Here's a daily list of recent activities drawing the attention of North Texas and state law enforcement. List compiled on May 5, 2010.
WOMAN CONVICTED IN 2007 SHOOTING OF DALLAS OFFICER
A woman convicted in the 2007 shooting of a Dallas police tactical officer during a drug raid faces up to life in prison. Attorneys for 21-year-old Marisela Villa told jurors she did not know that Lt. Carlton Marshall was a police officer when she opened fire. The gunfire left Marshall partly paralyzed. The penalty phase continues Wednesday for Villa, who was convicted a day earlier of aggravated assault of a peace officer, plus two counts of drug possession with intent to deliver. Prosecutors say Villa was a partner in her boyfriend's drug dealing and she knew police were the ones storming the residence.
JAIL NURSE SAYS MAN CONFESSED IN TODDLER'S DEATH
Attorneys for an east Texas man accused with his girlfriend of beating her toddler daughter to death with a hammer -- question whether evidence was mishandled. Testimony resumes today in the capital murder trial of Blaine Milam. The trial was moved to Conroe due to pretrial publicity in Rusk County. Attorneys for Milam voiced multiple objections on the trial's first day and repeatedly asked for a mistrial -- which Judge Clay Gossett denied. A jail nurse testified yesterday that Milam confessed to the 2008 crime while behind bars. According to court records, Milam and his girlfriend told authorities they were trying "to beat the demons out" of Amora Bain Carson. Authorities say the 13-month-old girl was beaten with a hammer and bitten more than 30 times. Milam's girlfriend awaits trial.
NO THREAT FROM SMOKING SUITCASE AT HOUSTON AIRPORT
Police say a ruptured, smoking suitcase found on an international flight in Houston posed no threat and that damage to the bag was caused by an external heat source. Officials say luggage was being taken off a KLM flight that had arrived at George Bush Intercontinental Airport from Amsterdam on Tuesday when a baggage handler found a suitcase that appeared to have smoke coming from it. The handler carried the bag away from the plane and terminal and called emergency crews. Houston Police spokesman Victor Senties says investigators and bomb squad members determined the suitcase was damaged by an external heat source, not any contents. He says there were no arrests. Airport spokeswoman Marlene McClinton says there was no disruption to airport operations.
TRIAL DATE SET FOR EX-WARDEN'S WIFE
The wife of a former Oklahoma prison warden accused of helping a convicted killer escape is scheduled for trial on Aug. 9. Defense attorney Garvin Isaacs said Tuesday that District Judge Richard Darby set the trial date for 47-year-old Bobbi Parker. Parker is accused of helping Randolph Dial escape in 1994 from the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite. The two were found living on a chicken ranch in east Texas in 2005. Dial maintained he kidnapped Parker and held her against her will. He has since died in prison. Parker's original January trial date was postponed while Isaacs waited for investigative documents and evidentiary items from the FBI. Isaacs says he's still waiting and believes they will show Parker is innocent.
IKE AID LIMITED FOR DEADBEAT PARENTS
Deadbeat parents in the Galveston area can forget about getting certain government money to rebuild their Hurricane Ike-damaged homes unless they pay up. The Texas Department on Housing and Community Affairs has added an additional requirement for eligibility. The Galveston County Daily News reports anyone who owes back child support will not be eligible for Community Development Block Grant money. Such homeowners must enroll in a court-related program to pay back the money if they want to try to get the grant money, made available after the September 2008 hurricane. Housing agency spokesman Gordon Anderson says the state wants to be responsible in its dissemination of federal dollars.
ONE DEAD IN ROCKWALL COUNTY HIT & RUN
Rockwall County sheriff's deputies continue to search for the driver of a pickup who caused a fatal accident in Rockwall. It happened just after 11:30 a.m. shutting down Highway 276. Rockwall County sheriff's office said a Toyota slowed down to make a left turn on to Sunny Circle when a black Ford pickup truck hit it from behind forcing it into the path of a mini van. The sheriff's department said Kenton W. Clutts, 49, died, the passengers of the mini van were tajen to the hospital. Deputies are looking for a 2004 black Ford pickup with major damage to the front of the truck. Anyone with information is asked to call 972-204-7001.
BIG RIG SLAMS INTO ELLIS COUNTY BRIDGE
Accident investigators want to know why the driver of a big rig slammed into the bridge support for the Gannaway Bridge over northbound I-35 in Waxahachie. The rig was not pulling a trailer when the driver hit the bridge. Waxahachie police said the driver was able to escape the burning rig, and was taken to the hospital by helicopter for treatment of a severe leg injury. The Texas Department of Transportation was on the scene to evaluate any damage to the bridge.