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Ex-prison guard trainee may face death for killing 5 women in Florida bank, jury votes – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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www.nbcdfw.com – Terry Spencer | Associated Press – 2024-06-26 16:07:13

SUMMARY: A jury recommended the death penalty for Zephen Xaver, a former prison guard trainee, for the execution-style murders of five women in a Florida bank in 2019. Jurors voted 9-3 for the death penalty, but Circuit Judge Angela Cowden will make the final decision. Xaver, who had long-desired to kill, pleaded guilty to the murders. The massacre involved Xaver ordering the women to lie on the floor before shooting them. Prosecutors described Xaver as a cold, calculated killer, while his defense argued he is mentally ill, hearing voices since childhood. The case reflects a recent Florida law change requiring only an 8-4 jury vote for the death penalty recommendation.

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Abraham Choukair’s brothers angered over 14-year-old brother’s murder on Hammerly Boulevard in Spring Branch

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abc13.com – Alex Bozarjian – 2024-07-23 22:28:08

SUMMARY: The Houston Police Department is searching for a suspect in the murder of 14-year-old Abraham Choukair at an apartment complex in Spring Branch. Surveillance photos of the suspect have been released. Abraham’s brothers expressed their frustration and grief, noting that while they had chosen careers that kept them out of trouble, Abraham fell victim to violence. The family is also angered by the rising trend of juvenile homicides in Harris County, which have increased by 76% from 2021 to 2023. They commented on the heartbreaking irony that another 14-year-old was shot there last year but survived.

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Houston mayor asks for pause on leases in new apartment complex in Second Ward until contaminated ash concerns addressed

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abc13.com – Rosie Nguyen – 2024-07-23 22:18:59

SUMMARY: The Houston Housing Authority has temporarily halted leasing at Pointe at Bayou Bend in Second Ward, Houston, at Mayor John Whitmire's request following concerns over high lead levels and ash contamination. This decision came after four violations were cited by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Residents nearby, like Shon Jones, reported respiratory issues after construction began, fearing potential cancer risks due to toxic ash from an old incinerator site. An environmental assessment is underway, with HHA committed to achieving full compliance and ensuring safety for future residents. Community members appreciate the pause to address these concerns.

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High jump legend Charles Austin on Olympics, the record he set in 1996

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www.kxan.com – Noah Gross – 2024-07-23 22:11:00

SUMMARY: Charles Austin, an Olympic gold medalist from the 1996 Atlanta Games, reminisces about the high jump bar that changed his life, which now sits in his gym. Austin set an Olympic and American high jump record of 7 feet, 10 inches, which remains unbroken. A Texas State graduate and a late bloomer in high jumping, Austin won the 1990 NCAA outdoor high jump title and holds an enduring American record. Excited about upcoming Olympics, he recalls coaching NBA legend John Starks and expresses fulfillment in mentoring younger athletes, aiding their collegiate and competitive aspirations.

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