Texas Digest: Police chief kills self when served warrant – News – Austin American-Statesman


BRUCEVILLE-EDDY

Officials: Police chief kills self when served warrant

Officials say the police chief of a small Central Texas town killed himself when Texas Rangers arrived at his home.

McLennan County Sheriff Paul McNamara told KCEN-TV of Temple that Rangers met Marlin Police Chief Nathan Sodek on the porch of his Bruceville-Eddy home about noon Friday to serve him with a warrant. McNamara said that Sodek, who was 30, turned, ran back into his house, got a handgun and killed himself.

McNamara said the Rangers had been investigating Sodek on sexual assault allegations.

Sodek was named interim police chief in October 2018 and was given the job permanently in November.

Home to about 1,700 residents, Bruceville-Eddy is 18 miles southwest of Waco and 20 miles west of Marlin, which is home to about 5,600 residents.

HOUSTON

At least 18 sickened by carbon monoxide at apartments

Authorities say at least 18 people were treated after a carbon monoxide leak at a Houston area apartment complex.

The Champions Fire Department said the Saturday morning leak might have been caused by a vehicle left running overnight in the garage of one of the apartment units in northwest Harris County, according to KTRK-TV.

Authorities say seven children are among the 18 people hospitalized. One person was taken to a hospital by helicopter. All those hospitalized are in stable condition and expected to survive.

Residents of the apartment complex were not being allowed to return to their homes until air quality readings came back as normal.

ORANGE

Newlywed couple killed moments after wedding

A newlywed Southeast Texas couple was killed when their car and a truck towing a trailer collided moments after the couple was wed.

The crash happened about 3 p.m. Friday on Texas 87 at Orange County Airport on the southwestern edge of Orange, 96 miles east of Houston near the border with Louisiana.

Orange police say 19-year-old Harley Joe Morgan and his 20-year-old bride, Rhiannon Boudreaux Morgan, were leaving the office of the justice of the peace who married them when they pulled out onto the highway. A pickup towing a trailer carrying a tractor collided with the couple’s car, killing both. Justice of the Peace Joy Dubose-Simonton, who performed the wedding, attended their bodies as coroner.

The truck’s driver was unhurt.

LA PORTE

Sunday is last day to visit Battleship Texas before repairs

Officials say Sunday is the last day for the public to visit to the Battleship Texas near Houston before the 107-year-old vessel undergoes repairs.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says during the closure, staff will be securing thousands of artifacts on board the ship and will remove large exhibit collections before it is moved for repairs to fix a leaking hull.

The ship will be moved from its location in La Porte to a repair site where $35 million in renovations will be done.

The Battleship Texas Foundation has said the ship will get a new home after it is repaired. A decision on the ship’s new home has not yet been made.

The ship saw action in both World War I and World War II.

HARRIS COUNTY

DA objects to deal in lawsuit over bail system

The top prosecutor in Texas’ most populous county is opposing parts of a proposed settlement in a federal lawsuit over the county’s bail system, which had been deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg had previously supported the lawsuit, calling for “immediate reform to the bail system.” The 2016 lawsuit argues it is unjust that many misdemeanor defendants remain jailed because they are too poor to afford bail.

But in a court brief filed Thursday, Ogg said the proposed settlement — announced last month — is inconsistent with Texas law and makes the prosecution of misdemeanor crimes “unnecessarily and unlawfully difficult, if not impossible.”

Ogg’s objections include the possibility the proposed agreement could create roadblocks “to ensuring the regular and timely appearance of a defendant in court” and could put victims in danger because judges would not be able to issue timely protective measures in cases like domestic violence or stalking because defendants would not be required to appear in court until three days after their release from jail.

“The proposed settlement clearly favors convenience to misdemeanor defendants without regard to the impact on victims, witnesses, and or any other stakeholders,” Ogg said in her court brief.

SPRING

Man accused of killing boss after being fired

Authorities allege a 22-year-old suburban Houston man fatally shot his boss after being fired.

Jatraveous Williams remained jailed Saturday after being charged with murder in the death of 56-year-old Leonard John Ruffer.

The Harris County sheriff’s office alleges Williams shot Ruffer, who owned a floor installation business, after Ruffer fired him. Investigators say Ruffer was shot Friday morning at his home in the Spring.

The sheriff’s office said one of Williams’ relatives was driving him to speak with investigators when he pulled out a gun. The relative pulled over to a gas station and called authorities.

After a 90-minute standoff, Williams surrendered to deputies.

SINTON

Man indicted in shooting that killed 4 at kid’s party

A South Texas man who, along with his father, is accused in the shooting deaths of four people at a toddler’s birthday party in 2018 has been indicted on capital murder charges.

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported that Ronnie Rodriguez Jr., 21, was being held without bond Saturday after being indicted two days earlier.

His father, 38-year-old Ronnie Rodriguez Sr., was indicted on capital murder charges in December and remains jailed.

Authorities say Rodriguez and his father got into an argument with the four men at the party and began firing after accusing one of them of being a “peeping tom.”

A fifth person also was wounded but survived the October 2018 shooting in Taft, which is north of Corpus Christi.

The Associated Press

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