The second suspect in the brutal murder of 11-year-old Josue Flores just became the second suspect to walk out of jail after the Harris County District Attorney’s Office again conceded that it does not have enough evidence to continue prosecuting him for the murder.
Andre Jackson, a 28-year-old ex-Marine, was accused last June of stabbing Josue Flores to death while he walked home from a science party at Marshall Middle School in broad daylight on May 17. Now, however, DA’s office First Assistant Tom Berg said results from a DNA analysis came back, and those results “make it impossible for us to move forward with the case at this time.”
Reading from the Voice Media empire: William Scott Planer, who was accused online of violent activity and affiliating with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups late last year, has been arrested for allegedly placing an anti-Semitic sticker on the door of a synagogue. But he is currently being held on a $500,000 bond related to a felony charge in California, where he allegedly attacked a protester during a white supremacist rally last year. Westword has the story.
For decades of Texas summers, prisoners of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice have lived in heat they described as equivalent to “walking out to your car in the middle of the summertime,” to “getting into a hot box in the sun.” They have often slept on the concrete because it is cooler than their mattresses, and away from fans that blow hot air on them. They have sometimes struggled to write letters because their sweat drips over the paper as if it were raining. Twenty-three men have died in these conditions since 1998, including Larry McCollum, who, just days after being booked for writing a hot check, died of a heat stroke while convulsing atop his bed. His internal temperature was found to be 109 degrees.
These are all among the reasons that, on Wednesday, a federal judge in Houston ruled that such conditions violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment — that there is a “substantial risk of serious illness or death from the current conditions at the Pack Unit.”
Reading from the Voice Media empire: Five years ago yesterday, James Holmes killed twelve people and injured seventy others during a screen of The Dark Knight Rises at the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colorado. In the 24 hours afterward, we published twenty stories that, when viewed in retrospect, capture the terror and confusion unleashed by this horrific crime. Read them here. Westword has the story.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: Although Colorado has established the age at which you can legally consume alcohol at 21, state statutes include five exceptions that allow underage drinking that would otherwise be illegal. Moreover, none of the exceptions sets a minimum drinking age, though one of them comes close. Oh yeah: 44 other states allow some form of legal underage drinking. Westword has the story.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: Jamaal Edwards, who had previously been found guilty of second-degree murder for killing John Shoeboot in January 2015, has now confessed to culpability in the death of James Clyde Brown during the same incident. But his plea in the Brown case was to manslaughter, not murder, and the admission doesn’t add one day to his sentence for actions that he summed up to investigators by using the two-word phrase, “Shit happened.” Why not? Westword has the story.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: This year marks a decade since the still-unsolved murder of 420 Rally founder and groundbreaking marijuana activist Ken Gorman, and the mere mention of his name to friends and loved ones triggers both deep emotion over his loss and anger that his killer or killers have yet to be held responsible for their actions. Westword has the story.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: This week, police found approximately 31 pounds of marijuana in an open space area, not far from where three people were camping in violation of local ordinances. But none of them were hit with charges related to the pot, because officers couldn’t figure out to whom it belonged. Westword has the story.