HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A San Antonio man who fatally shot a SWAT team member with the officer's own gun more than 14 years ago was executed Wednesday, the sixth convicted murderer put to death in Texas so far this year.
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas on Wednesday executed a 34-year-old man convicted of seizing a gun from a San Antonio police officer and fatally shooting him in a struggle in 2001, a prison spokesman said. Manuel Garza was killed by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 6:40 p.m. at the state's death chamber in Huntsville. The execution was the 524th in Texas since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, the most of any state. Garza was convicted of killing John "Rocky" Riojas, 37, a member of an elite SWAT unit who was patrolling an apartment complex that had been hit by a crime wave.
By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The wife of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has won a court decision ordering repayment of $2.6 million in real estate and cash he furnished to his alleged mistress, V. Stiviano, the woman behind his racially charged downfall. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin ruled that Shelly Sterling was entitled to recover those assets from Stiviano because they came from marital community property that her 80-year-old husband gave away without her consent. Part of the 12-page opinion, made public on Wednesday, turned on the judge's finding that the Sterlings did not live "separate and apart" during time period in question, contrary to Stiviano's testimony and despite Shelly Sterling's own assertion in a 2014 televised interview that they had been estranged. The judge also found that Donald Sterling himself sought to "disguise and, thus, to conceal his gifts to Stiviano." The ruling came nearly three weeks after a three-day non-jury trial of the lawsuit brought by Shelly Sterling seeking the return of $3.6 million in joint marital assets she claimed her husband was swindled into lavishing on Stiviano.
Teachers in the United States were more likely to feel troubled when a black student misbehaved for a second time than when a white student did, highlighting a bias that shows why African-American children are more often disciplined than schoolmates, Stanford University researchers said on Wednesday. The federal government has found black students are three times more likely than whites to be suspended or expelled, a disparity experts say contributes to lower academic achievement among African-American students caught in the discipline system.
PHOENIX (AP) — The sheriff for metro Phoenix on Wednesday lost a bid to overturn a 2013 racial profiling ruling that blunted his signature immigration enforcement efforts and represents the thorniest legal troubles the defiant lawman has faced in his 22-year career.
A grand jury indicted a former Atlanta-area police chief late on Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct for shooting his wife in bed on New Year's Day in an apparent accident that left her partly paralyzed, local media reported. Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said last month that William McCollom, then the police chief of Peachtree City, accidentally shot his wife while moving a gun he had taken to bed for security. Although there is no evidence McCollom intentionally tried to hurt his wife, the district attorney sought an indictment against him for reckless conduct because he took a loaded gun to bed after drinking and taking sleep medication, Ballard said last month. McCollom, who resigned as chief last month, testified before the grand jury that indicted him, WSB-TV reported.
(Reuters) - Texas on Wednesday executed a 34-year-old man convicted of seizing a gun from a San Antonio police officer and fatally shooting him in a struggle in 2001, a prison spokesman said. Manuel Garza was killed by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 6:40 p.m. at the state's death chamber in Huntsville. The execution was the 524th in Texas since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, the most of any state. (Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Sandra Maler)
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Prospective jurors in the Colorado theater shooting case were asked in a 75-question survey about whether they had experienced mental illness and their views on the death penalty.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The nation's largest contact lens manufacturers have sued Utah over a new law that critics say was written at the behest of Utah-based discount retailer 1-800-Contacts.
A crane struck a concrete pedestrian bridge on Wednesday afternoon just before rush hour, sending part of the span crashing onto commuter train tracks, officials said.
Two teenagers accused of conspiring to kill teachers and students at their suburban Los Angeles high school admitted on Wednesday to making a criminal threat in connection with the planned mass shooting that never materialized, prosecutors said. The pair were arrested in August by police who said the plot was thwarted after detectives were tipped off by administrators at South Pasadena High School. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said the teens, now aged 18 and 17, appeared in Pasadena Juvenile Court and each admitted to one felony count of criminal threats. One was arrested at his home without incident, while the other "resisted arrest and officers had to force entry into his residence," police said in a statement at the time.
By Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) - A suburban Dallas pastor has been charged in connection with the death of a 2-year-old child who was allegedly starved as part of a religious ritual to rid him of demons, authorities said on Wednesday. Araceli Meza, 49, pastor of a non-denominational Christian church in Balch Springs, is charged with causing serious injury to a child. "We believe there could be multiple suspects, including the parents, but we don't know who is a suspect and who is a witness until we interview everyone," Balch Springs Police Lieutenant Mark Maret said. Police said witnesses told them the boy's body was taken to Mexico by his parents, who have not returned to the United States.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Lawsuits and data point to multiple cases of guards firing shotguns at inmates at a Nevada state prison where a handcuffed prisoner was killed by a corrections officer trainee last November.
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A Long Island cardiologist had the office of another doctor torched, then hired someone who turned out to be an undercover police officer in a failed attempt to have the doctor hurt or killed, authorities said Wednesday.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Girl Scouts are opening a troop at a gay pride center in Salt Lake City that officials say will welcome transgender youth and children from LGBT families.
By Gary Robertson RICHMOND, Va. (Reuters) - A Virginia circuit court judge on Wednesday rejected efforts by alumnae and others to block the closing of Sweet Briar College, clearing the way for it to join the growing ranks of shuttered U.S. women's schools. Sweet Briar is among a shrinking number of women’s colleges, which totaled 230 in 1960 but by last year had dwindled to just 47 in the United States and Canada, the Women’s College Coalition says on its website.
PHOENIX (AP) — A prosecutor urged jurors Wednesday to reject an insanity defense from a Phoenix man charged with killing his brother over a drug dispute and then gunning down a witness — the brother's 6-year-old son.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Lawyers want a federal judge to cancel subpoenas of the two FBI agents and a state trooper who arrested real estate heir Robert Durst because they say state courts need permission to call federal agents.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The husband of a woman who fled New Hampshire with her 8-year-old daughter a decade ago amid a custody dispute in a previous relationship was arrested on Wednesday as he landed at an Atlanta airport on a flight from Central America with the daughter, the U.S. Marshals Service said.
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — A woman stole more than $100,000 worth of women's clothing and merchandise, which she was selling out of her nearly $1 million home in a Kansas City suburb, authorities allege.