Condemned killer of 3 in Corpus Christi set to die
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Attorneys for a convicted killer of three members of a Corpus Christi family say they'll ask the U.S. Supreme Court to delay his scheduled execution in Huntsville.
Jose Villegas (vee-AY'-gus) is set for lethal injection Wednesday evening, but his attorneys contend new evidence shows he's mentally impaired and ineligible to be put to death. Their request for more time to investigate the claim already has been rejected by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
The 38-year-old Villegas faces execution for the January 2001 slayings of ex-girlfriend Erida Salazar, her 3-year-old son Jacob and her 51-year-old mother Alma Perez. All were stabbed repeatedly.
When arrested, he was driving Salazar's stolen car and had pawned a television stolen from the Perez home for $75. He had used the money to buy cocaine.
Julian Castro, Dan Patrick debate immigration
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - What began as a Twitter war between a prominent immigration reform advocate and an equally prominent Republican hardliner on immigration reform has now been waged face-to-face for audiences on the Internet and Spanish-language television.
San Antonio Mayor Julian (hool-YAHN') Castro and state Sen. Dan Patrick debated Tuesday evening in Univision's San Antonio studios. Notable by his absence was Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, whom the tea-party favorite Patrick is challenging in a May 27 GOP primary.
There was no new ground staked out by the antagonists.
Castro advocates granting legal residency to young people brought by their parents into the United States without papers. Meanwhile, Patrick continued to dismiss any reform efforts until he and his supporters deem the border with Mexico to be secure.
Holder urges approval of $15M for shooter training
WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Eric Holder is urging Congress to approve $15 million for training law enforcement officers in handling shooting rampages.
Holder's comments follow the recent shootings at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas and at Fort Hood, Texas.
In a video message posted on the Justice Department website Tuesday, the attorney general says training is critical since patrol officers who arrive first on the scene are increasingly being relied on to respond directly to shooters rather than waiting for SWAT teams.
The Justice Department and the FBI have provided this special training to 50,000 front-line officers in the past decade.
MAVERICK COUNTY CORRUPTION
South Texas surveyor pleads guilty to bribery
DEL RIO, Texas (AP) - A South Texas surveyor and consultant has pleaded guilty to bribing officials of a Texas border county for public works contracts.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Del Rio says 55-year-old Marcelo Alvarez faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
Alvarez admitted to bribing several Maverick County officials, including two county commissioners, to support steering county construction projects to a company with which he was connected. Alvarez paid officials $100 to $200 on multiple occasions.
Maverick County paid more than $800,000 to Amistad Consulting for engineering, consulting and project management services. Alvarez, the project representative, received payments of $300,000 for his services between 2010 and 2012.
More than a dozen officials and contractors have pleaded guilty in an ongoing public corruption investigation in Maverick County.
OFFSHORE RIG-STORM WAVE
Offshore rig taking on water but stable after wave
GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - An offshore drilling rig is taking on water but is stable after being hit by a large storm wave off the Texas coast.
The U.S. Coast Guard says the rig was drilling for oil and gas in 3,000-foot depths around 10 a.m. Tuesday when the wave hit.
Petty Officer Manda Emery says the platform was knocked 55 feet, and one of three watertight chambers in one of the rig's six floatation columns began taking on water.
Emery says the platform is being kept level and there is no spill. None of the 116 crew members was injured, and there have been no evacuations.
The rig is about 130 miles from Galveston.
Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Andy Kendrick says the well is being drilled for Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
Once-conjoined twins set to leave Texas hospital
DALLAS (AP) - Conjoined twins separated last summer are set to be released from a Dallas hospital that's been their home since birth.
Officials at Medical City Children's Hospital say the 9-month-old boys born joined at the abdomen are to be released Wednesday to a local inpatient rehabilitation center.
Owen and Emmett Ezell were separated at the hospital last August in a nine-hour surgery. The babies shared a liver and intestines.
Officials say the boys are no longer being fed intravenously but continue to be fed through tubes in their abdomens. And instead of being hooked to breathing machines, they now need only the assistance of a trachea tube.
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