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.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: Sheriff Terry Maketa has been found not guilty on three counts related to a 2016 indictment that he’d abused his power while in office. However, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on four other counts, and prosecutors are leaving their options open when it comes to retrying him for these alleged offenses. And that’s not to mention a lawsuit filed by employees against him and onetime Undersheriff and romantic partner Paula Presley, who’s scheduled for trial later this year. That document, accuses the pair of practicing sexual favoritism and running a smear campaign against the plaintiffs. Westword has the story.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: Roman Morales originally claimed to have been insane when he fatally strangled his two-year-old cousin in 2015. But the jury hearing the case ultimately found Morales guilty of first-degree murder under the theory that his bizarre behavior, including claims that he’d somehow been ordered to kill the child, was actually a symptom of psychosis spurred by meth use. Westword has the story.
In what surely qualifies as an express lane to hell, a man shot and killed a Houston firefighter’s dog in the Heights early Wednesday morning.
Dennis Nielsen told the Houston Press that a neighbor only got a brief glimpse of the man he believes was the shooter, who wore black clothes and possibly carried a pistol, at the corner of Tabor and West Patton streets. Nielsen said the neighbor couldn’t tell the shooter’s race or any other identifying characteristics. The shooting took place between 2:30 and 3 a.m.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Sienna Johnson has pleaded guilty to two charges, one juvenile and one adult, in relation to an alleged Columbine-style plot against her high school circa December 2015. Her sentence is similar to, but slightly longer than, the one meted out against Brooke Higgins, her alleged co-conspirator. Here’s why. Westword has the story.