Crime

Crime
1:12 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Something Fishy About a Virtual Valentine? BBB Says Beware

Online dating sites may be a new medium for con artists.
flickr.com/tonguetyed and Ashley Siebel, KUT News

If you’re meeting an online sweetheart for a first-time Valentine’s dinner tonight, make sure catfish isn’t on the menu.

The Better Business Bureau is offering some love advice today: beware of scammers, heartbreakers and money-takers.

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Sports
7:54 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius In Custody After Girlfriend's Shooting Death

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa leaves the starting blocks of the men's 400-meter race at the 2012 London Olympics.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 12:50 pm

Our most recent update was added at 1:45 p.m. ET.

South African Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius "has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend," The Associated Press reports from Pretoria.

Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed inside Pistorius' home early Thursday, police say.

The AP adds that:

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Austin
5:07 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Can an Independent Crime Lab Ease Austin's Testing Backlog?

Austin's crime lab is running behind in testing. This week, police chief Art Acevedo was asked why.
City of Austin

The backlog in forensic DNA evidence in Austin is so serious that local judges and the Travis County district attorney called the mayor and City Council members to discuss the situation. Then they followed up with letters.

On Tuesday, the council agreed to fund three new jobs for forensic chemists. But the embarrassment prompted council member Laura Morrison to promote a new idea in dealing with the city’s forensic needs.

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Crime
4:30 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Alleged Calif. Gunman's Fate Unclear After Fire At Cabin

Police patrol a road block on Highway 38 into the Big Bear area where a shoot-out with suspected fugitive Christopher Dorner resulted in the death of one deputy in Angelus Oaks, Calif., on Tuesday.
Michael Nelson EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 5:55 am

(This post was last updated at 11:13 p.m. ET.)

The Los Angeles Police Department has rejected news reports that a body was discovered at a mountain cabin in California's Big Bear area where the fugitive accused of killing four people had engaged law enforcement in a hours-long standoff.

"Any reports of a body being found are not true," Cmdr. Andrew Smith said at a news conference Tuesday night.

He said the cabin was still too hot to enter.

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Crime
2:13 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

An Accused Killer Seeks an Audience With Everyone

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck speaks at a press conference on the manhunt for Christopher Dorner.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 7:05 pm

From: Christopher Jordan Dorner

To: America

That's the header on a 14-page letter attributed to Christopher Dorner. The former Los Angeles police officer is the focus of a massive manhunt spanning California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico after he allegedly shot and killed three people — including a police officer — and wounded several others during a shooting spree.

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Sports
9:19 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Prosecutor: No Charges for Longhorns McCoy, Hicks (Update)

Case McCoy (left) and Jordan Hicks have been reinstated to the Longhorns football team.
UT Football, KUT News

Update: Case McCoy and Jordan Hicks will not face charges stemming from an alleged sexual assault in San Antonio on the eve of the Alamo Bowl.

The San Antonio Express-News reports: 

[Bexar County] Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg said his office reviewed details of the investigation into Jordan Hicks and Case McCoy, but that no case was formally filed. Police informed the district attorney's office that the investigation is closed, Herberg said.

Original post (Jan. 14, 8:14 a.m.): University of Texas at Austin football players Case McCoy and Jordan Hicks have been reinstated to the team after they were suspended for violating team rules.

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Crime
11:49 am
Thu January 10, 2013

TABC Yanks Liquor Licenses at Yassine Bars

The revocation of liquor licenses for several shuttered bars downtown means new nightclubs can open in their wake.
flickr.com/tiemposdelruido

In the wake of an ongoing drug and money laundering scandal, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has canceled the liquor licenses of nine downtown clubs operated by the Yassine family.

As KUT News previously reported, the clubs have been closed since March of last year, when the Yassine brothers were arrested on federal drug, weapon and money laundering charges.

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The Lead
8:57 am
Thu January 10, 2013

The Lead: Confusion Over UT Assault Investigation; Whither the Planetarium; ABIA’s Busy Month

Austin Bergstrom rolled out the red carper for F1 visitors in November.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Good morning. Don’t be scared by that bright stuff outside – it’s called sunshine, and you’re forgiven for forgetting it after this week’s rainy weather. The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for a mild day, with a high in the mid-60s.

Lead story: There are conflicting reports this morning on whether charges will be brought against two UT football players accused of sexually assaulting a woman in San Antonio last month.

In a statement yesterday, UT linebacker Jordan Hicks’ lawyer says the investigation is now closed and no charges will be filed in the matter. But a San Antonio Police spokesperson told KUT News yesterday that the investigation is still open.

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Police
2:36 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Austin Police: Change to Lineup Procedure Can Cut Down on False Arrests, Convictions

An example of a simultaneous "six pack" lineup. APD says it will only use simultaneous lineups in rare occasions now.
American Judicature Society

The Austin Police Department has announced some changes to its suspect lineup procedures.

APD investigators must now present photographs and live lineups sequentially to all adult victims and witnesses. This means investigators are now required to present each photograph or individual one at a time to a witness during a lineup – not all at once.

“We are not interested in wrongfully accusing or convicting somebody that is innocent,” Chief Art Acevedo said today at a press conference announcing the change. “It is not the fabric of this department. We’d rather go with zero arrests than arrest the wrong person.”

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University of Texas
2:10 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Two UT Players Questioned Over Sexual Assault (Update)

A view of the Alamodome in San Antonio. Two UT players are under investigation for sexual assault and have been suspended ahead of tomorrow's Alamo Bowl.
Flickr user one2c900d, http://bit.ly/Vl0T1g

Update: KUT News has received a statement from attorney Perry Q. Minton, who is representing Jordan Hicks. It reads in part: 

"Mr. Hicks vehemently asserts that all conduct that occurred during the evening of the incident was consensual by everyone involved. The allegation, if any, that a sexual assault occurred by anyone at anytime is completely false."

You can read the entire statement

Update (Dec. 28, 4:54 p.m.): Still no official word from the university, but it's being widely reported that the two players suspended from tomorrow's Alamo Bowl are backup quarterback Case McCoy and linebacker Jordan Hicks. ESPN cites an anonymous “source within the school's administration,”while HookEm.com cites “multiple team sources.”

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Top Stories 2012
3:16 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Austin’s Top Stories of 2012: Remembering Esme Barrera

A memorial was set up for Barrera at the Mexic-Arte Museum for Dia de los Muertos.
facebook.com/mexicarte

Tragedy can strike at any time.

Austin’s music community was painfully reminded of that lesson when a mainstay of the local music scene, Esme Barrera, was murdered at her home in the West Campus during the first hours of the New Year.

Nearly a whole year later, the District Attorney's office says sufficient cause exists to arrest her alleged murderer, if he hadn't killed himself soon after Barrera's murder. APD is now declaring the case closed. 

In the early morning of Jan. 1, Barrera was returning to her home on West 31st Street, near Guadalupe Street, from a celebratory evening of live music. Shortly after entering her house, she was killed.

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Austin
4:35 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

AG Says Grinch 'Steals Christmas' - But Blue Santa Saves the Day

Blue Santa volunteers Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the charity's food bank. The organization is bouncing back after a partner folded amid mysterious circumstances.
bluesanta.org

The Austin Police Department hosted its Operation Blue Santa breakfast this morning. All proceeds will benefit the department’s Blue Santa initiative, which delivers hot meals and toys to underprivileged families each holiday season.

By all accounts it was a success: Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted this afternoon that the event raised over $190,000. And Blue Santa can use all the help it can get.

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Texas
7:12 am
Wed November 14, 2012

New Agency Head Appointed Amid Criminal Investigation

Howard Baldwin (left) stepped down as Commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services. John Specia, Jr. (right) will take his place.
Photos: Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Background Image: flickr.com/thomasletholsen

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has appointed a new head of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

The previous commissioner resigned last week as an Abilene office of the department is under criminal investigation.

Abilene Police say employees at the Child Protective Services office were not cooperative in the investigation into a toddler’s death in August. Police believe some employees may have tampered with evidence.

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Crime
12:24 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Mark Norwood Indicted in Second Austin Murder

A booking photo of Mark Norwood.

Mark Norwood, the Bastrop dishwasher who was arrested one year ago for the 1986 murder of Christine Morton, was indicted by a Travis County grand jury on Friday for the January 1988 murder of Debra Masters Baker in Austin.

“It has been excruciating for all of us who loved Debra to wait for this day. Now, we finally have a face to put with her tragic murder,” Baker’s family said in a statement released by attorney Sam Bassett.

Norwood's attorney, Russell Hunt Jr., said his client maintains his innocence in both cases. Hunt said Norwood's mother had been subpoenaed to testify before a Travis County grand jury on Friday morning. 

"There's only one reason why" that would happen, he said. "That's if they intend to indict him."

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Crime
6:49 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Are There Juggalo Gangs in Austin? (Update)

An anonymous cop says that Juggalo gangs may be responsible for a rise in crime downtown.
clockwise from left; FBI, Ohio Attorney General's Office

Update: A commenter below and others on social media have noted Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo was asked about the FOX 7 story on KLBJ 93.7's "Dudley and Bob Show" this morning. Some believe he disputed the report on Juggalo gang members in Austin.

KUT News spoke with Chief Acevedo this afternoon. He says he does not dispute the content of FOX 7's reporting.

Original Post (12:47 p.m.): Has the dark carnival spread to Austin?

An anonymous Austin Police detective is saying that Juggalo gangs – fans of rap crew the Insane Clown Posse engaged in criminal activity – may be responsible for an increase in downtown crime.

FOX 7 News reports:

“The crimes associated with Juggalos include assaults, thefts and drug use.

‘They're doing a lot of pocket checks where they use force to take something from somebody. Or they'll come up [and] pick someone's pocket,’ the detective said.

The victims, officers say, are downtown patrons who have had too much to drink. The homeless have also been targeted.”

For those not in the know, Insane Clown Posse is a Detroit-based rap group that has slowly amassed one of the most devoted fanbases in underground music.

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