police

3 officers shot serving warrant on man; suspect dead

HOUSTON

Three officers have been shot while serving a family violence warrant at a Houston-area home. The suspect was found dead in the house hours later.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that one deputy and two officers from the Texas Attorney General’s Office were wounded Tuesday afternoon. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says the injuries are not life-threatening and the officers were being treated at a Houston hospital.

Chief Deputy Edison Toquica (toh-KEE’-kuh) says tactical squad officers later found Daniel Trevino dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Toquica had said agents from the AG’s office and sheriff’s investigators were serving a warrant, at the threshold of a door, when the suspect began shooting. Officers returned fire.

Toquica says the warrant for Trevino involved violation of a protective order.

Punishment

Man who killed newlywed during robbery executed

HUNTSVILLE

A Texas inmate was executed Tuesday evening for fatally shooting a newlywed during a robbery more than 25 years ago.

Alvin Braziel Jr., 43, received lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the 1993 slaying of 27-year-old Douglas White, who was attacked as he and his wife walked on a jogging trail.

Asked by the warden if he had a final statement, Braziel thanks supporters and apologized to the victim’s wife, Lora White.

“I would like to apologize ... for her husband dying at my hands,” Braziel said from the death chamber gurney. He also said he loved the White family and a person he named but who was not present, then told the warden he was finished.

As the sedative pentobarbital began taking effect, he took a couple of breaths, gasped, then snored loudly three times. The fourth snore was noticeably less pronounced, and then all movement stopped.

Braziel was pronounced dead 7:19 p.m., nine minutes after the drug began.

Braziel became the 24th inmate put to death this year in the U.S. and the 13th executed in Texas, the nation’s busiest capital punishment state. He will be the last Texas inmate executed this year.

The execution was delayed about an hour after the six-hour window defined by the warrant began at 6 p.m. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected a last-minute appeal from Braziel’s attorneys.

A brother of Douglas White and two friends attended the execution but declined to speak afterward. Braziel selected no one to witness his death.

In 1993, as Douglas and Lora White walked along a community college jogging trail in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, Braziel jumped out from behind some bushes with a pistol in his hand and demanded money.

Courts

Insanity defense accepted in campus stabbing attack

AUSTIN

A judge has found a former University of Texas student not guilty by reason of insanity in a random stabbing attack that left one student dead and three injured last year.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that State District Judge Tamara Needles found Kendrex White not guilty by reason of insanity on Tuesday. That came after prosecutors said they agreed with an assessment from a doctor for the defense who said White was suffering from severe mental illness at the time of the attack and couldn’t discern right from wrong.

White was charged with murder in the attack in which student Harrison Brown was killed.

The judge will order him confined to a state hospital.

Ex-leader of nonprofit pleads guilty over 2013 trip

HOUSTON

The ex-operator of a Houston nonprofit has pleaded guilty to concealing that Azerbaijan paid for a 2013 visit by 10 U.S. lawmakers.

Kemal Oksuz was extradited from Armenia and pleaded guilty Monday in Washington, D.C., to devising to falsify, conceal and cover up material facts. He faces up to a year in prison in the plea deal.

Oksuz led the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians. An indictment was unsealed in September.

The House Ethics Committee in 2015 found no evidence of wrongdoing by members of Congress. Texans Ruben Hinojosa, Sheila Jackson Lee, Steve Stockman and Ted Poe traveled to Azerbaijan, along with Gregory Meeks and Yvette Clarke of New York, Danny Davis of Illinois, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma and Leonard Lance of New Jersey.

Charges

Ex-Houston minister accused of stealing $800K from church

HOUSTON

A former Houston minister has been accused of embezzling more than $800,000 from his church.

Jerrell Altic appeared in court Tuesday after surrendering to authorities.

A grand jury indicted the 40-year-old on Monday on a theft charge.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office alleges Altic took the money from Houston’s First Baptist Church during a six-year period that ended in November 2017.

James Alston, Altic’s attorney, told reporters his client is sorry and “feels horrible for what’s happened.”

Altic declined to comment as he was led away in handcuffs after his court appearance.

A judge set Altic’s bond at $50,000.

In a statement, First Baptist said Altic acted alone and used “difficult-to-detect techniques to carry out this theft.”

The church says its insurance paid for $500,000 of the lost funds.

— Associated Press

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