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Quaid expected in Vermont court to face charge

•  Legal Interviews     updated  2015/10/12 09:11

Actor Randy Quaid is expected to be arraigned in Vermont in connection with a California vandalism case.

The 65-year-old Quaid was taken into custody Friday night while trying to cross into the United States from Canada. He was detained by troopers in Vermont after Canadian officials said he'd be deported.

Quaid and his wife, Evi, are wanted in Santa Barbara, California, to face felony vandalism charges filed in 2010 after they were found squatting in a guesthouse of a home they previously owned.

The pair skipped several court appearances and went to Canada, where Evi Quaid was granted citizenship. Randy Quaid's bid for permanent residency was denied.

Quaid is to appear in court Monday on a fugitive from justice charge. It wasn't immediately known if a hearing will be held for his wife.

A Georgia man accused of killing his toddler son by leaving him in a vehicle on a hot day is set to appear in court for a hearing.

Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley is set to hear arguments on pretrial motions Monday in the case of Justin Ross Harris.

Police have said Harris left 22-month-old Cooper in an SUV for about seven hours on a day when temperatures reached at least the high 80s in the Atlanta area. He faces multiple charges, including malice murder, felony murder and cruelty to children.

Harris has been in custody since June 18, 2014, the day his son died. He was indicted in September 2014 and has pleaded not guilty. His attorneys have said the child's death was a tragic accident.

A twice-condemned serial killer who claimed he was intellectually disabled was executed in Virginia on Thursday after a series of last-minute appeals failed.

Alfredo Prieto was pronounced dead at 9:17 p.m. at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt. The 49-year-old was injected with a lethal three-drug combination, including the sedative pentobarbital, which Virginia received from the Texas prison system.

Prieto, wearing glasses, jeans and a light blue shirt, did not resist and showed no emotion as he was strapped to the gurney.

"I would like to say thanks to all my lawyers, all my supporters and all my family members," he said, before mumbling, "Get this over with."

The El Salvador native was sentenced to death in Virginia in 2010 for the murder of a young couple more than two decades earlier. Rachael Raver and her boyfriend, Warren Fulton III, both 22, were found shot to death in a wooded area a few days after being seen at a Washington, D.C., nightspot.

Prieto was on death row in California at the time for raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl and was linked to the Virginia slayings through DNA evidence. California officials agreed to send him to Virginia on the rationale that it was more likely to carry out the execution.

He has been connected to as many as six other killings in California and Virginia, authorities have said, but he was never prosecuted because he had already been sentenced to death.

A man accused in some of the freeway shootings that put Phoenix drivers on edge for weeks pleaded not guilty Thursday as his defense lawyers questioned the strength of the evidence against him.

Attorneys for Leslie Allen Merritt Jr., 21, who was arraigned on 15 felony counts, including aggravated assault and carrying out a drive-by shooting, said outside court that the investigation by state police does not place him at the shooting scenes.

"We're going to work diligently to make sure that we investigate this fully, and we believe in his innocence," said Ulises Ferragut, one of Merritt's two attorneys.

Ferragut and attorney Jason Lamm also cited investigators' evolving timeline of the shootings. They plan to do their own investigation, looking into another person possibly admitting responsibility for any of the 11 shootings, Lamm said. They didn't identify that person or provide details.

"It's very, very early in the game to get hard confirmation on that," Lamm said.

Department of Public Safety investigators used ballistics tests to tie Merritt to four of the 11 shootings that occurred on Phoenix-area freeways between Aug. 22 and Sept. 10.

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