Texas Finds a New Drug Dealer

Categories: Courts, Crime

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TDCJ
Texas prison officials said Wednesday they've acquired a new "small supply" of pentobarbital, the barbiturate Texas uses to execute prisoners by lethal injection, according to the AP. That means Texas has at least enough lethal-injection drugs on hand to kill all four prisoners slated for execution in April.

And, as is becoming standard practice in death penalty states across the country, Texas won't disclose the supplier of its new batch of death drugs.

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Houston Rapper Hefe Wine's Plan for Fame: Claiming to Be Iggy Azalea's Husband

Categories: Crime, Longform

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Illustration by John Ueland

Your persona's drama, that you acquired in high school in acting class/
Your whole aura is plexiglass

-- O.C., "Time's Up"

On November 22, 2013, Maurice Lasel Williams woke up with his birth name and when his head hit the pillow, he was legally known as Enzo Valido Dunamas Weinberg.

The 41-year-old rapper's petition for a name change stated that he "desires...to distance himself from the public exposure linked with the current name, and adopt a name with real personal meaning after the birth of his sons, and to satisfy the desire of [his] late father." Included on the petition was one of at least three Social Security numbers he's used when signing official documents.

At the time, the circle of people who knew him by either name was pretty small -- there were the women who were owed child support; the six children who were owed a present father; the men who won civil judgments against him and were owed more than $150,000; and his doting mother.

If anyone knew him, it was more likely under his latest nom de hip-hop: Jefe Wine, which he would later have to change to Hefe Wine because people were mispronouncing the "J" and making him sound like a brand of peanut butter. Or maybe they knew him by the name of one of his most recent singles, "Black Jew." He explained in a press release that the moniker "represents financial freedom. Also, my mom and Jewish friends call me 'Black Jew' probably because I'm so tight with money."

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Fort Bend Sheriff's Office Decides to Help Out Identity Thieves With Worst Press Release Ever

Categories: Crime

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Fort Bend has their best man on the job.
The Fort Bend Sheriff's Office just sent a press release to news outlets all over Texas that revealed the credit card, checking account, Social Security and driver's license numbers of hundreds of people. You see, the email contained a photo of these items that were kept in a lost-and-found room at the Santikos Palladium theaters in Richmond.

A few seconds later, the Sheriff's Office sent another email saying that, on second thought, maybe that wasn't such a great idea.

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Jockey Accused of Shocking Horse Arrested, Charged With Lying to Texas Racing Commission

Categories: Crime

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Via the Paulick Report
Roman Chapa aboard Quiet Acceleration during the $50,000 Richard King Stakes on January 17, 2015.
Roman Chapa, the jockey indicted by a Harris County grand jury last week for attempting to influence a horse race by shocking a horse, was scheduled for an arraignment for 9 a.m. Wednesday. However, when Chapa arrived at the 176th Criminal Court at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center Wednesday morning, he was arrested over new charges.

On January 17, the six-year-old thoroughbred Quiet Acceleration galloped across the finish line with 43-year-old jockey Chapa aboard to win the $50,000 Richard King Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park. The race was a photo finish and the photos, shot by track photographer Jack Coady, captured Chapa's victory. However, the images also showed Chapa clutching a small nude-colored object in his left palm, a buzzer, an electric shocking device that can be used to shock a horse and get it to move faster. Buzzers are banned from racing.

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Stop Calling Houston a "Sanctuary City"

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Almond Butterscotch via Flickr creative commons
See that sign that says "approaching sanctuary city"? Yeah, neither do we.
On Monday Sen. Charles Perry, a Republican from Lubbock, went before a senate border security subcommittee to promote his bill reviving a measure that, like a zombie, seems to come back from the dead every time the Lege comes to town.

Perry's Senate Bill 185 would ban so-called "sanctuary cities," liberal hubs where, in Perry's mind, local authorities openly thumb their nose at federal immigration law. While there's no legal or even standard definition for what exactly makes a "sanctuary city," Perry's camp continues to advance the idea that Houston is among cities that have "adopted sanctuary city policies."

Whether deliberate or unintended, Perry putting Houston in the "sanctuary cities" camp shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how immigration enforcement currently operates here and how closely local law enforcement actually work with federal immigration authorities.

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UH Suspends Frat After Hazing Allegations

Categories: Crime, Education

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On Tuesday afternoon, University of Houston President Renu Khator announced that officials have suspended the school's chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity after what she called "disturbing allegations of hazing within the fraternity" surfaced.

"I am shocked, dismayed and deeply disappointed that allegations of this nature have arisen on our campus," Khator said in a statement. UH hasn't offered any specifics other than to say that five students accused of hazing have also been suspended. In her statement, Khator says UH police are continuing to investigate the incident and have already started turning over their findings to the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

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Robert "I Only Chopped Up My Neighbor, I Didn't Murder Him" Durst Charged in 2000 L.A. Killing

Categories: Crime

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Next time, check to see if you're microphone's still on...
Eccentric millionaire-cum-candy-aisle-display-urinator Robert Durst has been charged with the 2000 murder of a woman in Los Angeles. Durst was arrested in New Orleans March 7, a day before the finale of the HBO series about his legal travails -- including the 1982 disappearance of his first wife -- in which he can be heard saying he "killed them all."

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Harris County Thinks It Can Reduce Jail Population by Letting Inmates Jot Down Some Phone Numbers

Categories: Crime

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Harris County jail
Keeping criminal defendants in jail is expensive. On average it costs around $59 to house one inmate for one day, according to the state Commission on Jail Standards. It's estimated Harris County spends $300,000-plus each day incarcerating people who are waiting for their court appearance. While the Harris County jail has moved past its overcrowded heydays, it still houses anywhere between 8,500 and 9,000 inmates at any given time.

Advocates who want to safely lower incarceration rates point out that many people have landed in jail because of untreated mental illness or are locked up for offenses that are nonviolent in nature. They argue that steps like better funding the state's dismal mental health care system or reforming the bond process, particularly for nonviolent offenders, could go a long way.

At this week's meeting of the local Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Harris County officials offered another plan they hope might reduce the jail population: Let inmates jot down a few numbers before you take away their cell phones.

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TDCJ Is Running Out of Execution Drugs. Again.

Categories: Courts, Crime

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Photo by Ken Piorkowski

Manuel Vasquez, once an enforcer for the Mexican Mafia, was sentenced to die by lethal injection in 1999 for beating and strangling a San Antonio woman who failed to pay the gang's "dime," a 10 percent kick-back on drug sales. Tonight, if all goes as planned, he'll die after Texas prison officials shoot a large dose of compounded pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate, into his veins.

Randall Wayne Mays, who in 2008 was convicted and sentenced to death for killing two Henderson County lawmen, will meet the same fate as Vasquez on March 18. After that, it's up in the air how or if Texas prison officials will kill the five remaining death-row inmates scheduled for lethal injection over the next two months.


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Mother Charged With Brutally Stabbing 4-Year-Old Son

Categories: Crime

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Google streetview
Authorities responded to James River Lane in northwest Harris County Thursday to reports a mother was brutally stabbing and beating her son.
Sheriff's deputies were called out to a northwest Harris County neighborhood yesterday after a passing driver saw a mother dragging her young son out of a house and throwing him onto the pavement. When police finally got there, they encountered a disturbing scene.

The mother, police say, had badly mutilated her son with a knife, stabbing the four-year-old boy all over his body, before dragging him out of the house to continue assaulting him in the driveway. The mother, 23-year-old Jenea Mungia, was topless when deputies arrived, according to KTRK. Medical responders airlifted the boy to Memorial Herman, taking him straight to surgery.

"Evidently she was in some kind of state," Harris County sheriff's deputy Thomas Gilliland told the Chron. "The scene itself was a terrible one for deputies to arrive to."


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