NPR for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Judge Fines Dallas Debt Company $2 Million

(cc) flickr

A Vermont judge has ordered a Texas debt settlement company to pay a fine of $2 million in a consumer fraud case.

Credit Solutions of America also must pay full refunds to 207 Vermonters totaling about $350,000.

The Vermont attorney general's office had sued both CSA of Dallas and its owner, Doug Van Arsdale, in July 2010, accusing them of using unsubstantiated claims that people can reduce their debt "in 60 seconds" to advertise its services.

The state also accused the company of doing business in Vermont without a license and failing to properly notify consumers of their right to cancel their contract with the company.


Fort Hood suspect requesting another expert

The Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting rampage will be back in a military court this week.

Maj. Nidal Hasan will attend a pretrial hearing Wednesday.

The judge may rule on a request from defense attorneys for a forensic pathologist, who would be paid by the government.

The judge also might rule on a defense motion to force prosecutors to provide notes from meetings with President Barack Obama, the defense secretary and other officials after the November 2009 shootings. But prosecutors say no Army officers involved in the case have been influenced by higher-ranking officials.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.

His trial is to start in June at the Texas Army post.


Southwest Airlines says evacuation 'false alarm'

A Southwest Airlines spokesman says a suspicious device found on an airplane caused Dallas Love Field to be evacuated for nearly an hour before authorities determined it was a false alarm.

Paul Flaningan said Sunday a Southwest crew member found the device on an empty plane getting ready to fly to Amarillo. Flaningan said he didn't know what the device was but that the owner came back to retrieve it.

Flaningan said Love Field was closed for nearly 45 minutes and the airport was up and running again.


Ex-nurse convicted of bleach killings awaits fate

The punishment phase has started in the capital murder trial of an East Texas nurse who could go to death row for killing five kidney dialysis patients by injecting them with bleach.

Jurors who convicted 38-year-old Kimberly Saenz on Friday began hearing evidence Monday to decide whether she receives life in prison without the chance of parole or lethal injection.

Saenz was convicted of killing the patients and deliberately injuring five others at a clinic run by Denver-based health care giant DaVita Inc.

She was fired in April 2008 after a rash of illnesses and deaths at the clinic in Lufkin, about 125 miles northeast of Houston. Her lawyers argued Saenz wrongly took the blame for the clinic's sloppy procedures.

Bleach is a commonly used disinfectant at the clinic.


Prosecutors want JetBlue captain held without bond

Federal prosecutors are asking that a JetBlue captain who left the cockpit of a Las Vegas-bound flight screaming about religion and terrorists be held without bond.

Pilot Clayton Osbon smiled Monday at his wife and JetBlue employees who came to his first federal court appearance. The 49-year-old is charged with interfering with a flight crew for his bizarre unraveling on Flight 191 last Tuesday.

Osbon was not asked to enter a plea during the 10-minute hearing. A federal judge is expected to rule on the bond issue during a detention hearing Thursday.

Passengers wrestled Osbon to the ground after witnesses said he ran through the cabin screaming about Jesus and al-Qaida. They tied him up with seat belt extenders until the plane made an emergency landing in Amarillo.