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Mar 19, 2015

Texas lawmakers aim at allowing guns on college campuses

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The Texas Senate is expected to vote as early as Thursday to allow licensed handguns on college campuses, part of a series of bills being considered that would expand gun rights.

Lawmakers in the Republican-dominated statehouse have made gun rights a top priority, a move analysts said indicates a harder turn to the right for the most populous state under Republican control.

Mar 17, 2015

Reactivated fault lines in Oklahoma could cause major quake: study

By Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – Fault lines dating back hundreds of millions of years in Oklahoma that have been recently reactivated could lead to a devastating quake in the state where many structures were not built to withstand major seismic activity, a report said.

The state, which has seen several hundred seismic events over the past five years, has “a high degree of potential earthquake hazards,” according to the study accepted for publication this month whose authors include researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Mar 15, 2015

New York real estate baron Durst arrested on LA murder warrant

March 15 (Reuters) – Robert Durst, scion of one of New
York’s largest real estate empires, has been arrested in New
Orleans on a murder warrant issued by Los Angeles County, the
Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Durst, born in 1943, is known for life twists that led him
to be questioned but not charged in the mysterious deaths of his
first wife Kathleen Durst in 1982 and a longtime friend in 2000.

Mar 12, 2015

U.S. Army sergeant sentenced to two years for running sex ring

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A U.S. Army soldier who ran a prostitution ring at Fort Hood, one of the largest Army bases in the country, was sentenced by a military judge in Texas on Thursday to two years in prison and given a dishonorable discharge, officials said.

Sergeant 1st Class Gregory McQueen pleaded guilty a day earlier to charges including conspiracy to solicit prostitution, adultery and dereliction of duty, the base, located in central Texas, said in a statement.

Mar 12, 2015

U.S. Army sergeant pleads guilty to sex ring charges at Texas base

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A U.S. Army soldier accused of running a prostitution ring at Fort Hood, one of the largest Army bases in the country, pled guilty on Wednesday to 15 charges related to the accusation, officials said on Wednesday.

Sergeant 1st Class Gregory McQueen is expected to be sentenced as early as Thursday at the court-martial after pleading guilty to charges including conspiracy to solicit prostitution, adultery and dereliction of duty, the base said in a statement.

Mar 11, 2015

Texas executes gang enforcer Vasquez for murder

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas on Wednesday executed a 46-year-old gang member convicted of murdering a woman because she would not pay extortion money demanded by the Mexican Mafia criminal organization.

Manuel Vasquez received a lethal injection at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville and was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m. CDT, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.

Mar 11, 2015

Man who killed ‘American Sniper’ sent to Texas prison psychiatric unit

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The man convicted last month of murdering former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, whose best-selling autobiography was turned into the movie “American Sniper,” has been transferred to Texas prison psychiatric unit, officials said on Wednesday.

Eddie Ray Routh, 27, a former U.S. Marine, was found guilty on Feb. 24 of fatally shooting Kyle and Kyle’s friend Chad Littlefield multiple times at a gun range about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Fort Worth in February 2013.

Mar 3, 2015

Texas defense lawyers seek appeal for ‘American Sniper’ conviction

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Lawyers for the man convicted of murdering Chris Kyle, the former U.S. Navy SEAL whose best-selling autobiography was turned into the movie “American Sniper,” have filed a notice of appeal with a Texas court, court officials said on Tuesday.

Eddie Ray Routh, 27, a former U.S. Marine, was found guilty on Feb. 24 of fatally shooting Kyle and Kyle’s friend Chad Littlefield multiple times at a gun range about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Fort Worth in February 2013.

Mar 3, 2015

Three accidental shootings of Texas children prompt gun safety calls

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The shooting deaths of three youngsters after unattended guns ended up in the hands of children in the Houston area in the past five days have prompted calls by some in Texas to re-examine gun safety in homes.

But few political analysts believe any laws will be changed because of the shootings, with the Republican-dominated Legislature looking instead at measures to make it easier to carry more guns in more places.

Feb 27, 2015

Political consultant sentenced to over seven years for stealing funds

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Political consultant Kenneth “Buddy” Barfield was sentenced to 87 months in a federal prison for siphoning off more than $2.5 million in campaign funds from a Texas candidate running for a U.S. Senate seat, U.S. prosecutors said on Friday.

Barfield was also ordered to pay about $2.5 million in restitution and $430,000 for back taxes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas said.