VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press

EX-COACH: I THOUGHT I WAS DATING ZUMBA PROSTITUTE

 

ALFRED, Maine (AP) -- The first man to go trial on charges that he patronized a prostitute who worked out of her Zumba dance studio contends he thought he was engaged in a romance.

 

Alexis Wright, the fitness instructor who pleaded guilty to running a prostitution business, doesn't have to answer questions from prosecutors at the trial of the alleged client, a judge said Thursday.

 

Prosecutors had wanted the 30-year-old Wright to testify in next week's trial of Donald Hill, a former Kennebunk High School hockey coach. Under oath Thursday, Wright declined to answer questions about him, other than to point him out.

 

"He thought he had a relationship with her," said his lawyer, Gary Prolman.

 

Hill pleaded not guilty to a single misdemeanor charge. If convicted, he could be fined as much as $1,000.

 

Justice Roland Cole ruled Wright didn't have to testify after her attorney argued her testimony could open her up to prosecution on new charges, including federal crimes and perjury.

 

"I'm going to uphold her right to plead the Fifth Amendment," Cole said, referring to her right to remain silent to avoid incriminating herself.

 

She gave a small wave to her husband, Jason Trowbridge, who sat in the courtroom. He later left without comment.

 

WARRANTS FUEL QUESTIONS IN TEEN'S DISAPPEARANCE

 

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The California man who abducted a teenage family friend and tortured her mother and 8-year-old brother before killing them exchanged more than a dozen calls with the 16-year-old girl in the hours before the slaying.

 

Exactly how James Lee DiMaggio tortured them or why he and Hannah Anderson exchanged about 13 calls wasn't immediately clear, but the new details in court papers fueled questions about how and why he targeted his best friend's family and fled with a girl who has said she felt uncomfortable around him.

 

Firefighters found the body of Christina Anderson, 44, near a crowbar and what appeared to be blood next to her head. DiMaggio is believed to have shot and killed their family dog, found under a sleeping bag in the garage with blood close to its head.

 

Investigators found 8-year-old Ethan's body as they sifted through rubble.

 

DiMaggio "tortured and killed" the mother and son, San Diego County Sheriff's Detective Darren Perata wrote, offering no elaboration, in the warrants released Wednesday. Hannah was rescued days later in the Idaho wilderness, where authorities killed DiMaggio in a shootout.

 

The warrants do not indicate the time, duration or content of the calls that DiMaggio and Hannah exchanged before she was picked up at cheerleading practice Aug. 4, hours before firefighters found DiMaggio's burning garage in Boulevard, a rural town 65 miles east of San Diego.

 

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has been adamant that Hannah was an unwilling victim from start to finish. "I can't make it any clearer," he said at a news conference Monday.

 

OBESITY VERY HIGH IN 13 STATES; MANY IN THE SOUTH

 

ATLANTA (AP) -- Adult obesity still isn't budging, the latest government survey shows.

 

The national telephone survey found 13 states with very high rates of obesity last year. Overall, the proportion of U.S. adults deemed obese has been about the same for years now.

 

"A plateau is better than rising numbers. But it's discouraging because we're plateauing at a very high number," said Kelly Brownell, a Duke University public policy expert who specializes in obesity.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does the survey each year, and recently released 2012 results.

 

At least 30 percent of adults were obese in 13 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. In 2011, a dozen states reached that threshold.

 

Louisiana and Mississippi led the list. In both, nearly 35 percent of adults were obese. Colorado was lowest, with less than 21 percent obese.

 

It's not surprising states in the South and Midwest top the charts year after year, experts say. Many states in those regions have higher poverty rates.

 

"When you have a limited income, you have to buy foods that are cheap. And foods that are cheap tend to have a lot of sugar and salt and fat," said Dr. George Bray, an obesity expert at Louisiana State University.

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