For years, Luminant's Big Brown coal-fired plant has been described as one of the worst air polluters in the state, sitting at or near the top of the EPA's list of plants spewing nitrogen oxide, which can cause respiratory illnesses. So, it would seem a ripe target for a Clean Air Act lawsuit filed ... More >>
When a few Dallas cops arrested a woman hanging out in the 4300 block of Colonial Avenue last year, it seemed obvious they weren't catching a criminal who had a ton of money. Officers Charles Moreland and Clayton Edwards were working undercover on March 28 when they came across Amber Buford. Morel ... More >>
The 16-year-old girl who accused a former Highland Park baseball star of rape is now countersuing him in civil court. In March, after a grand jury declined to indict Ryan Romo on rape charges, the Romo family sued his accuser and her family, claiming, among other things, defamation and negligent ... More >>
I'm scared. One, I'm scared because of what's going on in Kaufman County. Two, I'm even more scared because of what's going on here, which seems to be one big stupid-fest. You will remember, perhaps, that Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins brought criminal charges last year against Al H ... More >>
Nearly a year and a half since the U.S. Supreme Court tossed a class action lawsuit filed by some 1.5 million female Wal-Mart employees who say they hit a corporate glass ceiling, the plaintiffs hit a brick wall in Texas. Because the court ruled the women of Wal-Mart could not sue as a class, a num ... More >>
Strip clubs are the brave new frontier in employment lawsuits. Women who were for years treated as "independent contractors" are filing suit in droves against their current or former employers. All of them want basically the same thing: the minimum wage and overtime money they feel they should have ... More >>
On the trail for justice with Texas' exonerees.
Teresa Hawthorne, the Dallas County judge who ruled that the state's death penalty statute was unconstitutional, must recuse herself from a capital murder case, a judge ruled today. Hawthorne was presiding over the capital murder trial of Roderick Harris, who's accused of killing brothers Alfredo ... More >>
Richard HernandezHis family, defense attorneys -- even the bailiffs and the transport drivers -- noticed something was different about Seth Winder, who is standing trial in a Denton County court for allegedly murdering his 38-year-old lover Richard Hernandez in 2008, dismembering his body and ... More >>
Vigo says this show should've been his.In a Dallas federal courthouse on Tuesday, a civil lawsuit was filed against Dallas-based concert promoter Gabe Reed, accusing Reed and his company, Gabe Reed Productions, of fraud, breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation as pertains to a handful ... More >>
The Lubbock lawyer teamed up with Innocent Project lawyer Jeff Blackburn to see the state compensation for exonerees raised. Now both men are under fire from their clients.
The finger-pointing game has begun in the wake of this year's Electric Daisy Carnival. Although any legal repercussions in regards to the festival that took place this weekend have yet to be determined, we're keeping our eye on the whole thing -- mostly because, let's face it, music and leg ... More >>
Photo by Harry WilonskyA Friend of Unfair Park asks if there's any news about those federal lawsuits filed following those copious Super Bowl ticket snafus. As a matter of fact, at this very moment, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn is considering two things -- whether to consolidate the two ... More >>
Clay ChabotBehind bars for more than 20 years, after being found guilty of the 1986 rape and murder of a Garland woman named Galua Crosby, Clay Chabot always maintained he was innocent. This morning, that all changed: In a Dallas courtroom, Chabot pleaded guilty to Crosby's murder. He was p ... More >>
If you've seen Republican Danny Clancy's latest political ad above or his first one, you know what he views as District Attorney Craig Watkins's biggest wart: never prosecuting a felony case. But that's not true, according to Kurt Watkins, Craig's cousin and campaign manager. In fact, Craig exami ... More >>
Joe Betzel, one of the Dallas Fire-Rescue workers who filed suit against the city -- yet again -- todayBack in December we wrote a few items about the so-called "billion-dollar case" currently being considered by the Supreme Court of Texas. Very long story way too short: It stems from a 1979 refe ... More >>
Brandon ThibodeauxJose MercedThe sleepy suburb of Euless seems an odd spot for a battle over goat sacrifice. Perhaps that's what first attracted us to the story of Jose Merced, a commercial flight attendant who also happens to be a high priest in the Afro-Cuban religion called Santería, in which ... More >>
Dallas County District AttorneyClaude Simmons is one of two men being exonerated for a 1997 murder he did not commit.Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins's office sends word this morning that two men convicted of murder in October 1997 -- 54-year-old Claude Alvin Simmons Jr. and 39-year- ... More >>
Well, one thing became quite certain this afternoon (as if recent speculation didn't already have people assuming as much): You're not going to see Salim Nourallah playing Bend Studio anytime soon, like he is in the video above. (If, that is, Bend Studio ever gets over its current Fire Marshal hur ... More >>
Yesterday in Dallas federal court, the U.S. Attorney's Office unsealed a 71-page, 51-count indictment against 11 people the government claims defrauded banks and mortgage lenders out of millions of dollars. Among those indicted: 55-year-old Eric Rulack Farrington Jr., who, if found guilty, could win ... More >>
Some call Dr. Buch a troubled genius. His ex-patients and hospital bosses call him trouble.
When Sharon Keller turned off the clock on a Death Row inmate's last-gasp appeal, she became the most vilified judge in Texas
More than two decades after being convicted of murder, Clay Chabot will get another trial. Clay Chabot stays in prison -- for now. For 21 years, Clay Chabot has been imprisoned for the 1986 murder of Galua Crosby. But a A DNA test has implicated the state’s chief witness against him, Gerald Pabs ... More >>
Hunt County District Attorney Duncan Thomas The strange capital murder case of Brandon Woodruff, accused of killing his parents in Royse City in October 2005, has taken another odd twist. A graduate of Rockwall High School, Woodruff, now 21, has been in the Hunt County jail almost two years, unable ... More >>
A terrible crime plus skaky evidence tempts prosecutors to play a secret game of "let's make a deal"
A self-portrait from Chelsea Richardson's Web site A few new developments in an old story: I was an intern when Glenna Whitley and I wrote about the brutal murder of a Mansfield couple named Rick and Suzanna Wamsley in 2003. Their son, Andrew Wamsley, and his girlfriend, Chelsea Richardson, have bee ... More >>
Sloppy record keeping causing headaches in criminal appeals
How did Dallas convict so many innocents? With faulty eyewitnesses, sloppy police work and overzealous prosecutors.
Did lack of manpower leave a felon on bail free to kill? Maybe. Sort of.
Denton County's new district attorney challenged on his claims to be Mr. Clean
The latest issue of BusinessWeek features on its cover a story headlined, "How Business Trounced The Trial Lawyers," which says, in short: It's hard out her for a pimp...pardon, personal-injury attorney. Especially in the state o' Texas, where, the mag says, well into the 1990s, "Lone Star State pla ... More >>
Dallas County District Attorney's Office flack Rachel Raya can say whatever she wants, but she may be the only person who actually believes that Bill Hill has a real open-file policy. A few months ago, I spoke to several defense attorneys who describe a haphazard, unpredictable process that clogs up ... More >>
Brian Gray, at left, says Shelley Hallman is hanging up pictures of him affixed to a shooting-range target. Dude, who hasn't been there? Felony prosecutor Shelley Hallman, who prosecutes death penalty cases and has a knack for acting like a 7-year-old, has struck again. The wife of failed district a ... More >>
Wait...we voted for who?
Prosecutor Shelley Hallman, the wife of Republican candidate for District Attorney Toby Shook, will probably not be asked to write the couple's Christmas cards this year. In this week's feature story about the questionable legal tactics of prosecutor Shelley Hallman, we include a rather unprofession ... More >>
The District Attorney's Office gets the right guy for the wrong reason.
This is what it might have looked like when Sabrina Balentine was fired from Razzoo's. Might. Dunno for sure. Hard to say. Yesterday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, on behalf of Sabrina Balentine, who was fired fro ... More >>
By now you know things are not all rainbows and unicorns and cotton candy at The Dallas Morning News. They're "reshaping the newsroom," ya know, getting ready to fire somewhere between 50-100 (or more) newsroom employees in the coming days...sorry, they're getting ready to offer them buyouts, my bad ... More >>
Debtors like Craig Watkins used to end up in jail. Now they run for district attorney.
News this week--well, last week, really--that The Dallas Morning News is offering buyouts to some 40 (or 60 or more) of its folks before firing 'em outright has rekindled memories of the October 2004 massacre that left 250 Belo Corp. employees jobless. And it's raised the specter of the circulation ... More >>