MISSING GIRL-NORTH TEXAS-TRIAL
Man gets 99 years in prison for role in Texas girl's death
DALLAS (AP) — A man has been convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison for his part in the abduction and killing of a 13-year-old suburban Dallas girl. A Dallas County jury deliberated for about an hour Friday before sentencing Desmond Jones for his involvement in the abduction and death of Shavon Randle. The sentence was deliberated after the jury witnessed a courtroom outburst by Jones, whom bailiffs carried from the courtroom. Earlier Friday, the jury deliberated for about two hours before finding Jones guilty of organized criminal activity, for which the top punishment is 99 years or life in prison.
Schools, businesses closed after Houston water main break
HOUSTON (AP) — Schools and some businesses in Houston remain closed and a boil order is in effect for most of the city after a water pipe ruptured and flooded a freeway. The water main burst open Thursday in a line from a plant that supplies water to about half of the city. Flash flooding from the water main break submerged vehicles on a highway that circles the city. Mayor Sylvester Turner says he expects that the boil order will be lifted by Saturday morning.
TEXAS-FATAL PLANE CRASH
Instrument, electrical, icing woes plagued plane at crash
ABILENE, Texas (AP) — Authorities say a pilot was experiencing icing and instrument and other electrical problems when the aircraft he was flying crashed in rural West Texas, killing him and two passengers. In a preliminary report issued Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board said the pilot was returning to Abilene Regional Airport early Feb. 20 after experiencing problems with deicing equipment. An air traffic controller directed the pilot to climb from 4,700 feet to 5,000 feet, and the pilot said he was “pulling up” when radio contact was lost. The plane crashed in open land near Lake Coleman.
LEANING TOWER OF DALLAS
'Leaning Tower of Dallas' designer glad it's hard to topple
DALLAS (AP) — The designer of the “Leaning Tower of Dallas” is taking a wry pride in the stubborn resistance the creation is presenting to explosives and the wrecking ball. Thomas Taylor is the principal design engineer for Dallas-based Datum Engineers, designer of the 49-year-old, 11-story Affiliated Computer Services building that explosives mostly brought tumbling down Feb. 16. The concrete core that contained the stairway and elevator shafts remained after the dust settled. The column was left leaning by the pull of the rest of the crumbling building. Taylor told WFAA-TV, "Nobody ever told me to make it easy to demolish.
Court temporarily halts Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Dealing a significant blow to a signature Trump administration immigration policy, a U.S. appeals court has ruled that the government can no longer make asylum-seekers wait in Mexico while their cases wind through the immigration courts. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a setback that may prove temporary if the Trump administration appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has consistently sided with the president on immigration and border security policies. The decision interrupted some court cases. An immigration judge in San Diego delayed a final hearing on a Honduran man's asylum case after a government attorney couldn’t answer his questions about the effect of ruling.
Texas man sentenced to death for killing officer, friend
MCKINNEY, Texas (AP) — A jury has sentenced a North Texas man to death for the 2018 killings of a Dallas-area police officer and another man. Brandon McCall had been convicted Feb. 19 of capital murder for shooting his friend, Rene Gamez II, and Richardson police officer David Sherrard. A Collin County jury deliberated for about eight hours Thursday before condemning the 28-year-old McCall, Police called the shooting an ambush. Defense attorneys acknowledged that McCall shot the men but said the killings were unintentional. During the trial, jurors were shown video of the moment Sherrard was shot.
The Latest: Court ruling disrupts migrant family's hearing
A federal court ruling that blocked a signature Trump administration policy quickly spread to immigration courtrooms on the border Friday. In El Paso, an administrator entered a courtroom with an urgent message for the judge, informing him of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that halted the government’s policy forcing immigrants to wait out their cases in Mexico. The message was delivered just as a judge heard the case of a mother and her partner, whose two young children waited outside the courtroom. About 60,000 asylum seekers have been returned to Mexico to wait for their cases to wind through the immigration court system.
American Airlines plans $550 million boost to Oklahoma base
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — American Airlines plans to spend $550 million over the next seven years to spruce up its maintenance base in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The airline said Friday it will build a new hangar capable of handling two large widebody jets or up to six smaller planes, and make other improvements. Tulsa is American’s largest maintenance base, and it employs more than 5,500 people. American, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas, had net income last year of $1.7 billion, as it got a boost from strong travel demand and a modest drop in the price of jet fuel.
Babysitter accused of shooting nephew while taking selfie
HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston-area teen is in jail after she was accused of accidentally shooting her 10-year-old nephew after making a selfie video of herself with a gun for her Instagram account. Caitlyn Smith is in the Harris County Jail charged with felony injury to a child. According to an arrest affidavit, the 19-year-old told investigators that she was babysitting her nephew Tuesday at her suburban apartment on Houston's northern fringe. She was shooting a cellphone video for herself pointing a 9-millimeter handgun for her Instagram account when she squeezed the trigger, accidentally shooting her nephew in the abdomen.
ELECTION 2020-SUPER TUESDAY-TEXAS
Texas looms large as Super Tuesday bonanza for Democrats