Jon's Feed
Oct 14, 2015

Former Patriots lineman Sam Adams dies at 67 in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Former National Football League offensive lineman Sam Adams, a stalwart of the New England Patriots teams of the 1970s, died in Texas over the weekend, the team and a funeral home director said on Wednesday.

The native of the east Texas city of Jasper will be buried in his hometown, said Rodney Coleman of Coleman’s Mortuary.

Oct 14, 2015

Texas to execute man who fatally shot Dallas police officer

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas plans on Wednesday to execute Licho Escamilla, who was convicted of fatally shooting a Dallas police officer who was working in 2001 as an off-duty security guard at a nightclub in the city.

Escamilla, 33, is scheduled to die at 6 p.m. local time by lethal injection at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville. If the execution goes ahead, it will be the 12th in Texas this year, the most of any state.

Oct 12, 2015

Texas court halts execution of inmate after questions raised on testimony

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Monday halted the planned execution next month of a death row inmate whose lawyers argued he was sentenced to death based on tainted testimony from major witnesses.

The court stayed the Nov. 3 execution of Julius Murphy, without elaborating on its decision. Murphy, 36, was convicted in 1998 of fatally shooting Jason Erie in the head during a 1997 robbery.

Oct 12, 2015

Did Texas governor’s errant tweet jinx baseball Astros?

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – With the Houston Astros on the verge of advancing in the baseball playoffs on Monday, a tweet was sent out in the name of Texas Governor Greg Abbott congratulating the team on its victory. Oops.

The wheels soon came off for the Astros, who just six outs away from a berth in the American League Championship Series, suffered one of the worst breakdowns in post season history. The team’s fans were left wondering if the Astros were cursed by the leader of the Lone Star State.

Oct 12, 2015

Partial settlement reached in deadly Texas fertilizer plant explosion

By Suzannah Gonzales and Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – A partial settlement has been reached in the
2013 explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant that tore
apart a section of the city, killed 15 people, including 12
firefighters, and caused an estimated $100 million in damages.

The deal was reached on Sunday and its terms have not been
disclosed, McLennan County District Clerk Jon Gimbal said on
Monday. The settlement includes the families of the three
civilians killed in the fire and explosion.

Oct 9, 2015

Arkansas judge halts scheduled executions of eight inmates

By Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – An Arkansas judge issued an order on Friday that
temporarily blocked the scheduled executions of eight convicted
murderers after lawyers for the death row inmates challenged
secrecy provisions in the state’s lethal injection procedures.

Arkansas, one of the 31 U.S. states with the death penalty,
has not carried out an execution since 2005 but had planned to
resume capital punishment on Oct. 21 with two executions.

Oct 9, 2015

Baylor University rescinds honorary degree awarded to Bill Cosby

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Baylor University, the world’s largest Baptist university, has decided to rescind the honorary degree it awarded to comedian Bill Cosby in 2003, saying on Friday “acts of interpersonal and sexual violence” run counter to the school’s values.

Baylor is one of several universities to cut ties with Cosby in the past year after more than 50 women have come forward with allegations against him, including drugging, sexual assault and rape.

Oct 7, 2015

Texas appeals court to weigh felony charge against Rick Perry

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said on Wednesday it will hear arguments on whether former Texas Governor Rick Perry should face trial on an abuse of power count, one of the charges that clouded his failed Republican presidential run.

The court set Nov. 4 oral arguments for the count of abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony charge that can carry from five to 99 years in prison

Oct 6, 2015

Texas executes man who killed Mexican, robbed him of $8

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas on Tuesday executed a 35-year-old man convicted of fatally shooting a recently arrived Mexican immigrant in the head and robbing him of $8.

Juan Garcia was pronounced dead from a lethal injection at 6:26 p.m. at the state’s execution chamber in Huntsville, a prisons official said.

Oct 6, 2015

Montana judge rules lethal injection drug violates state law

By Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – A Montana judge ruled on Tuesday that one of the
drugs planned for use in a lethal injection mix violates state
law, effectively putting a hold on executions in the state,
which has only two inmates on death row.

Montana law stipulates that one of the drugs in its lethal
injection mix must be an “ultra fast-acting barbiturate” and the
current drug intended to play that role, pentobarbital, does not
meet that criteria, District Court Judge Jeffrey Sherlock said
in his ruling.