Loon Star State: Gunsmoke On The Border, Pigeons Dropping In Nacogdoches, And More

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Loon Star State: Texas Small-Town Crime Round Up

The crime dates only from 1986, but the motive could be from 1886...Authorities in Rio Grande City recently arrested 53-year-old Juan Francisco Martinez for the Easter Sunday 1986 murder of Margarito Alaniz Jr. Police say that Martinez and Alaniz were good friends on that fateful, boozy Easter. Starr County Sheriff Rene Fuentes said that "Like old cowboys, [Martinez and Alaniz] were arguing and drinking," and the discussion got decidedly heated when the two started to debate which of them owned the better roping horse. In fact, the debate got so hot, it could only be cooled by Martinez allegedly pumping Alaniz full of four holes from his nine mm pistol.

Working alongside the U.S. Marshals Service, Starr County Sheriffs traced Martinez, long the prime suspect in the case, first to Houston, then to Roma where he was finally tracked down. He has since confessed to the crime.

We say in Kazakhstan, that if a horse is angry, is like a man is angry...

A Nacogdoches man claims to have been the victim of a pigeon-drop scam. And what's a pigeon-drop scam, you might ask? As it happens, we personally know all too well... In our case, against every iota of our better judgment, we came pretty close to being convinced that we were really talking to a down-on-his-luck South African king who wanted to share the wealth from his many diamond mines back home -- all because he randomly selected us at the Metro Transit Center light rail stop! He said we looked like a good man and liked that we weren't racist! Now, if we would only withdraw $800 from an ATM as a token of good faith, he would give us many thousands in return... Anyway, the con artist who took the guy in Nacogdoches also claimed to be South African, so it could be the same guy.

And finally, we have an ethical dilemma for you...

What would you do if you found a pick-up truck idling in the middle of the street with an obviously ailing man slumped over the wheel? If you answered "Call an ambulance and wait until it arrived," you don't have much in common with Beaumont opportunist Perry Donnell Roberson , a guy who believes in striking while the iron is hot. Last June, Roberson came upon a truck in the middle of a Beaumont roadway, and instead of trying to help the driver (who was in fact dead of an unspecified medical condition), Roberson simply jettisoned the corpse as so much unwanted cargo and drove off in the truck. After a ten-hour joyride, Roberson was arrested by Beaumont police, and was sentenced earlier this year to seven years in prison for unauthorized use of motor vehicle.

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