MONCKS CORNER, S.C.

Couple charged in death of tot found in concrete

A man and his girlfriend were charged Thursday in the death of a South Carolina toddler whose remains were found buried in 400 pounds of concrete in a trash can, two days after police said the couple concocted a story about the boy falling into a harbor near a popular tourist destination.

Roger Williams, 29, and Grace Nichole Trotman, 24, were charged with homicide by child abuse. An autopsy revealed the concrete held the body of a young boy who matched the description the couple had given Charleston police for Williams’ missing son, Rodricus Williams, police said.

Rodricus had been staying with his father and Trotman when his mother unexpectedly called wanting to see her son, police said. She was told she could pick him up Tuesday at the Battery in Charleston.

The couple claimed the boy had fallen from the Battery into Charleston Harbor, touching off a search by police and rescue workers.

Investigators were awaiting the results of a DNA test to confirm that the boy found in the bin was Rodricus.

PHOENIX

Donations for defense of immigration law pour in

Retirees and other residents from all over the country were among those who donated nearly $500,000 to help Arizona defend its immigration enforcement law, with most chipping in $100 or less, according to an analysis of documents obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

The donations, 88 percent of which came from through the defense fund’s website, surged this week after the federal government sued Tuesday to challenge the law.

Website contributions came from all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and nearly 2,000 came from within Arizona. Donations ranged from $5 to $2,000.

The Arizona law includes a requirement that police enforcing another law must investigate the immigration status of people if there is “reasonable suspicion” to believe the people are in the United States illegally.

LAS CRUCES, N.M.

Man taught son, 6, how to make bombs, police say

Police say a father taught his 6-year-old son how to build explosives, and threatened to kill the child’s mother.

Anthony Stromberg, 44, was being held Thursday in the Las Cruces jail on $150,000 bond on one count of child abuse.

Las Cruces detectives said Stromberg gave his son detailed lessons on how to build explosives and that the boy went to the desert several times with his father to blow up explosives.

Detectives also alleged that after an argument with the child’s 26-year-old mother about two weeks ago, Stromberg told the boy he was going to kidnap her and shoot her.

The parents do not live together but share custody of the boy. The mother is his primary caretaker.

Authorities said the boy confided in an adult, who alerted police.

Stromberg, a heavy-equipment operator, was arrested by the Las Cruces Police Department’s SWAT team, with help from federal, state and local authorities.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.

Wife assisted husband’s killers, indictment alleges

The wife of a Florida travel executive who was beaten to death in a suburban New York hotel let the killers into the room and handed them a pillow to put over his face, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.

The victim was 53-year-old Ben Novack Jr., son of the founder of the storied Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach.

Narcy Novack, 53, her brother and two others were indicted in the July 12, 2009, slaying at the Hilton Rye Town in Rye Brook.

Narcy Novack was arrested Thursday at her home in Fort Lauderdale.