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New Facilities For Migrant Children Slated For Texas, Ex-Houston Cop Facing Murder Charges Has First Court Hearing, And Trial Of Man Accused Of Killing 6 In Spring In 2014 Starts

These are some of the stories Houston Public Media is covering.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Top afternoon stories:

Occupants at an immigrant shelter for unaccompanied minors in Brownsville are seen in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

New Facilities For Migrant Children Slated For Texas

Texas Health and Human Services has confirmed that applications have come in for two new shelters that would hold migrant youth who arrive at the U.S-Mexico border without a guardian.  

The unaccompanied minor facilities are slated for the Rio Grande Valley, in McAllen and Los Fresnos. 

Lutheran Social Services of the South and CHSI would operate the new facilities. 

The Los Fresnos shelter would hold children as young as infants and as old as 17, according to documents obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting

Another application, for a child placing agency, which would supervise the placement of migrant foster children, is also pending approval. That agency, operated by Foster Texas, would be in Cedar Park, north of Austin. Read the full story, here.

Former Houston Police officer Gerald Goines.

Ex-Houston Cop Facing Murder Charges Has First Court Hearing

A former Houston police officer charged with felony murder in the deaths of a couple during a January drug raid on their home has a long history of serving the community and was only doing his job, his attorney said Monday.

Gerald Goines appeared in court for a brief court hearing to go over his bond conditions following his arrest last week. He remains free on bonds totaling $300,000.

His attorney, Nicole DeBorde, told reporters afterward that she believes Goines was only doing his job and investigating a drug tip that led to the Jan. 28 raid.

Prosecutors allege that Goines lied to obtain the warrant to search the couple’s home by claiming that a confidential informant had bought heroin there. You can read a complete timeline of the raid and the subsequent investigation by clicking here.

This file photo shows Ronald Lee Haskell collapsing as he appeared in court on Friday, July 11, 2014, in Houston.

Trial Of Man Accused Of Killing 6 In Spring In 2014 Starts

A man traveled from California to Spring in 2014 and stalked his ex-wife’s family for two days before killing six of them as part of his plan to harm anyone who had helped his former spouse, a Texas prosecutor told jurors Monday.

Harris County prosecutor Samantha Knecht made the assertion during opening statements in the capital murder trial of Ronald Lee Haskell. Knecht added that Haskell created a meticulous plot in which he would kill his ex-wife’s entire family.

Haskell’s defense attorney, Douglas Durham, told jurors that Haskell was not responsible for his actions because before the shooting, he had “spiraled down into very severe mental illness.”

Knecht told the jury that Haskell’s marriage had ended after accusations of domestic violence and that his ex-wife and his children had moved to Texas to be with her family.

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