Thursday, July 29, 2004

Former professor convicted of murder

The Associated Press

PORTSMOUTH - A former college psychiatry professor was found guilty in the shooting death of the city's development director.

John M. Adams, 60, of Barboursville, W.Va., was sentenced to at least 26 years in prison after being convicted Tuesday of murder with a firearm specification, aggravated burglary and kidnapping in the July 2, 2003 slaying of Bobby Burns.

Adams' attorney, Jim Banks of Columbus, said he plans to appeal.

During the trial, witnesses testified that Adams entered Burns' home and shot him as Burns' wife watched.

Authorities said Adams left the Burns home after the shooting, drove his car a short distance and abandoned it.

Adams then forced two women to drive him across the Ohio River to Kentucky, where he got out of their vehicle, authorities said. Adams kept police at bay for about 10 minutes by threatening to shoot himself.

Police interviewed Adams the day after the shooting and videotaped it. On the tape, which was shown during the trial, Adams said he had learned from a law firm that Burns and his wife, Michele Burns, had filed a malpractice complaint over his treatment of Michele.

Adams told detectives that he went to the house to talk with Bobby Burns about the malpractice complaint. He said he brought the gun "to make (Burns) listen."

Adams said he found Bobby and Michele Burns in a bathroom. He said Bobby Burns lunged at him when he opened the bathroom door.

"He scared me, that's why I fired the gun," he said on the tape.

Prosecutors dropped a death-penalty specification earlier, citing Adams' age and Parkinson's disease.

Adams was an associate professor of psychiatry at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. His contract with the university expired in June, 2003.

Edwards: 'We choose hope over despair'
Pollster tunes in to local voices
Sharpton, Kucinich join fold
Edwards' wife describes his rise
Kerry won't neglect Ohio
Kerry needs to prove he can lead the nation
McConnell calls attacks 'vile'
Prime-time speakers tonight
Ky. Takes Back Seat To Ohio
'Kerry parties' number 20 here
Gannett News Service convention coverage
Enquirer's election section

Girls prison under scrutiny
Hundreds honor Hoff, 'everyone's parent' at XU
Political funds face scrutiny
Auto pollution increases health risks

More cars a concern in Evendale
Dems have a friend(?) in Flynt and his new book
Rate increase goes to voters
Local news briefs
Loveland may ease its rules on signs
Neighbors briefs
Attorney general puts lottery in charge of bingo
Young Dems get campaign pointers
Guilty plea in gym scam
Former professor convicted of murder
Court asked to reconsider ban on Commandments
Hit-run victims get new shot at claims
Pendleton drug drive-through blocked
City schools plan hearing on budget
Suit against treasurer surprises county
West Chester center may be on Nov. ballot
Planners to consider Westwood rezoning
Transfer station coming to ex-landfill

Good Things Happening

Retirement wasn't idle time for L. Winiarski

Adjutant general fell into career
FOP wants into state budget suit
Bunning says veterans need best health care
Covington wants CSX bridge fixed
Judge rejects bond for murder suspect
Fletcher names 1st black to cabinet
Forest plan has foes on two sides
Florence Freedom hit with 9th lien
Gov. leaves comedy to pros
$143M settlement nets Ricky Martin, other CDs
Democrat Ridley wins Ky. Senate open seat
Sewer plant under way soon
Alexander may help get Boone new turf
Kentucky News briefs