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Crime

Texas Digest: Cop shooter gets 50 years

COURTS Cop shooter gets 50 years in prison A man charged with the nonfatal shooting of a Houston-area police officer in the chest and face three years ago during a traffic stop has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. Sergio Francisco Rodriguez pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated assault of a public servant. He’s the last of three men charged in the October 2013 shooting of Stafford police...
Texas Senate approves bill to give second chance on some crimes

Texas Senate approves bill to give second chance on some crimes

The Texas Senate on Monday approved “second-chance” legislation that would let those convicted of one-time, nonviolent misdemeanors to ask a court to seal their criminal record from public view — no matter when it happened. House Bill 3016 applies to class C misdemeanors and driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol level below 0.15, but not for crimes the judge determines to...
Police: Man shoots former business partner at Round Rock auto shop

Police: Man shoots former business partner at Round Rock auto shop

ROUND ROCK Police: Man shot former business partner An Austin man shot his former business partner at an auto shop in Round Rock on Saturday, according to an arrest affidavit. Omar Dontae Sypho, 33, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The business partner, who was taken to St. David’s Hospital in Round Rock...
Police say Austin city employee stored child porn on work computer

Police say Austin city employee stored child porn on work computer

Austin police arrested a city Health Department employee Friday night, accusing him of storing child pornography on his work computer. The arrest of 51-year-old Jeffery Walters ended a monthlong investigation that began when city officials discovered a video that Walters later said he “accidentally” left on a shared computer drive, police said in court papers. Walters is out on $20,000...
UPDATE: Austin city employee resigns after charged with child porn crime, officials say

UPDATE: Austin city employee resigns after charged with child porn crime, officials say

4 p.m. update: An Austin city employee resigned Monday after police arrested him Friday night, accusing him of storing child pornography on his work computer.  “We applaud the staff’s diligence and quick response in reacting to this matter,” city of Austin officials said in a statement. Earlier: Friday night, accusing him of storing child pornography on his work computer...

Texas Digest: Appeals court upholds New Braunfels container ban

NEW BRAUNFELS Appeals court upholds container ban A state appeals court has upheld its reversal of a visiting judge’s decision that halted enforcement of New Braunfels’ law banning the use of cans and other disposable food and beverage containers by tubers on the popular Comal and Guadalupe rivers. The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung reported that the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals said Judge...
Police find credit card skimmers at Elgin gas station

Police find credit card skimmers at Elgin gas station

Elgin authorities have warned residents that three credit card skimmers were found in the gas pumps at a local convenience store in the past week, according to a post on the police department’s Facebook page. The skimmers were uncovered at a 7-11 in the 200 block of U.S. 290 in Elgin. Skimmers are used to steal credit card information from customers. A similar device was uncovered at a gas station...
UT Student Government calls for improvements after school stabbing

UT Student Government calls for improvements after school stabbing

The University of Texas’ Student Government on Thursday highlighted some of the protocols and procedures that university administrators plan to review in the wake of a knife attack that left one student dead and three others injured. The Student Government met with UT administrators and police over the three weeks since the May 1 school stabbing before publishing an action plan online, and UT...

Austin officers sue over promotions delayed by former Chief Acevedo

Austin police officers say they were denied the opportunity for promotions last year because former Police Chief Art Acevedo failed to offer some high-ranking officials a test to assess their merits. A lawsuit filed Thursday in Travis County says Acevedo intentionally delayed offering a commander test so some of his preferred candidates could meet eligibility requirements, which state an officer must...
Credit card skimmer found at fuel pump on North MoPac

Credit card skimmer found at fuel pump on North MoPac

Austin police have removed a credit card skimmer from a gas station fuel pump in North Austin at the intersection of North MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1) and Duval Road. According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, authorities found the device, which is used to record credit card information, on a fuel pump in the 12000 block of MoPac on Thursday. After police removed the device, they checked other...
Man dies in hospital after South Austin shooting; police seek suspect

Man dies in hospital after South Austin shooting; police seek suspect

Austin police are looking for a suspect in a Friday morning shooting that left one man dead near a tourist-heavy area in South Austin. Police said they found the victim, identified as 51-year-old Van Kevin White, with “obvious trauma” to his body. Austin-Travis County EMS tried to revive the man before taking him to University Medical Center Brackenridge, where he later died. A police...
18-year-old charged with murder in fatal 2016 drive-by shooting in Kyle

18-year-old charged with murder in fatal 2016 drive-by shooting in Kyle

Police have accused an 18-year-old of driving a car that was involved in the fatal shooting of another teenager in Kyle last year. Rickson Correa-Cherem was arrested Friday and charged with murder in the shooting death of 18-year-old Natanaell Bardales on April 2, 2016, according to Kyle police. Bardales was shot in the head in the 300 block of Discovery in Kyle when a gunman opened fire from a passing...
Round Rock police: Sister’s finger in burrito leads to stabbing attempt

Round Rock police: Sister’s finger in burrito leads to stabbing attempt

A Round Rock woman tried to stab her brother during an argument about her sticking her fingers in his burrito, an arrest affidavit said. Cheryl Lenihan, 55, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Lenihan’s brother told police he was in the kitchen Wednesday at his home on Lasso Drive in Round Rock when Lenihan stuck...
UT Student Government calls for communication improvements after knife attack

UT Student Government calls for communication improvements after knife attack

The University of Texas Student Government has created a list of action items to improve emergency communication in the wake of a knife attack that left one student dead and three others injured at the beginning of May. The student government called on University officials to make the following changes to streamline the flow of information in the event of a future crisis. UTPD Action Items: Change...
NEW: APD members say they were denied chance at promotion, file lawsuit

NEW: APD members say they were denied chance at promotion, file lawsuit

Austin Police members are asking a judge to appoint a third-party arbiter to settle a dispute they have with department leaders after several of them were denied the opportunity to take a test for promotion. A lawsuit filed Thursday in Travis County says a promotional list for sergeants expired on Oct. 7, 2016. Several officers, including Corporal David Silva, sought promotion, but were unable to...
BREAKING: Man dies in hospital after South Austin shooting; police seeking suspect

BREAKING: Man dies in hospital after South Austin shooting; police seeking suspect

5:55 p.m. update: A man who was found shot outside an office building in South Austin on Friday morning has died, becoming the city’s 11th homicide victim of the year. Just after 7 a.m., Austin police officers responded to reports of shots fired at 611 S. Congress Ave. Officers found the man, identified as 51-year-old Van Kevin White, with obvious trauma to his body. Austin-Travis County...

Affidavits: Round Rock assistant debate coach had sex with student

ROUND ROCK Debate coach accused of having sex with student Round Rock police arrested Wednesday an assistant debate club coach accused of having a sexual relationship with a Stony Point High School student since last year, according to his arrest affidavits. Tyrell VanWinkle, 22, turned himself in to police Wednesday after receiving two charges of possession of child pornography and sexual assault...
UT stabbing suspect to undergo second mental health exam, judge says

UT stabbing suspect to undergo second mental health exam, judge says

University of Texas stabbing suspect Kendrex White must undergo a second mental examination to assess his competency, a Travis County judge ruled on Thursday. Judge Tamara Needles sided with prosecutors who a day earlier filed a motion requesting White be evaluated by a doctor other than the one who his defense attorneys already hired to test him. The new test could come as soon as Friday, Needles...
Commentary: Why Baylor is overdue for a new board of regents

Commentary: Why Baylor is overdue for a new board of regents

This week, we learned of yet another Title IX suit filed against Baylor, marking the seventh and most recent suit against the university. The case alleges a 2012 gang rape perpetrated by members of the university’s football team against a Baylor volleyball player. Equally disturbing, the case alleges that a 21-second video recording of the rape was later circulated among football players. The...
Kendrex White must get second mental health examination, judge rules

Kendrex White must get second mental health examination, judge rules

University of Texas stabbing suspect Kendrex White must undergo a second mental examination to determine his competency, a Travis County judge ruled on Thursday. Judge Tamara Needles sided with prosecutors who on Wednesday filed a motion requesting White be evaluated by a disinterested doctor rather than exclusively by the doctor who his defense attorneys hired to test him. The new test could come...
Herman: When a state official gets indicted

Herman: When a state official gets indicted

Generally when a lawmaker is excused from a Texas legislative floor session because of “personal business” we don’t know the precise nature of the business is or just how personal it is. This was not so at 11:13 a.m. Wednesday, shortly after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gaveled the Senate into session, when he announced that Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, would be excused because of...
St. Edward’s campus placed on lockdown Tuesday for police search

St. Edward’s campus placed on lockdown Tuesday for police search

ST. EDWARD’S UNIVERSITY Campus placed on lockdown for search St. Edward’s University police placed the campus on lockdown Tuesday evening while Austin police searched for two people following a robbery at the parking lot of a nearby Wal-Mart. Police said they received on Tuesday a report of a robbery, possibly at gunpoint, in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart at Ben White Boulevard and Interstate...
Rodney Reed case sent back to Bastrop to weigh false testimony claim

Rodney Reed case sent back to Bastrop to weigh false testimony claim

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday remanded death row inmate Rodney Reed’s case back to a Bastrop County court to weigh claims about prosecutors’ presentation of false testimony in his 1998 capital murder conviction. Reed was convicted of the 1996 murder of Stacy Stites, a 19-year-old Giddings resident whose body was found along a rural road in Bastrop County. Prosecutors...
Judge in UT stabbing case wants to review mental health examination

Judge in UT stabbing case wants to review mental health examination

The judge overseeing the murder case of a man accused of stabbing four University of Texas students wants to review records related to a recent mental health examination that his attorneys ordered conducted on him. Travis County state District Judge Tamara Needles on Wednesday told lawyers for Kendrex White to bring her the 700-page report “as soon as humanly possible” so she can decide...
Deadline brings bevy of civil lawsuits from deadly Twin Peaks shootout

Deadline brings bevy of civil lawsuits from deadly Twin Peaks shootout

Two years after the deadly Twin Peaks shootout in Waco that left nine dead, dozens of the bikers arrested after the incident brought a flood of lawsuits in Austin federal court late Tuesday, alleging that local and state authorities violated their rights. The avalanche of civil lawsuits came just before the two-year statute of limitations for cases stemming from the shooting, which passes...
Local attorney Adam Reposa denied a jury trial in his contempt case

Local attorney Adam Reposa denied a jury trial in his contempt case

Local defense attorney Adam Reposa will not get a jury trial in his contempt case and instead will present the case to a judge who has previously placed him in jail for contempt. Travis County visiting Judge Paul Davis on Wednesday denied Reposa’s motion for a jury, increasing the likelihood the attorney will be punished for telling another judge in March that he could not get a fair trial in...
Sex offender jailed, accused of raping woman in Walnut Creek greenbelt

Sex offender jailed, accused of raping woman in Walnut Creek greenbelt

A 63-year-old registered sex offender with a decades-long rap sheet is in jail, now accused of raping a woman in the woods in North Austin.  According to court papers filed Wednesday, a man who called himself “Jonathan” forced a woman to have sex with him in his tent on the Walnut Creek greenbelt after inviting her for beers and to look at some of his art. During the...
Vince Young gets permission to play in Canada while on DWI probation

Vince Young gets permission to play in Canada while on DWI probation

University of Texas football great Vince Young is allowed to play professionally in Canada while he’s on probation in Travis County, a county judge ruled Wednesday. Young, through his attorney, asked Judge Elizabeth Earle for permission to relocate to Canada where he will play for Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. Earle approved the request and wished Young well. Young...
Kyle police looking for robbers who attacked man in his front yard

Kyle police looking for robbers who attacked man in his front yard

Kyle police say a man was mowing his front lawn Wednesday morning when he was attacked and robbed by two men brandishing handguns and a crowbar. Investigators are asking for the public’s help in identifying the men, Kyle police said in a statement. According to Chief Jeff Barnett, the man told police he was in his yard in the 100 block of Musgrav in Kyle around 10:05 a.m. when two black men...
Authorities find drugs, cash in Taylor home belonging to man facing assault charges

Authorities find drugs, cash in Taylor home belonging to man facing assault charges

Williamson County authorities said Wednesday they seized drugs and cash earlier this week from a home in Taylor after arresting a man on assault charges. SWAT units with the Williamson County sheriff’s office searched a home in the 2900 block of Monika Lane Way around 9 a.m. on Monday, authorities said in a statement. According to the sheriff’s office, investigators said they found: ...
NEW DETAILS: Judge in Kendrex White case wants to review mental health report

NEW DETAILS: Judge in Kendrex White case wants to review mental health report

A review of an examiner’s report on Kendrex White’s mental health is needed before a judge rules on multiple motions. Judge Tamara Needles told attorneys she wants to see the report “as soon as humanly possible.” That means by noon Thursday, she said, adding that if everything goes smoothly she will set a follow-up hearing for the end of the week or next Monday. The District...
Accused UT stabber’s mental health to be discussed at Wednesday hearing

Accused UT stabber’s mental health to be discussed at Wednesday hearing

The mental health of a man accused of going on a stabbing attack at the University of Texas will be the subject of a hearing Wednesday in state district court, where prosecutors will argue that he should be evaluated by a state expert. Attorneys for Kendrex White told the American-Statesman on Tuesday that he has already been seen by an expert hired by his defense team, but they declined to elaborate...
UPDATED: Austin police call off search for suspects near St. Edward’s campus, officials say

UPDATED: Austin police call off search for suspects near St. Edward’s campus, officials say

7:50 p.m. update: Police have called off the search for two suspects that began around 5:20 p.m., after it was reported that a person was robbed, possibly at gunpoint, in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart at Ben White Boulevard and Interstate 35.  “We were unable to apprehend them,” Austin police Lt. Mike Summers said. “We have high hopes that investigative leads will...
House approves judicial security bill prompted by Kocurek shooting

House approves judicial security bill prompted by Kocurek shooting

The Texas House on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a bill aimed at improving security measures for judges following the failed assassination attempt of state District Judge Julie Kocurek, who in 2015 was shot in the driveway of her West Austin home. The House approved Senate Bill 42, named the Judge Julie Kocurek Judicial and Courthouse Security Act, in a 140-0 vote. It will head to Gov. Greg...
Ken Paxton criminal case halted, for now

Ken Paxton criminal case halted, for now

A state appeals court on Tuesday temporarily halted the criminal case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton while it considers Paxton’s request to oust the judge overseeing his case. In an emergency petition to the Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals, Paxton argued that state District Judge George Gallagher lacks the authority to continue presiding over Paxton’s case involving alleged...

Round Rock man friendly with celebs on trial for Austin jewelry heists

A Round Rock man, who shared red carpets with Taylor Swift, drove around in Bentleys, and made his way onto the field to celebrate with the Seattle Seahawks after Super Bowl XLVIII, is on trial in U.S. District Court, charged with orchestrating multiple jewelry store heists. Marvis Lewis, 40, is accused by local and federal investigators of recruiting another person to steal diamonds, rings and watches...
Police: Pflugerville, Round Rock shootings, homicide case connected

Police: Pflugerville, Round Rock shootings, homicide case connected

Police have arrested three people in connection to a rash of shootings in Pflugerville and Round Rock last week, including one who is charged in the death of an Austin man. Pflugerville police charged Robert Joseph Uribe, 18, with murder in the shooting of Jose Avidan Martinez, 20, in the early hours of May 10. First responders found Martinez shot in the parking lot of the 1825 Place apartment complex...
Tarr gets 20 years in prison for killing Austin woman in 2014 crash

Tarr gets 20 years in prison for killing Austin woman in 2014 crash

A Hays County jury has handed a 20-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine to a prominent Buda real estate agent who was found guilty of murder and intoxication manslaughter on Thursday. Jason Floyd Tarr faced five to 99 years or life in prison for his role in the Sept. 29, 2014, crash that killed 60-year-old Nancy Sterling-Dalton of Austin. According to police, Floyd was driving south on FM 1626...
Police: Fredericksburg High School evacuated after bomb threat

Police: Fredericksburg High School evacuated after bomb threat

Police evacuated Fredericksburg High School after receiving reports of a bomb threat on Tuesday morning. Fredericksburg police said authorities were sent out to the school at 10:41 a.m. after a student called in to report a text message from an unknown suspect who said a device was inside the school. Both students and faculty exited the buildings and a nearby primary school was locked down while...
Bikers say mass arrests at Twin Peaks shootout violated civil rights

Bikers say mass arrests at Twin Peaks shootout violated civil rights

Twenty bikers arrested following a shootout at a Waco-area Twin Peaks restaurant in 2015 have filed a federal lawsuit in Austin accusing local and state law enforcement agencies of violating their civil rights. It’s the latest legal challenge brought against the Waco Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety for their actions in the aftermath of the melee, which left 9...

Man friendly with A-list celebs on trial for Austin jewelry heists

A man who attended A-list events, drove expensive cars, and snapped selfies with celebrities is on trial in U.S. Western District Court for multiple jewelry store heists, including seven in Austin. Marvin Lewis has refused his right to an attorney and is defending himself. According to the indictment, Lewis took 19 diamonds from Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in Austin on Nov. 28, 2014 worth approximately...
Survey: Austinites endorse Police Department’s call for more officers

Survey: Austinites endorse Police Department’s call for more officers

Austin residents want more police officers and think increased law enforcement would help community and police engagement and tamp down issues such as the city’s K2 problem downtown, according to a survey by the Greater Austin Crime Commission that will be released Tuesday. About three-quarters of 1,909 telephone survey participants picked from the rolls of registered voters said they think...

Texas Digest: Supreme Court won’t hear case of man on death row

COURTS High court rejects death row appeal The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to review an appeal from a Mexican citizen sentenced to death for the sledgehammer killings of his wife and two children. The victims were found buried under the bathroom floor of their home in Progreso, which is along the border about 20 miles southeast of McAllen. The high court didn’t include an explanation...

Man accused of hiding gun used in Round Rock shootings

CENTRAL AUSTIN Man found floating in Waller Creek Austin police say a man found floating in Waller Creek Sunday afternoon did not die under suspicious circumstances. Police received a call around 1:10 p.m. reporting a dead body at 11th and Red River streets. The man’s cause of death was unknown Monday. — American-Statesman staff ROUND ROCK Man accused of hiding gun used in shootings A...
Man accused of plotting mass shooting in Austin is denied bail

Man accused of plotting mass shooting in Austin is denied bail

An Austin man accused of plotting a mass shooting for his 50th birthday is a danger to society and must remain in jail as he awaits trial, a federal judge ruled Monday. The decision by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks reverses a May 1 ruling by a magistrate judge that would have released Steven Boehle and placed him on house arrest. Sparks told Boehle’s attorney that he’d reconsider his...
UT student, a sexual assault victim, touts ‘no means no’ legislation

UT student, a sexual assault victim, touts ‘no means no’ legislation

It happened when Christina Breitbeil was a junior in high school. She was sexually assaulted after she got drunk at a party and passed out, she testified Monday at a state Senate hearing. Later, at the University of Texas, Breitbeil found that she lacked confidence to resist unwanted sex. Now, with newfound resolve thanks in part to her association with Deeds Not Words, an Austin-based group that...
Police: Man chases down, points gun at driver who hit him

Police: Man chases down, points gun at driver who hit him

A man chased down and pulled a gun on a driver who refused to stop after hitting his car Friday in North Austin, an arrest affidavit said. Robert Wolfe, 48, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. He also was charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon, a misdemeanor charge. Police were alerted when both Wolfe and the other...
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