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September 19, 2018

VIGIL HELD FOR WOMEN KILLED BY U.S. BORDER PATROL SUPERVISOR

LAREDO, Texas (AP) — Dozens of relatives of four women who investigators say a U.S. Border Patrol supervisor killed have held a vigil in South Texas to remember the women.

They gathered yesterday evening in a downtown Laredo park and held small candles and photos of their loved ones as they prayed, cried and exchanged hugs.

Many said they were still in disbelief and described feelings of numbness, saying the women didn’t deserve to die.

Juan David Ortiz was arrested Saturday while hiding in a hotel parking garage. Investigators believe he fatally shot four women during separate attacks after taking each of them to desolate areas outside of Laredo. Investigators say a fifth victim escaped and contacted authorities.

Ortiz is facing several charges, including four counts of murder.

“GYPSY HILL KILLER” CONVICTED

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California jury has found guilty a career criminal who authorities believe to be the ’Gypsy Hill Killer” of killing two teenage girls.

The San Mateo County jury returned its verdict yesterday.

The trial began Sept. 7 with 69-year-old Rodney Halbower disrupting the prosecutor’s opening statements by yelling at the jury that he was innocent and had never raped or killed. The judge declined public defender John Halley’s call for a mistrial and Halbower ceased his outbursts.

Authorities believe Halbowber raped and killed six young women over a five-month period in early 1976 in Northern California and Reno, Nevada.

DNA evidence led to Halbower’s arrest in 2014. He was in prison in Oregon at the time.

WOODWARD’S BOOK SELLS A MILLION

NEW YORK (AP) — Bob Woodward’s “Fear” is already a million-seller.

Simon & Schuster has announced that Woodward’s takedown of President Donald Trump has sold more than 1.1 million copies just a week after publication. It is among the fastest selling hardcover books in memory and had the fastest opening in history for Simon & Schuster, which also publishes Stephen King, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Mary Higgins Clark.

“Fear” now joins Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” as a million-selling portrait of a chaotic Trump administration.

CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS - TRIAL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A legal argument has been revived in Louisiana over whether a black defendant can get a fair trial in a courthouse where a Confederate monument is displayed.

Niles Haymer, a lawyer for defendant Ronnie Anderson, says the answer is no.

Haymer says he filed a motion yesterday to have Anderson’s case moved out of state court in East Feliciana Parish, where a Confederate monument stands outside the courthouse.

A judge rejected a similar motion in August, saying Haymer filed too late. But the district attorney has since filed a new charge against Anderson — illegal possession of a stolen weapon.

That gives Haymer an opportunity to renew his argument: He says the monument sends a message that black defendants cannot get a fair trial in the parish.

TEXAS SCHOOL OFFICIAL COMMENTS ON BLACK QUARTERBACKS

HOUSTON (AP) — An East Texas school superintendent who wrote “You can’t count on a black quarterback” in the comment section of an online news article says he thought it was a private message.

Lynn Redden is superintendent of the Onalaska Independent School District in the Piney Woods, about 75 miles north of Houston. In his post on the Houston Chronicle’s website, Redden referred to the last play of Sunday’s game in which Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson held the ball as time expired.

In an interview with the Chronicle, Redden says he regrets posting the comment. He says he thought it was a private message and deleted it as soon as he realized it was public.

Redden says he based the comment on he calls the “limited success” of black quarterbacks in the NFL.

The Texans have declined to comment.

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