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This Hour: Latest Texas news, sports, business and entertainment

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Suspect in Texas police shooting 'presumed dead'

LA JOYA, Texas (AP) - Authorities say a man suspected of shooting two South Texas police officers is "presumed dead" after an assault by officers on the house in which he was barricaded.

The suspect in a capital murder case had been spraying bullets Tuesday night outside the house in the Rio Grande Valley town of La Joya (HOY'-ah).

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said the man was silenced Tuesday evening after officers rammed the front door, inserted tear gas and exchanged fire. Guerra said the man is "presumed dead" but that won't be confirmed until a bomb squad clears the house of booby-trapped explosives the man said he'd rigged.

Police say the two wounded officers and six others pinned down by gunfire have been rescued.


4 dead in Texas Panhandle car wreck

PERRYTON, Texas (AP) - Police say three adults and one toddler have died in a Texas Panhandle car wreck.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says two vehicles crashed on a highway about 25 miles south of the Oklahoma border Tuesday evening.

Police say the vehicles hit head-on and both caught fire after they landed in the ditch.

One driver, his wife and their 2-year-old daughter were pronounced dead at the scene. A 19-year-old passenger in the other vehicle was also pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say the other driver was able to escape the vehicle before it caught fire. He was taken to the Ochiltree General Hospital in Perryton.


Woman's sentencing begins for stepson's death

DALLAS (AP) - A North Texas jury begins hearing evidence on what to sentence a woman convicted in the 2011 starvation death of her 10-year-old stepson.

The punishment phase of Elizabeth Ramsey's trial begins Wednesday in state district court in Dallas. On Tuesday, the Dallas County jury found the 33-year-old woman guilty of intentional serious injury to a child in Johnathan Ramsey's death.

Jurors could sentence her to up to life in prison. That's the sentence her husband and the boy's 35-year-old father, Aaron Ramsey, is serving already.

Prosecutors say the two locked the boy in his room, slowly starved him on a diet of bread and water and dumped his emaciated body in a rural area south of Dallas in 2011. The body was found the next year in a creek.


Texas police: 24 arrested for human trafficking

DENTON, Texas (AP) - Police say 24 people have been arrested in a North Texas human-trafficking sting.

The Denton County Sheriff's Department says two 17-year-olds were rescued during the operation late last week. Police say the people arrested in Denton and The Colony include seven escorts and 14 johns.

A spokeswoman said Tuesday that more arrests are expected.

U.S. Homeland Security worked with local departments on the operation. No other details regarding the operation were provided.

The spokeswoman says authorities haven't released the names of the arrested people because the investigation is ongoing.


Texas jury awards municipal utility $30 million

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (AP) - A Central Texas jury has delivered a nearly $30 million verdict against the Lower Colorado River Authority.

A Comal County jury on Tuesday returned the verdict in favor of New Braunfels Utilities. The Austin-based river authority manages water resources and provides electricity.

New Braunfels Utilities says the LCRA violated their 1999 wholesale power contract by overcharging for electricity. The LCRA says New Braunfels Utilities and other utilities have unlawfully broken their contracts.

The New Braunfels Utilities CEO tells the Austin American-Statesman that the money will go toward reducing electricity costs and expanding energy efficiency programs.

A LCRA spokesman says the authority is disappointed in the local jury's decision. He says it will consider an appeal.


Cost of UT regent inquiry almost $600,000

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The bill for investigating the actions of a University of Texas System regent has totaled nearly $600,000.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Houston lawyer Rusty Hardin's firm billed the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations $588,000 to investigate Regent Wallace Hall. The final invoices were released Tuesday.

Jason Embry, a spokesman for House Speaker Joe Straus, says Hardin agreed to limit the charge to the state to $500,000.

The panel found grounds to impeach Hall but has yet to vote on formal charges

Hall is accused of abusing his authority as a regent with massive record requests, bullying staff and releasing private student information in an effort to topple Austin campus President Bill Powers.

Hall denies wrongdoing. Powers recently agreed to step down in June 2015.


Jury to reconvene in Ventura defamation case

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Jurors are due to reconvene in St. Paul to deliberate whether former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura was defamed in a memoir by the late military sniper Chris Kyle.

The case went to jurors midday Tuesday, but the group didn't reach a verdict before breaking for the day.

Ventura's attorney asked them to award the former Navy SEAL, pro wrestler and movie actor millions of dollars in damages for what Ventura claims is a lie in Kyle's memoir, "American Sniper."

Ventura says Kyle invented a story about punching him in a California bar in 2006 after Ventura supposedly made remarks insulting Navy SEALs.

But an attorney for Kyle's estate told jurors that Ventura failed to prove his claim that Kyle made up the story or that Ventura suffered financially because of the best-selling book.

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