Crime

Texas
8:23 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Ex-Justice Of The Peace Charged With Killings In North Texas

Texas authorities have charged Eric Williams, former justice of the peace, with the murders of the Kaufman County district attorney and his assistant.
Kaufman County Sheriff's Office AP

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 3:05 pm

"A former justice of the peace has been charged with murder in the slayings of a North Texas district attorney and his assistant who prosecuted him for theft, officials announced Thursday," The Associated Press reports. Eric Williams is also charged with the murder of the district attorney's wife.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Bill Would Assess Condition of Inmates in Solitary Confinement

About 2,000 inmates may have mental illness or developmental disability. A Senate bill aims to learn more.
Liang Shi, KUT News

More than 5 percent of the prison population in Texas is in solitary confinement, more than double the 2 percent national average. But one state senator says too little is known about the condition of these prisoners, especially those who may have been diagnosed with mental health or cognitive problems.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee was considering the bill Wednesday afternoon.

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Texas
10:02 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Texas Prosecutor Murder: Wife Of Jailed Ex-Justice Arrested

A wreath of flowers in honor of slain District Attorney Mike McClelland at the Kaufman County [Texas] Courthouse in early April.
Richard Rodriguez Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:44 pm

"The wife of a former justice of the peace is being held on a capital murder charge in the killings of the Kaufman County District Attorney, his wife and a top prosecutor," The Dallas Morning News reports.

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Crime
2:17 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Expert: Recent Attacks On Justice Community 'Really Unprecedented'

The home of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland is surrounded by police tape in Forney, Texas, on Monday. Authorities launched a massive investigation into the weekend killings of McLelland and his wife.
Tim Sharp Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 2:32 pm

Two county prosecutors fatally shot in Texas. Colorado's top prison official gunned down. And a dozen more members of the U.S. justice community — ranging from police to judges — victims of targeted killings since the beginning of the decade.

What's going on?

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Texas
9:59 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Texas on 'High Alert' Following District Attorney's Killing

In Forney, Texas, Kaufman County Sheriff's deputies are on the lookout after the killings of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife in their Forney home.
Mike Fuentes AP

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 11:51 am

  • From the NPR Newscast early Monday

"Security is high this morning for both elected officials and employees" in Kaufman County, Texas, after the shooting deaths of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthina, KERA reports.

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Criminal Justice
6:21 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Cartels a Concern for DPS, But Not the Only One

Pink wooden crosses are placed where the corpses of eight murdered women were found in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Alfredo Estrella / AFP/Getty Images

The Texas Department of Public Safety calls Mexican cartels the most significant organized crime threat in the state. In its 2013 report, the agency said six cartels are operating in Texas by moving drugs, people, cash and weapons across the border.

"It is a top DPS priority to severely obstruct the range and power of Mexican drug organizations to affect the public safety of Texas citizens," said DPS Director Steven McCraw at the Texas Emergency Management Conference in San Antonio this week.

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Police
4:20 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Austin Police Plan Rundberg Crackdown This Weekend

Officers will target persistent crime in the Rundberg area this weekend.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Austin Police are giving more attention this weekend to the Rundberg Lane area of North Austin, conducting what they call a 100 percent enforcement initiative on Friday and Saturday nights between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Officers will watch for all crimes, of course, including traffic offenses, but will give particular attention to drugs, prostitution and gang-related crimes. Austin Police Lt. Allen McClure says the goal is a reduction in crime in an area with a disproportionate amount of it.

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Crime
11:00 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Tears and Relief After Norwood Found Guilty

Mark Norwood exits the Tom Green County Courthouse after jury selection for his trial, Mar 18, 2013.
Callie Richmond, Texas Tribune

SAN ANGELO — Family members of Christine Morton and Debra Baker filled a Tom Green County courtroom with tearful hugs and relieved smiles on Wednesday after a jury found Mark Alan Norwood guilty of murder.

Norwood, 58, received an automatic life sentence after the jury decided he was guilty of the Aug. 13, 1986 killing of Christine Morton, who was beaten to death in her North Austin home. 

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Crime
10:53 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Steubenville Girls Arrested After Allegedly Threatening Rape Victim

Jason Cohn Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:16 am

The 16-year-old girl raped by two Ohio high school football players in a crime that has attracted wide attention has also been the victim of online harassment, the state's top prosecutor said late Monday.

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Crime
9:37 am
Mon March 18, 2013

After Steubenville Guilty Verdicts, Grand Jury Weighs More Charges

Steubenville, Ohio.
Jason Cohn Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 8:13 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Tim Rudell of WKSU reports

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will convene a grand jury next month to investigate whether other charges should be filed in the infamous case of a 16-year-old girl who was raped by two high school football players last summer.

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Crime
7:12 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Trial Switches Focus of Morton Case to Alleged Killer

Mark Norwood being led into court for the first time on Jan. 18th 2011. He is charged with the 1986 murder of Christine Morton.
Spencer Selvidge

Mark Norwood, charged with the 1986 murder of Christine Morton — a crime that her husband, Michael Morton, was wrongfully convicted of — will go on trial Monday in San Angelo.

Michael Morton had spent nearly a quarter-century behind bars before DNA testing exonerated him in 2011 and connected Norwood, a 58-year-old former Bastrop dishwasher, to the beating death.

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Texas
12:50 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Bodybuilding Champ Turned Austin Attorney Feels Burn in Racketeering Trial (Update)

Attorney Marc G. Rosenthal faces more than a dozen allegations in a Corpus Christi trial.
flickr.com/joegratz and rosenthalwatson.com

Update: Austin attorney Marc G. Rosenthal was convicted by a federal jury late last week. 

A statement from the Southern District of the U.S. Attorney's Office reads in part

After a four-week trial, jurors convicted Rosenthal of conspiring to bribe a state district judge, bribe witnesses in both state and federal court cases, file fraudulent personal injury cases in both state and federal courts, and deprive the citizens of Cameron County, Texas, of the right to honest services of an elected official.

Rosenthal's sentencing is scheduled in June. 

Original Post (1:49 p.m.): The ongoing saga of Marc G. Rosenthal continues winding its way down the rabbit hole. The Austin attorney, and former Mr. Texas bodybuilding champion, is currently on trial in Corpus Christi, accused of leading a conspiracy that turned trials in his favor.

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Texas
8:27 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Texas Executes First Death Row Inmate of 2013

Carl Henry Blue was put to death Thursday night.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice

The State of Texas executed 48 year-old Carl Blue Thursday night. He was put to death for killing his former girlfriend in 1994.

Blue was convicted of setting 38 year-old Carmen Richards-Sanders on fire at her Bryan apartment.

According to information on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's death row website, Blue threw gasoline on Richards-Sanders when she opened the door to her apartment. He then ignited her clothes with a lighter. Blue also threw gasoline on a man in the apartment—who caught on fire when he tried to help Richards-Sanders.

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Austin
11:23 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Fighting Crime by Fixing 'Broken Windows' in Rundberg Area

Austin Police have committed to "restoring" the Rundberg Neighborhood.
Erika Aguilar, KUT News

The Austin Police Department is taking steps to improve the Rundberg area as part of the Restore Rundberg Project. APD is conducting a Vehicle Abatement initiative: tagging and towing vehicles that are in violation of city ordinances and state laws.

It might seem trivial for police to address crime with efforts that target illegally parked cars, but University of Texas at Austin Associate Professor of Sociology and Consultant to the Restore Rundberg Project David Kirk says that it addresses a bigger sociological issue known as the Broken Window theory.

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Crime
6:52 am
Fri February 15, 2013

'Blade Runner' Pistorius In Tears As Murder Charge Is Filed

South African Paralympic and Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius as he wept today while being charged with murder.
Antoine De Ras EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 8:32 am

"South African 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius broke down in tears on Friday after he was charged in court with shooting dead his girlfriend in his Pretoria house," Reuters reports from Pretoria.

According to the wire service: "The 26-year-old Olympic and Paralympic superstar stood with head bowed in front of magistrate Desmond Nair to hear the murder charge read out, then started sobbing, covering his face with his hands."

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