Originally created 07/04/06

Across the Southeast



Police think boy might have been burned alive

COUSHATTA, LA. - Investigators think a kidnapped 5-year-old boy was alive when he was set on fire in an abandoned house in northwestern Louisiana's Red River Parish.

Terrence Carter, who was arrested in connection with Saturday's kidnapping and slaying of Corinthian Houston, "has pretty well confessed to it," Sheriff Johnny Ray Norman said Monday.

Corinthian was found tied to a leather chair. Sheriff Norman said an electrical cord was wrapped around the child's neck, but he was not believed to have been strangled.

Mr. Carter, 26, of the Smith community, was arrested after Corinthian's body was found at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

Louisiana governor signs divorce bill

BATON ROUGE, LA. - Louisiana married couples with children younger than 18 soon will have to wait a year before they can get a divorce - rather than six months - after Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed legislation doubling the wait time for couples with minor children.

The bill by Rep. Ernie Alexander, R-Lafayette, extends the current six-month waiting period unless there are allegations of adultery, physical abuse or sexual abuse. Childless couples and couples with children 18 and older can get divorced after a 180-day waiting period.

Supporters of Mr. Alexander's law, which will take effect Jan. 1, said the longer waiting period is designed to give couples more time to reconsider their action. But critics said the extra six months will only increase the time that couples bicker and boost the fees paid to divorce lawyers.

The longer waiting period will not apply in cases in which couples have minor children from previous relationships.

- Edited from wire reports