Originally created 11/29/06

Across the Southeast



Submariner will plead in espionage case

NORFOLK, VA. - A submariner accused of stealing a Navy laptop and peddling its classified contents to an undisclosed foreign government plans to plead guilty next week to some of the six charges against him, his civilian lawyer said Tuesday.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Ariel J. Weinmann, 22, of Salem, Ore., is scheduled for court-martial Monday at Norfolk Naval Station, where he was being held in the brig.

He has agreed to plead guilty to some of the charges under a pretrial agreement that also includes a maximum possible sentence, said attorney Phillip Stackhouse, a retired Marine lawyer from Jacksonville, N.C.

He declined to say which charges the officer will plead guilty to or give details about the sentence. He said the sentencing phase of the trial could last the week.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Weinmann is charged with espionage, desertion, failing to properly safeguard and store classified information, copying classified information, communicating classified information to a person not entitled to receive it, and stealing and destroying a government computer. He could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of espionage.

SUV trying to outrun train is hit; girl dies

CHELSEA, ALA. - The driver of a sport utility vehicle was apparently trying to outrun a train when the two collided, killing a teenage girl and injuring five other Chelsea High School students, authorities said Tuesday.

Hannah Yeager, 14, of Sterrett, was killed in the crash, which occurred Monday afternoon along a rural stretch of road. Two other teens were in good condition another was in fair condition. Two others were treated and released.

Shelby County Coroner Doug Ballard said it was unclear who was driving at the time.

- Edited from wire reports