Texas Digest: Barton gets an opponent in GOP primary

  • Wires
  • From wire services
Nov 28, 2017


Barton draws challenger after nude photo surfaces

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton has drawn a Republican primary challenger a week after a nude photo of him circulated on social media.

Jake Ellzey, a retired Navy combat pilot and member of the Texas Veterans Commission, filed paperwork Tuesday.

The 68-year-old Barton, from Ennis, south of Dallas, announced his re-election campaign last month. An explicit picture of him appeared on Twitter last week.

The Washington Post reported that Barton told a woman he would complain to U.S. Capitol Police if photographs and other material from their relationship were made public.

Texas law prohibits posting explicit material of someone without permission.

Tim O’Hare, Republican Party chairman in Barton’s home county, Tarrant, said in a statement Tuesday that the congressman shouldn’t seek re-election and should retire by year’s end.


Death row inmate gets reprieve

A 36-year-old prisoner set for execution next month for a robbery-slaying in San Antonio 14 years ago has won a reprieve.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has sent Juan Castillo’s appeal back to his Bexar County trial court to review arguments from defense attorneys that a witness presented false testimony at Castillo’s 2005 trial.

Castillo was set for lethal injection Dec. 14 for the December 2003 fatal shooting of 19-year-old Tommy Garcia Jr. in an ambush robbery plot that also involved Castillo’s girlfriend and two others.

Castillo’s attorneys argue that a Bexar County Jail inmate who testified against Castillo now says he made up his testimony to try to help his own legal problems. Prosecutors opposing the reprieve said testimony from other witnesses corroborated the inmate’s testimony.


Ex-nurse pleads guilty in inmate’s death

A former nurse who refused medical treatment to a Texas jail inmate last year has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor negligent homicide.

The Texarkana Gazette reported that 27-year-old Brittany Danae Johnson pleaded guilty Monday in connection with the July 2016 death of 20-year-old Morgan Angerbauer at a jail in Texarkana, along the Arkansas border.

An autopsy report says Angerbauer died of diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition that results from blood sugar reaching severely high levels.

Court records allege that Angerbauer asked Johnson to check her blood sugar, but Johnson refused. Angerbauer was found unconscious in her cell early the next morning. She was dead by the time paramedics arrived.

Records with the Texas Nursing Board show Johnson’s nursing license has been suspended. She will serve about three months in the Miller County Jail.


Five dead after 3-vehicle wreck

Five people have died as a result of a three-vehicle collision in rural West Texas.

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers were sent to the crash scene Sunday night at an intersection on the desert outskirts of Andrews, about 35 miles northwest of Odessa.

A DPS statement Tuesday said 27-year-old Augustin Lujan ran a stop sign in his Ford Mustang and slammed into the side of a northbound semitrailer, pushing it into a southbound F-150 pickup.

Lujan died at an Odessa hospital, and the semitrailer driver, 51-year-old Juan Ramirez, died at the scene. All three occupants of the F-150, 51-year-old Silverio Gonzales, 42-year-old Maria Cepeda-Orona and 7-year-old Allison Gonzales, also died at the scene.

The relationship of the F-150’s occupants was unclear.