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September 17, 2018 - 12:00 am


The Latest: Affidavits: Border agent shot 4 women in head

HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities in Texas say a U.S. Border Patrol agent fatally shot four female sex workers in the head.

Juan David Ortiz of Laredo is being held Sunday on four murder counts, plus aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful restraint. Bond is $2.5 million.

Affidavits acquired by the Laredo Morning Times say the first body was located Sept. 4 and a second victim was found alive Thursday morning, but died at a hospital.

Affidavits say one woman escaped from Ortiz Friday night after he pulled a gun on her.

Investigators believe Ortiz picked up and fatally shot two more victims after the surviving victim fled. One body was located later Friday. The last body was found Saturday after Ortiz told officers where to look.


Police shooting protesters march outside Cowboys' stadium

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Demonstrators, including some who rolled empty coffins, marched outside AT&T Stadium ahead of Sunday's Dallas Cowboys game to protest recent fatal police shootings.

Attorney Lee Merritt, who represents the family of Botham Jean, says protesters are demanding that Dallas police officer Amber Guyger be fired and charged with murder instead of manslaughter for Jean's death.

Guyger, who is white, shot the 26-year-old Jean, who was black and her neighbor, on Sept. 6 at his apartment. The officer told investigators that she mistook Jean's apartment for her own and thought she was being burglarized.

The protest outside the stadium, where the Cowboys hosted the New York Giants, was the latest since Jean's death. There also have been demonstrations outside Dallas police headquarters and at a City Council meeting.


Experts disagree on whether Dallas officer could be credible

HOUSTON (AP) — A Dallas police officer's explanation that she killed a black neighbor who lived above her because she mistook his apartment for her own has been dismissed as implausible and self-serving by his family and their lawyers.

But experts on police training and psychologists are split on the credibility of Officer Amber Guyger's story.

Guyger's credibility will be key to whether a grand jury will indict her and whether she could persuade a trial jury that the killing of Botham Jean was tragic, but justifiable.

Some experts who aren't connected to the case say Guyger should have recognized what was really going on and stopped short of using deadly force.

Others say that even though Guyger was in the wrong apartment, she could have had a reasonable belief that she was defending her life and her property.


Texas residents mourn fatal shooting of Fort Worth officer

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A public memorial has been created outside a North Texas public safety complex as residents mourn the death of an undercover police officer who was killed in the line of duty.

Officer Garrett Hull was mortally wounded while he a team of undercover and uniformed officers confronted three men who had robbed a Fort Worth bar early Friday morning.

The 40-year-old officer was shot during a foot chase and was taken to a hospital where he died late Friday night. Hull, who is survived by a wife and two daughters, had served 17 years with the department.

Fellow officers and their families participated in a prayer service in Hull's memory on Saturday and a memorial was created outside Forth Worth police headquarters for residents to express their grief and gratitude.


Texas man accused of stabbing cat, letting son fire rifle

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — A Southeast Texas man remains jailed after police allege he threatened to kill his girlfriend, fatally stabbed the family cat and left unguarded in his home an assault-type rifle that was fired by his 4-year-old son.

The Galveston County Daily News reports 27-year-old Mario Salinas is facing several charges, including cruelty to a non-livestock animal and terroristic threat to a family member.

According to documents, Salinas' girlfriend called police Monday, saying he had threatened to kill her.

Police went to the home after a report of a gunshot.

Salinas told officers his son had accidentally shot the family cat Snowflake. But a family friend told police Salinas had stabbed the pet.

Police say the boy accidentally fired the weapon after Salinas had left it on a bed along with others.


Grid manager says power supply better in South, ends warning

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A regional electricity grid manager says electric system conditions have improved and customers in most of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and a slice of eastern Texas no longer need to reduce usage.

Mississippi's Cooperative Energy relayed the news Saturday evening from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator. The entity, known as MISO (MEYE' soh) dispatches power to customers in all or part of 15 states and the Canadian province of Manitoba.

MISO had said earlier that some power plants were down, while high temperatures were driving air conditioner use.

If supply hadn't demand, utilities including Entergy Corp., Cleco Corp. and cooperatives could have resorted to rolling blackouts.


Man pleads guilty in scheme to promote country music career

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A Texas man has pleaded guilty in a Tulsa federal courtroom for his role in a scheme that defrauded investors of more than $875,000 that was used to promote his country music career ambitions.

U.S. Attorney Trent Shores says 31-year-old Timothy Paul Hamilton, Jr. admitted during a court hearing Friday he promoted false investment opportunities for various companies that claimed to produce and market sportswear and nutritional supplements.

Hamilton, from Dallas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was living in Oklahoma at the time of the scheme.

Prosecutors say his parents, Gena and Timothy Hamilton, were managing members of the companies. They pleaded guilty to giving a false statement to a financial institution.

Hamilton and his parents are set to be sentenced on Dec. 13.


Mormon fighting to end youth interviews ousted from faith

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Mormon man who led a campaign criticizing the church's practice of allowing closed-door, one-on-one interviews of youth by lay leaders has been kicked out of the faith.

Sam Young read a verdict letter for the first time Sunday that had been delivered to him following an earlier disciplinary hearing with local church leaders in Houston.

Young and his supporters say the interviews where youth are asked if they're following the law of chastity led to inappropriate conversations and shaming.

Young, a 65-year-old lifelong Mormon, becomes the third high-profile member of the faith who led protests about church policy to be excommunicated in recent years.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn't comment on disciplinary hearings to respect people's privacy.

While not a lifelong ban, excommunication is a rare move that amounts to the harshest punishment available for a church member.


North Texas man sentenced for role in mortgage scheme

DALLAS (AP) — A North Texas man who took part in a scheme that swindled nearly $250,000 from at least 70 homeowners who were facing foreclosure after struggling to make their mortgage payments has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Prosecutors say 38-year-old Mark Demetri Stein from Carrollton was part of a group of individuals who mislead vulnerable homeowners by issuing them fraudulent new loans that required large down payments. Homeowners were told to make all future loan payments to Stein and his co-defendants.

U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox announced Tuesday that Stein was also ordered to pay more than $215,000 in restitution after pleading guilty earlier this year to one count of mail fraud.

Stein's co-defendants have previously pleaded guilty and have received sentences ranging from 15 months to 41 months.


Judge's order could let South Bend abortion clinic open

(Information from: South Bend Tribune,

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A judge's recent decision puts a proposed South Bend abortion clinic one step closer to opening.

The Indiana State Health Department previously rejected a license application from Whole Woman's Health Alliance.

But The South Bend Tribune reports that Indianapolis administrative law judge issued an order recommending that the Texas-based nonprofit be granted one.

The order comes a two-day hearing last month over the proposed facility.

Unless the state objects by Oct. 2, it will become final and the clinic can open. The nonprofit plans to offer medication-induced abortions to women who are up to 10 weeks pregnant.

If the state objects, the matter would be decided on by a three-member panel appointed by the department that would include a judge and two state health board members.


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