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Jun 8, 2015

Texas prosecutor drops charges for man once sentenced to death

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Houston-area prosecutors on Monday dropped charges against Alfred Brown, a man whose murder conviction and death sentence were overturned last year after a court determined evidence that was beneficial to his case has been wrongfully withheld.

Brown, 33, has been behind bars for 10 years after being convicted with two co-defendants of killing Houston police officer Charles Clark and store clerk Alfredia Jones in a 2003 robbery at a check cashing business.

Jun 8, 2015

Calls mount to fire Texas officer who threw youth to ground

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A rally is planned for Monday in the Dallas-area city of McKinney calling for the firing of the police officer seen in a viral video throwing a bathing suit-clad teenage girl to the ground and pointing his pistol at other youths at a pool party.

The officer, McKinney Police Corporal Eric Casebolt, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of how he responded to a disturbance at a pool party on Friday in the city about 30 miles north of Dallas, an incident that has raised fresh questions about racial bias in U.S. policing.

Jun 5, 2015

Bikers jailed for deadly Texas fight seek faster bail hearings

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Lawyers for 144 people jailed after a deadly fight between motorcycle gangs last month in Waco, Texas, have filed a petition seeking prompt bail hearings, saying state authorities are unlawfully dragging their heels in processing the group.

The petition filed on Thursday in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals also seeks more judges to help speed up hearings set to start on June 16 for the group that has been jailed since May 17 on initial bond of $1 million each, a sum too high for most to pay.

Jun 4, 2015

Doctors in Texas perform historic skull and scalp transplant surgery

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A man whose cancer left him with severe damage to the top of the head has received what his doctors in Houston describe as the first skull and scalp transplant, the MD Anderson Cancer Center said on Thursday.

James Boysen, a 55-year-old software developer from Austin, received the craniofacial tissue transplant at the same time as a kidney and pancreas transplant at Houston Methodist Hospital on May 22 in surgeries that lasted nearly a day, it said.

Jun 4, 2015

After three decades on death row, Texas inmate Bower executed

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas on Wednesday executed Lester Bower, one of the longest-serving inmates on the state’s death row who had said he was wrongly convicted of killing four men in 1983 and had spent three decades trying to halt his capital punishment.

Bower was pronounced dead at 6:36 p.m. CDT after being given a lethal injection at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville, a prisons official said.

Jun 3, 2015

Texas set to execute man who has spent three decades on death row

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – One of the longest-serving inmates on Texas’ busy death row was set to be executed on Wednesday, more than three decades after being convicted of fatally shooting four people in 1983.

Lawyers for Lester Bower filed a last-minute appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court last week that faults the sentencing, seeking to prevent the execution by lethal injection scheduled for 6 p.m. at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville.

Jun 3, 2015

Quips, digs and movie worries in papers from Washington Post’s Bradlee

AUSTIN, Texas, June 3 (Reuters) – Former Washington Post
editor Ben Bradlee quarreled with a TV talk show host, wanted to
cool growth in local liquor stores and had doubts about whether
his name should be used in acclaimed Watergate movie “All the
President’s Men.”

This is according to a collection of nearly 70 boxes of
personal papers from Bradlee acquired by the Harry Ransom
Center, a University of Texas library specializing in original
source material.

Jun 2, 2015

After three decades on death row, Texas inmate set for execution

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas is set on Wednesday to execute Lester Bower, one of the longest-serving inmates on the state’s death row who says he was wrongly convicted of killing four men in 1983 and has spent three decades trying to halt his capital punishment.

Lawyers for Bower filed a last-minute appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court last week that faults the sentencing, seeking to prevent the execution by lethal injection scheduled for 6:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville.

Jun 1, 2015

Qatari couple charged in Texas with abusing household staff

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A Qatari military official and his wife were charged by U.S. prosecutors in Texas on Monday with withholding wages from two of their housekeepers from Indonesia and Bangladesh, forcing them to live in squalor and preventing them from leaving.

Hassan Salem Al Homoud and his wife, Zainab Al Hosani, were charged with engaging in forced labor and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas said.

Jun 1, 2015

Texas high school football stadium that cost $60 million to reopen after repairs

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – One of the most expensive U.S. high school football stadiums ever built is set to reopen this month after undergoing millions of dollars of repairs to fix structural problems that had made it unsafe, officials in the Dallas suburb of Allen said on Monday.

The Allen Eagle Stadium will be used for graduation ceremonies on Friday. The $60 million stadium, which opened in 2012, was closed in February 2014 after cracks were discovered in the concourse of the structure.