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Prosecutors argue Parlin did not kill Blair, Sheltons, but is guilty

Crime

39 arrested in Llano County, accused of meth trafficking, authorities say

39 arrested in Llano County, accused of meth trafficking, authorities say

As many as 39 people who are accused of trafficking in methamphetamine have been arrested after a seven-month investigation, the Llano County sheriff’s office said Friday. Roughly half of the suspects were arrested Thursday, when officials with the sheriff’s office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency began executing arrest warrants. The sheriff’s office said it was still seeking...
Regulators yank license of prison snitch befriended by FBI director

Regulators yank license of prison snitch befriended by FBI director

Johnny Spinelli’s past overtook him this week. After a life crammed with a TV miniseries-worth of crime drama that careened from committing heinous crimes to helping prosecutors solve a notorious murder-for-hire, to a lifelong friendship with a director of the FBI, Spinelli had settled into a quiet career working as an electrician northwest of Austin. But this week the Texas Department of Licensing...
Prosecutors argue Parlin did not kill Blair, Sheltons, but is guilty

Prosecutors argue Parlin did not kill Blair, Sheltons, but is guilty

Noon update: Timothy Parlin’s lawyers said he had no idea that co-defendant Shawn Gant-Benalcazar planned to kill anyone when he drove him to burglarize two Austin homes in late 2014. Prosecutors said otherwise Friday and asked a jury to find Parlin guilty on five counts related to capital murder. The jury began deliberating at about 11:30 a.m. In closing arguments, prosecutors Katie Sweeten...
Austin man indicted in 1979 cold case murder of newlywed Debra Reiding

Austin man indicted in 1979 cold case murder of newlywed Debra Reiding

An Austin man was indicted Thursday in the 1979 cold case murder of Debra Reiding, according to a source and confirmed by Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore. Michael Anthony Galvan, 64, faces one count each of capital murder and murder after investigators linked him to Reiding’s death through DNA. He was arrested Thursday and is being held in the Travis County Jail in lieu of a $750...
Austin man dies year after shooting; suspect charged with murder

Austin man dies year after shooting; suspect charged with murder

When Zha’riyah Brady visits her grandmother’s house, she clutches a pillow with her father’s face on it and sometimes asks where he is. Kimberley Blocker said she carries it around the house like a toy doll and takes it to bed with her at night. “I think she is just feeling her daddy’s spirit,” said Blocker, whose son, Andrew Brady, died three months ago &mdash...
20 arrested in massive Llano County drug bust

20 arrested in massive Llano County drug bust

Twenty people have been arrested for drug-related crimes in Llano County, northwest of Austin, as part of a seven-month investigation targeting dealers in the area. The Llano County sheriff’s office said it arrested 12 people on Thursday who had been indicted or had warrants for delivery or possession of a controlled substance and other related charges. Eight others who were identified in the...

Credit card skimmer found at Northwest Austin gas station

NORTHWEST AUSTIN Credit card skimmer found at gas station The Texas Department of Agriculture said an illegal credit card data skimmer was spotted at a gas station in Northwest Austin on Thursday. The skimmer, which can steal a victim’s financial data from credit cards, was discovered at the Sunrise Mini Mart/Texaco food mart at 8925 Anderson Mill Road at the intersection with Turtle Rock Road...
No suspect found after SWAT team enters home outside Pflugerville

No suspect found after SWAT team enters home outside Pflugerville

6:40 p.m. update: A Travis County SWAT team entered a home outside Pflugerville and did not find the person they received a call about, the Travis County sheriff’s office said.  The call in the 1600 block of Morning Mist Lane is now considered resolved, the sheriff’s office said.  “There are no indications that the public is in any danger,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman...
Feds: Man ‘verbally harassed’ Sutherland Springs church members

Feds: Man ‘verbally harassed’ Sutherland Springs church members

A Lockhart man and his girlfriend went to First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in March and “verbally harassed” church members, saying that the Nov. 5, 2017, shooting that killed 26 people at the church was a hoax, the U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday. Robert “Side Thorn” Ussery, 54, was charged Wednesday with felon in possession of a firearm, according to a...
SCAM ALERT: Credit card skimmer found at Northwest Austin gas station 

SCAM ALERT: Credit card skimmer found at Northwest Austin gas station 

The Texas Department of Agriculture said an illegal credit card data skimmer was spotted at a gas station in Northwest Austin on Thursday. The skimmer, which can steal a victim’s financial data from credit cards, was discovered at the Sunrise Mini Mart/Texaco food mart at 8925 Anderson Mill Road at the intersection with Turtle Rock Road, the department said in a statement. Local law enforcement...
With Memorial Day, ROT Rally ahead, Austin police target drunken drivers

With Memorial Day, ROT Rally ahead, Austin police target drunken drivers

Austin police will target drunken drivers during a “no-refusal” initiative that starts Thursday and ends on June 10, they said. Under the “no refusal” initiative, officers can more easily obtain search warrants for blood or breath samples from drivers suspected of drunken driving who refuse to take blood alcohol tests. The “no refusal” effort will be in effect between...
Feds: Lockhart man ‘verbally harassed’ Sutherland Springs church members, said shooting was a hoax

Feds: Lockhart man ‘verbally harassed’ Sutherland Springs church members, said shooting was a hoax

A Lockhart man and his girlfriend went to First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in March and “verbally harassed” church members, saying that the Nov. 5, 2017, shooting that killed 26 people at the church was a hoax, the U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday. Robert “Side Thorn” Ussery, 54, was charged Wednesday with felon in possession of a firearm, according to a...
Bar owner from Austin accused of raping customer in Fort Worth

Bar owner from Austin accused of raping customer in Fort Worth

An Austin business owner is accused of sexually assaulting a patron last December at a bar he owns in Fort Worth, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Tarrant County. Israel Espiricueta, 41, the owner of the Library Bar in downtown Fort Worth and another bar in Austin, was arrested while in Travis County on Feb. 5 and charged with sexual assault. He was released from jail after posting a $10...
Crispin Harmel gets life sentence for killing Jessika Kalaher in 2009

Crispin Harmel gets life sentence for killing Jessika Kalaher in 2009

Relatives of Jessika Kalaher calmly admonished Crispin Harmel after he was sentenced Tuesday night to life in prison for her strangulation death in Cedar Park in 2009. “You have a chance to still breathe,” Kalaher’s father, Richard Kalaher, told Harmel. “You are lucky, because I wanted the death penalty because my daughter is not here and why should you be?” Harmel, 38...

Wilco deputies looking for man who tried to kidnap girl

WILLIAMSON COUNTY Sheriff: Man tried to kidnap girl A man tried to kidnap an 8-year-old girl in the Brushy Creek area Tuesday evening, Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody said. The girl was near some community mailboxes in the area of O’Connor and Pocono drives when a man parked nearby, grabbed her arm and told her to get into his car, Chody said. The child “was able to resist and pull...
2 Austin charter school students arrested after having gun on campus

2 Austin charter school students arrested after having gun on campus

Two Austin charter school students were arrested on Tuesday — one after bringing a gun to campus and the other after he was found holding it for him, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Travis County. Anibal Escobar Mejia, 17, and a juvenile, who was not named by authorities because he is a minor, have been charged with possessing a weapon in a prohibited area, a third-degree felony, court...
WATCH: Video shows 8-year-old running away from alleged kidnapping attempt

WATCH: Video shows 8-year-old running away from alleged kidnapping attempt

3:15 p.m. update: Sheriff Robert Chody tweeted home security video footage he said shows an 8-year-old girl running away from an attempted kidnapping. The footage shows the young girl running near O’Connor Drive and Pocono Drive around 7 p.m. Tuesday, Chody said. <div></div><br><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"...
Audit: Title transfer irregularities might mean tax shortfall of $1M

Audit: Title transfer irregularities might mean tax shortfall of $1M

Travis County could owe the state more than $1 million in unremitted taxes because of incorrect vehicle title transfers by a then-state authorized company, according to a county audit released Tuesday. The release of the audit comes after state officials announced Monday a multiagency fraud investigation that has led to the arrest of seven people, including four Precinct 1 and Precinct 2 county tax...
UPDATE: Round Rock SWAT standoff ends; man taken into custody

UPDATE: Round Rock SWAT standoff ends; man taken into custody

9 p.m. update: A SWAT standoff in Round Rock ended around 8 p.m., and police have detained the man who barricaded himself, police said.  The man was not injured but was taken to the hospital to be evaluated, police officials said.  Earlier: A SWAT team in Round Rock is attempting to get a barricaded person to come out, according to Round Rock police officials. Officers responded at...
Man fatally shot in head Saturday outside South Austin bar, police say

Man fatally shot in head Saturday outside South Austin bar, police say

One man died and another has been charged with murder after they got into a fight last weekend outside a South Austin bar on Ben White Boulevard, Austin police said. Glenn Eugene Howell, 47, died from a gunshot wound to the head Saturday outside the Bender Bar & Grill on Ben White, between South First Street and South Congress Avenue, officials said. Antoine Kirkwood, 35, was arrested and charged...

2 children, 1 woman injured in U.S. 79 crash in Williamson County

WILLIAMSON COUNTY 2 children, 1 woman injured in U.S. 79 crash Two children and one woman were injured Tuesday morning after a rollover crash in Williamson County, according to the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s office tweeted news of the crash around 6:10 a.m. The vehicle rolled over on U.S. 79 near Thorndale at the Williamson-Milam county line, about 50 miles northeast of downtown Austin...
Bar owner from Austin accused of raping customer in Fort Worth, police say

Bar owner from Austin accused of raping customer in Fort Worth, police say

An Austin man is accused of sexually assaulting a patron last December at a bar he owns in Fort Worth, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Tarrant County. Israel Espiricueta, 41, the owner of the Library Bar in downtown Fort Worth, was arrested in Travis County on Feb. 5 and charged with sexual assault. He was released from jail after posting $10,000 bond, according to the Dallas Morning...
13 arrested in prostitution sting that began at Georgetown massage parlor

13 arrested in prostitution sting that began at Georgetown massage parlor

3:45 p.m. update: GEORGETOWN -- A seven-month investigation ended in the arrest of 13 people for alleged prostitution and human trafficking. The investigation began after the Georgetown Police Department and Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office received a complaint about illegal activity at a massage parlor Shanghai Spa, at 1915 S. Austin Ave., in Georgetown. Georgetown Police Capt. Roland Waits...
Two hospitalized after possible stabbing in Northeast Austin, police say

Two hospitalized after possible stabbing in Northeast Austin, police say

Two people were hospitalized on Tuesday morning after a possible stabbing in Northeast Austin. Austin police were called to a home in the 5400 block of Claymoor Drive, between Springdale and Manor roads, around 9:36 a.m. A man and a woman were injured but authorities could not immediately comment on the extent of their injuries.
Deputies looking for suspect after stolen vehicle leads to chase near Liberty Hill, sheriff says

Deputies looking for suspect after stolen vehicle leads to chase near Liberty Hill, sheriff says

Williamson County deputies are looking for a person suspected of stealing a vehicle in the Liberty Hill area and leading authorities on a chase, Sheriff Robert Chody said Monday.  Chody tweeted that the incident had attracted a large police presence near Fawn Drive and Round Mountain Road area.  People should avoid the area while authorities investigate, Chody said. 
Police detain person after stabbing in East Austin leaves 2 injured, officials say 

Police detain person after stabbing in East Austin leaves 2 injured, officials say 

10:15 p.m. update: One man was seriously wounded and another had minor injuries after a stabbing in East Austin, Austin-Travis County EMS officials said Monday night.  A man in his 30s with serious, potentially life-threatening injuries was taken to a local hospital, medics said. A man in his 70s was also injured but refused being taken to the hospital.  Austin police said they have detained...
Travis County tax employees charged in fraud tied to vehicle titles

Travis County tax employees charged in fraud tied to vehicle titles

Fraud involving Travis County tax office employees resulted in an undisclosed loss of state revenue, state investigators said Monday as they began to disclose findings that resulted in seven arrests. The scope of the multiagency investigation is still unclear. Most of the theft detailed in each arrest affidavit totaled only in the hundreds of dollars. At a news conference Monday, officials said they...
Witnesses contradict what Crispin Harmel told police in 2009 slaying

Witnesses contradict what Crispin Harmel told police in 2009 slaying

Prosecutors wrapped up their capital murder case against Crispin Harmel on Monday by presenting three witnesses who contradicted what Harmel told police during the investigation of the 2009 strangulation death of Jessika Kalaher. Harmel told police then that he could not give them the shirt he had worn when he was with Kalaher because it was at a friend’s apartment being washed. The friend,...

Officers in Southwest Austin shooting won’t face charges, DA says

SOUTHWEST AUSTIN DA: Officers in shooting won’t face charges Two Austin police officers who were involved in a shootout in March that left a man wounded in Southwest Austin were cleared of any wrongdoing by the Travis County District Attorney’s office on Monday. Officers Kevin Bittner and Dustin Turner were among several officers who responded to a home in the 6200 block of La Naranja...
DPS names 7 accused of license plate fraud at Travis County tax office

DPS names 7 accused of license plate fraud at Travis County tax office

11:50 a.m. update: Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant released the following statement about the arrests announced by Texas Department of Public Safety: “I want to thank the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Criminal Investigation Division, the District Attorney’s office, and the Travis County Auditor for their part in rooting out a problem that has plagued the Motor...
Three arrested workers identified in Travis Tax Office fraud case

Three arrested workers identified in Travis Tax Office fraud case

Three employees of the Travis County Tax Office who were arrested Friday amid a fraud investigation are charged with third-degree felonies, according to jail records. Shell Prieto-Reese, 43, and Cathy Wilson, 57, are each charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and forgery, and each have bail posted at $50,000. Susie Alvarez, 43, is charged with forgery with bail set at $20,000, according...
SANTA FE SCHOOL SHOOTING: Dan Patrick renews call to arm more teachers

SANTA FE SCHOOL SHOOTING: Dan Patrick renews call to arm more teachers

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Sunday blamed the Santa Fe High School shooting on “a violent culture where we devalue life,” citing movies and video games, bullying on social media, and abortion. He called for arming teachers as part of the militia envisioned by the Second Amendment. Patrick’s remarks on ABC’s “This Week” won a swift rebuke from an enraged Fred Guttenberg...

Texas Digest: Gunfire near Dallas police station prompts more security

DALLAS Gunfire reported near police station Dallas police officials have advised officers to increase security outside the city’s police stations after someone in a vehicle opened fire near a station. Police Sgt. Warren Mitchell told The Dallas Morning News someone was shooting late Saturday night near the city’s Central Division station, but it was not clear whether the person was shooting...
Cedar Park police, detective arrested wrong Nathan Cook, lawsuit says

Cedar Park police, detective arrested wrong Nathan Cook, lawsuit says

An Austin man is suing Cedar Park and one of its police detectives over a case of mistaken identity, according to a federal lawsuit filed this week. Nathan A. Cook was arrested on a charge of felony theft of services, and escorted out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in August, according to the lawsuit. It names the city of Cedar Park and police Detective Kristy Whitley as defendants. Police...
SANTA FE SCHOOL SHOOTING: What we know about the 10 people killed

SANTA FE SCHOOL SHOOTING: What we know about the 10 people killed

A substitute teacher who relatives say had a “lust for life” and a foreign exchange student from Pakistan whose father expected her home in a few weeks are among those killed in the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School on Friday. Eight students and two substitute teachers were killed after a gunman opened fire inside the school, about 30 miles southeast of Houston. Thirteen other people...
As they grieve, Santa Fe students puzzle over school shooter’s motive

As they grieve, Santa Fe students puzzle over school shooter’s motive

Almost everyone at Santa Fe High School knew Dimitrios Pagourtzis, or knew of him. But grief-stricken students said Saturday they could not fathom what could have prompted the attack on campus a day earlier that left 10 dead – eight of them reportedly students – and 13 injured. As Mayor-elect Jason Tabor stood outside the school on Saturday afternoon and declared, “We are hurt, but...
At least 5 workers arrested in fraud case at Travis County Tax Office

At least 5 workers arrested in fraud case at Travis County Tax Office

Texas Department of Public Safety officials served search warrants at the Travis County Tax Office on Friday and arrested at least five employees, according to Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant. The arrests are part of an ongoing fraud investigation, DPS officials said. A statement released by Elfant at 5:47 p.m. Friday does not say how many people were arrested or what charges they face. A DPS...
UPDATE: Man arrested in South Austin shooting

UPDATE: Man arrested in South Austin shooting

10 p.m. update: A man was arrested Saturday in relation to a fatal shooting in South Austin.  Brandon Silla, a spokesman with the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force said the Central Texas Regional SWAT Team apprehended a suspect in the shooting, but Silla would not release his name. KXAN reported police arrested Antoine Kirkwood, 35, in Georgetown on Saturday afternoon on a murder warrant connected...
Victim in Santa Fe shooting was football teammate of suspected shooter

Victim in Santa Fe shooting was football teammate of suspected shooter

They were football teammates and in some ways natural adversaries. Chris Stone, one of the 10 fatal victims in Friday’s school shooting in Santa Fe, played on the offensive line as the junior varsity center. At practices in this small town southeast of Houston, he lined up directly across from his suspected killer, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a defensive tackle. Authorities say Pagourtzis entered...
Austin, Travis County reporting issues with 911 service

Austin, Travis County reporting issues with 911 service

Austin and Travis County officials said Friday night the 911 service is experiencing some issues, and “during periods of high call volumes, some calls may not connect.” The issues appear to only be affecting people with AT&T cellphone plans, said Kristen Dark, Travis County sheriff’s spokeswoman. In Austin, dial 311 if your call won't go through. In Travis County, dial ...
Fake Santa Fe Facebook accounts, online lies multiply after shooting

Fake Santa Fe Facebook accounts, online lies multiply after shooting

In the first hours after the Texas school shooting that left at least 10 dead Friday, online hoaxers moved quickly to spread a viral lie, creating fake Facebook accounts with the suspected shooter’s name and a doctored photo showing him wearing a “Hillary 2016” hat. Several were swiftly flagged by users and deleted by the social network. But others rose rapidly in their place: Chris...
Abbott calls for immediate talks to find ways to end mass shootings

Abbott calls for immediate talks to find ways to end mass shootings

With a sense of urgency, Gov. Greg Abbott called Friday for state officials and affected parties to begin discussions next week to find ways to ensure the school shooting in Santa Fe that claimed 10 lives is not repeated. “We need to do more than just pray for the victims and their families,” Abbott said at a news conference in Santa Fe hours after the shootings. “It’s...
10 dead, suspect jailed in deadliest Texas school shooting since 1966

10 dead, suspect jailed in deadliest Texas school shooting since 1966

In the deadliest school shooting to plague Texas in more than 50 years, a teenager armed with a shotgun and .38-caliber revolver killed 10 people, mostly students, and wounded 10 others during a rampage at Santa Fe High School on Friday morning. Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, was arrested on a capital murder charge and is being held without bail at the Galveston County Jail. There are “one or two&rdquo...
Several Travis County tax assessor’s office employees arrested in fraud investigation, DPS says 

Several Travis County tax assessor’s office employees arrested in fraud investigation, DPS says 

Texas Department of Public Safety officials served warrants at the Travis County Tax Assessor Collector’s office on Friday and arrested several employees, according to Tax Assessor Collector Bruce Elfant. The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation into fraudulent activities, DPS officials said. It is unknown how many people were arrested and what the charges are. People were arrested...
Harmel attorney challenges police investigation in capital murder case

Harmel attorney challenges police investigation in capital murder case

The quality of the police investigation into the 2009 strangulation death of Jessika Kalaher in Cedar Park was the focus of the fourth day of testimony Friday in the capital murder trial for Crispin Harmel. Under cross-examination from defense attorney Scott Magee, Cedar Park police Detective Larry Bond testified that investigator never requested video surveillance from two restaurants near where...
Santa Fe High students, substitute teacher describe moments after shooting

Santa Fe High students, substitute teacher describe moments after shooting

Logan Pettus had fallen asleep during a movie in his U.S. history class at Santa Fe High School on Friday morning when he was startled awake by a blaring fire alarm. “I didn’t think there was a drill today,” his teacher said, according to Pettus.  He and his classmates got up and began to head outside to do a regular drill. “Then I heard four shots,” Pettus, 17...
HOW TO STAY SAFE: 5 things to know when confronted with an active shooter

HOW TO STAY SAFE: 5 things to know when confronted with an active shooter

Ten are dead after a shooting Friday morning at Santa Fe High School southeast of Houston, authorities said. Friday’s shooting follows a number of other deadly high school shootings that have happened this year, including one in February in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17. The mass shooting led to a wave of protests and school walk-outs to demand stricter gun laws and prompted ...
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