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How the Pope Could Save This Killer on Death Row

Lidia Guerrero hopes Francis will intervene on behalf of son

(Newser) - When Lidia Guerrero met with Pope Francis in Rome last year, he told her he knew all about Guerrero's son, who has been on death row in Texas for 19 years. "I've prayed so much for that young man," she says Francis told her. The short... More »

Man Makes $10K a Month With 'Stupidest' Idea Ever

Sending potatoes to people. With messages on them. Like, for real

(Newser) - When Alex Craig pitched a business idea to his girlfriend over dinner one night earlier this year, her instant reaction was, "This is the stupidest idea I've ever heard," he tells WFAA . But Craig was determined to see his inspiration take root—and now, just a few... More »

Man Jailed Decades Without Conviction Is Convicted

Texas jury has found Jerry Hartfield guilty in slaying of bus station worker

(Newser) - A 59-year-old mentally ill Texas man imprisoned for more than 35 years despite his original murder conviction being overturned was found guilty a second time yesterday in his retrial . Jerry Hartfield, 59, was convicted of murder in the September 1976 slaying of 55-year-old Eunice Lowe, who sold tickets at a... More »

Man's Retrial Thanks to Bad Fire Science Ends in Shocker

Ed Graf's retrial for murdering 2 stepsons in shed fire based on new arson science

(Newser) - In 1988, Ed Graf was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing his stepsons Joby, 9, and Jason, 8, in 1986 by locking them in a shed, dousing it with gasoline, and setting it on fire. Everything was there to prove the case against the Texas man, per... More »

Found Inside Home Set for Demolition: Entire Log Cabin

Texas developer, town trying to figure out how to preserve it

(Newser) - It's not unusual for developers to find relics of the past tucked inside the walls of home they're getting ready to tear down, but this particular discovery has stopped demolition in its tracks for now. It's a log cabin dating back to around 1850s and thought to... More »

Police Dog Trapped in Hot Car for 20 Hours Dies

Texas deputy forgot to bring Belgian Malinois inside after his shift was over

(Newser) - A Texas deputy has been let go from the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department after he forgot to bring his police dog partner inside Sunday and the dog died, NBC News reports. Latham Roldan—the trainer for Jola, a Belgian Malinois, for three years—"just left the kennel"... More »

University Moving Statue of Confederate President

Jefferson Davis will no longer be on Main Mall at University of Texas

(Newser) - In the midst of a continued backlash against Confederate symbols following the deadly shooting at a black church in South Carolina, the University of Texas at Austin said today it will be relocating a statue of Jefferson Davis, the Dallas Morning News reports. The statue of the Confederate president, which... More »

Man Sues After Ex Uses His Sperm to Get Pregnant

Layne Hardin says contract stated his sperm would go to another

(Newser) - Layne Hardin says his frozen sperm was always to go to Kathy LeBlanc. The pair had one child together, and in case they wanted a second, Hardin stored his sperm at a Houston fertility clinic in 2002, when the couple were domestic partners, before getting a vasectomy, reports ABC News... More »

Woman: Cops Did Forced Cavity Search in Parking Lot

Charnesia Corley says she didn't give consent for vaginal search

(Newser) - A 21-year-old Texas woman with no criminal record has accused Harris County cops of pulling her over for allegedly running a stop sign, claiming they smelled pot, then conducting a body cavity search on her in a gas station parking lot, the Guardian reports. "I feel like they sexually... More »

Murder Suspect: 6 Kids Were Growing Up to Be 'Monsters'

'God asked me to help them,' he says in jailhouse interview

(Newser) - In a bizarre, self-pitying jailhouse interview with KTRK , David Conley tries to portray himself as the real victim and says the six children he's accused of murdering "were growing up to be monsters." Conley served time in prison for assaults on Valerie Jackson—who was also killed... More »

Man in Prison 35 Years Without Conviction Gets New Trial

Jerry Hartfield says he doesn't hold a grudge—he just wants to get on with life

(Newser) - For more than 35 years, a Texas man has been in prison even though an appeals court threw out his conviction on a 1976 murder charge that initially had him on death row. Today, 59-year-old Jerry Hartfield returns to court for a retrial, facing a life sentence if convicted of... More »

College Football Player Shot by Police Was Unarmed

Christian Taylor, who was black, had crashed his car into an auto dealership in Texas

(Newser) - A police officer in suburban Dallas shot and killed a college football player during a struggle after the unarmed 19-year-old crashed a car through the front window of a car dealership, authorities said. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office identified the dead man as Christian Taylor of Arlington. Taylor... More »

Fight Over Smoke Threatens Sacred Texas BBQ

Austin decides not to regulate, but neighbors of one restaurant have sued

(Newser) - Austin is a barbecue town, and anyone who lives there "may very well live downwind of a barbecue joint," notes a post at Munchies . That may sound great, but for those who live too close, the smoke can be a real problem. After neighbors complained, a city council... More »

Court Rejects Texas Voter ID Law

Calls it 'discriminatory' against minorities

(Newser) - A federal appeals court ruled today that Texas' voter ID law has a "discriminatory" effect on minorities—a victory for President Obama, whose administration took the unusual step of bringing the weight of the Justice Department to fight a wave of new ballot-box restrictions passed in conservative statehouses. The... More »

Texas' Top Lawyer Is Charged With Fraud

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was booked this morning

(Newser) - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was this morning booked at a Dallas-area jail on felony charges alleging that he misled investors before becoming the state's top lawyer. Paxton arrived at the Collin County jail today to be processed on two counts of first-degree securities fraud and a lesser count... More »

Texas Town Has Tiny Red Worms in Water Supply

No one's explained yet where they came from

(Newser) - Residents of the Woodland Acres Subdivision started filtering in to Old River-Winfree city offices on Monday evening, clutching containers of water filled with tiny red worms (shown in the video here )—worms they say came out of their faucets, sprinklers, and showers, the Houston Chronicle reports. And although the... More »

Texas DA Finds 'Help' for Sandra Bland Probe

And toxicology report reveals level of marijuana in her bloodstream

(Newser) - Elton Mathis won't be investigating Sandra Bland's death all alone. The Waller County district attorney has called in two lawyers to lead an "oversight committee" designed to advise the DA's probe, the Houston Chronicle reports. Whether defense attorneys Darrell Jordan and Lewis White can help figure... More »

For Sale: Ranch Bigger Than LA, NYC Combined

All yours, for $725M in Texas

(Newser) - It has the slightly strange designation of being the biggest ranch in the US with a continuous fence, but the qualifiers end there: The Waggoner Estate in Texas is huge—at 800 square miles, it's bigger than Los Angeles and New York City combined, reports Bloomberg . And it's... More »

Timeline Emerges in Sandra Bland's Jail Cell Death

Bland left alone for 90 minutes before she was found dead: cop

(Newser) - "What happened to Sandy Bland?" read a sign held by a woman camped out yesterday outside the building where the 28-year-old was found dead on July 13. There is still no answer, but there are more details: A timeline of Bland's final hours before she was found dead... More »

Lawyer: Here's Why Sandra Bland Was Really Arrested

Attorney Cannon Lambert describes what he saw in dashcam video

(Newser) - The traffic stop that led to Sandra Bland's death escalated over something fairly minor, according to the family's lawyer. Named Cannon Lambert, he tells NBC News what he saw in dashcam video of the black activist's roadside traffic stop on July 10 in Texas. Lambert says the... More »

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