The Devil Made Them Do It 

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Curses, Foiled Again
A woman in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., reported hearing a man outside her bedroom window telling someone on a cell phone, “I’m about to commit a crime.” She awoke her boyfriend, who said he observed the intruder sit down on a nearby deck and continue his call. Later, he heard a glass door breaking. An Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputy who responded followed a trail of blood from the glass door to a nearby intersection, where he found Kevin Wayne Weathersby, 30, sitting on a curb bleeding. (Northwest Florida Daily News)

A worker counting the night’s take at a Burger King in Pine Bluff, Ark., told police a man approached with a gun, threatened to kill her and demanded the cash. When he set the gun down so he could put the money in a bag, the worker grabbed it, shot the robber during a struggle, then put him in a headlock and called police, who arrested Jason Robinson, 22. (Pine Bluff Commercial Appeal)

Volkswagen Commercials Come to Life
An Iowa man was telling a 911 dispatcher that a stranger punched him for no reason at a pedestrian mall in Iowa City when he interrupted himself to tell the dispatcher that a different man had just walked up and punched him. Police said the second man was a friend of the original assailant. (Cedar Rapids’ KCRG-TV News)

Defenders of the Faith
Authorities said Timothy Neal, 44, and his twin 18-year-old sons beat up another man during a drunken brawl at a bonfire in Madison County, Mo., according to sheriff’s Capt. Brad Wells, who explained, “The victim had been talking about religion and demons when the other three became upset and started whipping up on him.” Wells added he didn’t know what specific religious issue started the argument but that the demon talk prompted the beating. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Peacock Seeking Pigeons
NBC launched a campaign to enlist social-media users to promote its shows. “A recommendation from a friend is infinitely more powerful than any message we can put out through conventional marketing channels,” said Adam Stotsky, president of NBC Entertainment Marketing. Participants in the network’s “Fan It” initiative sign up on NBC’s website and then log in to their Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or MyNBC accounts to earn points for chatting about series and directing friends to NBC-related links. They can redeem points for sneak previews of NBC shows, NBC merchandise and a chance to win attendance to the finale of The Biggest Loser or a prop from The Office. (Associated Press)

Guns and Love Don’t Mix
Justin Paul Goldstone, 21, admitted killing his girlfriend with a sawed-off shotgun, which he pointed at her with his finger on the trigger while she took his picture. Goldstone said he believed his finger was outside the trigger guard and not resting on the trigger. “I’m satisfied that you didn’t use the gun deliberately, but you did know the gun was loaded,” New Zealand Justice Forrest Miller said when sentencing Goldstone in the High Court at Auckland to three years and four months in jail. (New Zealand Press Association)

Anita Smithey, 41, admitted fatally shooting her estranged husband while they had sex at her home in Oviedo, Fla. She said Robert Cline III, 41, was being too rough, but when she told him to take it easy, he didn’t. She reached for a .38-caliber handgun on the nightstand, pointed it at his chest and warned him again, but he only laughed and leaned toward her. She said the gun fired accidentally, but he still didn’t get off her, so she fired twice more, wounding him again. According to Smithey’s arrest report, when Cline finally rolled off the bed onto the floor, she got a knife and stabbed herself in the belly to make it look like she had acted in self-defense. Smithey added that even though she and Cline had been separated for three months, they still had sex every Monday. (Orlando Sentinel)

Compiled from the nation’s press by Roland Sweet. Authentication on demand.

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