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November 22, 2018 - 12:00 am

SHOOTING-TWO KILLED

Former Texas cop being brought to NY to face murder charges

SODUS, N.Y. (AP) — A former Texas police chief has been extradited to New York to faces murder charges in the shooting deaths of two people in an upstate town.

The sheriff's office in Moore County, Texas tells the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester that 32-year-old Timothy Dean was moved from the county jail earlier this week and is being brought to Wayne County, New York.

Dean, the former police chief in Sunray, Texas, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a man and woman in Sodus on Oct. 22. The male victim was the ex-boyfriend of Dean's wife, Charlene Childers.

She's in the Wayne County Jail on conspiracy and weapons charges.

Bron Bohlar, a police officer in Sunray, is also being held in the Wayne County Jail on a conspiracy charge.

AP-US-CONFEDERATE-MARKERS-TEXAS

Black lawmaker renews call against Texas Confederate plaque

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A black Democratic lawmaker in Texas is renewing calls to immediately remove a Confederate plaque after the state's attorney general said doing so doesn't require a legislative vote.

Rep. Eric Johnson of Dallas said Wednesday the state "could get out the screwdrivers today" following the opinion issued by Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office.

The plaque rejects slavery as an underlying cause of the Civil War and is one of about a dozen Confederate markers in and around the Texas Capitol.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has signaled support for taking down the plaque. But Abbott has said he won't order it removed and instead wants the Legislature to act.

The plaque is titled "Children of the Confederacy Creed" and was installed in 1959.

AP-US-APARTMENT-FIRE-DALLAS

Woman in burning Dallas apartment drops baby to bystander

DALLAS (AP) — Some residents of a Dallas apartment complex leaped from third-floor windows onto mattresses, and a woman dropped her baby to a bystander to escape the flames.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says several residents and bystanders, assisted by police officers, went door-to-door to alert others to the fire Wednesday morning. Authorities say three people, including a firefighter, suffered minor injuries.

KDFW-TV reports one woman dropped her infant to a man below as he held out his arms. Other residents were seen jumping from third-story windows onto mattresses dragged from inside the east Dallas complex before firefighters arrived. The Dallas Morning News reports at least five residents jumped from the third level.

Investigators are trying to determine what started the fire that destroyed about two dozen units.

CENSUS LAWSUITS-ALABAMA

Government seeks to dismiss Alabama lawsuit over Census

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The federal government is asking a judge to dismiss Alabama's lawsuit seeking to exclude people living in the country illegally from 2020 U.S. Census counts.

A federal judge on Wednesday gave Alabama until Jan. 25 to respond to the request.

U.S. Department of Justice lawyers wrote in a court filing last week that Alabama's claim that it could lose a congressional seat because of the practice is "entirely speculative." They also contended that Alabama's claim that it would lose funding is "every bit as speculative."

Alabama sued the U.S. Census Bureau in May, arguing the predicted 2020 Census numbers will cause the state to lose a congressional seat and an electoral vote to a state with a "larger illegal alien population."

SERIAL KILLER-INVESTIGATION-SOUTH CAROLINA

Possible killer of 90 helps SC sheriff solve cold case

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina sheriff says when a man who may have committed as many as 90 homicides recently confessed to a killing he first investigated as a rookie 40 years ago, it gave him a little peace of mind.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says 79-year-old Samuel Little told Texas investigators he killed 19-year-old Evelyn Weston in Columbia, South Carolina, in September 1978.

Lott began investigating Weston's death shortly after it happened, when he was just starting out on the police force. He says it bothered him over four decades that her killer was never found.

Weston was shot in the head. Newspaper accounts say her naked body was found on a dirt road.

Lott says Little has shared details only the killer would know.

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The headline of this story has been edited to clarify that man may have committed as many as 90 homicides.

ARYAN CIRCLE-SENTENCE

Aryan Circle gang leader, member sentenced in slaying

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A leader and a member of a prison-based "whites only" gang have been sentenced for being accessories-after-the-fact to a murder.

U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph, in a news release, says 38-year-old David Wayne Williams, of Sulphur, was sentenced Tuesday to 157 months in prison, while 47-year-old Richard Alan Smith, of Little Rock, Arkansas, got 150 months.

Williams pleaded guilty to accessory-after-the fact to racketeering murder of Clifton Hallmark, another Aryan Circle member, drug trafficking and weapons possession. Smith pleaded guilty in July to the accessory charge.

Prosecutors say both men were at a meeting where Hallmark was shot after a fight broke out in Turkey Creek, Louisiana, in 2016.

Authorities say the Aryan Circle began in the Texas prison system and spread throughout rural and suburban Texas, Louisiana and Missouri.

OIL SPILL-NEW MEXICO

Court fines Texas-based oilfield waste disposal company

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A judge has ordered a Texas-based oilfield driller and waste disposal company to cease operations in New Mexico, pay $2.2 million in penalties and clean up polluted well sites.

The New Mexico Oil, Minerals and Natural Resources Department announced Wednesday a state district court order against Midland, Texas-based Siana Operating.

Agency spokeswomen Beth Wojahn said Siana has not fulfilled provisions of the recent court judgment. Siana representatives could not be reached for comment.

State regulators have accused Siana of failing to comply with a 2016 settlement agreement to address spills of oily salt water at well sites in southeastern New Mexico and cap an abandoned well.

Siana has been a major provider of well-water disposal services. Disposal sites inject wastewater deep underground after oil is skimmed off.

TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL-INDICTED

Court ruling against prosecutors a win for indicted Texas AG

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A court has handed a loss to prosecutors trying to bring indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to trial on charges of securities fraud, throwing the long running-criminal case into new doubt.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday ruled that payments approved to special prosecutors were set beyond legal limits. Prosecutors have previously threatened to quit the case if they're not paid more than $200,000 they say they're owed.

Prosecutors didn't immediately return a message seeking comment on the ruling.

Paxton, a Republican, has spent nearly his entire four years in office indicted on charges of duping investors in a tech startup. He has pleaded not guilty, and faces five to 99 years in prison if convicted.

He was re-elected this month to another four-year term.

VIETNAM-BLOGGER'S RELEASE

Exile won't stop Vietnamese blogger from highlighting abuses

HOUSTON (AP) — A Vietnamese blogger says she will continue to highlight human rights abuses and other problems in her home country as she begins her life in exile in the United States.

Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh had been serving a 10-year prison sentence for documenting human rights abuses, but was released last month on the condition that she left Vietnam.

She and her family are living with a member of the blogging community in Houston while she applies for asylum in the U.S.

Since her arrival, Quynh has met with U.S. government and European Union officials and this week the Committee to Protect Journalists recognized her for her work.

The 39-year-old blogger, known by her pen name Me Nam or "Mother Mushroom," co-founded a network of bloggers and is very popular in Vietnam.

FUGITIVE KILLED-MARSHALS

Fugitive fatally shot in Phoenix awaited trial in Texas case

PHOENIX (AP) — A fugitive fatally shot in Phoenix by at least one federal officer after he allegedly pointed a gun was identified Wednesday as a man accused in Texas on fraud and conspiracy charges.

The U.S. Marshals Service said 71-year-old Craig Allen of Phoenix was sought in the Northern District of Texas because of repeated violations of pretrial release terms.

Phoenix police said deputy marshals located Allen Tuesday in his backyard where he pulled out a handgun that he aimed at a deputy marshal, prompting another marshal to shoot Allen.

Federal prosecutors in Texas said in January that Allen and co-defendants were accused of using counterfeit money orders to defraud people who thought they were being paid to be mystery shoppers and who wired money to co-conspirators after cashing the money orders.

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