Assistant Dallas County DA Arrested for DWI, Wants to Make Sure We All Know Who He Is

Categories: Crime

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Dallas County via WFAA
Justin Moore
At least one member of Susan Hawk's nascent district attorney's office couldn't have gotten off to a more inauspicious start in his new job.

Justin Moore, an SMU graduate and former Craig Watkins deputy who was kept on by Hawk, was picked up for a DWI early Sunday morning. According to media reports, Moore, a DeSoto resident, was spotted by Dallas police weaving in and out of traffic and speeding on Highway 67 near Loop 12. The cops pulled him over, and the real fun began.

In an arrest affidavit first obtained by WFAA, police say that Moore accused one of the arresting officers of being an "Uncle Tom" before insisting that the other was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

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Kim Williams Pleads Guilty in Kaufman County DA Murders, Gets 40 Years

Categories: Crime

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Kaufman County
Kim Williams
Unlike her estranged husband, Kim Williams will not go through a lengthy trial. Tuesday morning, she admitted her guilt in the murder of Mark Hasse, the Kaufman County assistant district attorney gunned down in the street in Kaufman by Eric Williams.

Kim Williams drove the getaway car. During the penalty phase of Eric Williams' trial, she testified about her and her husband's glee and relief after the killing, how they had a "happy, satisfied and quiet" ride home after Eric Williams shot Hasse near the Kaufman County courthouse.

Two months later, the Williamses would kill twice more, murdering Mike McClellend -- Hasse's boss -- and McClellend's wife, Cynthia, in their home. To celebrate, Kim Williams said, the couple had a barbecue at her parents' house.

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Dallas Police Praise Body Cams But Still Haven't Released Footage from Controversial Shooting

Categories: Crime

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Courtesy Geoff Henley
Jason Harrison's mother's house, on the 200 block of Glencairn Drive in Dallas, where officers shot and killed Harrison in front of her.
Whether it's a police union rep or an activist who says their neighborhood is terrorized by the police, pretty much the safest opinion either side can have is that all cops should wear body cameras. Activists like the idea of cameras because they argue that the footage will bring more transparency to police shootings, and the police say that the technology will earn them the public's trust.


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Jail Visits, Deion Sanders, Frisco and Vaginal Mesh: Updates from 2014 Stories

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Justin Renteria
The news just keeps rolling on, and not every story has a neat ending. Sometimes it pays to stop and take a look back to see what's happened with stories we reported during the year. That time is the day after Christmas, when all the new newsmakers are sneaking in an extra day off. So here are Amy Silverstein's updates from 2014.

Dallas Senator Tries To Keep In-Person Visitation at Jails
Next year people will be able to skip the lines at the Lew Sterrett Jail and talk to their loved ones from home, through a video chatting software. The catch is that it's going to cost $10 for a 20-minute visit, and the company installing the software, Securus, really wants to eliminate in-person visits to push everyone to pay that fee. At least five other counties in Texas have already eliminated in-person visits after they installed Securus' software.

When the Dallas County Commissioners voted to approve the video visitation contract with Securus in November, they promised verbally that Dallas would be the exception and keep in-person visits just as they are. But the written contract says otherwise, vaguely suggesting that Dallas County will have to restrict its in-person visits so that Securus can make back its money. The final decision on jail visitation is ultimately up to the Dallas County Sheriff's Office, whose spokesman never returned our messages inquiring about video visitation.


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Dallas Cop Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Prostitute

Categories: Crime

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Dickelbers
Sunday morning, Dallas police officer David Kattner was arrested for allegedly using his authority to coerce a woman into having sex with him while he was in uniform. An arrest affidavit obtained by The Dallas Morning News says Kattner called a woman and told her to follow him to the 9700 block of Webb Chapel Road in North Dallas. Once there, he allegedly forced her to have oral sex with him in his marked police car. He kept one of his hands on his gun throughout the assault, the affidavit says.

Detectives in the area saw Kattner and the woman, according to police, and stopped the woman when she got out of the car. She told the detectives that the Sunday morning attack was the third time Kattner assaulted her. According to the News, the affidavit does not identify the alleged victim as a prostitute specifically, but says Kattner contacted "known female prostitutes" in order to force them to have sex with him while he was working a second job. The woman, police say, said Kattner showed her her outstanding warrants and threatened to harm the woman's daughter if the woman didn't do what Kattner wanted.

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Christina Morris' DNA, Phone Records Show She Was in Trunk of Friend's Car, Cops Say

Categories: Crime

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Plano Police/Help Find Christina Morris via Facebook
Enrique Arochi and Christina Morris
Enrique Arochi was angry, cops say, because one of his friends declined his sexual advances. Not content to end a night that began, he told police, with an Adderall and continued with 10 shots of Captain Morgan's at a friend's apartment and three to five beers at a Shops at Legacy bar, Plano police say Arochi left a parking garage at the Plano shopping center with Christina Morris in the trunk of his car.

A probable cause affidavit first obtained by KTVT says that a swab taken from the bumper of Arochi's 2010 Camaro matched Morris' DNA perfectly. Her cell phone, police say, pinged multiple cell towers as Arochi drove to the house he shared with his mother after leaving the parking garage. He arrived at the house, located in Allen, 40 minutes after police say he kidnapped Morris.

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Texas Executed 10 People in 2014, the Lowest Number Since 1996

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California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
California's lethal injection room.
The number of executions and new death sentences continued to drop in the U.S. in 2014, even in Texas, which killed 10 prisoners this year, according to a new report from the Death Penalty Information Center.

That's the lowest number since 1996, when three men received lethal injections. (The 1996 figure comes with an asterisk. The state was in the midst of a legal battle regarding changes made to the capital case appeals process by the Legislature. As a result, there ended up being a de facto death penalty moratorium from March 1996 to January 1997. After the changes were upheld, the state killed 37 people during the remainder of 1997.)

The 10 executions still matched Missouri for the most in the country but represented a significant drop from 2013, when 16 convicted murderers were killed. Texas juries only handed out 11 death sentences this year -- the latest being given Eric Williams in Kaufman County on Wednesday. That's down from a 1998 high of 48.

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Kaufman County DA Murderer Eric Williams Sentenced to Death

Categories: Crime

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Kaufman County
Eric Williams
After hearing testimony on Tuesday about the glee Eric Williams took in killing Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McClellend, McClellend's wife, Cynthia, and Assistant Prosecutor Mark Hasse, a Rockwall County jury decided Wednesday morning that Williams should be killed by Texas.

Williams was convicted of Cynthia McClellend's murder on December 4. His lawyers didn't mount a strong defense, hoping instead to save Williams' life in the trial's penalty phase. Witness after witness was called from the depths of Williams' past, each meant to help humanize the man special prosecutors painted as a monster.

After all that, it was one of the last witnesses, called by prosecutors for rebuttal, that resonated the most. Williams' estranged wife admitted guilt for taking part in the crimes, but said her husband was the shooter. She shared his anger, she said, over Hasse's prosecution of Eric Williams for stealing Kaufman County computer equipment. The murders were revenge the couple was happy to take.

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Slashing Prices at Wal-Mart Gets You Savings. Slashing Cop Gets You Shot.

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Google Street View
The Wal-Mart in question, at 6185 Retail Road in Dallas.
Just after midnight Tuesday morning, Dallas police officer Larry Moody shot Jonathan Puckett. It was the 20th time Dallas cops have shot at a civilian so far this year. Puckett was hit in the leg and torso and is being treated for his injuries at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

Puckett was spotted by Moody -- who was working an off-duty security job -- and a Wal-Mart loss prevention officer attempting to leave the Retail Road store without paying for a phone charger. After initially cooperating and walking back into the store, Dallas police say, Puckett dashed for the exit. Moody grabbed his shoulder and they both lost their balance. As they struggled on the ground, police say, Puckett cut Moody with one of the four knives he was carrying.

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Kaufman Killer Eric Williams Was Happy After Murders, Planned to Kill More, Wife Testifies

Categories: Crime

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KXAS Screenshot
Eric Williams during one of his numerous media appearances.
Tuesday morning, one of the last remaining mysteries in the trial of Eric Williams was answered: His estranged wife would indeed participate in the proceedings. Kim Williams took the stand to describe how she and Williams plotted and executed the killings of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McClellend, his wife Cynthia and one of his top prosecutors, Mark Hasse. Williams was convicted of killing Cynthia McClellend on December 4. He and his attorneys are now trying to avoid his being killed by the state of Texas.

Kim Williams said she was guilty of capital murder early in her testimony. She hasn't been offered a deal by prosecutors, but she was hoping to save her life with her testimony, she said, as she described the murders and her relationship with Eric Williams.

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