Texas woman to admit to sending ricin to Obama
DALLAS (AP) - A Texas woman is expected to plead guilty to sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Shannon Guess Richardson has a federal court appearance scheduled Tuesday in Texarkana, Texas. She's expected to plead guilty under a deal that caps any prison sentence at 18 years.
Her attorney, Tonda Curry, said Richardson was ready to admit her role in sending toxic letters to Obama, Bloomberg and the head of Bloomberg's pro-gun control group.
Prosecutors say that before her arrest in June, Richardson tried to frame her now-estranged husband for mailing the letters containing ricin, a powdery substance that can cause respiratory failure if inhaled.
Richardson has had minor roles in the television series "The Walking Dead" and the movie "The Blind Side."
LEGIONNAIRES'-VETERANS MEDICAL CENTER
Legionnaires' bacteria found in Texas hospital
WACO, Texas (AP) - Officials say water sources at more than three buildings at a Central Texas veterans hospital have tested positive for legionella, a bacteria that can cause Legionnaires' disease.
The Waco Veterans Affairs Medical Center had all of its buildings tested after a patient tested positive for Legionnaires' disease in October.
Hospital spokeswoman Deborah Meyer tells the Waco Tribune-Herald (http://bit.ly/IZFfQp ) test results show at least three buildings have some level of legionella. Final test results have not come back on all buildings.
Meyer says the patient who had Legionnaires' disease has been successfully treated.
Officials will inject water in the affected buildings with higher levels of chlorine to get rid of the legionella.
Legionnaires' disease is a bacterial infection that can cause deadly pneumonia. It doesn't spread from person to person.
German firm to pay $32M to settle bribery charges
HOUSTON (AP) - A German engineering company has agreed to pay a $32 million fine as part of an agreement to settle charges it worked with a Texas company to bribe Nigerian officials in order to win a $387 million pipeline contract.
A U.S. Justice Department statement says Bilfinger SE conspired with Houston-based Willbros Group Inc. and others from late 2003 to 2005 to make more than $6 million in bribes to Nigerian officials.
Bilfinger was charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
In court documents filed Monday in Houston federal court, the Mannheim, Germany-based company entered into a deferred prosecution agreement. If the company meets certain conditions within three years, the charges will be dropped.
In May 2008, Willbros agreed to pay more than $22 million in fines.
Texas man headed to prison for stealing cologne
HOUSTON (AP) - A Houston man is headed to state prison after he was sentenced for repeatedly stealing cologne and body wash from local stores.
David Nathan Gathright was sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty on Monday in a Houston courtroom to receiving, possessing, and concealing stolen retail merchandise.
The Houston Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/19dwAnR ) that authorities say Gathright stole various cologne sets worth $420 and 24 bottles of body wash worth $179 from three Walgreens stores in October and November.
According to court records, Gathright fled each robbery in the same getaway vehicle that was waiting for him.
The 34-year-old Gathright also has forgery and controlled substance convictions on his criminal record.
DWI CASES REMOVED-BRIBE
Ex-South Texas officer accused in theft case
EDINBURG, Texas (AP) - A former South Texas police officer is being accused of taking money from people seeking to have DWI cases removed from their records.
The Monitor of McAllen reports (http://bit.ly/1iRiFdc ) that ex-Mission Police corporal Carlos Celadon has been charged with two counts of theft.
According to court records, authorities say Celadon received close to $5,000 from two men seeking to have their DWI charges removed from their criminal record. The records were never removed.
The Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office says its public integrity unit took part in the case and determined that court personnel were not involved in the scheme.
Jail records did not list an attorney for Celadon.
CANDIDATE FILING DEADLINE
Stockman challenges Cornyn in Texas US Senate race
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - In a last-minute surprise, U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman has filed paperwork to challenge fellow Republican and incumbent John Cornyn for U.S. Senate in Texas.
Cornyn is the Senate's majority whip and had appeared likely to escape a major challenge from the tea party or other far-right factions.
But Texas Republican Party spokesman Spencer Yeldell said Stockman came in shortly before Monday's evening's filing deadline, withdrew his House re-election bid and formally challenged Cornyn.
Stockman was elected to a new House district outside Houston last year, but still should be a decided underdog in the race.
Previously, he served one term in Congress starting in 1994 - and was perhaps best known for accusing the U.S. government of "executing" members of the Branch Davidian cult after the siege near Waco.
UNIVERSITY OFFICER-FATAL SHOOTING
Chief: Fatally shot Texas student charged officer
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Authorities say a San Antonio university student was charging toward an officer with his hand raised when he was fatally shot during a traffic stop.
Alamo Heights Police Department Chief Richard Pruitt said at a news conference Monday University of the Incarnate Word student Robert Redus and Captain Chris Carter had struggled after the officer had tried to handcuff him. Redus has been pulled over early Friday for speeding and driving erratically.
The San Antonio Express-News reports (http://bit.ly/1jFFVJ5 ) authorities say the 23-year-old student wrestled away Carter's baton and hit him with it before the officer got it back. Pruitt says when Carter told Redus to stop or he would shoot, Redus charged at the officer.
Two of Redus' friends say he was not aggressive.
Authorities continue investigating the shooting.
CANDIDATE FILING DEADLINE-MEYERS
GOP statewide judge files as Democrat for 2014
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Democrats say they finally hold a statewide office again in Texas - thanks to a Republican who's switching sides.
The Texas Democratic Party said Monday that Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Lawrence Meyers has filed as a Democratic candidate for the state Supreme Court in 2014, more than two decades after first being elected as a Republican.
Texas Democratic Party director Will Hailer says Meyers turned in his paperwork hours before the filing deadline for statewide candidates. Meyers didn't immediately return a phone message.
Party leaders say Meyers isn't stepping down from the state's highest criminal court to run, meaning Democrats will have at least one statewide officeholder through next year.
A Democrat still hasn't won a statewide office in Texas since 1994.
2 charged in shooting of San Antonio officer
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Authorities say two individuals have been charged in connection with the shooting of a San Antonio police officer during a chase after an armed robbery.
Twenty-eight-year-old Jenevieve Ramos and 32-year-old Shawn Ruiz Puente each face a charge of aggravated assault of a public servant.
The pair is accused of shooting San Antonio police officer Robert Deckard during a high-speed car chase early Sunday.
Authorities said Monday the 31-year-old officer remains hospitalized in critical condition.
The chase began after a convenience store robbery. The two suspects took off and officers gave chase, eventually exchanging gunfire in a chase over three counties.
Deckard crashed after he was hit with a bullet that went through his car's windshield.
The two suspects were arrested and are being held in neighboring Wilson County.
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