Leader Of Notorious “Texas 7” Gang Set To Die | KERA News

Leader Of Notorious “Texas 7” Gang Set To Die

The leader of the notorious "Texas 7" gang faces execution for the murder of a police officer from Irving during a robbery two weeks after organizing and pulling off the biggest prison break in Texas history.

George Rivas will receive a lethal injection Wednesday evening in Huntsville for killing Aubrey Hawkins. The officer interrupted the gang's holdup of a sporting goods store on Christmas Eve night 11 years ago.

Appeals have run out for Rivas, and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has rejected a clemency petition.

Rivas and his accomplices fled a South Texas prison in December 2000. A month after Hawkins' murder, they were arrested in Colorado. One committed suicide. The six survivors received death sentences. Rivas would be the second executed.

AP

Candidates Study New Texas Political Maps

Lawyers representing Hispanic and African American groups have asked judges in Washington to make a decision quickly on whether new political maps in Texas violate the federal Voting Rights Act.

The lawyers say interim political maps issued by a San Antonio court will discriminate against minorities and that only a ruling by the Washington judges could correct the problem.

There are two separate court cases looking at the redistricting maps in Texas. The Washington court must decide if the maps are legal. Judges in San Antonio must decide if they are fair.

The lawyers hope a ruling made by the Washington court soon would force the San Antonio judges to draw more favorable political districts for minorities.

Republicans have called the maps drawn by the San Antonio court fair.

AP

Prosecutor: Stanford Flushed Away Investor Funds

A federal prosecutor says Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford flushed away investor funds on yachts and businesses that were money pits as part of a massive Ponzi scheme.

Prosecutor William Stellmach said Wednesday that Stanford lined his pockets "with billions of dollars of other people's money" as closing arguments got under way in Stanford's fraud trial.

Prosecutors allege Stanford bilked investors out of more than $7 billion through the sales of certificates of deposit from his Caribbean bank.

Stanford's attorneys are to make their closing arguments later Wednesday. They allege Stanford’s former chief financial officer was behind the alleged fraud and the financier's business empire was legitimate.

AP

Man Pleads Guilty To Second 1978 Texas Killing

A Dallas man sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 1978 slaying of a Central Texas woman has received the same penalty for killing her date.

 A judge in Georgetown on Tuesday sentenced 53-year-old Benny Tijerina (tee-hur-REE'-nah). Tijerina pleaded guilty to murder in the death of 19-year-old Kevin Key. He pleaded guilty last week in court in Waco to murder in the death of 18-year-old Rita Salazar. Both teens were shot. Investigators say Salazar was also sexually assaulted.

The couple disappeared after seeing a movie in Austin and running out of gas. Their bodies were found in different counties.

Tijerina was arrested in 2007 for drunken driving and provided a DNA sample, which eventually was matched to the Salazar attack.

AP

Pilots' Union Moves To Head Off Contract Rejection

The union for American Airlines pilots has sued the company to block it from using bankruptcy to impose pay cuts and other employee changes.

A hearing on the carrier's bankruptcy case is scheduled Wednesday in federal court in New York.

The Allied Pilots Association filed the lawsuit Tuesday in New York. The parent of Fort Worth-based American sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November.

The union says its last contract with American expired in 2008 and it wants the judge to order negotiations on a new one to continue.

AMR Corp. could ask the judge to throw out its contracts with unions and impose the company's terms on workers.

AP