Ryan Sumstad: Alleged Con Man Gets 20 Years for Wife's Death

Categories: Crime

Ryan Sumstad, never a great businessman, finally took a wise deal.
A Montgomery County man charged with killing his wife in 2011 was sentenced to 20 years in prison March 20 as part of a plea agreement, according to the Montgomery County Police Reporter.

Prosecutors said Ryan Sumstad strangled his wife, Christie, in the couple's bedroom after an argument, while their three children slept in their rooms.

Sumstad had said his wife committed suicide. After his arrest four months later, Sumstad's history of allegedly crooked business deals and financial problems came to light.

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Robbery Suspect Catches Beat-Down in Attempted Purse Snatching Inside Bar

Categories: Crime

Julian Marino, top left, and Kethus Byrd escaped a beat-down, but got nabbed by Harris County Sheriff's Department.
Patrick Ridioux was probably wondering where his friends went while patrons were beating his face in for allegedly trying to steal a woman's purse at Draft Picks Sports Bar on FM 529.

Harris County Sheriff's Deputies were called to the bar just before midnight Wednesday when they said Ridioux, 21, and two other suspects grabbed a woman's purse and struck her. "She grabbed it at the same time," said Thomas Gilliland, an HCSO spokesman. "A struggle ensued and he punched the victim in the face and the chest."

It's not clear how many bar patrons intervened, but they held Ridioux until deputies arrived. The other suspects, Kethus Byrd, 24, and Julian Marino, 25, got away and allegedly took deputies on a vehicle chase before stopping near Fry Road and F.M. 529, fleeing on foot through a local subdivision.

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UPDATED: Protest Today in Spring in Case of Teen Killed in Girl's Bedroom

Categories: Crime

Youtube.com screen grab
Protest planned for teen shot.
UPDATE: The protest/press conference has been canceled. According to the latest press release from Quanell X, Zakia McCormick, Johran's adoptive mother, "had to leave immediately for New Orleans, due to a family emergency. It appears that the young man's mother..who is from New Orleans, has taken control over the body, and is not allowing the family in Houston to proceed with the services at this time. The family will [reschedule] the press conference after the funeral services."

Family and friends of a 17-year-old boy who was fatally shot by the father of a girl he was allegedly dating plan a protest today outside the Spring home where he was killed.

Zakia McCormick wants the 16-year-old girl charged with "accessory to murder or involuntary manslaughter" in the death of Johran McCormick, according to a press release from activist Quanell X.

Harris County Sheriff's investigators say McCormick was killed after the girl's father discovered the teenager in his daughter's bedroom at about 2:30 a.m. March 13.

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Update: Third Person Dies; Man, 21, Charged With Capital Murder in SXSW Fatal Crash

Categories: Crime

Rashad Charjuan Owens
Update: 3/17 Sandy Thuy Le, 26, who had previously been listed in critical condition after Rashad Charjuan Owens allegedly drove into a crowd of SXSW festival-goers has been pronounced dead, according to Austin police. She's the third person to die in the incident.

Update from Austin Police on 3/14, with a list of victims on Page 2: Rashad Charjuan Owens of Killeen has been charged with one count of capital murder after police say he fatally struck two people at the SXSW festival in Austin. He's being held in the Travis County jail on $3 million bail.

According to a preliminary investigation by the Austin Police Department, Owens was attempting to flee a traffic stop early Thursday and drove at a high rate of speed against the flow of traffic on 9th Street, and then turned right onto a barricaded Red River Street. Police said Owens crashed through the barricades and into a crowd, sending festival-goers in the air and injuring nearly two dozen people.

READ: Safety and SXSW: Was the Mohawk Tragedy a Tipping Point?

Police said Owens hit a moped, a taxicab and a bicyclist, ran up on a sidewalk and struck a van. He took off on foot, and two Austin cops tased him and arrested him.

Of the injured victims, Gracie Nguyen remains in serious condition, while DeAndre Tatum and Sandy Thuy Le both are in critical condition. All three are being treated at UMC Brackenridge hospital, according to Austin police.

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Update: No Motive Yet in Murder of Gay Houston Couple in Galveston

Categories: Crime

James Larry Cosby
Update 3/13, 5p.m.: Galveston County Sheriff's Deputies today arrested the father of one of the murder victims, Britney Cosby, at the home the victims shared with him and his mother. Sheriff Henry Trochesset said there is a strong possibility James Larry Cosby could be charged with capital murder.

"We went to his residence last night and we started noticing evidence, and it became a secondary crime scene, said Trochesset. He wouldn't elaborate on the type of evidence that was found since this is an ongoing investigation.

Investigators have said they believe the bodies of the two women were transported from another location to the area in Port Bolivar where they were discovered over the weekend.

Cosby,46, was charged with two counts of tampering with evidence in connection with the death of his daughter and Crystal Jackson. He has not been charged with murder. He's being held in the Galveston County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

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Credit Card Numbers, Checks, Cash Stolen From Megachurch

Categories: Crime

Lakewood Church Stu.jpg
Lakewood Church was hit for over half a million in donations this weekend, say reports.
Joel Osteen's megachurch became more than a half-million dollars less prosperous, according to reports, following a theft from the Lakewood Church coffers over the weekend.

The church sent out a letter to churchgoers on Monday, the Houston Chronicle reports, telling them about the theft of cash, checks and donation slips with written credit card numbers. A small-print link on the church's website leads you to an "important message" about the theft.

Investigators with the Houston Police Department are still looking into the incident, in which funds donated during the Saturday and Sunday church services were lifted from a safe.

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HPD Officer Wakes Up, Takes on Three Burglars, Killing One

Categories: Crime
Screengrab from Youtube.com
Even a cop in his underclothes can be dangerous.
Wearing only his underclothes, an off-duty Houston Police Department officer took on three burglars Thursday morning, fatally wounding one of them, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Department.

The unnamed officer was asleep in his townhouse in the 500 block of West Road near I-45 when he was awakened by breaking glass. The officer got out of bed and grabbed his service weapon when he encountered the three men in his home and shot one of them.

The suspects fled and the officer gave chase, still in his skivvies, and fired more shots at the burglars outside in the townhouse complex. 
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HCSO Looks for Trio Suspected in Mexican Market Burglary Spree

Categories: Crime

HCSOTexas on YouTube.com
Crawling suspects have hit up several La Michoacana stores, according to HCSO.
A group of thieves has been focusing their attention on a local Mexican market chain, attempting to knock over about 17 La Michoacana stores in the Houston area. Harris County Sheriff's Office investigators are looking for the public's help in identifying the suspected burglars, known as the "The Crawlers".

Three suspects have been repeatedly caught on video crawling on their stomachs as they make their way across the floor into store offices in an attempt to steal money. One of the videos taken Jan. 21 shows them inside a store at 1424 Spring Cypress Rd. in north Harris County.

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Sheriff's Deputy/Pizza Delivery Driver Shot a Man in the Face in Robbery Attempt

Categories: Crime

An off-duty deputy named Shaft, kept coworkers at Domino's safe.
Who is the part-time Harris County Sheriff's Office deputy who also delivers pizza for Domino's?
Damn Right.
Who is the man that would shoot a suspected robber in the face and risk his life for his co-workers?
Can you dig it?
They say this 25-year veteran of the sheriff's office is a bad mother.
Shut your mouth.
I'm 'talm bout Shaft.

(Sung with an Isaac Hayes voice, to the theme of "Shaft")

The last thing you'd probably expect is for a pizza delivery driver to be a gun-toting off-duty sheriff's deputy. But that was the case last week when Glenn Shaft got into a gunfight with two suspected robbers at the Domino's pizza store he works at in north Harris County.

Christian Franklin and Walter Jones were arrested and are still recovering from the shootout. They will be charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in the Feb. 28 incident, according to the sheriff's office.

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Thieves Skip the Door, Smash Through Wall of Houston Camera Store

Categories: Crime

Photo by Matt Skinner
Thieves turned Camera Co-op into a drive-thru.
The owners of Camera Co-op on Durham Drive are looking for anyone who might know someone who just "happened" to come into seven brand new Canon cameras.

The store was burglarized early Saturday in a move that gives a whole new meaning to the term "smash and grab," when a car punched a hole into the store's front wall. Later in the day, customers couldn't help but notice the draft and the tarp and plywood used to cover the single-story brick building's new mouth.

Matt Skinner, a manager with 13 years working at the store, told Hair Balls the theory floating around about the brazen camera-thieving mastermind(s) is that they came to the store posing as customers some time last week and cased the joint.

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