Other items: Chicago official aims to limit explicit video games; Wildfire prison term dismissed by Colorado court; Gunman fires inside Crystal Cathedral; and the Ohio Supreme Court's chief justice dismisses election challenge.

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The mother of the man who gunned down former Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and three others during a concert said her son was discharged from the military because he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

Mary Clark told a Columbus television station Wednesday that her son, Nathan Gale, was released from the Marines in 2003 after the military diagnosed the disorder. Gale’s rampage last week ended when an officer shot him to death.

Clark also said she bought the 9mm semiautomatic handgun used in the shooting before her son was diagnosed, because she was proud of his military service.

“I’ll never, never be able to live that part down,” she said.

Gale, 25, of Marysville, charged the stage at a show by Abbott’s new band, Damageplan, on Dec. 8 at the Alrosa Villa nightclub. He shot and killed four people, including Abbott, before a police officer shot him to death.


Official aims to limit explicit video games

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is proposing to make it a misdemeanor for businesses to sell violent and sexually explicit video games to minors, a step that other states, including Washington, have tried with little success.

Blagojevich’s proposed legislation would prohibit the distribution, sale, rental and availability of mature video games to children younger than 18.

A federal judge in July struck down Washington state’s ban on selling some violent video games to minors, calling it a violation of free speech because it banned violence against police but not other depictions of violence, and too broad because it was unclear what games would be banned.


Wildfire prison term dismissed by court

An appeals court yesterday threw out a former U.S. Forest Service employee’s 12-year prison sentence for starting the biggest wildfire in Colorado history.

The Colorado Court of Appeals said state Judge Edward Colt gave Terry Lynn Barton too harsh a sentence and had at least “the appearance of prejudice” because smoke from the fire had prompted the judge to leave his home.

The ruling does not affect a six-year prison sentence Barton received in federal court.

Garden Grove, Calif.

Gunman fires inside Crystal Cathedral

A gunman opened fire in the complex housing the world-famous Crystal Cathedral yesterday, but no one was hit and children in a church day-care center were rushed to safety, police said.

SWAT officers quickly surrounded the gleaming, glass-and-steel cathedral and its surrounding buildings, and police said the gunman, possibly a disgruntled cathedral employee, was holed up inside an office. Everyone else on the grounds was believed to have been safely evacuated.

Columbus, Ohio

Judge dismisses election challenge

The Ohio Supreme Court’s chief justice yesterday threw out a challenge to the state’s presidential election results, but a lawyer for the voters who brought the case said he would refile the challenge as early as today.

Chief Justice Thomas Moyer ruled that the request improperly challenged two separate election results. Ohio law only allows one race to be challenged in a single complaint, he said.


The boyfriend of Clint Eastwood’s daughter, Alison, died of a seizure disorder while snowboarding at Vail Ski Resort, the county coroner said yesterday. The body of Michael Combs, 42, was found Tuesday morning.

A truck carrying 12 million honeybees hit a wall on a Las Vegas highway ramp Wednesday, dumping its load shortly before the evening rush hour.

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission yesterday approved a 10-permit hunting season for bison that wander from Yellowstone National Park, more than a decade after the practice was canceled amid protests.

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb formally announced his candidacy yesterday to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee.