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Father's claims he didn't kill driver get boost

ANGLETON, Texas (AP) - A Texas father's claims he did not fatally shoot a drunken driver who caused an accident that killed his two sons seem to have received a boost from testimony by prosecution witnesses.

David Barajas (bah-RAH'-hahs) is on trial in the 2012 shooting death of Jose Banda. He is accused of shooting Banda near Alvin minutes after the intoxicated driver plowed into a vehicle Barajas and his two sons had been pushing along a rural road.

At Barajas' trial Wednesday in Angleton, an ex-deputy and a current deputy told jurors they failed to note in reports that more gunfire had taken place well after Banda was shot.

Later Wednesday, Banda's cousin gave contradictory testimony about whether Barajas had hit Banda before allegedly shooting him.

Alvin is 30 miles southeast of Houston.


UT System set to formally hire McRaven as leader

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Navy Adm. William McRaven is set to be formally hired as chancellor of the University of Texas System.

McRaven is expected to be on hand Thursday when system regents make his appointment official at a board meeting in Austin. He was selected as the lone finalist for the job last month despite having no professional academic experience.

The 58-year-old McRaven heads the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida. He's been credited with spearheading the operation that led to the death of Osama bin Laden in a raid on his compound in 2011.

Now he will oversee a system with 215,000 students, nine academic campuses and a $14 billion budget.

McRaven replaces Francisco Cigarroa, who is stepping down after five years.


Access to Texas court records raises concerns

HOUSTON (AP) - Harris County's practice of posting sensitive court documents online has raised concerns from legal experts who say it puts abused and neglected children at risk.

University of Houston Law Center professor Ellen Marrus tells the Houston Chronicle sexual predators or parents whose children have been taken away could use the uploaded names and photographs to locate the children. The information is publicly accessible at kiosks at the civil courthouse.

Harris County's three juvenile courts created tighter restrictions on such information a decade ago. Its nine family courts have yet to do so.

The district clerk's spokesman says the information is available because some lawyers aren't filing documents correctly. He says they can mark filings as confidential but that isn't always done.


2 fatally electrocuted in West Texas oilfield

WESTBROOK, Texas (AP) - Two men are dead and one is hospitalized in critical condition after they were electrocuted while moving an oil well pumping jack in West Texas.

The accident happened around midday Wednesday near the town of Westbrook, about 80 miles northeast of Midland. Mitchell County Sheriff Patrick Coombs says a cable from the truck the workers were using touched a power line.

No identities have been released.

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