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Appellate Lawyers For Former Dallas PD Officer Amber Guyger Ask That Murder Conviction Is Set Aside
DALLAS (1080 KRLD)- Appellate lawyers for former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger have filed an extensive appeal asking that her murder conviction be set aside.
Last year a Dallas County jury found Guyger guilty of the September 2018 murder of Botham Jean, who lived in her apartment complex.
"The evidence was legally insufficient to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Guyger committed Murder because (1) through mistake, Guyger formed a reasonable belief about a matter of fact—that she entered her apartment and there was an intruder inside—and (2) her
mistaken belief negated the culpability for Murder because although she intentionally and knowingly caused Jean’s death, she had the right to act in deadly force in self-defense since her belief that deadly force was immediately necessary was reasonable under the circumstances." the appellate court filing says.
In the alternative of an acquittal, the filing asks that the court set the murder conviction aside and instead make a finding that Guyger is guilty of a charge of criminally negligent homicide, and order a new sentencing trial.
"Criminally Negligent Homicide is a state jail felony normally punishable by confinement in state jail for not more than two years or less than 180 days." the filing says.
Guyger's lawyers ask that oral argument be heard.
The basic facts of the unusual shooting were not in dispute throughout the trial. Guyger, returning from a long shift that night, entered Jean’s fourth-floor apartment and shot him. He had been eating a bowl of ice cream before she fired.
Guyger said she parked on the wrong floor and mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, which was directly below his, and mistook him for a burglar. In the frantic 911 call played repeatedly during the trial, Guyger said "I thought it was my apartment" nearly 20 times. Her lawyers argued that the identical physical appearance of the apartment complex from floor to floor frequently led to tenants going to the wrong apartments.
But prosecutors questioned how Guyger could have missed numerous signs that she was in the wrong place. They also asked why she didn’t call for backup instead of walking into the apartment if she thought she was being burglarized and suggested she was distracted by sexually explicit phone messages she had been exchanging with her police partner, who was also her lover.
The shooting drew widespread attention because of the strange circumstances and because it was one in a string of shootings of unarmed black men by white police officers.
The jury was made up mostly of women and people of color.
Cowboys' Dak Prescott Helps Oklahoma Inmate Many Say Was Wrongly Convicted
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is using his fame to help an Oklahoma inmate many say was wrongly convicted.
After writng a letter to Oklahoma's governor asking for the release of Julius Jones, a black man convicted in 1999 for the murder and carjacking of a white man. Dak has entered the often tumultuous world of social justice.
He wrote the treatment of Jones is the kind of miscarriage of justice African American men live in fear of.
Jones attorneys insist he was at home at the time of the killing..but they were NOT allowed to introduce his alibi at trial. They also claim one of the jurors made racial comment during the trial and insist the state's only witness had trouble identifying Jones.
Dak explained in the letter he's speaking out to use the influence God blessed him with to help someone without a voice, adding it's the right thing to do.
Texas Annual "Tax-Free" Holiday Starts Today
School districts across the state are welcoming students back this month and this is the weekend to save on those back to school supplies.
It's tax free weekend in Texas and it starts today meaning back to school supplies including clothes, shoes and backpacks can be purchased tax free. Items that qualify have to be priced less than 100 bucks each.
Tax free weekend has been around since 1999...last year alone Texans saved more than 102-million dollars in sales tax on just over one point 2 billion dollars in sales.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, it's unclear how much Texans will spend and save this year .
The Comptrollers office reports Texans were spending big in May and June reporting sales were up 23 percent compared to last year. The first round of government stimulus checks may have encouraged that spending.
The sales tax weekend runs thru midnight Sunday
HHSC To Allow Limited Visitation At Nursing Facilities And Long-Term Care Facilities
TEXAS (1080 KRLD)- The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Thursday announced limited visitation rules for nursing facilities and long-term care facilities. HHSC is also issuing enhanced emergency rules requiring additional actions by nursing facilities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“This is a rapidly evolving situation and we are constantly assessing what actions are necessary to keep residents and staff safe in these facilities,” said Phil Wilson, Executive Commissioner, Texas HHSC. “By following these procedures and rules, facilities can more effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help us achieve our shared goal of reuniting residents with their families and friends.”
The move was celebrated by the Texas Assisted Living Association (TALA). “We're glad Texas has taken a step. We're glad that the Governor and the agency has recognized what isolation brings,” said TALA President and CEO Diana Martinez. “It can be just as devastating as COVID.”
For the health and safety of facility residents and staff, public visitation is limited to outdoor visits only. Physical contact between residents and visitors is not permitted. Additional conditions a facility must meet to conduct limited outdoor visitation include:
• No confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in staff in the last 14 days.
• No active positive cases in residents.
• Any facility previously experiencing an outbreak that has fully recovered must be adequately staffed and following adequate infection control procedures.
• Facility staff are being tested for COVID-19 weekly.
Further guidance on limited nursing facility visitation rules, which include window visits and vehicle parades, will be posted on the HHSC COVID-19 provider web page.
Long-Term Care Facilities (except Nursing Facilities)
Limited indoor and outdoor visitation procedures are allowed. Physical contact between residents and visitors is not permitted. Additional conditions a facility must meet to conduct limited visitation include:
• No confirmed COVID-19 positive staff in last 14 days.
• No active positive cases in residents.
• Adequate staffing to facilitate visitation in compliance with infection control requirements.
• Use of plexiglass as a safety barrier for indoor visitation to prevent spread of COVID-19.
Further guidance on limited indoor and outdoor visitation rules will be posted on the HHSC COVID-19 provider web page.
Emergency Rule Enhancements
Enhanced emergency rules for nursing facilities include:
• Each facility must have a COVID-19 response plan that includes designated staff to work with cohorts of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, and staff should not change designation from one day to another, unless required to maintain adequate staffing for a cohort.
• All nursing facilities must screen all residents, staff, and people who come to the facility in accordance with specified criteria, and each resident must be screened at least three times a day for signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
• Each facility must have plans for obtaining and maintaining a two-week supply of personal protective equipment and resident recovery plans for continuing care when a resident recovers from COVID-19.
The full emergency rules will be posted on the HHSC COVID-19 provider web page.
The latest guidance for nursing facilities is posted here. Texas HHSC continues to investigate all long-term care facilities in the state that report one or more positive case of COVID-19, as well as coordinate closely with local, state, and federal health authorities.
For more information about how HHSC is helping Texans affected by COVID-19, visit the HHSC website.
COVID Testing Fraud Is The Latest Target Of The Texas Attorney General
TEXAS (1080 KRLD)- Attorney General Ken Paxton Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Clinica Hispana in La Porte, Texas, which he believes has both misrepresented the character of its COVID-19 testing as well as its failure to secure patients’ personal information. Clinica Hispana claims its tests can diagnose an active infection, but the type of tests used by the clinic are not approved for such a use.
“I will not allow anyone or any business to fraudulently represent COVID testing in our communities. Patients must be assured that the tests they take and results they receive are accurate and their personal information will be protected,” said Attorney General Paxton. “We look forward to litigation in this case and will continue working diligently to ensure Texans receive the testing and potentially life-saving treatment they need.”
An Office of the Attorney General investigation discovered that Clinica Hispana was giving people antibody tests and telling them that it would diagnose an infection, when such test cannot diagnose an active infection. In addition to conducting fraudulent tests, Clinica Hispana also threw away test results using an unsecured dumpster behind the clinic, which directly violates Texas identity theft laws.
Read a copy of the petition HERE.
Houston Could Take al Fresco Dining to a New Level
HOUSTON (1080 KRLD)- Due to the pandemic, it is safer to eat outdoors than inside a restaurant, and it's likely even safer to eat seated at an empty parking space than a crowded patio.
The Houston city council has voted unanimously to let that happen. Councilman Robert Gallegos says restaurants can now seat diners in the parking lots.
"This is just something we are doing to help the restaurants because not only in Houston, but all over the country restaurants are suffering."
Tables would have to be at least six feet apart. The restaurant could devote half of it's parking to dining. Gallegos says "This is not to encourage people to go out in public, but if people are going to restraurants they have another option where they can go outside, in an open space, and enjoy their meal."
City of Houston officials are also looking at closing part of restaurant rich Main street downtown to cars. The idea would be let customers dine on sidewalks while traffic lanes would be pedestrian only.
Dr. Pepper Donates Free Products to Nursing Home After Hearing Their Plea for Pen Pals
Nursing home residents in Texas asked for pen pals during the coronavirus pandemic.
Since they aren't allowed to have visitors, many seniors are asking to communicate with people the old-fashioned way.
A nursing home in Gatesville, Texas, just west of Waco, has come up with an innovative way to keep in touch.
The residents at Hillside Medical Lodge in Gatesville, TX went viral and caught the eyes of some major corporations. Miss Billie simply posted that her interests are family and Dr. Pepper.
Not long after the picture was added to Facebook, the Texas-born soft drink company delivered 16 cases of unsolicited product for Miss Billie and her friends.
In addition to the free soda and special-edition bottles, Miss Billie received her first pen pal letter. The picture that was posted, the woman looks very happy.
If you'd like to make a new friend, you can see the available pen pals here. Any correspondence can be sent to:
(Name of Resident)
c/o Hillside Medical Lodge
300 S. Hwy 36 Bypass
Gatesville, TX 76528
They are asking the public to send letters, notes, cards, etc. to their residents. Hillside Medical Lodge posted photos of 52 senior citizens along with their interests on their Facebook page. You can choose who you communicate with by reading about them.
Fort Hood Soldier Drowns; Fourth Soldier To Die Near The Army Post This Year
BELTON (1080 KRLD)- The Bell County Sheriff's Office is looking into the reported drowning of a soldier from Fort Hood.
Sunday, Specialist Francisco Hernadezvargas was on an inner tube being towed behind a boat on Stillhouse Hollow Lake -- the same lake where another Fort Hood soldier was found dead last month.
The Sheriff's office says Hernandezvargas went under and drowned.
This is the fourth death of a Fort Hood soldier since June.
Abbott Faces Backlash From Teachers After Saying Reopening Schools Isn’t His Decision
TEXAS (1080 KRLD)- Comments by Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday about reopening schools during the pandemic has angered Texas teachers. Both the Texas Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers and the Texas State Teachers Association quickly responded after comments made by Governor Abbott during a San Antonio press conference about who has the power to open Texas schools.
“This is not my decision and no one is having to place trust or non-trust in me,” said Abbott. “Very important, the decision is made by local school boards and superintendents.”
Ovidia Molina, The President of the Texas State Teachers Association released the following statement:
“The governor says he is not responsible for making decisions about reopening schools, and it is the local school board that is responsible. We couldn’t disagree more. The governor needs to stop passing the buck to local school boards on when to reopen and should mandate no district start in-person instruction before Sept. 8 and then only when it is safe to do so. The governor continues to ignore the fact that when schools do start, the Texas Education Agency will require districts to offer in-person instruction to students who request it, putting those students, school employees and families at risk. “
Zeph Capo, the President of the Texas Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) took aim on both Governor Abbott and his Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath. Capo accused the duo of abdicating responsibility of reopening in a pandemic to school districts while at the same time pressuring the districts to open. Capo said, “If the governor's office and the state didn't have any responsibility for it, then why are they threatening defunding school districts if they don't follow their edict?”
The AFT also posted a statement on their web site calling for Governor Abbott to do his job and get the virus under control. “The stakes are high, Gov. Abbott. We only have one chance to do this right. And you’re the one who has to make that happen.
If you don’t, governor — if you let districts barrel into immediate in-person instruction — here’s what will happen: Texans will die while they’re educating kids, and Texas educators and parents will lose all faith in your ability to keep us safe.
Right now, teachers, bus drivers and school employees are staring down the choice of protecting their own lives, along with those of their students and their families, OR keeping their livelihoods. You and your inaction have forced this issue, and the consequences will rest squarely on your shoulders.”
Texas Rangers Get Corey Kluber in Trade from Cleveland
Rangers send Delino DeShields and pitching prospect Emmanuel Clase to the Indians
NBC 5 is reporting Corey Kluber led by example and excellence in Cleveland. The Texas Rangers are hoping he can do the same for them.
The Indians traded the two-time Cy Young Award winner -- and their unquestioned ace -- over the past six seasons to the Rangers on Sunday, a blockbuster deal that could dramatically change both teams.
In exchange for the 33-year-old Kluber, Cleveland received outfielder Delino DeShields and pitching prospect Emmanuel Clase, a hard-throwing 21-year-old with huge potential.
The stoic and steady Kluber has been one of baseball's most dominant pitchers since 2014, when he went 18-9 and won his first Cy Young. He got his second in 2017, going 18-4 and leading the AL with a 2.25 ERA.