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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas

Texas man arrested for threatening San Antonio mayor 14 times in 2 days on Facebook

A Texas man was arrested Friday on charges that he sent more than a dozen threatening messages to San Antonio’s mayor over two days, leading the mayor’s staff to believe the man could be “the next mass shooter,” according to a warrant affidavit.

Adam Thomas Converse, 25, is facing charges of making a terroristic threat to a public servant and resisting arrest, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

Westlake Legal Group San-Antonio Texas man arrested for threatening San Antonio mayor 14 times in 2 days on Facebook fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 9c8c5523-da2e-5c4b-b482-add5f5cee89e

Police say Adam Thomas Converse resisted arrest when officers tried to detain him earlier this month. (Bexar County Central Records)

According to a warrant affidavit cited by the paper, Converse sent at least 14 threatening messages to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg through Facebook Messenger on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5.

“It would be nicer to leave you all dead with no hope of life after death … I want to see people dead,” one of the messages reportedly said.

“People will lose hands, arms, feet, and heads. Don’t even try me,” read another, according to the affidavit.

NEW JERSEY MAN ALLEGEDLY THREATENED FARMERS WHO DENIED HIM SEX WITH ANIMALS

Nirenberg’s communications director reported the messages to police, saying that “his office feared (Converse) could be the next mass shooter based on his comments.”

Officers from San Antonio’s Mental Health Unit went to Converse’s residence on Oct. 5 and saw him walk out with a machete on his belt loop, the Express-News reported.

The affidavit said Converse told officers “he was a contract assassin with the government and if he had a license to kill, he would kill people.”

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Police said Converse resisted arrest when officers tried to detain him. He was taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation and later arrested.

Nirenberg’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Westlake Legal Group San-Antonio Texas man arrested for threatening San Antonio mayor 14 times in 2 days on Facebook fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 9c8c5523-da2e-5c4b-b482-add5f5cee89e   Westlake Legal Group San-Antonio Texas man arrested for threatening San Antonio mayor 14 times in 2 days on Facebook fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 9c8c5523-da2e-5c4b-b482-add5f5cee89e

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Texas police officer fatally shoots woman in her home after welfare check

Westlake Legal Group fort-worth-police-car-fb Texas police officer fatally shoots woman in her home after welfare check Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 1199b009-680e-5c3e-bba4-9687cb9051b5

A black Texas woman was shot and killed by a white Fort Worth police officer who was called to the woman’s home for a welfare check, authorities said.

In a statement, the department said it received a call at 2:25 a.m. reporting an open front door at a residence. Responding officers searched the perimeter of the house and saw a person standing inside near the window, according to police.

“Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot, striking the person inside the residence,” the department stated. In body camera video released by police, two officers search the home from the outside with flashlights before one shouts, “Put your hands up, show me your hands.” One shot is then fired through a window.

Officers entered the house and located an individual and a firearm, and began performing emergency medical care.

Fox 4 Dallas-Fort Worth identified the woman as 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson. She succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. There were no other injuries.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation, according to police. He has been with the Fort Worth Police Department since April 2018.

TEXAS MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING SIX MEMBERS OF EX-WIFE’S FAMILY

The department released bodycam footage of the incident “to provide transparent and relevant information to the public as we are allowed within the confines of the” investigation, it stated. Any video taken inside the house could not be distributed due to state law.

The neighbor who called 911 about the open front door told Fox 4 the police officers didn’t announce who they were or knock on the door before searching the outside of the house.

“When I made that non-emergency call, I didn’t say it was a burglary. I didn’t say it was people fighting. I didn’t say anything to make them have a gun. All they needed to do is ring the doorbell,” James Smith said.

“They didn’t park up front, they parked on the side. They sent SRT, which is the special response team. They didn’t have a plainclothes officer to knock on that door,” Pastor Kyev Tatum told Fox 4.

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The incident comes less than two weeks after a white former Dallas police officer was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing her black neighbor inside his own apartment. Amber Guyger said during her trial that mistook Botham Jean’s apartment for her own, which was one floor below Jean’s.

Guyger, 31, was convicted of murder for Jean’s September 2018 death.

Click for more from Fox4News.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group fort-worth-police-car-fb Texas police officer fatally shoots woman in her home after welfare check Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 1199b009-680e-5c3e-bba4-9687cb9051b5   Westlake Legal Group fort-worth-police-car-fb Texas police officer fatally shoots woman in her home after welfare check Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 1199b009-680e-5c3e-bba4-9687cb9051b5

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White Texas police officer fatally shoots black woman in her home after welfare call

Westlake Legal Group fort-worth-police-car-fb White Texas police officer fatally shoots black woman in her home after welfare call Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 1199b009-680e-5c3e-bba4-9687cb9051b5

A black Texas woman was shot and killed by a white Fort Worth police officer who was called to the woman’s home for a welfare check, authorities said.

In a statement, the department said it received a call at 2:25 a.m. reporting an open front door at a residence. Responding officers searched the perimeter of the house and saw a person standing inside near the window, according to police.

“Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot, striking the person inside the residence,” the department stated. In body camera video released by police, two officers search the home from the outside with flashlights before one shouts, “Put your hands up, show me your hands.” One shot is then fired through a window.

Officers entered the house and located an individual and a firearm, and began performing emergency medical care.

Fox 4 Dallas-Fort Worth identified the woman as 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson. She succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. There were no other injuries.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation, according to police. He has been with the Fort Worth Police Department since April 2018.

TEXAS MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING SIX MEMBERS OF EX-WIFE’S FAMILY

The department released bodycam footage of the incident “to provide transparent and relevant information to the public as we are allowed within the confines of the” investigation, it stated. Any video taken inside the house could not be distributed due to state law.

The neighbor who called 911 about the open front door told Fox 4 the police officers didn’t announce who they were or knock on the door before searching the outside of the house.

“When I made that non-emergency call, I didn’t say it was a burglary. I didn’t say it was people fighting. I didn’t say anything to make them have a gun. All they needed to do is ring the doorbell,” James Smith said.

“They didn’t park up front, they parked on the side. They sent SRT, which is the special response team. They didn’t have a plainclothes officer to knock on that door,” Pastor Kyev Tatum told Fox 4.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The incident comes less than two weeks after a white former Dallas police officer was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing her black neighbor inside his own apartment. Amber Guyger said during her trial that mistook Botham Jean’s apartment for her own, which was one floor below Jean’s.

Guyger, 31, was convicted of murder for Jean’s September 2018 death.

Click for more from Fox4News.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group fort-worth-police-car-fb White Texas police officer fatally shoots black woman in her home after welfare call Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 1199b009-680e-5c3e-bba4-9687cb9051b5   Westlake Legal Group fort-worth-police-car-fb White Texas police officer fatally shoots black woman in her home after welfare call Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 1199b009-680e-5c3e-bba4-9687cb9051b5

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Third suspect in murder of Joshua Brown, witness in Amber Guyger trial, sought in Louisiana; 2 arrested

Two of the three men wanted in connection to the killing of Joshua Brown, a key witness who testified in the high-profile murder trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, have been arrested while a third, Thaddeous Green, remained on the lam Wednesday morning.

The second suspect, Michael Mitchell, 32, was arrested by federal deputy marshals Tuesday night in Marksville, Louisiana, while Mitchell’s nephew, 20-year-old Jacquerious Mitchell, is in critical condition in a Dallas-area hospital with a gunshot wound.

Authorities believe the three men traveled from Alexandrian, Louisiana, to buy drugs from Brown, 28, in the parking lot of a Dallas apartment complex.

DALLAS POLICE NAME 3 SUSPECTS IN KILLING OF JOSHUA BROWN, WITNESS IN AMBER GUYGER MURDER TRIAL; 1 ARRESTED

Jecquerious Mitchell told the police that Brown shot him in the chest after an argument during the drug deal. Dallas Police Assistant Chief Avery Moore said that during the deal Green shot Brown twice.

Green left with Brown’s backpack and gun. Investigators also seized 12 pounds of marijuana, 149 grams of THC cartridges and more than $4,000 in cash during a search of Brown’s home. It was unclear how the three men came into contact with Brown or why they would have driven more than 300 miles from central Louisiana to purchase pot in Texas.

While there had been widespread speculation that Brown’s death had something to do with Guyger’s trial, Moore on Tuesday afternoon cautioned against it.

Westlake Legal Group green-mitchell Third suspect in murder of Joshua Brown, witness in Amber Guyger trial, sought in Louisiana; 2 arrested fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox news fnc/us fnc Barnini Chakraborty article 980c90f9-cb94-56b6-84da-92f16f9113fe

Even though an attorney representing Brown’s family previously said Brown had reservations about testifying in the high-profile Guyger trial, Moore said Brown’s killing had nothing to do with the case.

Brown, who lived in the same apartment building, testified about what he heard the night Botham Jean was murdered. Lee Merritt, an attorney representing Brown’s family, said Brown’s mother told him about her son’s reservations about his visibility in the Guyger trial. In November, Brown was wounded in the foot in a shooting that left a 25-year-old man dead outside a Dallas nightclub, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“He was concerned that the people who shot him there still wanted to do him additional harm,” said Merritt, who also represented Botham Jean’s family.

TEXAS JUDGE DEFENDS HUG, HANDING BIBLE TO AMBER GUYGER AS SHOW OF ‘LOVE AND COMPASSION’

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and other officials had asked the public to refrain from speculating about the killing of Brown while police investigated. Meanwhile, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. requested an independent investigation into Brown’s slaying, calling it “deeply alarming and highly suspicious” in a news release.

Dallas police had no comment on calls for an independent investigation.

Guyger testified that in September 2018, after working a long shift, she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own and thought he was a burglar. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison for murder.

At the time of Jean’s shooting, Brown lived in the same apartment building as Guyger and Jean. Brown was killed at a different complex, investigators said.

Brown testified that on the night of Jean’s killing, he was in a hallway on the fourth floor, where he and Jean lived, and that he heard what sounded like “two people meeting by surprise” and then two gunshots.

At times during his testimony, Brown became emotional and used his T-shirt and tissues to wipe away tears. He said he had met Jean, a 26-year-old accountant from the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia, for the first time earlier that day.

Judge Tammy Kemp, who presided over Guyger’s trial, said Monday she was “saddened” and “stunned” to hear about Brown’s death, adding that “he seemed to be a very compassionate young man and I hate that his life has ended so soon.”

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Brown, a Jacksonville, Fla., native, graduated from South Florida State College. Following college, he managed Airbnb units in California and Georgia and worked to get a similar business off the ground in Dallas. He had three children – a 6-year-old and two toddlers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group JoshuaBrown720 Third suspect in murder of Joshua Brown, witness in Amber Guyger trial, sought in Louisiana; 2 arrested fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox news fnc/us fnc Barnini Chakraborty article 980c90f9-cb94-56b6-84da-92f16f9113fe   Westlake Legal Group JoshuaBrown720 Third suspect in murder of Joshua Brown, witness in Amber Guyger trial, sought in Louisiana; 2 arrested fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox news fnc/us fnc Barnini Chakraborty article 980c90f9-cb94-56b6-84da-92f16f9113fe

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Robbery suspect beat Texas officer with his baton before being fatally shot

suspected robber was shot and killed at a Texas motel early Tuesday after grabbing a police officer’s baton and beating him with it, authorities said.

Crederick Joseph, 37, of Opelousas, La., was shot dead just after midnight at the Merit Inn and Suites in Beaumont, located 90 miles east of Houston.

Officers were dispatched to the motel after receiving reports of a trespasser, according to a Beaumont Police Department statement.

While en route, officers were told the suspect assaulted a clerk and was attempting to rob the motel.

Westlake Legal Group Motel Robbery suspect beat Texas officer with his baton before being fatally shot Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 003dbd22-d011-5654-95cb-4da7c2325abf

A Texas police officer was assaulted by a robbery suspect before shooting him dead at a motel early Tuesday, authorities said. (Google Maps)

The first officer to arrive took Joseph into custody. However, he was able to grab the officer’s baton while he was being handcuffed and began to hit him with it, authorities told KBMT-TV.

The officer, who suffered deep cuts to his face, shot Joseph, Beaumont Police Chief Jimmy Singletary said. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. It’s not clear how many shots were fired or where Joseph was hit.

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The clerk suffered minor injuries. The officer, who has been with the department for 17 months, was placed on administrative while the shooting is being investigated.

Local media outlets reported that Joseph had a long criminal history, including evading arrest.

Westlake Legal Group Motel Robbery suspect beat Texas officer with his baton before being fatally shot Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 003dbd22-d011-5654-95cb-4da7c2325abf   Westlake Legal Group Motel Robbery suspect beat Texas officer with his baton before being fatally shot Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 003dbd22-d011-5654-95cb-4da7c2325abf

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Security officer shoots, kills suspected burglar at Dallas Apple store, police say

A security guard fatally shot an armed burglar inside a Dallas Apple store Tuesday morning, according to police.

The shooting took place around 2:30 a.m., police said in a press release. At that time, the store was open because of overnight construction, Fox 4 reported.

Westlake Legal Group North-Dallas-Apple-Shooting-KDFW-3 Security officer shoots, kills suspected burglar at Dallas Apple store, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 888ad3b2-0a16-5beb-a0d1-bee9d90c5617

A suspected burglar was shot and killed by a security guard in an Apple store early Tuesday, according to police.  (Fox 4 KDFW)

A police spokesman said the store’s back door was open so construction workers could go in and out. The suspect, clad in body armor and armed with an assault rifle, entered the rear of the building “in an attempt to commit a robbery,” Sgt. Warren Mitchell said.

The burglar then allegedly tried to disarm a security guard who was sitting by the door. The security guard pulled out his weapon and fired “multiple shots at the suspect,” Mitchell said.

The burglar fled the store but collapsed in an alley. He was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

TEXAS MAN FATALLY SHOT BURGLAR AND WENT BACK TO BED BEFORE CALLING 911: POLICE

“The loss of life is a tragedy and we are grateful that no one else was involved. Apple cares deeply about the safety of our customers and employees and we are committed to providing a secure environment for all who enter our stores,” the company said in a statement.

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The case is being investigated by the Dallas Police Department’s Special Investigations United because the security guard is a retired Dallas cop.

Westlake Legal Group North-Dallas-Apple-Shooting-KDFW-2 Security officer shoots, kills suspected burglar at Dallas Apple store, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 888ad3b2-0a16-5beb-a0d1-bee9d90c5617   Westlake Legal Group North-Dallas-Apple-Shooting-KDFW-2 Security officer shoots, kills suspected burglar at Dallas Apple store, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 888ad3b2-0a16-5beb-a0d1-bee9d90c5617

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Key witness in Amber Guyger murder trial shot and killed days after guilty verdict

A key witness in the murder trial of Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was shot and killed at an apartment complex late Friday, according to an attorney representing the family of the man Guyger shot.

“Joshua Brown, the next-door neighbor of [Botham Jean], was killed last night after being shot several times by an unknown assailant,” S. Lee Merritt posted to social media on Saturday.

According to The Dallas Morning News, the 28-year-old Brown was found with multiple gunshot wounds at the complex near the city’s Medical District at around 10:30 p.m. He was pronounced dead at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

The paper reported that witnesses told police they heard several gunshots and saw a silver four-door sedan speeding out of the complex parking lot.

“An ADA [assistant district attorney] has confirmed that it was, in fact, Brown who was killed, although they have yet to identify a suspect or motive for the shooting,” Merritt said. “The case is now in the hands of the Dallas Police Department.”

Brown lived across the hall from Jean at the South Side Flats apartments and testified in court about the night Jean was killed.

“Brown’s testimony stood out as a fact witness who was approaching his apartment directly across from Botham Jean’s apartment when shots rang out,” Merritt said. “Brown was still visibly shaken up from the incident when he took the stand to testify on behalf of the prosecution. His murder underscores the reality of the black experience in America.”

Merritt said Brown was a former athlete turned entrepreneur, and he “lived in constant fear that he could be the next victim of gun violence, either state-sanctioned or otherwise.”

AMBER GUYGER SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN SHOOTING THAT KILLED BOTHAM JEAN IN DALLAS; VICTIM’S BROTHER HUGS HER IN COURT

“We have more work to do deal with the constant threats to our community both from within and without. Brown deserves the same justice he sought to ensure the Jean family,” the lawyer said. “The Dallas County criminal justice system must [be] mobilized to identify his killer and see that he is held accountable for this murder.”

Dallas County prosecutor Jason Hermus, who headed up the prosecution of Guyger, told The Morning News that Brown “bravely came forward to testify when others wouldn’t.

“If we had more people like him, we would have a better world.”

Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday for killing Jean on the night of Sept. 6, 2018. The four-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department was fired and charged with manslaughter after she entered Jean’s apartment, believing it to be her own, and shooting him twice in the belief he was a burglar.

Westlake Legal Group JoshuaBrown720 Key witness in Amber Guyger murder trial shot and killed days after guilty verdict Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc fca6bfaf-e685-5f28-8258-89b8a33c7285 article

Joshua Brown testifies in the murder trial of Amber Guyger on Sept. 24. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)

Guyger was still in uniform at the time but was off-duty, having just finished a 13-hour shift

She allegedly parked on the fourth floor of the apartment complex by accident, even though she lived on the third floor.

According to the police arrest warrant affidavit that recounted Guyger’s recollection of events, she entered Jean’s apartment through the partially ajar front door and drew her gun when she saw “a large silhouette” in what she believed was her apartment. Jean ignored Guyger’s verbal commands and she shot him.

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The case drew national attention and outrage, highlighting racial tensions between the black community and law enforcement and causing many to question the use of deadly force by white officers against black people.

Guyger’s sentence also sparked anger over what many considered to be a light sentence.

“That 10 years in prison is 10 years for her reflection and for her to change her life, but there is much more to be done by the city of Dallas,” Jean’s mother, Allison, said. “The corruption that we saw during this process must stop and it must stop for you. After now, I leave Dallas but you live in Dallas, and it must stop for everyone.”

Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group JoshuaBrown720 Key witness in Amber Guyger murder trial shot and killed days after guilty verdict Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc fca6bfaf-e685-5f28-8258-89b8a33c7285 article   Westlake Legal Group JoshuaBrown720 Key witness in Amber Guyger murder trial shot and killed days after guilty verdict Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc fca6bfaf-e685-5f28-8258-89b8a33c7285 article

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Texas man claims ‘voodoo’ made him steal $400 in stuff from Walmart, police say

A Texas man is blaming his shoplifting antics on “voodoo” after he was caught smuggling items out of a local Walmart in Texas on Thursday, according to Lufkin Police.

Joshua Allen Renfroe, 29, was arrested and booked into the Angelina County Jail on Class B misdemeanor theft charges between $100 to $750.

EXECUTION OF ‘TEXAS 7’ MEMBER HALTED AMID CLAIMS TRIAL JUDGE WAS ANTI-SEMITIC

Westlake Legal Group Joshua-Renfroe-Angelina-County-Jail Texas man claims 'voodoo' made him steal $400 in stuff from Walmart, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc fd0063a9-b900-5058-9229-a32d909b2147 David Aaro article

Joshua Allen Renfroe, 29, was arrested and booked into the Angelina County Jail on Class B misdemeanor theft charges between $100 to $750. He told police the “voodoo” made him steal the items. (Angelina County Jail)

According to the media report, Renfroe allegedly entered the Walmart store at 2500 Daniel McCall Drive at 4:36 p.m. on Thursday where he was caught attempting to smuggle the items in a plastic tote without paying.

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He told arresting police officers that “voodoo” made him steal nearly $400 worth of merchandise out of the store.

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The report said he also told police “voodoo” told him not to brush his teeth that same morning.

He was released from jail later on Thursday after posting a $1,500 bond, according to KTRE 9.

Westlake Legal Group Joshua-Renfroe-Angelina-County-Jail Texas man claims 'voodoo' made him steal $400 in stuff from Walmart, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc fd0063a9-b900-5058-9229-a32d909b2147 David Aaro article   Westlake Legal Group Joshua-Renfroe-Angelina-County-Jail Texas man claims 'voodoo' made him steal $400 in stuff from Walmart, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc fd0063a9-b900-5058-9229-a32d909b2147 David Aaro article

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Execution of ‘Texas 7’ member halted amid claims judge is anti-Semite

A Texas appeals court halted the execution of a Jewish death row inmate Friday after he claimed the judge at his trial was anti-Semitic.

Randy Halprin, who was part of the “Texas 7” group of prisoners who escaped from a South Texas prison and convicted in the 2000 murder of a police officer, was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection this coming Thursday. His attorneys argued that former Dallas County Judge Vickers Cunningham had used racial slurs to describe him after the trial.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals sent the case back to Dallas County for review of the claims, The Texas Tribune reported.

“A fair trial requires an impartial judge – and Mr. Halprin did not have a fair and neutral judge when his life was at stake,” one of Halprin’s attorneys, Tivon Schardl, said in a statement after the ruling.

Westlake Legal Group AP19277752882622 Execution of 'Texas 7' member halted amid claims judge is anti-Semite Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/us fnc d948ea9f-ffb1-5b31-b281-9acf983f1d5d article

In this Dec. 3, 2003, photo, death row inmate Randy Halprin, then 26, sits in a visitation cell at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas. (AP Photo/Brett Coomer, File)

Halprin’s lawyers claimed Cunningham made various racist comments, including that people of color would “go down” in his courtroom and that Jews “needed to be shut down.” They attributed the comments to first-hand accounts, according to a court filing reported by The Texas Tribune.

The Dallas Morning News reported in 2018 that Cunningham admitted to adding stipulations in his will that his children could only receive an inheritance by marrying a straight, white Christian. He has denied the claims.

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Halprin, 42, was sentenced to death in 2003 for the murder of Irving police Officer Aubrey Hawkins on Dec. 24, 2000. The seven prisoners had escaped from prison more than a week earlier and committed numerous robberies while on the run.

They were allegedly robbing a sporting goods store when the 31-year-old officer arrived. Halprin was captured a month later.

Four of the “Texas 7” have been executed. Aside from Halprin, Patrick Murphy is the only other member alive. His execution was halted in March because the state wouldn’t allow a Buddhist spiritual adviser in the execution chamber with him.

Westlake Legal Group AP19277752882622 Execution of 'Texas 7' member halted amid claims judge is anti-Semite Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/us fnc d948ea9f-ffb1-5b31-b281-9acf983f1d5d article   Westlake Legal Group AP19277752882622 Execution of 'Texas 7' member halted amid claims judge is anti-Semite Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox news fnc/us fnc d948ea9f-ffb1-5b31-b281-9acf983f1d5d article

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Texas judge’s gift of Bible to Amber Guyger draws complaint from atheist group

An atheist group that has counted Ron Reagan Jr. among its members says it was inappropriate for a judge to give a Bible to Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who convicted this week of murdering a neighbor last year.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) – the atheist group for which the 61-year-old son of former President Ronald Reagan has appeared in television ads – filed a formal complaint Thursday with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, FOX 4 of Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

The Wisconsin-based group objected to Judge Tammy Kemp giving one of her Bibles to Guyger after the former officer was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday for the shooting death of Botham Jean, a 26-year-old accountant.

TENNESSEE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS DEFEND PRAYER BEFORE FOOTBALL GAMES AFTER ATHEIST GROUP COMPLAINS

“You just need a tiny mustard seed of faith,” Kemp said to a tearful Guyger, handing the Bible to her before the convicted former officer left the courtroom. “You start with this.”

Kemp also hugged Guyger – as did a brother of the murder victim, in actions that some observers said showed compassion for the newly convicted defendant.

Westlake Legal Group AP19276009856037 Texas judge’s gift of Bible to Amber Guyger draws complaint from atheist group fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion fox-news/special/sponsored/reagan fox-news/politics/judiciary fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio caed646d-67f1-5662-9ab5-6b7ee1e273da article

State District Judge Tammy Kemp gives former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger a hug before Guyger leaves for jail, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in Dallas. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool)

But in a letter Thursday to the Texas commission, the atheist group objected to what it termed the judge’s “proselytizing actions,” saying they “overstepped judicial authority,” and were “inappropriate” and “unconstitutional.”

“It is perfectly acceptable for private citizens to express their religious beliefs in court,” the letter states later, “but the rules are different for those acting in a governmental role.”

In a separate Twitter message, FFRF attorney Andrew L. Seidel further explained the group’s position.

“We need more compassion in our criminal justice system,” Seidel wrote, “but here, compassion crossed the line into coercion. Judges cannot impose their personal religion on others.”

“We need more compassion in our criminal justice system, but here, compassion crossed the line into coercion. Judges cannot impose their personal religion on others.”

— Andrew L. Seidel, attorney, Freedom from Religion Foundation

Seidel is the author of “The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American.”

Neither the group nor Seidel appeared to demand punishment for the judge. Their messages seemed aimed only at drawing attention to a “possible violation” of rules of judicial conduct.

However, another group – the Texas-based First Liberty Institute, which supports religious freedom – came to the judge’s defense.

“We should all be thankful the law allows Judge Kemp’s actions,” said Hiram Sasser, legal counsel for the First Liberty Institute. “We stand with her and will gladly lead the charge in defending her noble and legal actions.”

“We should all be thankful the law allows Judge Kemp’s actions. We stand with her and will gladly lead the charge in defending her noble and legal actions.”

— Hiram Sasser, legal counsel for the First Liberty Institute

Guyger claimed she mistakenly entered Jean’s apartment, one floor above hers, thinking it was her own home, and shot Jean because she believed he was an intruder in her apartment.

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But on Tuesday, a jury decided that Guyger, 31, was guilty of murder. Guyger had been a member of the Dallas force for nearly five years.

Also on Thursday, the atheist group posted a Twitter message objecting to Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s support of “Bring Your Bible to School Day,” saying the Republican governor’s stand was “narrow-minded and totally inappropriate.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6090996769001_6090997682001-vs Texas judge’s gift of Bible to Amber Guyger draws complaint from atheist group fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion fox-news/special/sponsored/reagan fox-news/politics/judiciary fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio caed646d-67f1-5662-9ab5-6b7ee1e273da article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6090996769001_6090997682001-vs Texas judge’s gift of Bible to Amber Guyger draws complaint from atheist group fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion fox-news/special/sponsored/reagan fox-news/politics/judiciary fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio caed646d-67f1-5662-9ab5-6b7ee1e273da article

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