Five years ago this month, a Dallas County justice of the peace signed an order evicting Clifford Holland from the $1.2 million home he was renting on Caruth Boulevard, a block outside of University Park. Aside from the eye-popping $6,000-per-month rent, the case was a routine tenant-landlord dispute: Landlord claims renter doesn't pay rent, landlord sues, tenant has to pay overdue rent and find somewhere else to live.
Also fairly routine was Holland's decision to appeal the judgment. Where things started to break down, and where a simple rent dispute began to turn into the Jarndyce-esque legal morass Holland's case has become, is when the appeal wound up in Judge D'metria Benson's courtroom. Five years and multiple appellate decisions later, the case continues to grind its way through the legal system.
"We've been to the court of appeals four times," says an exasperated Bill Wolf, a University Park attorney and owner of the Caruth Boulevard home. "It's over a $6,000 rent payment in August 2009. [These things are] supposed to be done expeditiously."More »
For three years, a confessed attempted murderer roamed the streets of Dallas, going on a crime spree that ended when he killed a man in July 2007. Michael Wyatt had pleaded guilty to the attempted murder in 2004, but the Dallas District Attorney's Office wanted him to testify against his co-defendant Aaron Vaughn, so Wyatt stayed out of prison on bond while Vaughn awaited trial.
Lone Star Project A careful researcher might have included a few more ticks on that timeline, like the time Craig Watkins admitted his office made a mistake.
Now Wyatt is back -- in a fashion -- in a political ad that targets Susan Hawk, the Republican running against District Attorney Craig Watkins. The ad suggests that Hawk, who at the time was a judge in Wyatt's case, was to blame to letting Wyatt remain free until the day he killed a man in an Oak Cliff drug house.
There's one problem with that theory, though. It contradicts Watkins' own words at the time of the killing.
See also: Witness for the Prosecution
The Lone Star Project, a Democratic political action committee, debuted a new ad last week that claims Hawk should have done more to keep Wyatt in prison. Even worse, the PAC charges, Hawk altered court records in 2012, removing Wyatt's references to a deadly weapon in his attempted murder plea and minimizing the charges against him.
Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project, says the case is a reflection of Hawk's political opportunism, just like her running as both a Republican and a Democrat in previous elections. As she geared up to take on Watkins, Angle says, Hawk sought to soften any potential blow Wyatt's case would strike against her campaign.
But the history of the case tells a different story. As reported in the Observer in 2007, Watkins and his office have already taken partial responsibility for Wyatt's crimes while out on bail.More »
Cowboys running back Joseph Randle, he of the post-Seattle Seahawks victory underwear theft and subsequent underwear endorsement, had what can best be described as an amusing experience being booked by Frisco police.
"This is a cool little publicity stunt though," he says in the first of two videos obtained by KTVT before asking the cop doing his intake if "this was going to be in the papers."
Correctly worried that it would be, Randle tells the officer that he isn't going to look "like a criminal" in his mugshot and asks to see it.More »
Tom Arthur Dentonites are turning out more than ever for early voting, many in response to the proposition to ban fracking in the city.
As early voting wraps up this week, Denton County has seen a surge in voters, as well as campaign spending. Much of that has to do with the fracking debate, which has also incurred more spending than any other campaign in Denton's history.
"It's pretty fair to assume that given how much money is poured into this, that's why so many people are out," says Dr. Adam Briggle, a leader with Frack Free Denton and a bioethics professor at UNT. "Everything now is focused on communicating with voters, especially at the polls, and making sure that they're not confused when they're going in to vote. The language is definitely written by a lawyer. So we want to make sure that folks know that they're voting what they want to vote for."
As of Tuesday night, Denton County election officials report, there was a 16 percent increase in early voting from the 2010 election: 47,035 in-person votes were cast, up from 40,529 on the same early-voting day in 2010.
"I have noticed since I came here that there is great activity," says Lannie Noble, Denton County elections administrator. "We've had people at a lot of early-voting locations trying to get information out to the voters. Most especially here in Denton we've had the fracking parties, for and against, well-represented."More »
Millard "Lou" Tierce is the Fort Worth veterinarian who was allegedly harvesting blood from dogs he was supposed to euthanize until his office was raided earlier this year.
Tierce, whose vet license was suspended last week, was initially arrested on a charge of animal cruelty. Somehow, though, a misdemeanor, as animal cruelty is classified under Texas law, didn't seem sufficient for so grotesque a crime. Which may explain why, when Tierce was indicted today, prosecutors had secured two additional charges: misapplication of fiduciary property and theft between $1,500 and $20,000, both state jail felonies.
The animal-cruelty charge is fairly cut and dry. The two stiffer charges are rather curious and hinge on a question that's never really been settled under Texas law: How much is a dog worth?More »
Every hour or so, the Save the Cabana Hotel Facebook page reminds its 900-plus followers to SAVE THE CABANA HOTEL. Dallas' luxury Cabana Motor Hotel opened on Stemmons Freeway in 1962, and photographs on the fan page show legends like John Bonham and Robert Plant hanging out. The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Raquel Welch were also once inside the building.
Amy Silverstein Eh.
In more recent years, the Cabana hosted a man named Danny Marvin, who describes his visit in the comments section of a Dallas Voice article:
I stayed there ... the food was horrible, staff wasn't very nice, and the worst part i had to stripe naked in front of other men. Nice architecture though.More »
(Editor's note: This week's cover story comes courtesy of our sister paper, the Houston Press. Visit here for more stories by reporter Angelica Leicht.)
BY ANGELICA LEICHT
Sitting cross-legged on the floor in her apartment outside of Houston, Faith's mother looks over at the toddler repeatedly as she talks. There are no physical indicators that signal the start of a seizure, but Faith's mother can tell one is on its way.
Everything about raising Faith involves watching and waiting, and today is no different.
Suddenly, Faith's mom jumps up, her words stalling mid-sentence, and makes her way to the mat where the chocolate-haired child is lying. She plops down next to her daughter, gives her moon face and chubby-cherub limbs a once-over, and places a hand across her tiny chest, feeling for any sign of what's to come.
It's an unnerving ritual, the watching and waiting, but Faith's mom can feel what is happening in her own bones. She knows that Faith is about to seize.
Slowly, the toddler's eyes begin to flicker. The gut-wrenching convulsions quickly follow, working their way up her tiny body, while the anxiety that has worn premature lines across her mom's forehead works its way into sheer terror.
Fear fills the room, and she yells out to no one in particular.
"It's a seizure," she says. "Faith is having a seizure."
Seizures are nothing new to the family -- they've been happening since Faith, now 2, was about 4 months old -- but they are terrifying just the same. There is no respite from the epilepsy for the child, and modern mainstream medicine has no solutions for the young family.
Until recently, Faith's parents, who have asked that we not use any of their family's names, would call 911 and take her to the emergency room, where doctors would give her antiseizure drugs. The drugs didn't work -- they never worked -- yet the doctors would try anyway.
With the fear of what's to come -- Dravet Syndrome only worsens as children grow -- Faith's parents have decided to go an alternative route. They're ready to break the law for their daughter, and this means getting their hands on some cannabis oil.
Treating medical patients -- children or others -- with cannabis is illegal in Texas, and they could lose custody of their daughter for it, despite the clinical evidence of the drug's efficacy. But Faith could lose her life if they don't get a handle on these seizures.
Losing Faith is an unfathomable thought.
Ronnie Lummus, 71, must not look like the type to carry a gun.
But it's a good thing he was packing last night. He and his wife were shopping at Aldi's on Forest Lane in Northwest Dallas, close to LBJ Freeway. When the couple finished, they walked through the sliding glass doors to the parking lot around 7:20 p.m., and that's when Lummus' wife's gold necklace caught one man's eye.More »
Jerry Jones, who's served as the Dallas Cowboys' team physician since 1989, told KRLD 105.3 Wednesday morning that the team's quarterback, Tony Romo, will be medically able to play Sunday against the 6-1 Arizona Cardinals.
The Loomis Agency via YouTube Dr. Jerry specializes in pizza, rapping and back injuries.
Romo, who had two back surgeries in 2013 -- one before the season to remove a cyst and one after the season to repair structural damage -- took a vicious Keenan Robinson knee to the back during the third quarter of the Cowboys' Monday night game with Washington.