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Tag: Texas

West Texas Man Found Guilty of Trying to Kill Border Patrol Agent

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A West Texas man faces up to 20 years in prion after a jury found him guilty of trying to kill a Border Patrol agent.

Carl Wayne Wiley, of Midland, was found guilty of one count of attempting to kill a Border Patrol agent, one count of assaulting, resisting, opposing, impeding, or interfering with Border Patrol agents using a deadly or dangerous weapon, and two counts of using and discharging a firearm.

Wiley fired a gun at a Border Patrol agent after a high-speed pursuit.

Wiley faces a mandatory 10-year prison sentence.

Mayor of Texas Town Wants Federal Probe Over Arabic Flag Expressing ‘Love for All’

Photo via Twitter.

Photo via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The mayor of a Texas town is calling for Homeland Security and the FBI to investigate a large flag with Arabic writing found hanging off a downtown building.

Huffington Post reports that the flag read, “Love for all,” in Arabic.

But Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson said he’s still “concerned on several levels” and wants federal authorities to investigate.

“It has been brought to my attention that an Arabic flag has been hung from one of the upper floors of the Omni building,” Robertson said in a letter sent to City Manager James Loomis. “I am requesting that the flag be removed immediately, that we get an accurate translation of the flag, and that Chief Stevens notify the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and our Lubbock County Sheriff’s Department.”

“I fully understand that we must gather more facts before we make a knee jerk reaction but I am concerned on several levels,” he added.

The flag, which includes a heart, was posted around Valentine’s Day.

Other Stories of Interest

Ex-D.C. Homicide Commander Questions the Way Death of Justice Scalia Was Handled

Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When  Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead over the weekend at a west Texas ranch, he reportedly had a pillow over his head.

Now, the conspiracy theories are cropping up.

Sari Horowitz and Lena Sun of the Washington Post report that a former D.C. homicide commander is raising questions about how the death was handled by local and federal authorities.

“As a former homicide commander, I am stunned that no autopsy was ordered for Justice Scalia,” William O. Ritchie, former head of criminal investigations for D.C. police, wrote in a post on Facebook on Sunday.

The Post writes:

Scalia was found dead in his room at a luxury hunting resort in the state’s Big Bend region by the resort’s owner. It took hours for authorities to find a justice of the peace. When they did, Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced Scalia dead of natural causes without seeing the body — which is permissible under Texas law — and without ordering an autopsy.

On Sunday, the U.S. Marshals Service, which provides security for Supreme Court justices, said that Scalia had declined a security detail while at the ranch, so marshals were not present when he died. When the marshals were notified, deputy marshals from the Western District of Texas went to the scene, the service said in a statement.

Guevara said she declared Scalia dead based on information from law enforcement officials on the scene, who assured her that “there were no signs of foul play.” She also spoke to Scalia’s doctor, who told her that the justice had been to see him Wednesday and Thursday last week for a shoulder injury and that he had ordered an MRI for Scalia, according to WFAA-TV in Dallas. The 79-year-old justice also suffered from several chronic conditions, Guevara said. She said she was awaiting a statement from the physician to complete Scalia’s death certificate.

Ritchie writes:

“You have a Supreme Court Justice who died, not in attendance of a physician. You have a non-homicide trained US Marshal tell the justice of peace that no foul play was observed. You have a justice of the peace pronounce death while not being on the scene and without any medical training opining that the justice died of a heart attack. What medical proof exists of a myocardial Infarction? Why not a cerebral hemorrhage?”

To read full story click here.

FBI Busts Nearly All Top Officials in Crystal City, Texas As Part of Bribery Probe

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 8.36.43 AMBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI swooped into Crystal City, Texas, and arrested nearly all of the top city officials.

The Washington Post reports that five officials were arrested Thursday and accused of taking bribes and helping an illegal gambling operation.

The indictment led to the arrests of the city’s mayor, mayor pro tempore, a current and former city council member and the city manager.

Also arrested the the alleged gambling operator, Ngoc Tri Nguyen, also known as “MR. T.”

And that’s not it for the embattled city. Another council member was arrested on human smuggling charges last month.

There’s only one city official left – Councilman Joel Barajas, who suspected something criminal was going on.

“I knew some things were not being correctly taken care of,” he said.

The indictment alleges town leadership  “used their official positions to enrich themselves by soliciting and accepting payments and other things of value” from Nguyen and others.

CNN Opinion: Cure for So-Called ‘Affluenza’ Is Nothing Short of Prison

Ethan Couch.

Ethan Couch.

CNN

American lawyers have never been accused of lacking creativity in seeking to justify the nefarious deeds of their clients. Texas defense attorney Scott Brown, however, appears to have raised the bar to a new level by asserting the newly minted defense of “affluenza” to obtain leniency in a tragic vehicular homicide case arising out of the reckless driving of his very drunk and very rich 16-year-old client, Ethan Couch.

Affluenza may be a contender for a collection of odd and unlikely defenses that can trace their lineage back to the infamous (and some even say apocryphal) “Twinkie defense.” The notorious junk food defense was asserted in psychiatric testimony as part of a broad claim of diminished capacity caused by depression with at least some success in the 1979 trial of Supervisor Dan White for the assassination of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. Although White was charged with murder, the jury found him guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

he current claim in Fort Worth, Texas, is that the condition of affluenza, a combination of the words “affluence” and “influenza” should immunize Ethan Couch from full responsibility for his actions in killing four people and critically injuring two others.

The Oxford Dictionary defines the condition as “a psychological malaise supposedly affecting young people, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation.” Defense attorney Brown apparently succeeded in convincing soon-to-be retired juvenile Judge Jean Boyd that this spoiled rich kid syndrome diminished Ethan Couch’s capacity to distinguish right from wrong.

n the face of prosecution demands for 20 years in the slammer, the judge responded with a sentence of 10 years of probation and rehabilitation. Couch’s rich daddy proposes to fund a trip to a $450,000 a year California rehab facility that offers treatment to those with way too much cash and free time on their manicured hands. I wish I was kidding about this, but I am not.

Defense psychologist Dr. G. Dick Miller testified that poor Ethan Couch was never properly disciplined by his wealthy parents, eventually driving at age 13, abusing alcohol, and coming to believe that money could buy him out of pretty much any situation where he hurt someone. Affluenza, the shrink suggests, diminished Ethan’s capacity to obey the law and tragic consequences followed.

Miller’s offensive analysis fails to explain why this strange condition is not mentioned in the diagnostic bible of the psychiatric profession, the DSM-5 and its predecessor volumes. Rich kid syndrome, or the more succinct label affluenza, seems to be made of the same empty calories that made the Twinkie defense so offensive to the public at the time it was served up in a 1970s San Francisco courtroom.

To read more click here. 

‘Affluenza’ Teen, His Mother Were Detained in Mexico After Fleeing Over Probation Violation

Ethan Couch.

Ethan Couch.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A wealthy Texas teenager who was given leniency after killing four people while driving drunk has been captured in Mexico with his mother, The New York Times reports. 

Ethan Couch gained national notoriety when a judge gave him probation in 2013 after his lawyer called a witness who claimed he suffered from “affluenza,” a so-called psychological condition marked by an unwillingness to know the difference between right and wrong because of family wealth.

Couch, 18, was facing prison this month after allegedly violating probation by drinking alcohol.

Authorities said he and his mother, Tonya Couch, 48, fled to Mexico before they were arrested near the Mexican resort city of Puerto Vallarta.

Blaze That Tore Through Mosque in Houston Was Intentionally Set, Officials Said

Detroit fire lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Christmas Day fire at a mosque in Texas was intentionally set, investigators told The Source.

The two-alarm blaze tore the Savory Mosque in Houston at 2:45 p.m., causing significant damage.

No injuries were reported because about 200 people left the mosque about an hour before the arson fire.

The investigation is being handled by the ATF, FBI and Houston police.

Other Stories of Interest

How I Was Locked Up for Not Having Papers At National Park in Texas

border patrol 3By Lisa Ragbir
For The Guardian

In Big Bend National Park my husband, father, daughter and I stood on the banks of the yellow-green waters of the Rio Grande.

On our side – the US side – we planted our feet on a beach of cracked mud. On the other side, a 1,000ft cliff wall rose from the river to run left and right, as far as the eye can see. It was the sort of picturesque photo-op that National Parks are built for.

I pointed across the river and told my father: “That’s Mexico,” to which he replied: “Well if that’s Mexico, why does Donald Trump need to build a wall?”

The adults laughed at the joke and my three-year old asked if she could go potty – all of us unaware that we were in an area that is sometimes referred to as theborder zone.

I didn’t imagine that within the next six hours, I would be locked in a cell by US Border Patrol. My offense? I’m Canadian and I didn’t have my permanent resident card with me.

It began with a stop at the Border Patrol station approximately 80 miles north of the entrance to Big Bend, and just over 100 miles north of the Mexico–US border.

“You all American?” a Border Patrol agent asked.

“No, I’m Canadian!” I said cheerfully – not thinking that my answer would prompt furrowed brows.

“What’s your status?”

Another easy question, I thought. “Permanent resident.”

They asked for my permanent resident card – which I didn’t have with me. But I did offer my driver’s license and my university ID, neither of which were of interest to the agents. When my septuagenarian father identified himself as a Canadian citizen visiting from Montreal, he was asked for his passport. “I didn’t think I needed to carry it because we weren’t crossing any borders”, he said. “Why do I need it?”

I thought it was a good question.

My husband asked: “Do you need to see my ID?” The agent’s replied: “What for?”

It might be worth mentioning here that my husband is Italian-American, from New Jersey. I am a first-generation Canadian of Trinidadian-descent. My husband and I aren’t the same color.

In the mid-1990s, I moved to the US for graduate school before moving to Austin, Texas, in 2007. I was born and raised in Montreal – less than 50 miles from the Canada-US border and only a seven-hour drive to New York City. Growing up, my family made that drive countless times to visit relatives who lived in Brooklyn and Long Island.

In those days, we presented our passports and politely answered all of the questions asked of us. It was a routine that always occurred at the border – not in a border zone – which I didn’t know existed before I traveled within 100 miles of the frontier between Mexico and the US. Aside from the picture-worthy mesas, glimpses of roadrunners and a string of Rock Shops, the border zone is the thing you pass through when you leave a day of family-fun in Big Bend.

It took almost an hour, but the agents were able to confirm that my father had flown into the US, from Montreal, on a Canadian passport. Yet they could not verify that my permanent resident card had not expired. Three agents repeatedly explained that I am required to carry my permanent resident card with me at all times – a fact that I only became aware of in the border-zone. There, after an hour of circular-questioning, a bullet-proof-vested agent said: “Ma’am, we need you to step out of the car.”

To read more click here.