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Man Condemned For Music Producer's Slaying & Nightly Roundup


By KERA News & Wire Services

Dallas, TX –

A man convicted over a 2008 suburban Dallas robbery that left two Christian music record producers dead has received the death penalty.

State District Judge Michael Snipes read the punishment in Dallas on Friday for 20-year-old James Broadnax of Texarkana. A Dallas County jury on Aug. 12 convicted Broadnax of capital murder in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Stephen Swan of Carrollton. Also killed in the Garland parking lot was 28-year-old Zion Gate records owner Matthew Butler.

Both men were gunned down after leaving the recording studio on June 19, 2008.

Broadnax and his cousin, Demarius Cummings, were captured hours later in Swan's car during a stop by Texarkana police. Broadnax still faces a capital murder charge in Butler's death. Cummings is also charged in both killings but has yet to be tried.

East Texas kennel owners face cruelty charges

An East Texas couple has been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty after a raid 10 days ago in which more than 500 puppies and about 12 cats were seized.

Kaufman County sheriff's deputies arrested Margaret and James Boyd on Friday. That's after investigators and Humane Society representatives raided the Klassie Kennel on Aug. 11. Investigators say some of the puppies from the kennel near Mabank were ill or dying.

A Kaufman County Jail officer said James Boyd is free on bond, but Margaret Boyd remains in custody. If convicted, the Boyds could each be sentenced to up to a year in jail and fined up to $4,000.

No telephone numbers for the kennel nor the Boyds were found listed for Mabank, 50 miles southeast of Dallas.

Texas facing hundreds of DPS trooper vacancies

A Texas program is meant to boost the law enforcement presence along the border with Mexico by temporarily reassigning troopers from other parts of the state.

An audit by a state commission found that Operation Border Star contributed to the Department of Public Safety "critical personnel shortage, weakening its ability to protect the public."

Gov. Rick Perry started Operation Border Star in 2007 to help combat drug smuggling and other border crime.

The McAllen Monitor reports there are currently more than 300 vacancies for commissioned DPS officers. DPS in September expects to add 80 troopers statewide from an upcoming class of recruits.

DPS spokesman Tim Vinger said Operation Border Star can't be blamed for the vacancies. During the past four years, legislators have created more than 266 new commissioned officer positions. DPS loses about 200 commissioned officers annually through retirements, terminations and voluntary attrition.

Pilot pleaded to evacuate stranded passengers

Federal officials say the captain of an airliner stranded overnight on an airport tarmac in Minnesota pleaded unsuccessfully for her 47 passengers to be allowed to get off and go inside a terminal.

The Department of Transportation said Friday that audio recordings of conversations between the pilot of Continental Express Flight 2816 and a representative of Mesaba Airlines earlier this month show the airline repeatedly turned down requests to allow passengers to enter the Rochester, Minn., terminal because security personnel had left for the day.

Transportation officials said that was incorrect - passengers could have stayed in a separate area. Mesaba was the only airline with staff at the airport at the time.

Regional carrier ExpressJet operated the flight for Houston-based Continental Airlines.

Perry, Hutchison agree they will debate

Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison agree they will debate as she seeks the job he now holds. Perry on Friday issued a statement saying he has accepted an invitation from the Tarrant County and Denton County GOP to debate in Denton this fall.

Perry also said he has accepted debate invites from Dallas-based media group Belo Corp. and the Collin County GOP. A spokeswoman for Hutchison, who this week officially kicked off her campaign, said the senator looks forward to working out scheduling for many debate requests.

Jennifer Baker said Hutchison is "excited to talk about her conservative vision for the future of Texas."

Hutchison has agreed to the Belo debate, but Baker had no specifics about other debates with Perry in which the senator will take part.