Christy SheatsScreenshot/Facebook

Christy Sheats

The graphic 911 calls detailing a Katy mother’s decision to kill her two daughters were released by police on Tuesday.

One was from 17-year-old Madison Sheats, who can be heard with her sister and father begging their mother, Christy Sheats, not to kill them. The other came from a neighbor across the street, who witnessed the fatal shootings after Christy chased her family out the door and killed her two daughters, Madison and 22-year-old Taylor Sheats, in the middle of the street. Their father, Jason, ran to the end of the cul-de-sac and was uninjured.

The first call from Madison is nearly inaudible, full of shrill screams, just after Christy pulled out the gun in a family meeting in the living room. Intermittently, voices can be heard begging, “Please don’t shoot us” and, “Please don’t point the gun at her,” and “Please forgive me—I’m sorry.” Toward the end, 45-year-old Jason pleads, “I promise you, whatever you want, I—” before another scream cuts him out.

For more, read the Houston Press’ full story about the tragedy.

This is not the weed whacker at issue.

Vincente Rodriguez thought he found a free weed whacker abandoned on the side of the road in northern Liberty County a couple weeks ago — though it couldn’t have been more expensive.

Early Sunday morning, Rodriguez was fatally shot over the weed wacker when its owner came hunting for it, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. Not long after midnight, police said a man came to Rodriguez’ door and strangely began telling Rodriguez’ wife he would like to buy their lawnmower — which was not for sale.

Just then, Rodriguez’s wife peeked over the man’s shoulder and saw their vehicle was in flames, she told investigators Sunday. Rodriguez came rushing out to extinguish it — which is when another man fatally shot him.

For more, read the Houston Press‘s full story about the incident.

Charges are expected to be filed today in the case of a young man allegedly murdered for insulting a woman at a late-night party in Glendale, a district attorney’s office spokeswoman says.

The victim was identified this week by Glendale police as 25-year-old Phillip Niles Jr., who had moved to Los Angeles recently from Daytona Beach, Florida, according to police.

He was fatally shot about 3:55 a.m. Saturday after walking two women to a car following a night of partying at a friend’s apartment in the 1700 block of North Verdugo Road, the Glendale Police Department reported in a statement.

Sheriff Scott IsraelPhoto via Broward Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Scott Israel

In May 2014,  Deerfield Beach resident Louis Hilaire, 25, was contacted by his ex-girlfriend out of the blue.
“I’ve been looking for you,” she allegedly said via Facebook message. She then called him on the phone, and the pair went out drinking the next night and, according to court documents, ended up having sex.

A few hours later, she revealed why she’d reached out to him: One of her friends, she said, worked as a housekeeper at the nearby Budgetel Inn in Pompano Beach, near the intersection of Atlantic Boulevard and the Coconut Creek Parkway. She went on: There was a safe in room 125 at the hotel, she said, which contained cash, jewelry, and a gun. And there was a housekeeper willing to give her and Hilaire a key to go steal the items inside, as long as the housekeeper got a cut of the loot. Hilaire, who had pleaded guilty in the past to charges of marijuana possession, attempted robbery, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, initially declined. But, according to court records, his ex pleaded with him to “please help her out,” and eventually, he agreed.

Turns out, the woman was acting as a confidential informant for the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Kevin Kulik, who represents Hilaire, says his client’s case had been part of a repeated, unconstitutional sting operation by BSO’s VIPER Unit. Kulik alleges the VIPER Unit is using “amorous” women to illegally entrap young, black offenders into committing crimes.

cryptsy“I’m Paul Vernon — Big Vern — of Cryptsy,” said the CEO, whose company was an online marketplace where users could trade their Bitcoins — a virtual form of money — for a growing number of digital imitators with names like Litecoin and Darkcoin.

Business was booming. In barely a year, Cryptsy had amassed 250,000 users trading millions of dollars, and Vernon was flying cross-country to speak at conferences from New York to San Francisco. His firm had outgrown its first office and moved its dozen or so employees into this Mediterranean-style building. Soon, Vernon himself would upgrade to a million-dollar Delray Beach mansion.

But there were hints that something wasn’t quite right at Cryptsy.

terry.maketa.selfie.gazette.800Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Maketa is being sued by former sheriff’s office employees, who accuse him of favoritism toward the three women in the department with whom he’d had affairs. He was also friendly with a deputy accused of abusing his wife — and in an attempt to get him out of trouble, he allegedly turned the law against her. Westword has the story.

palmettoexpresswayImage via Google Maps

The action in Carl Hiaasen’s Miami crime novel debut Tourist Season begins when a body is found floating down a river in a suitcase. That was very much fiction, but the idea of body parts being found stuffed into weird things in weird places remains very much a chilling reality in Miami.

Today, Miami Gardens police found two bags full of body parts that were hidden in the brush right off the embankment of the Palmetto Expressway. The discovery happened late in the morning. The location was near NW 12th Avenue.

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