Mustang death toll rises, and activists cry 'nay'

RENO - Activists in Nevada are questioning the rising death toll from a government roundup of wild horses from the range north of Reno.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman JoLynn Worley said 77 mustangs involved in the Calico Mountains Complex gather have died so far - 70 at a Fallon facility where they were taken and the rest at the roundup site.

That's nearly double the 39 horses that had died when the roundup of 1,922 horses concluded on Feb. 5.

Horse advocates are pressing the government for measures to protect the horses.


Woman gardening topless sparks new housing rules

BOULDER - A woman gardening wearing only a yellow thong and pink gloves has brought neighborhood complaints and new rules from a housing authority in Colorado.

Boulder Housing Partners plans to amend its rules so that tenants cover up when they're outside. Several passers-by told Boulder police earlier this week that 52-year-old Catharine Pierce was topless while tending to her yard. Last year, she was threatened with eviction for gardening wearing only pasties and a thong.

Police responding to Wednesday's reports decided Pierce wasn't breaking any laws.

Robert Pierce said he'll fight changes that would keep his wife from gardening outside topless, which is legal under state and city law.


Inmate cleared of rape gets posthumous pardon

FORT WORTH - The family of a Texas man who died while imprisoned for a rape he didn't commit has been given a framed copy of the state's first posthumous pardon - a document that finally proves his innocence.

Gov. Rick Perry granted Timothy Cole's pardon nearly three weeks ago and gave his relatives the document Friday at a Fort Worth hotel.

Perry called the occasion "solemn" but "joyful" because it restored Cole's "good name."

Cole was cleared by DNA testing in 2008, nine years after he died in prison at age 39 of asthma complications. He had been in prison more than 13 years.

The test that cleared Cole in a Texas Tech University student's rape also implicated convicted rapist Jerry Wayne Johnson.

Polygamist gets 75 years for sex assault of a child

SAN ANGELO - The latest member of a polygamist group whose sprawling West Texas ranch was raided in 2008 has been sentenced to 75 years in prison for sexual assault of a child.

Thirty-five-year-old Merril Leroy Jessop was sentenced Friday. Jurors earlier this week also found he violated Texas laws prohibiting bigamy.

Jessop is the fourth member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be tried since authorities raided and seized documents from the Yearning For Zion Ranch.

The Texas attorney general's office says eight more group members are awaiting trial.


Judge says accused killer's defense costs will be paid

ORLANDO - A judge ruled Friday that Casey Anthony is indigent and can use public money to help pay for her defense against charges that she killed her 2-year-old daughter.

Circuit Judge Stan Strickland issued the ruling a day after her attorney disclosed that ABC had paid the Florida mother and her relatives $200,000 for exclusive use of family photos and videos.

In his ruling, the judge said Anthony met the standards under the law to be deemed indigent. A new lawyer joined Anthony's defense team Thursday, agreeing to help represent her pro bono. In Anthony's case, the judge's ruling means the state will cover defense costs, but not lawyer's fees.

The Associated Press