Texas

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They're FEMA's Elite Rescuers, Yet Some Do Little Rescuing

Bureaucracy, too much gear, and other inefficiencies are marring response efforts

(Newser) - They're called the "national Swiss Army knife of emergency response," teams of highly trained first responders sent by FEMA across the US when disaster strikes. But when hurricanes pummeled Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico last summer, many of the thousands deployed via the agency's National Urban... More »

YouTube Stars Awake to Terrifying Ordeal

'Disturbed' fan with gun searched Megan Turney and Gavin Free's home while they hid in closet

(Newser) - It's their job to attract viewers. YouTube personalities Megan Turney and boyfriend Gavin Free just never expected one would turn up at their house with a gun. That's precisely what police say happened late last month in Austin, Texas. According to police documents, Turney and Free awoke to... More »

650 Interviews Later, Border Agent's Death Still a Mystery

FBI says there's no evidence Rogelio Martinez was murdered

(Newser) - The FBI says it has conducted more than 650 interviews and found no evidence that Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez's fatal injuries were caused by an attack, despite his union's insistence that he was murdered. After an autopsy released Tuesday stated that Martinez died from blunt-force trauma from... More »

He Went in for the Flu. He Lost His Feet and Fingers

Texas dad Brian Herndon developed pneumonia as well as influenza and went into septic shock

(Newser) - "One minute you've got the flu and the next minute you're septic." That's the message from a Texas man who lost both of his feet and nearly all of his fingers after coming down last month with the illness, per WFAA . As flu season continues... More »

He's Fighting to Save His Family's Killer. The Killer: His Own Son

Bart Whitaker set to be executed Feb. 22 for killing his mom and brother, but dad isn't giving up on him

(Newser) - "My wife and son were murdered by a masked gunman, and my other son and I were left for dead, but survived." Those are the words of Kent Whitaker on his website , detailing the horrific crime that tore his life apart in December 2003. But, he adds, things... More »

Texas Executes Man Who Killed Girls as Mom Listened

'Well, hi, Mary Jean,' he said to ex-wife.

(Newser) - A former Dallas accountant condemned for fatally shooting his two young daughters while their mother listened helplessly on the phone was put to death Thursday night in Texas. John David Battaglia was executed for the May 2001 killings of his 9-year-old daughter, Faith, and her 6-year-old sister, Liberty. Battaglia and... More »

Texas Man Who Killed His Girls as Mom Listened Set to Die

John David Battaglia's execution was called off in 2016

(Newser) - Former Dallas accountant John David Battaglia is set for execution Thursday evening for the May 2001 slayings of his 9-year-old daughter, Faith, and her 6-year-old sister, Liberty. Battaglia and his wife had separated and the girls were killed at his Dallas apartment during a scheduled visit while their mother listened... More »

FBI Accidentally Kills Victim of 'Movie-Style' Kidnapping

Shots fired early Thursday inside Houston home

(Newser) - A "movie-style" kidnapping came to a grim ending as an FBI agent accidentally shot and killed the bound victim in Texas. "We do this job to help people and it doesn't always go our way," Conroe Police Chief Philip Dupuis said Thursday, per the Houston Chronicle... More »

Rat-Chewed Skeleton in Wall Suggests Fatal Misstep

Remains identified as those of Houston homeowner Mary Cerruti

(Newser) - A years-old mystery in Texas has been solved—at least in part. Three years after Houston resident Mary Cerruti seemingly disappeared, authorities have confirmed it was her skeleton discovered in the wall of her former home by new tenants last March, alongside a pair of glasses that resembled those Cerruti... More »

Judge Interrupts Jury to Deliver Message From God

Texas jurors ignored his plea not to convict in sex trafficking case

(Newser) - A strange court controversy out of Texas, where a judge interrupted jurors deciding a defendant's fate in a sex-trafficking case and urged them not to convict. Twice. Later, state district judge Jack Robison explained that God told him to do so, reports the Austin American-Statesman . And the kicker: The... More »

With One Tweet, a Houston Dad's Bakery Is Saved

18-year-old daughter took to social media to save failing business after Hurricane Harvey tanked sales

(Newser) - A Texas high school senior figured out how to wield social media for good, and she may have saved her family's business in the process. ABC News and KTRK report on how 18-year-old Jackie Garza was fretting about how to get her dad, Trinidad Garza, not to shutter La... More »

'Tourniquet Killer' Before Death: 'I Wish I Could Undo the Past'

Anthony Allen Shore executed in Texas

(Newser) - Texas carried out the nation's first execution of 2018 Thursday evening, giving a lethal injection to a man who became known as Houston's "Tourniquet Killer" because of his signature murder technique on four female victims. Anthony Allen Shore was put to death for one of those slayings,... More »

Texas 'Tourniquet Killer' Set to Be First US Execution of 2018

Anthony Shore confessed to 4 killings

(Newser) - A man who became known as Houston's "Tourniquet Killer" because of his signature murder technique on four female victims more than two decades ago is set to become the nation's first prisoner executed in 2018. Texas prison officials are scheduled to give Anthony Allen Shore, 55, a... More »

Date Allegedly Ends With Ruined Warhols, Potential Life Sentence

Lindy Lou Layman, 29, appeared in court Tuesday

(Newser) - A Dallas woman appeared in court on Tuesday in connection with a December date gone horribly wrong . Following the appearance, the attorney for Lindy Lou Layman said, "We certainly disagree with Mr. Buzbee's rendition of the facts," per People . As for Layman's rendition of the facts,... More »

Victim Cries as Pastor Accused of Sex Assault Is Applauded

Woman says he forced her to perform oral sex when she was 17

(Newser) - When a 17-year-old Jules Woodson told members of her church that a youth minister forced her to perform oral sex, she says leaders gave him a friendly "going away reception." Twenty years later, he'd also get a standing ovation, reports the Washington Post . Forced to address Woodson'... More »

Reporter's Disappearance May Be Tied to Meds

Cops say 29-year-old Courtney Roland, who was found safe, is still 'pretty confused'

(Newser) - A Texas reporter found safe after being reported missing over the weekend may have had a bad reaction to medications she was taking, the Houston PD now says. Per People , a police spokesman told a presser Monday that Courtney Roland may still be suffering the effects of the medication and... More »

Woman Accused of Causing $300K in Damage on First Date

Lindy Lou Layman allegedly got drunk, trashed lawyer's art collection

(Newser) - Authorities say an intoxicated Dallas woman on a first date with a prominent Houston trial lawyer caused at least $300,000 in damage to his art collection, including two Andy Warhol paintings. Lindy Lou Layman was arrested Saturday on criminal mischief charges after her date with Anthony Buzbee, the AP... More »

Sheriff's Deputies Fatally Shoot 6-Year-Old Boy

They were aiming at a suspected car thief, who was also killed

(Newser) - Sheriff's deputies shot and killed a 6-year-old boy Thursday in Texas, WOAI reports. Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar says four deputies opened fire on 30-year-old Amanda Jones, a suspected car thief, after they "cornered" her outside a mobile home occupied by Kameron Prescott and his family in the... More »

Crime Blogger Arrested Over Her Scoops

Priscilla Villarreal faces felony charges in Texas

(Newser) - A crime blogger in Texas has been hit with felony charges by police, who accuse her of publishing information before it's publicly available, the Laredo Morning Times reports. According to the Washington Post , 32-year-old Priscilla Villarreal—who goes by Lagordiloca, or the fat crazy lady—is a popular figure... More »

10 Most, Least Charitable US Cities

From Madison to Laredo

(Newser) - So which city in America most embraces the holiday season of giving? Madison, Wis., gets the honors in a new ranking by WalletHub . The site looked at the 100 biggest cities and examined a number of metrics, including money donated to charity, the number of hours spent volunteering, and the... More »

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