Daily Roundup
1:01 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

3 Men Declared Innocent Of 1994 Dallas Robbery

Three men convicted of a nearly 20-year-old aggravated robbery of a woman in Dallas have been declared innocent of the crime.

District Judge Lena Levario Friday formally declared Darryl Washington, Shakara Robertson and Marcus Lashun Smith innocent of the robbery.

The Innocence Project of Texas and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office say the three men were implicated in the 1994 robbery by a faulty eyewitness. Two others supposedly involved were juveniles.

Four people have since admitted to the crime. Levario says their testimony is credible.

Washington was sentenced to 99 years for the robbery. Robertson and Smith took plea deals and received probation. While Smith already is free, Washington and Robertson are serving sentences on separate charges.

AP

American Airlines cancel 296 more flights at DFW

American Airlines has canceled another 296 flights as it works to replace or repair dozens of planes grounded in North Texas because of hail damage.

Spokeswoman Andrea Huguely says the cancellations on Friday affect flights in and out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The planes were caught in storms Tuesday that pounded the airport and spawned about a dozen tornadoes in North Texas.

Since the storms hit, American and its American Eagle affiliate have canceled about 1,600 flights, but with fewer cancelations each day. Huguely says only 27 cancellations are planned for Saturday as American gradually returns to normal operations.

The airlines identified 108 planes for inspections shortly after the hailstorms.

American and Eagle are owned by Fort Worth-based AMR Corp.

AP

Boy, 14, sentenced in Dallas light rail death

A 14-year-old boy has been sentenced to 22 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery in the death of a man who was pushed into a moving light rail train in Dallas last year.

The boy is the last of four teen suspects to plead guilty since 19-year-old Octavius Lanier was pushed from a South Dallas platform and dragged about 30 feet by the train in November.

According to The Dallas Morning News the sentence will sent the boy to juvenile prison for at least three years. Then the boy can either be paroled or placed in the adult prison system.

Previously, a 12-year-old boy was sentenced to seven years in juvenile prison. Two others, age 14 and 15, got 30-year sentences.

AP

Woman injured by plane propeller gets book deal

The Dallas online fashion editor who lost her left hand and eye when she walked into the propeller of a small plane has a book deal to tell the story of her accident and recovery.

A public relations firm representing 23-year-old Lauren Scruggs announced Thursday that she has signed with Tyndale Momentum, an imprint of Christian-focused Tyndale House Publishers.

A. Larry Ross Communications said in a news release that Scruggs, founder and editor-in-chief of the online fashion magazine LOLO, will release the book "Still Lolo" in November 2012. The book will be co-authored by Marcus Brotherton and will include insights from her parents and twin sister.

Scruggs was injured after walking into the propeller of a small plane after taking a flight to view Christmas lights in December.

AP

Leader of Dallas arson scam ring gets 20 years

Prosecutors say the leader of a Dallas arson ring that scammed the Red Cross has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced 37-year-old Marthella Broadus and ordered her to make more than $1.7 million in restitution. Broadus last May pleaded guilty to wire fraud and arson in an investigation of three home fires since late 2008.

Investigators say Broadus was the last of seven Dallas residents to plead guilty and be sent to prison.

Authorities say the individuals removed personal property from the residences before the fires were set, then sought financial help from the Red Cross.

AP

Authorities seeking "high risk" sex offender

Texas Department of Public Safety authorities say an ex-con they describe as a "high risk" sex offender has fled a Houston halfway house.

Police say 42-year-old Michael Elbert Young was last seen Thursday night at the Southeast Texas Transitional Center, a halfway house in east Houston. Authorities said Friday he climbed over a barbed wire-topped fence and detached an electronic tracking monitor from his ankle.

Young was released from prison after serving eight years for two aggravated assault convictions. Both were sex related. He also served a 20-year term for sexual assault of a child and attempted aggravated sexual assault.

Authorities say he may be mentally unstable if not taking medication. He's not believed armed but has a history of using weapons, primarily knives, during his assaults.

AP

Top Juarez cartel figure sentenced to life in US

A top Juarez cartel figure has been sentenced to life in prison in the U.S. after admitting that he ordered more than 1,500 killings, including the slaying of a U.S. consulate employee in Mexico.

Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in El Paso, Texas, to 11 counts including conspiracy, racketeering and murder.

A federal judge sentenced Acosta to seven concurrent life terms, three additional consecutive life terms and 20 years in federal prison.

Investigators allege that Acosta headed La Linea, the Juarez cartel's enforcement arm. He admitted in court Thursday to ordering more than 1,500 killings before he was captured in July with his bodyguard in the northern Mexico city of Chihuahua.

Acosta's attorney did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

AP