Category: State News

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Note, Pills Found Next to Body in N. Texas Home

Dhawan family photoDALLAS (AP) — Police in a North Texas suburb say they discovered a note and pills next to one of two people found dead in the same home where their 10-year-old son was discovered months earlier. In documents released Monday, Frisco police described what they found in the home of Sumeet and Pallavi Dhawan earlier this month. Police say they found Pallavi Dhawan floating face-up in the backyard pool, and Sumeet in a downstairs bedroom. A note and pills were found next to Sumeet Dhawan’s body, though police would not describe the note or what type of pills. Pallavi Dhawan was being investigated for murder in the death of her 10-year-old son, Arnav. Authorities found Arnav’s body wrapped in cloth in a bathroom.

Police: Woman Misled Authorities Over Son’s Death

Meagan WorkAUSTIN (AP) — Authorities say the mother of a 2-year-old boy whose body was found in a shallow grave in Austin gave inconsistent statements to police as to what happened to the child and why he was missing for weeks. An arrest affidavit released Monday shows Meagan Work, 20, gave conflicting accounts until investigators told her that her boyfriend, Michael Turner, 29, had showed them where the boy, named Colton, was buried. She then said Colton died July 7 after having a seizure the day before. Police were told last week that the boy was missing and his remains were found Friday. Work and Turner each have been charged with tampering with evidence and remain in custody. Authorities say prosecutors are discussing additional charges that may be filed in the case.

Three Dead in Corpus Christi Trailer Park Shooting

Corpus Christi police patchCORPUS CHRISTI (AP) — Police say a 63-year-old man has been arrested after three people were killed and a child injured in a shooting at a trailer park in South Texas. Corpus Christi police say Sammuel Toomey is charged with capital murder of multiple persons and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He’s being held at the Nueces County jail on a $3.1 million bond. Police say when officers arrived at the trailer park Sunday evening, they found a 32-year-old woman, a 53-year-old woman and 56-year-old man dead outside different residences. A 10-year-old boy was hospitalized with gunshot wounds. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports he was in critical condition. Neighbors and witnesses helped police locate the suspect. Police say the exteriors of several homes were processed as part of a “complex crime scene.”

Man Admits to Making Bomb Threat to Avoid Work

Justice Department logoCORPUS CHRISTI (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a San Antonio man who did not want to go to work called a South Texas airport threatening that two bombs would be detonated. Authorities said in a statement Monday that Steve M. Gutierrez III, 40, pleaded guilty to threatening to damage or destroy a structure using explosives. Gutierrez in July was working at the construction site for a new U.S. Coast Guard facility at Corpus Christi International Airport. Prosecutors contend he called the general contractor saying officials should expect “two bombs to go off.” The site was evacuated. Investigators later linked the call to Gutierrez, who tried to avoid detection by destroying the cell phone he had used. Gutierrez is scheduled to be sentenced December 15. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

Dallas Man Gets 15 Years for Minor Sex Trafficking

Lady Justice-1DALLAS (AP) — A 33-year-old Dallas man has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for sex trafficking of a minor. Dereck Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking of children in June. He was accused of forcing a 15-year-old runaway he met at a bus station to engage in sex acts for money. The victim, who is now 18, said Johnson forced her to engage in several commercial sex acts at a Houston truck stop. Johnson will also spend the rest of his life on supervised release following his 15-year sentence.

Teacher Charged with Sexual Assault of a Child

Roger KesslerMcKINNEY (AP) – Police say a North Texas teacher arrested for sexually assaulting a teenager has told investigators he has HIV. A police affidavit shows Roger Kessler, 43, didn’t reveal his medical condition to the 15-year-old boy, whom he met through a dating app. Kessler is on administrative leave from his position as a music teacher for the Richardson school district. Police say he met the boy on four separate occasions. Kessler is charged with sexual assault of a child. McKinney police took Kessler into custody after responding to a burglary call at a home. The affidavit says Kessler was aware of the boy’s age when they had sex. He remains in custody at the Collin County jail on a $250,000 bond.

Houston Doctor Charged with Poisoning Her Lover

Ana Maria Gonzalez-AnguloHOUSTON (AP) — Prosecutors say a 43-year-old breast cancer doctor based at Houston’s famed Texas Medical Center had a “fatal attraction” to a fellow physician who rejected her, prompting her to poison her lover by lacing his coffee with ethylene glycol. The chemical is a common additive in automotive antifreeze but also is used by University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center labs where Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo and another cancer researcher and doctor, George Blumenschein, both worked. Her attorneys said in opening statements Monday at her aggravated assault trial that evidence won’t point conclusively to her, and that others may be responsible for his poisoning. Prosecutors say Blumenschein survived kidney failure after she served him two cups of tainted coffee last year. She could get 20 years in prison if convicted.

Texas Man in Critical Condition Following Fall

AT&T Stadium2-DallasDALLAS (AP) — Authorities say a college football fan remains in critical condition after falling more than 12 feet from the stands into a field-level suite during the Texas-UCLA game. A John Peter Smith Hospital spokeswoman released the man’s condition Sunday and says he is in the intensive care unit. No other information about him has been released. An Arlington Fire Department spokesman previously said the man fell 12-15 feet on Saturday at the $1.2 billion AT&T Stadium. The man was wearing a Texas shirt and was conscious when he was transported. The cause of the fall is unclear. The fire department has turned over the investigation to stadium authorities.

Adoptability Unclear for Rescued Texas Animals

SPCA logoSANTA FE (AP) — A Houston animal society says more than 100 animals rescued from a Santa Fe home are receiving veterinary care but may not be adopted. The Galveston Daily News reports the two men who live at the home are cooperating with authorities. Sheriff’s deputies seized the animals after a neighbor complained about the condition of the six-acre property. The animals included six giant tortoises, more than 70 Irish wolfhounds, macaws and snakes. Authorities say some animals were without food or water. They found an unspecified number of dead animals. The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the animals are part of the ongoing investigation and will not be adopted until permanent custody is determined. Santa Fe is about 30 miles southeast of Houston.

Victim in Rape Exoneration Recalls Case

Tim Cole-wrongly convictedLUBBOCK (AP) – A woman who accidentally misidentified the person who raped her says she remains plagued by guilt in a case that led to major reforms in Texas. Officials in Lubbock this week will unveil a statue to honor Tim Cole, the first person in Texas to be exonerated of a crime after his death. Cole was convicted after he was identified by Michelle Mallin, a Texas Tech student who was raped in her car in 1985. DNA testing later linked another man to the crime, but not until Cole died in prison. The Associated Press typically does not identify rape victims, but Mallin has come forward publicly to clear Cole’s name and discuss the case. She told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that she credited Cole’s family for not blaming her.

Traffic Deaths Up in Texas’s Oil Boom Counties

HOUSTON (AP) – Vehicle crash deaths are significantly up in parts of Texas where oil and gas production is booming the most. The Houston Chronicle reports that deaths rose more than 50% in the West Texas counties located on the Permian Basin. Deaths also went up about 11% in counties associated with the Eagle Ford and Barnett shales, according to Texas Department of Transportation records. The records don’t show how many of those deaths might be directly linked to the oil and gas industry. But deaths in commercial trucking accidents and multiple-fatality crashes have gone up on roads near drill sites and major highways like Interstate 20. Texas has surpassed California as the state with the most annual traffic deaths in the United States.

Woman Dies in Creek after Saving Dog

COLLEGE STATION (AP) – A 32-year-old woman’s body has been recovered from a creek after she died trying to save her dog’s life. Authorities say they located April Turner’s body Saturday evening at Lick Creek Park in College Station. They say Turner went into the fast-moving creek Saturday morning after her dog fell into the water and was struggling to get out. The Eagle newspaper reports that while Turner was able to push her dog to safety, she was swept away herself. About 45 first responders spent the day Saturday searching for Turner.

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