Subject:

Crime and Law

  • Blogs

    October 17, 2014

    Why Didn't The City Think Subpoenaing A Bunch of Pastors Might Be a Big Deal?

    It's hard to understand how or why the City of Houston didn't anticipate a clamorous backlash before it sent sweeping subpoenas to five local pastors critical of the city's anti-discrimination ordinance. Maybe it's because Mayor Annise Parker and City Attorney David Feldman truly didn't understand ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2014

    Judge Edith Jones Will Face No Judgement, Complaint Against Fifth Circuit Justice Dismissed

    A federal appeals court judge underwent an incredibly rare ethics investigation, and came out the other side unscathed. After initially clearing Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones of any misconduct in August, the judicial counsel at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals rejected an appeal to that r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2014

    Christians Freak Out After City Subpoenas Sermons in Anti-HERO Lawsuit

    In a tone-deaf moment of legal strategy, the City of Houston last month sent local pastors critical of the city's anti-discrimination ordinance sweeping subpoenas for notes and sermons. The move comes in a lawsuit challenging the City of Houston for throwing out a petition from anti-HERO (Houston E ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2014

    Surprise! Supremes Step In and Block Parts of Texas Abortion Law

    The U.S. Supreme Court has stepped in and blocked theFifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that had shuttered all but eight of Texas' abortion clinics. On October 2, the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling allowing state officials to immediately begin enforcing the second part o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2014

    Harris County Was One of the Deadliest Places for Women in 2013

    In case you need another bit of horrible news, the folks over at Texas Council on Family Violence kicked off the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month by releasing a report on women murdered by domestic violence. The annual report, based on data gathered and confirmed through law enforcement, d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2014

    Lawsuit Claims Child-Predator Pastor First Met Victim During Outreach at a Public School

    The attorney suing two massive Houston-area churches for employing a youth pastor that sexually exploited young churchgoers claims the minister first found one of his targets during outreach at a local public school. Last week attorney Cris Feldman filed a lawsuit against Second Baptist Church and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2014

    Trouble in Galveston's Version of Paradise

    Bobby Wasylik didn't think he'd ever seen the guy before. Cue-ball bald, standing at 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 225 pounds, the man towered over 68-year-old Wasylik in the front yard of his Galveston home. "Are you Bobby?" the man asked. Like most assault cases, exactly what happened next de ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 22, 2014

    Steven Hotze Reams Gays in Conference Call

    If there's one think Steven Hotze has thought long and hard about, it's sex between a man and a boy. As elder statesman of Houston's homophobic right-wingnutters, the doctor (we use that term loosely) wants everyone to know what will happen if the gays aren't forced back into the closet where they ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2014

    Sheriff Unwittingly Rehires Investigator Forced Out by DA's Office

    The curious case of Ruben Carrizal -- the investigator forced out of the Harris County District Attorney's Affice for misconduct only to be rehired by the sheriff's office three days later -- just didn't seem right to us when we first saw KPRC's report earlier this week. We just didn't understand ho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2014

    Attorney For Death-Row Inmate Slams State Secrecy On Eve of Execution

    As is typical before any scheduled execution, attorneys for death-row inmate Willie Trottie are fighting the clock. As Trottie - a Harris County man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her brother in 1993 - awaits his date with the country's most active death chamber tomorrow, his appellate ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 8, 2014

    The Police Department Race Gap in Houston's Suburbs

    In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, growing scrutiny has been placed on police departments across the country with a particular focus on department demographics. Given the fact that Ferguson's citizenry is predominantly black, but minorities representing only a small per ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 5, 2014

    Local PETA Ad Features Death Row Pigs Over "Death Penalty Capital"

    In a fresh taunt to local drivers, animal rights group PETA is set to aim a two-pronged blow by billboard at Texan meat-eaters. Capitalizing on the state's reputation as the "Death Penalty Capital of the World," PETA's newest billboard overlooking Interstate 45 near Hutchins Street and St. Joseph ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2014

    Halliburton Totally Settling the BP Oil Spill

    Halliburton has managed to dodge some of the notoriety that has dogged British Petroleum in the wake of the massive BP oil spill (partly because it was called the BP oil spill and all) but the Houston-based company has still been all wrapped up in lawsuits. Some of those lawsuits may soon be resolve ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 2, 2014

    Texas Supreme Court Rules in Internet Smear Case

    The Texas Supreme Court last week issued a ruling that could change how Texas lawyers fight defamation in the internet age. The State Supremes ruled in the case of Robert Kinney, a Texas legal recruiter for BCG Attorney Search, Inc. who left the firm in 2004 to start a competing venture. Some time ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2014

    Trial Set For Case Against Bellaire Cop Who Shot Unarmed Black Man

    A federal judge has set a trial date for the civil suit against a white Bellaire police officer who shot an unarmed black man in his parents' driveway. A federal magistrate on Wednesday put Robbie Tolan's lawsuit against Bellaire police officer Jeffrey Cotton on course for a September 2015 trial, c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 7, 2014

    Know Your Neighborhood Gangbangers by Their Tattoos

    It's a fine line between striking fear into the hearts of your enemies and signing a confession of criminal activity on your face. But in a fast-paced city like Houston with little patience for extensive introductions, some large Gothic letters on your forehead could save everybody a bit of time and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2014

    Man Gets 11 Years in Online Drug Ring Deaths Case

    A Houston man has been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for his role in a synthetic drug ring that prosecutors say led to the deaths of two men in North Dakota and Minnesota in 2012. John Robert Polinski, 26, was sentenced for his role as a "computer specialist" for an online drug importer ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 7, 2014

    Fantasy Crime League Update: Browns WR Josh Gordon Needs Help Badly

    Some of my NFL Fantasy Crime League updates are less surprising than others. Some of my NFL Fantasy Crime League updates are sadder than others, too. Then there are Fantasy Crime League updates involving Browns wide receiver and native Houstonian Josh Gordon, which are sadly not very surprising (a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2014

    DNA Crime Lab Tech May Have Tainted Nearly 200 Cases

    It's possible dozens of DNA samples linked to criminal cases could be retested after a lab tech in the Houston police crime lab resigned. In all, 185 criminal cases may have been affected. According to reports that includes 53 murders or capital murders. The Harris County District Attorney's Office ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2014

    "The Rooster" is Back in Houston, This Time Against His Will

    A Mexican national notorious for trafficking women in the Houston area landed in the U.S. yesterday and will face charges from the U.S. Attorney's Office relating to his smuggling of women. Gerardo Salazar, 47, of Mexico City, arrived in Houston yesterday after being arrested in Mexico. He will mak ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2014

    Gang Injunction Becomes Permanent in Harris County District's Safety Zone

    As a rule, nearly 50 gang members are personae non gratae in an area now known as the East Aldine Safety Zone in north Harris County. Most gang members might bristle at the Latinate for "we don't want you 'round here," or the sketchy legality (First Amendement right, hear me?) that is the recent emb ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 20, 2014

    Crooks Target Dollar Store and SWAT Team Comes Out

    A SWAT team answered a call to a Family Dollar store last night, according to authorities. A pair of masked robbers mugged a patron and tried to knock over the store. Reports say two workers in the store hit a panic button and fled to the rear of the place. The alleged robbers fired inside, but no ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2014

    Second Chances Rarely Apply to Texas Death Row Inmates

    "America is a country of second chances" Rick Perry said in a recent television interview. His declaration was very statesmanlike, but he was referring to himself and his possible repeat performance as a presidential candidate. If he truly believed in the concept of second chances, things might be ... More >>

  • Calendar

    May 15, 2014
  • Blogs

    May 13, 2014

    Astros Get Into Throwback Mode for Civil Rights Game

    Houston gets to play host to this year's Civil Rights Game, in a year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. This is only the eighth time that Major League Baseball has held the throwback-style game, in which teams ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2014

    Judge Stays Execution of Death Row Inmate Convicted in Harris County

    Robert James Campbell, whose 1991 murder conviction in Harris County sent him to death row, won't die tonight (and won't be long on death row if his lawyers can help it). A U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals judge issued a stay of execution so that Campbells' lawyers could work on an appeal. The ju ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 7, 2014

    Rachel Brown Accuses Her Attorneys of Ripping Her Off

    Michael "I Hope There's Tons of Cocaine in Heaven" Brown's widow, Rachel Brown, has sued three of her attorneys, accusing them of looking out for their own financial interests instead of protecting hers. Filed March 31 in Harris County District Court, the suit accuses David Brown (no relation), Je ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2014

    Robber Brought a Gun to a Lawnmower Fight

    When your life is on the line, at the wrong end of a pistol, you really have to do whatever you can to ensure you survive. Case in point: The north Harris County man who last week used his own lawnmower after being attacked for his wallet. According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, there are ... More >>

  • News

    April 17, 2014

    For Many Refugees, the Journey to America Ends in a Cold Jail Cell

    While the United States decides their fate, asylum seekers sit in immigration detention.

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2014

    Is Your Chevy on Some Drug Gang's Radar?

    When the Houston Police Department releases its monthly list of the most stolen vehicles, the makes and models rarely change. What does move the needle a bit, however, is the total number of vehicles stolen each year. According to police, there were just over 13,500 thefts last year, a 4 percent inc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 24, 2014

    Court of Criminal Appeals Hears Homicide "Junk Science" Case

    We don't know how 17-month-old Tristen Rivet died. Neither does the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy. The problem is, that medical examiner once thought she knew how Rivet died. Patricia Moore believed the toddler was murdered. And Moore testified to that effect in a Montgomery County c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 20, 2014

    Missouri City Bank Robbery Suspect Grabs Loot, Gets Away on Kiddie Bike

    At first, cops must've thought it was some kind of prank. A guy walks into a bank on Wednesday afternoon, asks for some money and walks out. His getaway car, though? A little kiddie bike. Maybe drugs were involved, who knows. But this guy committed a federal crime in broad daylight and then pedals ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 17, 2014

    County Attorney Puts Another Gang Injunction on the Books

    The idea behind a gang injunction is to limit a gang's ability to gather, cause trouble, or plan any future trouble-making. At least that's what's behind the Harris County attorney's push for a preliminary injunction ordered last week to create the "East Aldine Safety Zone." Under the order by Judg ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 5, 2014

    Suspected Burglar Can't Get Away from Flying Deputies

    Not only did an alleged burglar fail to escape with the goods on Monday, but his buddies left him, he was wrestled to the ground by his victims, and Harris County sheriff's deputies came swooping out of the sky. Talk about bad timing. The sheriff's department has been conducting routine air patrols ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 3, 2014

    Lesbian Softball Player Outed by Her Teachers Has Settled the Case

    A lesbian teenager was allegedly outed by her high school softball coaches, but now, after grudgingly reaching a settlement, the Kilgore Independent School District has reiterated that the coaches did nothing wrong. It all started in March 2009 in the locker room of Kilgore High School. Skye Wyatt ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 6, 2014

    Birthday Party Shooting Suspects Charged with Evidence Tampering

    Two have been charged in the deadly house party shooting November 9 in Cypress at which two were killed and 20 more were injured. Randy Stewart, 18, who has already been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the shootings, has been charged additionally with tampering with evidence. ... More >>

  • News

    January 30, 2014

    The First 48 Makes Millions While the Innocent Have Their Lives Ruined

    Once you're charged with murder on A&E's The First 48, you're guilty for life - even if you're innocent.

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2014

    Bank Robbing Lady Declares "I'm Back" When Hitting Same Bank for the Second Time This Month

    When robbers make multiple robbery attempts, they are often called brazen, but when the robber in question is a older woman with a penchant for hoodies making her look like a Sith Lord, how should we describe her? Brazen seems almost too masculine. Perhaps she has gumption or spunk. Or maybe she's j ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2014

    County Attorney Wants to Ban Bloods and Crips From Neighborhood -- Nothing Scares Those Dudes Like A Court Order!

    Gang members make bad neighbors -- Bloods are notorious violators of homeowner association driveway maintenance rules, and Crips have been known to not mow their lawns for weeks at a time -- which is why Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan wants to ban those gangs from a north Harris County community. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2014

    Two Charged in Bike Trail Rape, Robberies

    Two men have been arrested and charged in connection with a sexual assault and string of robberies on the Terry Hershey Park bike trail. Damontres Darnell Mitchell and Jassan Rashaad Hughes, both 18, are each charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault and two counts of aggravated robbery w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 3, 2014

    Texas Supreme Court to Take Up First Amendment Internet Smear Case

    Next week, the Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that presents some interesting First Amendment issues in regard to the Internet. In short, here's what happened. An employee (Robert Kinney) of an attorney employment search company (owned by Robert Barnes), quit his job with Barn ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 24, 2013

    Ginsburg and Breyer: Liberals Seek to Replace Justices Before a Conservative President Does It For Them

    Liberal activists are calling on Justice Ginsburg, at least, and, hopefully, Justice Breyer to resign. Not because they're incompetent and unable to do their job, but because they are worried that if the 80-year old two-time cancer survivor Ginsburg and the 75-year-old Breyer cannot make through a h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 24, 2013

    Study: Voter Fraud Non-Existent, Partisanship at Heart of Voter Laws

    The George W. Bush DOJ went after voter fraud hard. It became a mantra in right-wing talking circles that voter fraud was rampant, perhaps swinging elections. The problem with this narrative was that there simply wasn't much evidence to support it. Undeterred by the lack of evidence, right-wing acti ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2013

    Texas, Harris County Still No. 1 in Executions, but Numbers Down Sharply Nationwide

    According to a report from the Death Penalty Information Center, there have been only 39 executions in the United States this year, only the second time that number has been below 40 since 1994 and down 4 from last year's 43. This is additionally a decline of 60 percent since 1999 and the number of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2013

    Texas Gets an "F": Center for Public Integrity Issues New Report on State Judges

    State supreme courts don't get nearly the attention the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) does. State supreme courts decide more mundane issues related to contract, tort and state procedural law, while SCOTUS decides the hot-button/culture war issues surrounding abortion, guns, the death penalty ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2013

    Report: Federal Prosecutors Trample Constitutional Rights in War on Drugs

    The 7th Amendment to the Constitution allows for the right to a jury trial. The 8th Amendment prohibits "cruel and unusual punishments." A new report by Human Rights Watch shows that federal criminal defendants, especially those charged with drug crimes, are having their constitutional rights arguab ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2013

    Houston Leads the Nation in Armored-Car Robberies

    You may have seen The Town, a Ben Affleck-directed movie about a crew of armored-car robbers from Charlestown, a Boston-area neighborhood known for producing armored-car robbers. Houston, it seems, has become the new Charlestown. As the New York Times reports, the Houston metropolitan area has seen ... More >>

  • Culture

    December 5, 2013

    Real Horror: Local Filmmaker Brings the Horrific Crimes of Dean Corll to the Silver Screen

    Homosexual rape, torture and a graveyard of dead boys. A filmmaker decides to step away from fiction and delve into Houston's infamous Dean Corll rape-torture-murder case.

  • Blogs

    November 21, 2013

    Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Denies Duane Buck a New Sentencing Hearing

    The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has denied Duane Buck's appeal for a new sentencing, meaning an execution date can be set if the Harris County District Attorney's Office chooses to seek an execution date. Buck was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 1997 for the murders of his ex-girlfrie ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 20, 2013

    Barry Scheck, Cofounder of The Innocence Project, Talks Michael Morton

    By the time Barry Scheck walked out onto the stage at the Wortham, the build up was huge. This was the guy who cofounded the Innocence Project, responsible for the exoneration of 311 wrongfully convicted people. This was the guy who looked at then-U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese after Meese said t ... More >>

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