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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.

Feb 26, 2015

Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant linked to incident at Walmart parking lot

DALLAS (Reuters) – Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was questioned by police at the scene of a 2011 incident in which a witness reported that Bryant’s girlfriend was dragged by an unidentified man across a Texas Walmart parking lot, according to police documents.

The 2011 report released this week by police in the Dallas suburb of Lancaster said the officer who investigated the early-morning incident determined that no crime had been committed and let those at the scene go free without anyone being charged, including Bryant.

Feb 25, 2015

Killer of ‘American Sniper’ Kyle jailed for life

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (Reuters) – Eddie Ray Routh was jailed for life without the possibility of parole on Tuesday after a Texas jury found him guilty of murdering Chris Kyle, the former U.S. Navy SEAL whose autobiography was turned into the hit movie “American Sniper.”

Routh, 27, a former U.S. Marine, was found guilty 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.

Feb 25, 2015

Killing of ‘American Sniper’ Kyle no ‘whodunit,’ prosecutor says

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (Reuters) – The man charged with killing former U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle, the subject of the blockbuster movie “American Sniper,” acted coldly and deliberately in carrying out his deadly ambush at a Texas gun range, a prosecutor said on Tuesday.

In closing arguments, prosecutor Jane Starnes told a jury in the rural Texas city of Stephenville that Eddie Ray Routh, 27, bided his time before fatally shooting Kyle and Kyle’s friend Chad Littlefield at the range about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Fort Worth in February 2013.

Feb 24, 2015

‘American Sniper’ murder trial could soon go to Texas jury

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (Reuters) – A Texas jury could begin deliberations as early as Tuesday in the trial of a former Marine charged with murdering Chris Kyle, the former U.S. Navy SEAL whose autobiography was turned into the blockbuster movie “American Sniper.”

Eddie Ray Routh, 27, is accused 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 and then fleeing in Kyle’s pickup truck.

Feb 24, 2015

Texas court halts man’s execution after petition challenges trial evidence

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (Reuters) – A Texas court on Monday halted next week’s scheduled execution of convicted murderer Rodney Reed after his backers petitioned a state court for a stay, saying he was wrongly convicted due to faulty evidence and unreliable testimony.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals did not elaborate on its decision. Reed’s backers for years have questioned his conviction for capital murder and filed a petition this month with affidavits from forensics experts who faulted evidence used in his trial.

Feb 23, 2015

Texas trial for ‘American Sniper’ halted due to ice storm

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (Reuters) – The Texas trial of a man charged with fatally shooting former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, whose best-selling autobiography was turned into the blockbuster movie “American Sniper, was halted on Monday due to an ice storm.

Closing arguments had been expected to start Monday and now will come shortly after the trial resumes, followed by jury deliberations.

Feb 20, 2015

U.S. Border Patrol testing body cameras on agents

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – U.S. Border Patrol has been
placing body cameras on its agents in the field as it tests
whether the devices should be standard equipment, officials said
on Friday.

In September, U.S. Border Patrol said body cameras would be
used in trial runs for its agents following allegations of abuse
and use of excessive force. The tests with the body cameras are
scheduled to run through mid-2015.

Feb 20, 2015

Texas attorney general aims to void marriage license for same-sex couple

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb 20 (Reuters) – The Texas attorney general
asked the state’s Supreme Court on Friday to revoke a marriage
license issued a day earlier to two women, arguing the move
violated a decade-old state ban against gay marriage and could
cause legal chaos.

Travis County, where the capital Austin is located, issued a
marriage license to Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, who
have been together for about 30 years and have two daughters. It
was the first license issued to a same-sex couple in Texas since
the ban was put in place.