RIVERSIDE

Ex-Marine's AK-47 conviction tossed

A former Marine from Southern California has been released after an appellate court overturned his conviction for possessing a chrome-plated AK-47 that may have belonged to a member of Saddam Hussein's royal guard.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that Joel Cleve Miller should have been allowed to present testimony from two witnesses, including his ex-wife, to back his claim that he was framed.

The U.S. attorney's office has not said whether it will seek a retrial.

The 42-year-old Miller served nine months of his two-year sentence.

The Hemet resident was convicted in 2010 of illegally possessing a machine gun.

Miller served in Iraq for 14 months.

HONOLULU

Cruise ship crew member goes overboard

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a crew member who apparently jumped overboard from a cruise ship off Hawaii.

The Coast Guard said the overboard man is a 34-year-old Filipino national working aboard the Grand Princess. He was last seen Monday night. The Coast Guard was notified at about midnight.

Princess Cruises spokeswoman Julie Benson said surveillance footage shows the man intentionally jumping overboard.


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The cruise ship was en route to Hawaii's Big Island on a 15-day trip after leaving from San Francisco on Saturday. About 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members are onboard.

LAS VEGAS

New attorney named for ex-con in sex case

An ex-convict from California got a new lawyer, and a judge in Las Vegas postponed hearing a challenge of charges that the man abducted and raped a 13-year-old schoolgirl at knifepoint in August.

Attorney Rich Tanasi sought additional time Tuesday to amend documents seeking the release of Richard Martin Schlacta.

Clark County District Court Judge James Bixler reset arguments for March 20 after the Clark County public defender's office withdrew from Schlacta's case.

Schlacta has pleaded not guilty and is being held in jail isolation on $1 million bail pending trial June 16 on charges including kidnapping and sexual assault of a minor that could get him life in prison.

The girl testified in November that the 48-year-old Schlacta grabbed her at a school bus stop and attacked her.

-- Associated Press