May 28, 2017

Archives for May 2016

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett Named to Trump’s SCOTUS Prospect List

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett. Photo by Bob Price.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett. Photo by Bob Price.

Republican presidential presumptive nominee Donald Trump released a list of eleven jurists he would consider appointing to the U.S. Supreme Court, including Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett.

Trump released the names of 11 potential prospects he said he would consider picking from to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

The list also includes: Steven Colloton of Iowa, Allison Eid of Colorado and Raymond Gruender of Missouri, Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, Joan Larsen of Michigan, Thomas Lee of Utah, William Pryor of Alabama, David Stras of Minnesota, and Diane Sykes of Wisconsin.

The candidate previously said the list would include judges that “everybody respects, likes, and totally admires.” He promised the prospects would be great conservative judges, great intellects, the people that you want.”

Shortly after the death of Justice Scalia, Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick wrote about Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s suggestion that Willett would be a great pick to fill the vacancy. The Texas governor called the Texas Supreme Court Justice, “A proven conservative who won’t rewrite law.”

Shadwick reported:

In July of 2015, Pulitzer Prize winning conservative newspaper political columnist George Will contrasted an opinion by Texas Supreme Court Justice Willett, with that of U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. The legal question posed by Will involved America’s natural rights tradition and the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments’ affirmation of unenumerated rights.

After evaluating Willett’s legal analysis, and comparing it to the conclusion reached by Justice Roberts, George Will concluded in his column that “[t]he next Republican president” should simply say to his first U.S. Supreme Court nominee, “Welcome to Washington, Justice Willett.”

Prior to serving as legal counsel to then-Attorney General Abbott, Willett served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as a Special Assistant to the President at the White House, and was a lawyer in the Office of Governor George W. Bush.

Willett began his legal career as a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and then as an associate with the respected law firm of Haynes and Boone. He graduated from Duke University School of Law with honors.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

This article was published originally on Breitbart Texas.

Corpses of 3 Illegal Immigrants Found in Remote Texas County — 80 Miles from Border

Bodies of illegal immigrants

Photo: Brooks County Sheriff’s Office

Three more bodies of deceased illegal immigrants have been found in Brooks County, Texas. The individuals died while being smuggled around the Border Patrol checkpoint located just south of Falfurrias.

Brooks County is not a border county. In fact, it is located nearly 80 miles from the Texas/Mexico border. Over the past few years, hundreds of bodies have been found of these people who are simply left to die by human smugglers if they become injured  or are simply too weak to keep up.

The heat of summer has not yet begun in South Texas, but already 21 bodies have been found in this one county alone.

Over the weekend, Brooks County Sheriff’s Deputy Elias Pompa was dispatched to meet with U.S. Border Patrol agents who discovered a body while tracking a group of illegal immigrants, information provided to Breitbart Texas revealed. Deputy Pompa was accompanied to the scene by Brooks County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Adela Quintanilla.

When they arrived, they were escorted to the badly decomposing body of a 20-year-old Guatemalan man. Pompa told Breitbart Texas that Border Patrol agents came across the deceased man while they were tracking the group being smuggled around the Falfurrias Checkpoint.

“The Border Patrol agents were tracking the immigrants and the group walked right over the body,” Pompa said.

The body was found just south of Highway 285 a few miles west of the town of Falfurrias. A search revealed a Guatemalan identification card, a cell phone with a power chord and wall charger, a U.S. five dollar bill and a Guatemalan 100 Quetzales bill.

Pompa said the body was severely decomposed and had turned black. When the body was turned over a black shadow was left on the ground.

On Friday, Border Patrol agents followed up on information received from a “concerned citizen” and discovered another body in a remote location of the county, information provided by the U.S. Border Patrol to Breitbart Texas revealed.

Just two days earlier, another illegal immigrant captured by Border Patrol agents advised the agents he had seen a body along the trail. Agents backtracked from where they found the immigrant and discovered the remains of yet another dead person who died during their effort to illegally enter the U.S.

During an extensive ride-along program with the Brooks County Sheriff’s office in 2014, Breitbart Texas learned the illegal immigrants are often told the walk around the checkpoint is a very short hike and they will be picked up on the other side of the checkpoint. The reality is more like a three to four day march through hazardous conditions and very soft sand that makes one mile feel like five. If an illegal immigrant becomes injured or simply cannot keep up, they are left behind to die.

“Human smugglers will treat you like a commodity and will not think twice about leaving you to die in desolate environments,” Chief Patrol Agent Padilla said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas.

Brooks County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Urbano “Benny” Martinez has been leading the fight to reduce the deaths in his county for years.

“The abuse of these immigrants is hard to fathom,” Martinez told Breitbart Texas. “We have tried to make the most of our very limited resources to find them before something horrible happens to them.”

Martinez has been able to supplement his small staff of deputies with a group of volunteer law enforcement officers from the Rio Grande Valley and other areas of Texas. They volunteers give their time and professional service to the county through an organization known as the Border Brotherhood of Texas. The effort has enabled the county to significantly increase the law enforcement presence in the county at minimal cost to the county.

“We are very grateful to both those volunteer deputies and our regular staff who are dedicated to reducing the numbers of deaths in Brooks County,” Martinez said.

Martinez is currently in a runoff election for the nomination of his party to become sheriff of Brooks County. He has served in Brooks County for seven years after a career with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Breitbart Texas reported in April about the abuses of these illegal immigrants at the hands of human smugglers and resulting from this country’s unsecured border.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

This article was originally published at Breitbart Texas.

Drunk Driver Evades Arrest, Kills Prom Teen, Say Police

HOUSTON, Texas – A man believed to be driving drunk took police on a short but deadly chase as he reportedly blasted through a red light killing one teen and injuring another. The two teens had just left their high school prom only an hour or so before.

Police have filed felony evading and murder charges against Edin Palacios-Rodas after the man allegedly fled from police and crashed into a Dodge Charger being driven by a teenage driver who has not yet been identified, Houston Police Department Spokesman Kese Smith told Breitbart Texas in a phone interview. The crash resulted in the death of the 18-year-old teenage passenger and the serious injury of her driver, Moises Avila, also 18.

Officials with YES Prep North Central confirmed to KTRK ABC13 that the passenger who died at the scene of the crash was one of their students, Jocelyn Valero.

At this time, police officials have not reported on the accused killer’s nationality, citizenship, or whether the 27-year-old man had a driver license.

Smith told Breitbart Texas that a Houston DWI Task Force officer observed a pickup truck making a U-Turn about 1 a.m. on Saturday morning. During the turn the driver ran over the curb. The police officer initiated a traffic stop. Initially, the truck driven by Palacios slowed down and eventually stopped. When the officer stepped out of his vehicle, the pickup truck sped away.

A short, but high speed chase ensued which lasted for about 1-2 minutes, Smith said. The pursuit came to a stop as Rodriguez allegedly ran a traffic light on the feeder road and plowed into the Dodge Charger. The crash occurred on Houston’s North Freeway feeder road at the Tidwell intersection.

The driver of the pickup crawled out of his truck and attempted to flee, but Houston Police Officer Clark, HPD Special Operations Division, quickly took down the suspect, Scott Engle with the Harris County Police Reporter wrote.

Engle reported from the scene:

Clark tried to get to the victims of the vehicle but they were buried deep in the twisted metal. As other officers arrived they too were unable to access the two victims in the mangled Charger.

The first HFD (Houston Fire Department) Paramedic Supervisor arrived on the scene and determined the female in the passenger seat of the Charger was deceased. The male driver of the Charger was critical and wrapped in metal. Houston Ladder 67 arrived a short time later as crews worked almost fifteen minutes to free the driver of the Charger identified as Moises Avila, 18. Avilla was finally freed and transported to the hospital in critical condition.

Palacios-Rodas was transported to the hospital with minor injuries and released to police. Rodas-Palacios showed signs of intoxication.
In the driver’s seat was Jocelynn Valero, a young lady, dressed in her prom dress. She and Avilla had gone to the prom. They stopped at IHOP and were heading home.

“I just want to say the guy who killed my daughter, he has to pay for what he did,” Valero’s mother told ABC13. “There is a huge open wound in my family right now,” she says, “for my dear aunt and my dear uncle who have already lost…”

It was not the family’s first run-in with tragedy this year. Valero’s brother was shot and killed outside a nightclub about five weeks ago. Police are still investigating that crime and searching for the alleged killer.

Rodriguez received minor injuries and was also taken to a hospital where he was placed in custody.

Rodriguez has been charged with Capital Murder and Felony Evading Arrest and Detention according to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas. He may also be charged with Aggravated Assault with a Motor Vehicle in connection to Avila’s injuries.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

This article was originally published on BreitbartTexas.com.

Rick Perry Attacked by NeverTrump Crowd for Keeping His Word

Former Texas Governor and two-time presidential candidate Rick Perry is being attacked by conservative media outlets for, of all things, keeping his word. Governor Perry, like every other 2016 GOP presidential candidate, gave his word that he would support the nominee of the party – no matter who that nominee turned out to be.

Unlike some of the other former candidates, Rick Perry is keeping his word and has pledged his support for the apparent nominee, Donald Trump. Texas’ longest serving governor is now being attacked for honoring his promise to the voters that he would support the eventual nominee of the party.

In September 2015, Gov. Perry was asked in a post-campaign interview if he would support Donald Trump by the Austin American-Statesman’s Jonathan Tilove. The Austin journalist reminded the governor he had previously referred to Trump as a “cancer on conservatism.” Perry’s answer, “Sure. Whoever comes out of that Republican field I’m going to be supporting.”

During a Fox News debate in August 2015, Bret Baier asked the GOP candidates, “Is there anyone on stage, and can I see hands, who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of this Republican party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person?”

Of the ten candidates on stage, Donald Trump was the only person who said he could not make that pledge. He later signed the pledge and said he would support the eventual nominee, no matter who it was.

Now, outlets like Red State and National Review are attacking the governor for standing by his word. A May 5 Red State headline read “Pathetic: Rick Perry Supports Donald Trump and Open to Being His VP.”

The Red State piece goes on to say, “To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. All this does is lend credibility to those who say, ‘Oh most Republicans will come around. They’ll support Trump at some point.’” He completely leaves out that Perry, like every other Republican candidate, had promised to support the eventual nominee. He ends his article saying, in bold print, “Shame on you, Governor Perry.”

But Red State was not alone in their attack on a man who is honoring his promise.National Review’s published an article titled, “Perry and Other Republicans Sell Their Souls to Trump.”

In that piece, the National Review accused Perry of hypocrisy and “selling his political soul for a seat on the Trump Train.”

If you want to talk about hypocrisy, just imagine what these writers would be saying about Donald Trump had Ted Cruz secured the nomination at the convention and Trump either refused his support or ran as an independent candidate.

The National Review went further and attacked other former GOP presidential candidates who have pledged their support to the party’s apparently soon-to-be nominee. At the same time, he honored former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, for turning his back on his promise to support the nominee. The piece read, “the Republican aristocracy is for the most part bending its knee to the new king, proving that much of the ‘establishment’ is exactly as craven as Trump always claimed.’”

The article concluded with the assertion, “For conservatives, party unity is another way of saying ‘suicide pact.’ I will never vote for Hillary Clinton because she believes things I can never support. I will never vote for Donald Trump because he’s a bullying fool who believes in nothing but himself. The conservative movement can wait out a Clinton presidency intact.”

The next president will make at least one Supreme Court nomination, to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. It is likely that several more vacancies could occur during the next four years. The thought of passing that appointment on to Hillary Clinton should be enough for any conservative to say #NeverHillary.

Rick Perry, and other former candidates have stood by their word. That should be honored in this day in time where a candidate’s word is often meaningless.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

Wave a Gun, Leave in a Bag, Says Texas Sheriff

A Texas county sheriff warned would-be robbers that if you come into his county waving a gun, you could leave in a bag. The comment came after a homeowner in his county used his gun to defend himself from a man attempting to rob him when he arrived at his home Wednesday evening.

The incident occurred in Fort Bend County located just southeast of Houston near the town of Richmond. The homeowner had just pulled into his driveway when the would-be robber approached him with a gun and demanded money.  The homeowner pulled out his own gun and stopped the robbery attempt by shooting the man twice, ABC13 in Houston reported.

Moments later, a neighbor took a photo of the homeowner, gun in hand, standing near the deceased robber. Witnesses reported a black truck with two people inside fleeing the scene after the shooting.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls told reporters it was a pretty “cut-and-dry case” of self-defense. Sheriff’s deputies recovered two guns at the scene – the homeowner’s and the robber’s.

“Don’t come into Fort Bend County and start waving guns around because you could leave in a bag,” Nehls told ABC13.

The sheriff appears to believe the robber came into Fort Bend County from neighboring Harris County (Houston).

“We just want to come home from work and spend time with our families,” the sheriff explained. “We don’t need thugs coming into this county to try to rob us of our possessions. So here’s my warning to criminals. You may want to go back to Harris County.”

The case is being investigated as an aggravated robbery, the sheriff said.

Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey told Breitbart Texas in an interview on Thursday morning that Texas law allows you to “use deadly force when you reasonably believe the use of deadly force is necessary to protect yourself from a person committing an unlawful act against you who is also using or threatening to use deadly force.”

When asked if someone could take advantage of Texas self-defense laws to kill someone, Healy said, “A great deterrent against that is all of the people who review the evidence to determine if the shooting was reasonable. We have checks and balances that start with the responding police officer, and continue on to the law enforcement department’s review of the evidence, to a district attorney’s review and even a grand jury.”

“Common Texas horse sense will determine if the use of deadly force is reasonable,” the district attorney stated.

A neighbor of the homeowner told ABC13, “He did the right thing. People are ready to defend their homes.”

The robber, who died at the scene, was described as a Hispanic male in his twenties, KPRC NBC2 in Houston reported.

Following the shooting, the homeowner ran into his home where he lives with his two parents who are in their 80’s, the NBC affiliate reported. He then called 911 for assistance.

Another neighbor had no sympathy for the deceased robbery suspect. “I don’t feel sorry for him. I don’t feel sorry for him,” Nikia Smith told KPRC.

This is the second time in less than a week that a potential robbery victim used deadly force to stop the robber. On Saturday, a man in Galveston County walked up to a driver of a pick-up truck in a drive-thru line at a League City McDonald’s and demanded money. The driver, who had his young son with him, pulled his own gun and fired multiple shots at his assailant. That robber also died from his injuries.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

Texan with Concealed Handgun Stops Armed Robbery

HOUSTON, Texas – A Houston area man shot and killed an armed robber who was attempting to hold him and his young child at gunpoint. The man used a concealed handgun to stop the robbery and protect his son.

The incident happened on Saturday afternoon at a League City McDonald’s. The man and his child were in the drive-thru lane of the McDonald’s when another man approached their vehicle with a gun. Witnesses said it appeared the man was attempting to rob the man in the drive-thru, Fox26 Houston reported.

During the robbery attempt, the driver pulled out his concealed handgun and shot the assailant multiple times. The apparent robber was struck in the chest by the gunshots.

After being transported to Clear Lake Regional Medical, the suspected robber was pronounced dead.

The victim of the robbery was taken to the League City Police Department where he was questioned about the shooting, Galveston County Daily News’ Chacour Koop reported. The man is the holder of a Texas Handgun License.

Police told Coop neither the driver nor his 4-year-old son were injured during the incident. The child’s mother came to the scene and picked up the little boy while the father was being questioned.

The driver, whose identity has not yet been released, was released and was said to be home with his family. He was reported to be very upset about the shooting, ABC13’s Lauren Leereported.

The man’s attorney, Robert Pelton, told Lee his client was thankful to be alive and that his son was not hurt. “He was trying to get his son, protect his son and I think he obviously saw his chance then to defend himself because he was afraid he was going to get shot,” the Houston attorney explained.

Lee reported that the entire shooting was captured by a security video camera at a neighboring cell phone store.

A store employee, Vanessa Stanford also witnessed the shooting scene. “I looked over and a man was laying on the ground with another man aiming a gun at him. While he was lying on the ground,” she stated. “That’s immediately when I called 911 and told my customers get away from the wall and the windows.”

Pelton told Lee that his client was forced to shoot in self-defense. “I think he [the robbery victim] would want other citizens to know they have a right to protect themselves,” the attorney said. “You have to be cautious all the time, wherever you are.”

The shooting will be referred to a grand jury which should return a no-bill unless some currently unreported facts change the circumstances.

Under Texas law, your car is considered an extension of your home. The “castle doctrine” applies to drivers in their cars. The law also allows the use of deadly force if one reasonably believes they are in danger of death or serious bodily injury.

While the driver of the car has a Texas Handgun License, the license is not necessary to have a gun in the car.

In Texas a handgun can be carried by a non-licensed individual in the following places: (source: Texas Law Shield)

  • A person’s residence or other real property under their control.
  • A person’s private motor vehicle or watercraft if the handgun is concealed, and the person is legal to possess a firearm, is not a member of a street gang, and is not engaged in the commission of a crime greater than a Class C misdemeanor traffic or boating violation.
  • A person engaged in lawful fishing, hunting, or other sporting activity on the immediate premises where the activity is conducted, or is en route between the premises and the persons’ residence or motor vehicle, if the firearm is a type commonly used in the activity.

The incident occurred about 2:10 p.m. on Saturday in League City which is located southeast of Houston and is the home of the NASA Manned Spaceflight Center. The victim and his son were driving a Ford F-150 pick-up truck in the drive-thru lane of the McDonalds located at FM518 and State Highway 3.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

Originally published on Breitbart Texas