breaking news

Appeals court halts, for now, abortion for immigrant teen in Texas

Crime

Killeen police searching for man accused of sexually assaulting 7-year-old

Killeen police searching for man accused of sexually assaulting 7-year-old

Authorities in Bell County are asking for the public’s help in searching for a man suspected of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old. According to Killeen police, authorities obtained an arrest warrant for Antoine Latrell Williams on Wednesday. He is accused of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Police believe he may be driving a black Nissan Sentra with Texas license plate JVW1488. Anyone with...
Court: Examine if Austin crime lab botched death penalty evidence

Court: Examine if Austin crime lab botched death penalty evidence

The state’s highest criminal court on Wednesday ordered a closer examination of death row inmate Areli Escobar’s claims that shoddy work by the Austin police crime lab compromised evidence in his case. Escobar is seeking to have his conviction overturned, and a new trial ordered, after a Travis County jury sentenced him to death in the 2009 sexual assault and stabbing of his neighbor,...
Police searching for suspect in string of East Austin robberies

Police searching for suspect in string of East Austin robberies

EAST AUSTIN Police searching for robbery suspect Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man they say committed at least seven robberies of East Austin convenience stores from Sept. 27 through Monday. According to Austin police, the man hit the Fighting Orange store at 3807 North Interstate 35 three separate times. First on Sept. 25, then again on Oct. 5 and Oct. 16. He also robbed...
Burglars strike gun shop near Hutto for second time in three weeks

Burglars strike gun shop near Hutto for second time in three weeks

A group of masked burglars, one with a hammer, broke into a gun shop near Hutto before dawn Tuesday, stealing more than a dozen rifles or shotguns, authorities said Wednesday. The burglary was the second at the Blackland Gun Works shop in less than a month. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the National Shooting Sports Foundation on Wednesday announced a reward of up to $5...
Suit blames Ford for Austin police officer’s carbon monoxide illness

Suit blames Ford for Austin police officer’s carbon monoxide illness

An Austin police officer and his wife are suing Ford Motor Co., alleging that its Explorer SUV’s flawed exhaust system led to the officer’s carbon monoxide poisoning and subsequent damage to his nervous system. The lawsuit is at least the second filed by an Austin police officer that accuses the automaker of negligence, saying that it knew of the problems, failed to fix them and failed...
Police searching for man they have linked to several East Austin robberies

Police searching for man they have linked to several East Austin robberies

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man they say committed at least seven robberies of East Austin convenience stores from Sept. 27 through Monday. According to Austin police, the man hit the Fighting Orange store at 3807 North Interstate 35 three separate times. First on Sept. 25, then again on Oct. 5 and Oct. 16. He also robbed the East 1st Grocery Store at 1811 E. Cesar...
$5,000 reward after burglars steal nearly 30 firearms from Williamson County gun shop

$5,000 reward after burglars steal nearly 30 firearms from Williamson County gun shop

5 p.m. update: A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of burglars who twice struck a Williamson County gun shop, authorities said. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms industry, announced the reward on Wednesday. Authorities say two men broke into Blackland Gun...
Austin police officer fired 4 months after federal indictment

Austin police officer fired 4 months after federal indictment

An Austin police officer was fired today, four months after a federal grand jury indicted him on a charge of making a false statement to a U.S. agency in the midst of his wife’s Social Security fraud case. Officer Roosevelt Granderson II was fired, not because of the charges, but because he did not attend two separate Internal Affairs interviews, according to an Austin police disciplinary...
Defendant called 911 after injuring boyfriend, jury hears

Defendant called 911 after injuring boyfriend, jury hears

Attorneys representing both sides in a Travis County murder trial agree Stephen Sylvester died in July 2015 at the hands of his boyfriend after they fought, following a night of drinking in downtown Austin, in the apartment they shared. But prosecutors are calling Sylvester’s boyfriend, Bryan Canchola, a jealous murderer who flipped out because he felt he was cheated on, while defense attorneys...

Reward increased for tips in unsolved 1982 Travis County slaying

TRAVIS COUNTY Reward for tips in 1982 killing increased Investigators with the Texas Department of Public Safety are offering up to $6,000 for information on a Travis County slaying that has remained unsolved since 1982. Authorities in Travis County found 19-year-old Ruth Elizabeth Bettis dead in a pasture near Sprinkle Cutoff Road, east of Dessau Road, on Thanksgiving Day in 1982. According to the...
Lyft driver accused of sexually assaulting Austin passenger in 2015

Lyft driver accused of sexually assaulting Austin passenger in 2015

Austin police have accused a ride-hailing driver of sexually assaulting a passenger in 2015, according to court documents filed Tuesday. The Lyft driver, 36-year-old Angel Interial of Georgetown, faces a charge of sexual assault and was booked into the Williamson County Jail on Monday with bail set at $60,000, jail records show. The incident is the second ride-hailing attack to come to light in as...
Austin police looking for driver who struck, killed volleyball referee last week  

Austin police looking for driver who struck, killed volleyball referee last week  

Austin police need the public’s help in finding a driver they say was involved in the hit-and-run that killed longtime college volleyball referee Linda Kay Fletcher last week.  Fletcher, 77, was struck and killed Oct. 10 by a gold Chevrolet Tahoe traveling east at a high speed on the 9300 block of Parkfield Drive, police said.  The suspected driver, identified by police as 27-year-old...
Commentary: How social media posts can hurt criminal investigations

Commentary: How social media posts can hurt criminal investigations

Law enforcement officials are facing a new set of challenges in the age of social media. One such challenge is becoming more common — and I feel compelled to call attention to it. The act of capturing video or photographs of crime scenes and posting those images to social media is harmful to law enforcement investigative efforts. This year, we’ve experienced two high-profile incidents...
Lyft driver accused of sexually assaulting Austin passenger in 2015, police say

Lyft driver accused of sexually assaulting Austin passenger in 2015, police say

Austin police have accused a local ride-hailing driver of sexually assaulting a passenger in 2015, according to court documents. An arrest affidavit filed on Tuesday morning said Angel Interial, a 36-year-old Lyft driver, faces a charge of sexual assault. Interial was booked into the Williamson County Jail on Monday, according to online jail records. His bail has been set at $60,000. The affidavit...
DPS increases reward to $6,000 for tips in unsolved 1982 Travis County slaying

DPS increases reward to $6,000 for tips in unsolved 1982 Travis County slaying

Investigators with the Texas Department of Public Safety are offering up to $6,000 for information on a Travis County slaying that’s remained unsolved since 1982. Authorities in Travis County found 19-year-old Ruth Elizabeth Bettis dead in a pasture near Sprinkle Cutoff Road, east of Dessau Road, on Thanksgiving Day in 1982. According to the DPS, she had been sexually assaulted and shot. Bettis...
‘Come on, babe. Please wake up,’ defendant told boyfriend in 911 call

‘Come on, babe. Please wake up,’ defendant told boyfriend in 911 call

1:30 p.m. The attorney for Bryan Canchola said his client did not mean to cause serious harm to victim Stephen Sylvester when the two fought after a night of drinking in downtown Austin. During Tuesday’s opening statements, Gerry Morris told jurors that the incident that occurred at an apartment near the University of Texas in the summer of 2015 was a tragedy, “but it wasn’t murder...
Police: Austin man breaks jaw of person he wrongly thought he knew

Police: Austin man breaks jaw of person he wrongly thought he knew

An Austin man is accused of breaking the jaw of another man who he incorrectly thought he knew, an arrest affidavit said. Bryan Griffin, 44, was charged with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Griffin walked into a Walgreens at 10600 W. Parmer Lane on Sept. 29 and saw a man standing at a register, the affidavit said. It did not say whether the man was...
UPDATE: Package delivered to San Marcos school declared safe, officials say

UPDATE: Package delivered to San Marcos school declared safe, officials say

8:30 p.m. update: A suspicious package that was delivered to Goodnight Middle School in San Marcos has been deemed safe after students were evacuated and all activities were canceled, the San Marcos school district said Monday evening on Facebook. “We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow morning at our regular scheduled start time,” the school district wrote in an update. It was San...

RideAustin driver accused of raping female passenger, police say

CENTRAL AUSTIN RideAustin driver accused of raping passenger Austin police have accused a RideAustin driver of raping a female passenger in the back seat of his car in Central Austin last summer. Osmani Limonta Diaz, 40, has been charged with sexual assault. He was booked Friday into the Travis County Jail, and was in custody there on Monday with bail set at $40,000, jail records show. According to...
Man charged in fatal hit-and-run in Jarrell

Man charged in fatal hit-and-run in Jarrell

A man is accused of leaving the scene of a wreck after he collided with another driver in Jarrell who died of her injuries about three months later, according to an arrest affidavit. Aramis Guerra, 21, of The Woodlands was charged Oct. 9 with failure to stop and render aid in an accident involving death, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Fifty-year-old Elizabeth Griffet...
Report: 146 Texas women killed by intimate male partners last year

Report: 146 Texas women killed by intimate male partners last year

Nicole Volmer told her 15-year-old daughter, “I love you” and “Follow Jesus,” as she was drifting in and out of consciousness inside her home in South Austin last Dec. 8. Moments before, she’d been shot in the torso while arguing with her husband, Michael Volmer. An arrest affidavit filed after the shooting said the couple had been arguing when the conversation turned...
Driver pleads guilty in San Antonio immigrant smuggling deaths

Driver pleads guilty in San Antonio immigrant smuggling deaths

A truck driver pleaded guilty Monday in San Antonio to federal charges in connection to an undocumented immigrant smuggling operation that resulted in 10 deaths this summer, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District. James Matthew Bradley, Jr., 61, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport immigrants resulting in death and one count of transporting immigrants...
Just in time for F1, feds to auction off European sports cars in Austin

Just in time for F1, feds to auction off European sports cars in Austin

Want to buy that dream sports car – and serve justice? A slate of 21 European roadsters – including an Aston Martin, a Maserati, some Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Porsches, and Ferraris – will be auctioned off in Austin by federal authorities, just in time for the Formula One races at Circuit of the Americas this weekend. The U.S. Marshals Service will hold the live auction of the vehicles...
NEW DETAILS: Man killed after police chase, shooting in Bell County was Fort Hood soldier, officials confirm

NEW DETAILS: Man killed after police chase, shooting in Bell County was Fort Hood soldier, officials confirm

Fort Hood officials have confirmed that a man who was killed after a police chase and officer-involved shooting in Bell County Thursday, and who investigators say ultimately died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, was Master Sgt. Alva Joe Gwinn, an 18-year veteran.  Authorities identified Gwinn, 39, on Friday. On Monday, Fort Hood officials confirmed Gwinn was a soldier who entered...
Truck driver pleads guilty in connection to immigrant smuggling deaths

Truck driver pleads guilty in connection to immigrant smuggling deaths

A truck driver pleaded guilty Monday in San Antonio to federal charges in connection to an undocumented immigrant smuggling operation that resulted in 10 deaths this summer, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District. James Matthew Bradley, Jr., 61, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport immigrants resulting in death and one count of transporting immigrants...
NEW INFO: Austin police ID bank robbery suspect caught after witness followed her

NEW INFO: Austin police ID bank robbery suspect caught after witness followed her

Austin police have identified the woman they say robbed a Chase Bank branch in South Austin on Friday and was caught after a witness followed her. Stephanie Benavides, 23, is accused of entering the bank at 701 E. Stassney Ln. about 9:20 a.m. and taking an undisclosed amount of money after displaying a handgun, police officials said.  A witness followed Benavides after the robbery and called...
Man accused of trying to set girlfriend’s apartment on fire, treated for burns, police say

Man accused of trying to set girlfriend’s apartment on fire, treated for burns, police say

A man was badly burned in what authorities said was an attempt to torch his girlfriend’s apartment in retaliation for her wanting to break things off, according to court documents Monday.  Authorities charged Paul Davila, 42, with arson after the Oct. 4 fire that did just $500 in damage to his then-girlfriend’s apartment doorway but left him with injuries so severe he was taken to...
RideAustin driver accused of raping passenger passed background checks, group says 

RideAustin driver accused of raping passenger passed background checks, group says 

6:20 p.m. update: A RideAustin driver accused of raping a female passenger in the back of his car last summer had no previous history of criminal activity and passed fingerprint-based and social security-based background checks, officials with the local ride-sharing nonprofit said Monday evening. No criminal records were found for the accused driver, 40-year-old Osmani Limonta Diaz, in public...

Texas ranks 9th in U.S. in rate of women killed by men in 2015, report finds

Texas came in ninth among the top 10 states with the highest rate of women killed by men in 2015, according to the Violence Policy Center’s latest “When Men Murder Women” report. The study said 1,686 women nationwide were killed by men in homicides involving a female victim and a male offender in 2015. Of the women who were killed in 2015, 93 percent were killed by men they knew...
Man shot to death at apartment complex in San Marcos, police say

Man shot to death at apartment complex in San Marcos, police say

San Marcos police are investigating the death of a man who was found with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and arm on Monday morning. Police were called to the Twin Lakes Villas apartments in the 2900 block of Hunter Road around 2:17 a.m. after receiving reports of a man who was on the ground and not breathing. First responders arrived within minutes and found Robert Lee Castaneda, 31, unresponsive...
Pedestrian fatally struck by car in Southeast Austin at Stassney, Nuckols Crossing

Pedestrian fatally struck by car in Southeast Austin at Stassney, Nuckols Crossing

A car struck and killed a pedestrian in Southeast Austin early Monday, closing a four-block stretch of Stassney Lane, authorities said.  Austin-Travis County EMS described the pedestrian who was killed at the scene as a man in his 30s. The collision occurred shortly before 6 a.m. near the intersection of East Stassney Lane and Nuckols Crossing Road, authorities said. The driver of the car believed...
Texas Digest: Memorial service for slain Texas Tech officer Tuesday

Texas Digest: Memorial service for slain Texas Tech officer Tuesday

EL PASO Memorial service set for slain officer A public memorial service is planned this week in El Paso for Texas Tech University police officer Floyd East Jr., who was fatally shot last week in Lubbock. The East, 48, was an El Paso native, and the memorial service is set for noon Tuesday at the Abraham Chavez Theatre in downtown El Paso. A 19-year-old student from Seguin, Hollis Daniels III, is...
UT: Crash victim was ‘volleyball expert,’ among first female referees

UT: Crash victim was ‘volleyball expert,’ among first female referees

A woman who made history in college volleyball as one of the first female referees and a dedicated leader in the sport has been identified as the person killed in a hit-and-run crash in North Austin on Tuesday, according to friends and University of Texas officials. Linda Kay Fletcher, 77, was coordinator of volleyball officials for the Southland Conference and former coordinator for the Big 12. She...
UT: Crash victim was ‘volleyball expert,’ among first female referees

UT: Crash victim was ‘volleyball expert,’ among first female referees

A woman who made history in college volleyball as one of the first female referees and a dedicated leader in the sport has been identified as the person killed in a hit-and-run crash in North Austin on Tuesday, according to friends and University of Texas officials. Linda Kay Fletcher, 77, was coordinator of volleyball officials for the Southland Conference and former coordinator for the Big 12. She...
DPS steps up enforcement on drivers who pass school buses illegally

DPS steps up enforcement on drivers who pass school buses illegally

Texas state troopers are stepping up their efforts to catch drivers who pass school buses illegally as a part of National School Bus Safety Week, which runs through Friday. From January 2016 through mid-October of this year, the Department of Public Safety issued 1,100 citations for drivers who illegally passed a stopped school bus. WATCH: Austin students struck by vehicles The Austin school district...
Woman accused of attacking man with rocks, jail nurse with urine

Woman accused of attacking man with rocks, jail nurse with urine

A woman sat in the Travis County Jail Saturday night after Austin police say she threw “baseball-sized” rocks at a man downtown, tried to escape officers, lied about her identity and then swatted her urine sample on a jail nurse. Police say a man called for their aid as Eboni Hornsby, 29, threw four rocks at him Friday. An officer at the scene reportedly told her to stop attacking the...
Authorities: Man shot after police chase in Bell County killed himself

Authorities: Man shot after police chase in Bell County killed himself

The man who was shot by authorities after a police chase Thursday in Bell County, and who appears to have died after he shot himself in the head, was a defendant in a child sex assault case, court records show. Alva Joe Gwinn, 39, of Fort Hood died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a preliminary investigation. Gwinn had multiple gunshot wounds, but Department of Public Safety officials...
UT students, supporters protest for Rodney Reed’s release

UT students, supporters protest for Rodney Reed’s release

University of Texas students and members of a group campaigning for the release of a Bastrop man on death row met Saturday afternoon to protest outside the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals building. Twenty people dressed in black and held signs spelling “Justice for Rodney Reed.” The protest follows a four-day hearing this week to determine whether Reed, who was convicted of murdering...
NEW DETAILS: Deputy in deadly Bell Co. chase was 12-year veteran, Williamson Co. sheriff’s office says

NEW DETAILS: Deputy in deadly Bell Co. chase was 12-year veteran, Williamson Co. sheriff’s office says

Saturday 3:15 p.m. update: The Williamson County sheriff’s deputy involved in a shooting Thursday during a high-speed chase into Bell County has been identified as Jack Danford, authorities said Saturday. Danford, who has been with the Williamson County sheriff’s office since November 2005, has been placed on administrative assignment, the sheriff’s office said. The investigation...
Charges to be dropped against officer accused of staging death

Charges to be dropped against officer accused of staging death

Travis County prosecutors said Friday that they are dropping charges against a former Austin police officer accused of faking his death and fleeing the country if he complies with an agreement for two years. The charges were dismissed by a judge Friday. Coleman Martin, who voluntarily resigned from the force last month, surrendered his peace officer license with the state as part of the “deferred...
Police body cameras will hit East Austin streets next week

Police body cameras will hit East Austin streets next week

Austin police next week will begin rolling out their first large batch of body-worn cameras for officers on patrol in East Austin, the next stage in a project that both police and the greater community have been wanting to see for several years, interim Police Chief Brian Manley said. The cameras will provide another point of view for critical incidents and more detail on everyday policing in Austin...

Austin homicide suspect arrested in South Texas, authorities say

SOUTH AUSTIN Homicide suspect arrested in South Texas A man wanted in connection with a homicide in South Austin on Sunday was arrested Thursday night in Dimmitt County, officials said. Ricardo Santos, 34, was taken into custody in the South Texas city of Big Wells, about an hour and a half north Laredo, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. Austin police issued an arrest warrant for Santos on Wednesday...
Murder defendant takes 23-year offer after jury deadlocks

Murder defendant takes 23-year offer after jury deadlocks

After jurors signaled that deliberations in a 2016 fatal stabbing in East Austin were nearing an impasse, the defendant accepted a plea deal rather than risk going to trial for a third time. Steven Johns was sentenced to 23 years in prison Friday in exchange for pleading guilty to killing Joseph Lapaso during a roadside altercation on July 1, 2016, that was captured on surveillance video. The plea...
Cedar Park welcomes outside review of police, as some doubt its rigor

Cedar Park welcomes outside review of police, as some doubt its rigor

Faced with lingering fallout in a case that led to the conviction of a former high school football star, Cedar Park leaders have hired a pre-eminent security firm to study its law enforcement policies and procedures as officials work to address attacks on the credibility of the Cedar Park Police Department. The move comes weeks after a state district judge cited mistakes by Cedar Park police in her...
Rodney Reed hearing ends with sharp disagreements

Rodney Reed hearing ends with sharp disagreements

A four-day hearing on death row inmate Rodney Reed’s bid for a new trial closed Friday with sharp disagreement between the prosecution and defense over the Bastrop man’s innocence and the relevance of new information that Reed’s lawyers insist points to another man as the killer. The issue is now in the hands of Visiting Judge Doug Shaver, who will forward written recommendations...
With jury deadlocked, Steven Johns accepts plea deal for 23 years

With jury deadlocked, Steven Johns accepts plea deal for 23 years

With jurors unable to reach a verdict, Steven Johns accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to murdering Joseph Lapaso. In exchange for the plea, Johns was sentenced to 23 years in prison. His plea came 20 minutes after jurors informed the court they were deadlocked. The jury deliberated for about 10 hours over Thursday and Friday. Earlier: A jury of six men and six women is struggling to reach...
Witness follows South Austin bank robber, helps police apprehend suspect, APD says

Witness follows South Austin bank robber, helps police apprehend suspect, APD says

4:30 p.m update: A witness followed a robber who stole from a South Austin bank, and led to police finding her and apprehending her, Austin police said. The robbery happened around 9:20 a.m. on Stassney Lane, just west of Interstate 35, police said. A woman entered the bank, displayed a handgun and demanded money, which she got, then ran away, police said. A witness followed her and called 911...
More Stories