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midlothian_videograbAt 5 a.m., Camp Gladiator exercise students arrive at the church and discover Bevers’ body. There are multiple puncture wounds to her head and chest. A justice of the peace declares her dead shortly after police arrive. Midlothian police have not disclosed where the killer encountered Bevers inside the church but have told media that nothing has been reported taken from the church.

screen_shot_2016-11-28_at_4-20-40_pmScreenshot/YouTube/HoustonMediaSource

After defeating Sheriff Ron Hickman in the election this month, Sheriff-elect Ed Gonzalez is already sticking his nose in Hickman’s official business — mainly, the lawsuit filed against him.

Hickman, along with the county, all the county judges and five bail hearing officers, has been sued for participating in what a national civil rights group calls an unconstitutional bail system. The group that sued on behalf misdemeanor defendants, Civil Rights Corps, argue that poor people in Harris County are being systematically jailed before trial just because they cannot afford to pay an arbitrary bail amount, unlike wealthier people charged with the same crime.

Turns out Hickman’s successor agrees.

11603_riderwoodScreenshot/Google Maps

A Houston police officer shot his neighbor during a dispute over a dog Thursday evening, Houston police said Friday.

According to police, off-duty Officer Jason Loosmore knocked on his 21-year-old neighbor’s door around 6:20 p.m., on Riderwood Drive in Westside, hoping to ask the man for medical and shot records for his German shepherd, which Loosmore told police attacked his own Pug mix that evening. Then things got weird.

7606416730_26cb8b5536_z-1Victor/Flickr

After embarking on a year-long review of Harris County’s pretrial system for poor people, the Texas Indigent Defense Commission released its findings and recommendations Tuesday — and it appears judges have their work cut out when it comes to reform.

According to the commission’s analysis, judges appear to be rather arbitrarily deciding whether someone is indigent based solely on whether they paid bail or not, a practice prohibited under the Fair Defense Act. Bail for defendants appears to be set based solely on what the convenient bail schedule mandates, with deviations from the schedule being rare — a practice for which Harris County has been sued. And court-appointed attorneys appear to be taking on two to four times as many cases than the maximum caseload recommended by the commission, potentially affecting the quality of representation for hundreds of poor clients.

fullsizerender-13Dianna Wray

For years Quanell X, a Houston civil rights activist, has appeared before banks of cameras and lights, addressing crowds with his sonorous voice about a crime or a miscarriage of justice that he was working to prevent.

But last week in Beaumont a small cluster of people gathered outside the new section of the Jefferson County Courthouse and Quanell was nowhere to be seen. People who say they hired him for his ability to draw attention to a case, to shape a narrative in the media, told reporters — who, along with photographers, outnumbered about a dozen people who’d come there to speak — they felt they’d been ripped off by Quanell, who, they say, made promises he never delivered on.

Jacqueline VandagriffFacebook

Jacqueline Vandagriff

It seemed like the kind of innocent meeting that happens nightly in a town where two public universities bring thousands of young people together each semester. She couldn’t have known that he’d been stalking a 18-year-old former girlfriend who attended the University of North Texas, that he’d been sending Facebook friend requests to other young women whom he didn’t know or that a protective order had been recently filed against him in Denton County.

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