Tag Archives: Houston

Lawyer for Houston serial killer Danny Bible says he’s “too sick” to execute

danny bible

Rapist and murderer Danny Bible

Firing squad works for me.

From Houston Chronicle: Lawyers for Houston-area serial killer Danny Bible filed a civil rights suit Friday alleging the aging death row inmate is in such poor health that any attempts to execute him will end in a gruesome, botched procedure.

The so-called “ice pick killer” has Parkinson’s, bad veins and a slew of other medical conditions that raise the possibility of a prolonged and painful lethal injection process his lawyers argue could violate the 8th Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

The 66-year-old is scheduled to die on June 27.

“Texas will almost certainly join Alabama and Ohio and add itself to the unconscionable list of botched executions in America,” his attorney Jeremy Schepers told the Chronicle.

“Mr. Bible is an elderly, frail man who has been confined to a wheelchair for the last 15 years and his health is rapidly deteriorating,” he continued. “Recent medical evaluations confirm that his veins are inaccessible and unsuitable for placing an IV. Any attempts to carry out the execution will amount to torture, cause excruciating pain, and violate his constitutional rights.”

Bible’s bid for reprieve comes months after a high-profile botch that forced officials in Alabama to call off the execution of Doyle Hamm, a 61-year-old death row prisoner with lymphoma. In February, a lethal injection team there spent hours poking the condemned killer’s arms, legs and groin to find a usable vein before ultimately giving up as the midnight deadline approached.

Previously, Ohio saw similarly botched procedures in the attempted execution of Romell Broom in 2009 and Alva Campbell in 2017. Schepers writes that Bible is in worse health than Hamm, Campbell or Broom.

The Texas lethal injection preparation – a part of the process media and witnesses are not permitted to observe – involves inserting two IV lines, while the prisoner is strapped to a gurney.

But lying down causes Bible shortness of breath, and his lawyers argue that he would “likely be choking and gasping for air” during attempts to hook up IVs that may be “futile” anyway.

Bible’s legal claim, which lays out a “galaxy of medical issues” in detail over the course of 90 pages, names Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials and “anonymous execution team members” among its numerous defendants.

This isn’t the first time a Texas death row prisoner has fought his sentence by questioning the lethal injection process. Thomas “Bart” Whitaker – a Fort Bend man eventually spared by Gov. Greg Abbott – was one of three inmates behind a years-long suit alleging the drugs Texas uses could cause undue suffering.

And earlier this year, hours before his February execution, John Battaglia unsuccessfully tried winning a stay by raising concerns about two allegedly botched executions his lawyers said were caused by too-old drugs.

Both of those cases focused on the possibility that the drugs themselves would cause suffering, a claim that could more generally apply to any death row prisoner. Bible’s argument focuses more narrowly on the possibility that he, specifically, is unfit to execute.

“To my knowledge this is the first suit of its kind in Texas,” said lethal injection expert and death penalty lawyer Maurie Levin, who worked on the Whitaker and Battaglia cases.

In Bible’s case, his lawyers suggest that an alternative method – firing squad or nitrogen gas – would decrease the risk of suffering.

Bible was initially sent to death row in 2003, more than two decades after the crime that landed him there.

A former drifter, Bible’s lengthy string of violence dates back to at least 1979. That May, a passerby found the bloodied, half-naked body of Inez Deaton along the slope of a Houston bayou. She’d been stabbed 11 times with an ice pick before her killer posed her corpse by the water.

For nearly two decades, Deaton’s slaying went unsolved – but Bible’s violent streak continued.

In the years that followed, Bible terrorized women in the Midwest, once setting his girlfriend’s car on fire because he didn’t like her haircut. After he returned to Texas and settled west of Fort Worth, he murdered his sister-in-law Tracy Powers and her infant son Justin. Then, he killed Powers’ roommate, Pam Hudgins, and left her body hanging from a roadside fence.

Following those killings, he fled to Montana, where he kidnapped a woman and raped an 11-year-old girl, according to court records.

Eventually, he was caught and in 1984 he pleaded guilty to Hudgins’ murder. He was sentenced to 25 years for the killing and 20 years for a Harris County robbery. He was released on parole eight years later, under a since-repealed mandatory supervision law.

While still on parole, he raped and molested multiple young relatives, including a 5-year-old. Then in 1998, he raped Tera Robinson in a Louisiana motel room before stuffing her into a duffel bag when he became enraged that he couldn’t maintain an erection. The woman broke free and called for help.

Bible was eventually caught in Florida, and freely admitted to his crimes under questioning.

Weeks after he was sentenced, Bible narrowly escaped death during a head-on-collision on the way to death row. The officer behind the wheel of the prison transport vehicle, 40-year-old John Bennett, died in the wreck, while Bible ended up in a wheelchair.

In past appeals, Bible’s attorneys have used his deteriorating medical condition to argue against his execution, saying he can’t be a danger in his current state.

Texas has already executed six men this year, including another Houston serial killer, Anthony Shore. Aside from Bible’s, there are seven other death dates on the calendar in Texas.

DCG

Woman shoots at THREE armed, masked men after attacking/beating her in Houston home

second amendment3

Do tell, #GunControlNow crowd, how would you prefer this woman protect her life? By urination, vomiting or her God-given, Constitutional right?

From Click2Houston: Police are looking for a group of masked men who beat and robbed a woman Tuesday outside a southwest Houston home.

According to police, a woman in her 50s was in the driveway of her home in the 11500 block of Montverde Lane when she was ambushed by three armed men wearing masks.

Police said the men beat her, broke her jaw and took her wallet from her purse. The woman’s mother, who inside the home, saw the attack and called police.

“During the fight, she was able to get inside the house. At that point, the males apparently kicked the window in, tried to get in the house. The original female obtained a pistol she ran out and started shooting at the suspects. The suspects jumped in the car and left,” said HPD Lt. Larry Crowson.

The men got away in a dark-colored Toyota, police said.

Investigators said they do not believe the attack was random. They are investigating why the woman’s home was targeted.

People living in the neighborhood said they were uneasy.  “It’s always real quiet. We get very little traffic. Something like that is pretty unusual,” Amuro Alejandro said.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

DCG

Woman shoots at armed, masked men after attack outside southwest Houston home

second amendment

Tell me those part of the #GunControlNow crowd who wish the Second Amendment be repealed, would you rather this woman was able to defend her life or that the perps were able do more serious harm to her?

From Click2Houston: Police are looking for a group of masked men who beat and robbed a woman Tuesday outside a southwest Houston home.

According to police, a woman in her 50s was in the driveway of her home in the 11500 block of Montverde Lane when she was ambushed by three armed men wearing masks.

Police said the men beat her, broke her jaw and took her wallet from her purse. The woman’s mother, who inside the home, saw the attack and called police.

“During the fight, she was able to get inside the house. At that point, the males apparently kicked the window in, tried to get in the house. The original female obtained a pistol she ran out and started shooting at the suspects. The suspects jumped in the car and left,” said HPD Lt. Larry Crowson.

The men got away in a dark-colored Toyota, police said.

Investigators said they do not believe the attack was random. They are investigating why the woman’s home was targeted.

People living in the neighborhood said they were uneasy. “It’s always real quiet. We get very little traffic. Something like that is pretty unusual,” Amuro Alejandro said.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

DCG

George Clooney: “Houston is Syria post Hurricane Harvey”

george clooney

Riiiiight. Because Syrian refugees and victims of Hurricane Harvey have so much in common.

Bonus: Not only does Julianne Moore want “re-education for everyone,” she also wants to “eradicate all these borders.”

From Hollywood Reporter: As George Clooney joins efforts to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey, and Hurricane Irma rips through Florida, the Hollywood star on Sunday likened Americans left homeless by catastrophic weather events to Syrians caught up in their country’s civil war.

“It’s going to take a long time … and we’ll all have to be involved, because Houston is Syria,” the multihyphenate said during a press conference for his film Suburbicon, which is screening this week at the Toronto International Film Festival after bowing in Venice. “People in Houston are now refugees based on something that had nothing to do with them. They didn’t do anything. They’re now victims and they’re out of their homes and they will be suffering for a very long time,” he added.

Harvey slammed into Texas’ Gulf Coast on Aug. 25 as a Category 4 hurricane. It was soon downgraded to a tropical storm but lingered for days, dropping up to 50 inches of rain on Houston and the surrounding area before moving eastward to Louisiana.

“We’re going to have to find ways to get involved — that’s our jobs as citizens of the world,” said Clooney. The Hollywood star directed Paramount’s Suburbicon, which features Matt Damon and Julianne Moore as a couple in over their heads with a dastardly plan in a caustic satire penned by Joel and Ethan Coen, Clooney and Grant Heslov.

Moore, also in Toronto to help promote the film, said humanitarian crises like in Syria and hurricane-ravaged Texas and Florida remind Americans they need to come together to help one another. “This is happening everywhere, with people being forced out of their homes and their nations and are looking for places to go. The only way we can help each other is by eradicating all these borders and thinking globally,” said the actress.

Damon said Suburbicon, a drama about very flawed people making very bad choices in a seemingly idyllic 1950s community, also has resonance with the Trump era. “You never know when you’re making a movie. A lot of these current events, we couldn’t have predicted,” said the actor.

A movie inspired by the true-life story of African-Americans who were harassed by their white neighbors to get them to move out of their Levittown, Pa., community in the 1950s, Suburbicon will inevitably be overshadowed by recent events in Charlottesville, Va., Damon suggested.

“Everything was there, but the lid hadn’t been torn off yet. And it seems like this presidency has reinvigorated this certain element, and emboldened them to step out into the open,” the actor said of Donald Trump’s defiant comments about alt-right provocateurs in the wake of the Charlottesville tragedy.

The U.S. president stirred controversy when he initially declined to single out the white supremacists and neo-Nazis whose demonstration against the removal of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue had led to violence and the death of a counter-protester in Charlottesville.

DCG

Man arrested in Houston for plotting to bomb Confederate monument

general dowling statue

Dowling statue in Houston

Bill Ayers approved.

As Newsbusters noted, to the surprise of no one: ABC, CBS, and NBC’s evening newscasts on Monday all failed to cover the thwarted bombing of a Confederate monument in Houston, Texas. 

From Breaking911.com: A 25-year-old man has been taken into custody for attempting to ‘maliciously damage or destroy property receiving federal financial assistance’, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. The charges come after the FBI and ATF raided a home in Houston Sunday.

According to the complaint, on the evening of Aug. 19, 2017, a Houston park ranger observed Andrew Schneck kneeling among the bushes in front of the General Dowling Monument located in Hermann Park in Houston. Schneck was allegedly holding two small boxes with various items inside to include what appeared to be duct tape and wires. After placing the boxes on the ground per the ranger’s request, Schneck then allegedly took a drink from plastic bottle but immediately spit it on the ground. The ranger then noticed a timer and wires in the box and notified the Houston Police Department (HPD), according to the complaint.

The clear liquid was field tested as was a white powdery substance found in a small, black aluminum tube which revealed they were most likely nitroglycerin and Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD), respectively, according to the charges. HMTD is a high explosive organic compound used as an initiating, or primary explosive. Nitroglycerin has been used as an active ingredient in the manufacture of explosives. ln its pure form, nitroglycerin is a contact explosive, with physical shock causing it to explode, which degrades over time to even more unstable forms. Nitroglycerin is highly dangerous to transport or use. ln its undiluted form, it is one of the world’s most powerful explosives.

Authorities believe the items in Schneck’s possession on Aug. 19 were capable to produce a viable explosive device, according to the charges.

The complaint further alleges that Schneck conducts “chemistry experiments” at his Houston residence.

The City of Houston receives federal financial assistance for maintenance of Hermann Park where the General Dowling Monument is located.

If convicted, Schneck faces a minimum of five and up to 40 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. The FBI and HPD are conducting the investigation.

DCG

TV reporter fired after writing Facebook post praising Trump

Funny…couldn’t find any stories about a reporter being fired after writing a Facebook post praising Obama. Shocker, not.

Scarlett Fakhar

Scarlett Fakhar

From NY Post: A Texas television reporter is out of a job after she criticized President Obama and praised President-elect Donald Trump on her personal Facebook page — claiming the country went “downhill” under the outgoing commander-in-chief.

Scarlett Fakhar said she was recently canned from her local news gig at Fox in Houston for posting last week that she was “happy and relieved” over Trump’s unexpected White House win. Fakhar had said in the post, which has since been deleted, that Obama made the “entire county hate one another” and claimed God “had a hand” in the election. She also said she could “barely sleep from how happy and relieved she was” after Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.

“Fox 26 Houston fired me today for expressing my conservative views on my private Facebook page,” Fakhar posted Thursday. “That is all I will say for you. But I want you to know how much your support has gotten me through this. God bless you all.”

scarlett-fakhar-fb-post

A spokesperson for KRIV confirmed to The Post that Fakhar, 25, was no longer with the station, but declined further comment.

Fakhar, who is originally from Wilmington, Delaware, graduated from Elon University in North Carolina with a degree in broadcast journalism, according to a biography on her Facebook page. Before joining the station last year, she worked at television stations in Austin and Lubbock, as well as internships at “NBC Nightly News” with Brian Williams in New York and at KTRK-TV in Houston.

After posting the message announcing her termination, Fakhar wrote a message claiming that FOX 26 was trying to get her to take down her “fan page” from Facebook.

Fakhar also singled out the “liberal” Houston Chronicle, claiming the newspaper wrongfully reported that she criticized African-Americans, a reference to Fakhar’s original problematic post that stated the “number of African Americans killed one another far outweighs the number of them being killed by whites.”

“The media has made this a RACE issue when in reality the matter boils down to a difference in political philosophy,” Fakhar wrote Thursday. “As a multiracial person myself, I never have been or never will be racist. I simply stated the fact that the media continues to misrepresent the factual realities that there is NO more white on black crime than there is black on black crime.” Fakhar’s post did not elaborate on her ethnicity.

She previously apologized on her personal Facebook page for making her “personal views” public after the election, saying it was “wholly inappropriate.” That post has also been deleted from her page, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Messages seeking additional comment from Fakhar were not immediately returned Friday.

A review of Fakhar’s Twitter feed shows several of her most recent stories, including an exclusive on a student who said he was attacked by classmates for voting for Trump in a mock election. She also called out what she claimed to be “media bias” in October when CNN’s Christopher Cuomo referenced Joseph McCarthy in connection to WikiLeaks disclosures that reporters at a number of outlets, including CNN, met in secret and coordinated with Clinton’s campaign.

DCG

School’s new policy bans parents from walking children to school

Insanity.

bear branch elementary

Via Fox26 Houston: Pick your child up from school and you could be charged with trespassing. That’s the threat against parents at Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia ISD. This is the school’s tactic to keep parents who live close to the school from walking on school grounds.

Bear Branch is losing students over this pick up policy, that’s been in place since the beginning of this school year. The principal has decided that no matter how close the student lives to the school, the student must either take the bus, or the parent must wait in a long car pickup line. Try to walk your student off the campus and you could face criminal charges.

Principal Holly Ray

Principal Holly Ray

“She’s threatening to arrest people,” says Wendy Jarman about principal, Holly Ray.

Jarman pulled her children out of the school Monday and placed them in private school. She lives in the neighborhood behind the school. Her kids were walkers, and she escorted them, but they can’t do that anymore.

Ray won’t allow it. Ray has gotten Montgomery County Constables to be her enforcers.

“This has happened to many parents,” Jarman says. “They have been cited. They have been threatened, if they step one foot on school property, they will be arrested and charged with who knows what.”

Frank Young has one of those warnings. He also lives close to the school and he also pulled his children out of it. Young says no effort to negotiate a better policy or even hundreds of signatures on a petition got the district to change the policy or bully tactics.

“Mrs. Ray’s policy is implying that a parent doesn’t have the ability or capability to decide what is safest for her children and that the school district does,” Young says. “I disagree.”

The school district responded to our request for comment with a statement fully supporting Principal Ray, saying the goal is a safe dismissal process.

But parents who have been coming to the school for years say there was nothing unsafe about the old pickup and drop off procedures. They say this is simply a principal overstepping her boundaries.

Young says some parents are just going along with the principal to keep peace, but he says not speaking up allows a poisonous environment to fester. “The most toxic thing we can do for our kids is not fight for truth and justice,” Young says.

Fox26 knows of 2 other parents who were just threatened with arrest. They are not ready to speak about it publicly yet. But other parents told us the principal’s “my way or else” tactics go deeper than the dismissal process. Parents say not only are students leaving because of it, but teachers and staff are leaving the school, too.

DCG