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Top Stories: Driver Pleads Guilty In Smuggling Case; Top Texas Judicial Candidates

Authorities discovered eight bodies inside the crowded 18-wheeler parked outside a Walmart in the summer heat, and two more victims died at the hospital.

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

The driver of a semi-trailer packed with at least 39 immigrants, 10 of whom died, pleaded guilty Monday to making the deadly smuggling run.

James Matthew Bradley Jr. pleaded in federal court in San Antonio to one conspiracy count and a count of transporting the immigrants resulting in death. He faces up to life in prison when he's sentenced on Jan. 22, and could have faced the death penalty had he gone to trial.

Other stories this evening:

  • The lines at North Texas haunted houses only get longer as we head toward Halloween. Art&Seek's intern Miguel Perez bravely stepped inside one of these fright factories in Fort Worth to find out why people love to get scared. 

  • We're all familiar with presidential candidates making promises they may not be able to keep once they're in office. Why is it so hard for the commander-in-chief to get things done? Historian Jeremi Suri argues the job just might be too much for one person to handle. Today on Think, he talked with Krys Boyd about rethinking America's highest office. 

  • There are 13 empty seats in federal courts overseeing Texas – that’s nearly a fifth of the Lone Star State’s federal judges. Most are considered judicial emergencies, and some have been empty for years. KERA’s Christopher Connelly talks with Eric Aasen.

 You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM.

Gus Contreras is a digital producer and reporter at KERA News. Gus produces the local All Things Considered segment and reports on a variety of topics from, sports to immigration. He was an intern and production assistant for All Things Considered in Washington D.C.