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State Headlines

Effort continues to ID victims in San Antonio migrant deaths

Posted/updated on: June 29, 2022 at 3:53 pm

SAN ANTONIO (AP/Staff) – A Mexican government official says most of the over 50 migrants found dead in San Antonio after being abandoned in a truck in the sweltering Texas heat were from Mexico. The head of Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said Wednesday that 27 of the victims were from Mexico, 14 were from Honduras, seven were from Guatemala and two were from El Salvador. Efforts to identify the dead are being complicated by a lack of identification documents, the need to share fingerprint data across borders and even stolen IDs. The efforts come as families from Mexico to Honduras worry their loved ones could be among them. Few identities of the dead migrants have been made public.

Justices say vet who lost job as Texas trooper can sue state

Posted/updated on: June 29, 2022 at 3:53 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has allowed a former state trooper to sue Texas over his claim that he was forced out of his job when he returned from Army service in Iraq. The justices ruled Wednesday for Army veteran Le Roy Torres under a federal law that was enacted in 1994 in the wake of the Persian Gulf war to strengthen job protections for returning service members. By a 5-4 vote, the high court rejected Texas’ claim that it is shielded from such lawsuits. Torres says he suffered lung damage from exposure to open burn pits on his base in Iraq.

New indictments returned in Texas against convicted murderer

Posted/updated on: June 29, 2022 at 3:53 pm

MCKINNEY (AP) – New capital murder indictments have been returned against a convicted murderer from the Dallas area whom authorities now allege is responsible for 22 deaths. A Collin County grand jury indicted Billy Chemirmir on Tuesday on single capital murder counts in each of the 2017 deaths of four women. The 50-year-old has already been convicted in Dallas County of capital murder in the 2018 death of 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris. Since prosecutors weren’t seeking the death penalty, Chemirmir was automatically sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

Two workers presumed dead after trench collapse in Texas

Posted/updated on: June 29, 2022 at 3:53 pm

JARRELL (AP) – Officials say two workers are presumed dead after a trench they were digging for a sewer line collapsed in Texas and buried them. The workers were digging Tuesday in a new subdivision under development in Jarrell. City spokesman Nick Spinetto says crews worked unsuccessfully for four hours to reach the buried workers. Spinetto says excavators were being used to recover their bodies. Fear of new collapses complicated recovery efforts, which will continue Wednesday.

Judge told to recuse himself in former Texas officer’s trial

Posted/updated on: June 29, 2022 at 3:54 pm

FORT WORTH (AP) – A new judge must be assigned to oversee the murder case against a former Texas police officer after defense attorneys successfully argued that the initial judge must recuse himself. Retired Second Court of Appeals Justice Lee Gabriel issued the decision Tuesday after hearing arguments last week. Attorneys for the former officer Aaron Dean argued that Judge David Hagerman’s pre-trial decisions raised questions about his objectivity. Dean is accused of shooting Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old Black woman, through a window of her home while responding to a call reporting the front door was open.

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