Cash is piling up in Kinney County from bonds posted to free migrants arrested under Texas border crackdown
Friends, families and attorneys have posted more than $2 million to get migrants out of prison. Defense attorneys say the rural county is erecting barriers that will keep many from recovering the money when they’re entitled to it.
Crystal Mason’s contentious illegal voting conviction must be reconsidered, criminal appeals court says
Mason said she didn’t know she was ineligible to vote when she cast a provisional ballot in 2016, but she was sentenced to five years in prison. Now, the Court of Criminal Appeals says an appellate court that affirmed her conviction must look again at the evidence of Mason’s intent.
A minor trespassing case gives Gov. Greg Abbott’s border initiative its first courtroom win
The trial included four prosecutors, and so many potential jurors were summoned the town sandwich shop was shorthanded for lunch. But a Kinney County jury Monday convicted a Honduran national in the first jury trial for trespassing under Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star.
New federal lawsuit seeks to halt Texas’ border trespassing arrests, give more than $5 million to illegally detained migrants
Thousands of men have been arrested on trespassing charges under Gov. Greg Abbott’s border crackdown. A new lawsuit claims the attempt to skirt federal immigration authority is unconstitutional.
Bastrop shelter caretaker accused of exploiting girls was fired from previous job for misconduct with children
State records show Iesha Greene was fired in 2020 from a state juvenile facility for having inappropriate relationships with children. The Refuge said it was aware of her previous work there, but it never requested her publicly available personnel records.
Facing harsh criticism in the Melissa Lucio case, Texas prosecutor may temporarily spare the woman many believe is innocent
Federal judges, five jurors who convicted her and a roster of family, politicians and celebrities believe there are substantive doubts about whether the death of Lucio’s 2-year-old daughter was even a murder. A prosecutor Tuesday appeared to open the door to canceling her scheduled April 27 execution.
Texas Guard’s border mission needs an additional $531 million to continue past this month, top general says
Texas Military Department leaders say they’ve addressed many of the issues that arose late last year when the mission ramped up to 10,000 service members — but more money is needed to run the mission at its current pace.
More than half of the Texas House wants to stop the execution of Melissa Lucio, convicted of killing her toddler
Despite substantive doubts surrounding the cause of her child’s death and a suspect “confession” obtained after hours of interrogation, Lucio is set to be executed next month for killing her 2-year-old daughter.
U.S. Supreme Court tells Texas to let a condemned man’s pastor touch him and pray aloud during execution
The Supreme Court ruled that the state likely violated death row inmate John Ramirez’s religious liberties when it denied his request to have his pastor lay his hands on him and pray during his upcoming execution.
Texas child welfare official resigns, saying top agency leaders scapegoated employees
The former child care investigations director said there are agency-wide communication issues that led to a breakdown in relaying key information, but two of his staff members are the ones who suffered the consequences.
Texas CPS department’s culture kept worries about now-shuttered foster care facility from being addressed, official says
It was also revealed at a special Texas Senate committee meeting that the Texas foster care worker who allegedly sold nude pictures of girls is also accused of dating a child trafficker.
State-licensed shelter where sex trafficking victims were reportedly abused ordered to close
The Refuge, which closed Friday, said it fired an employee accused of coercing the victims to sell nude photos as soon as it found out. The Bastrop-based shelter has not addressed the other eight staff members also accused of causing harm to the girls.
Kids in foster care who’d been victims of sex trafficking endured fresh abuse at a state shelter, report says
The children were sexually abused and neglected while at The Refuge, a facility located in Bastrop contracted by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, according to a report from a current employee.
Webb County, a Democratic stronghold, is set to welcome Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s controversial migrant arrests
The county is the most populous to embrace the Republican governor’s “catch-and-jail” policy to arrest people accused of crossing the border illegally for state crimes, including trespassing.
Gov. Greg Abbott floats pardons for Austin police officers charged with excessive force in 2020 protests
Abbott’s move is the latest in a long clash between Texas Republicans and Austin-area officials over policing — and comes as the push for reform in the Texas capital enters a more complex and uncertain chapter.
Austin police officers charged with aggravated assault for force used in 2020 protests
Defense attorneys for eight of 19 indicted APD officers say they were following orders when they used force against 2020 protesters. So far, there are 14 lawsuits against the city for injuries suffered during those confrontations.
Man who sold weapon to suspect in Colleyville synagogue standoff charged with federal firearm crime
Federal prosecutors described Henry “Michael” Williams as being a felon who was not allowed to possess a firearm. He confirmed that he sold the weapon to the synagogue suspect in South Dallas, authorities said.
Court fight brews over constitutionality of Texas governor’s border arrests
A legal defense group is asking Travis County courts to throw out the arrests of hundreds of migrants swept up in the governor’s border initiative. The case is expected to draw in the Texas attorney general and address whether Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan is unconstitutional.
“They are us. There’s no distinction”: Terror of synagogue standoff is no isolated incident to Texas Jewish leaders
News of Congregation Beth Israel hostages' safe escape is met with intense relief, but communities feel pain and fear over the latest in a series of antisemitic attacks and incidents in Texas and beyond.
Texas judge opens door for widespread constitutional challenges to Gov. Greg Abbott’s border initiative
A Travis County judge Thursday tossed out the trespassing charge of an Ecuadorian man who said he came to the United States seeking asylum. His lawyers argued that the governor’s directive to arrest migrants on state charges unconstitutionally usurps federal immigration law.