treason,’ says head of rights group

(AP) — The national president of a civil-rights group says Confederate symbols represent “treason” and should be removed from public objects, including the Mississippi state flag.

Since the Charleston killings, some Mississippi leaders have called for changing the flag the state adopted in 1894, with the Confederate X in the upper left corner.

Mississippi House Speaker, Philip Gunn, a Republican, cites his Christian faith in saying the Confederate emblem is offensive and the state needs a flag that would unify people.

Greg Stewart, a longtime member of the Mississippi Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans, said he believes politicians are latching onto the Charleston shootings as an excuse to change Confederate symbols and distract attention from other issues, such as an international trade agreement recently debated in Washington.

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