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Medical marijuana in Texas: What you need to know

Texans can now access medical marijuana legally because of a law signed by Governor Abbott.

In compliance with the Compassionate Use Program, the first dispensary will soon open in Schulenburg, Texas.

Knox Medical officials said the Department of Public Safety makes weekly inspections as they prepare to open.

Founder and CEO of Knox Medical, Jose Hidalgo, said they chose Schulenburg because it is almost right in the middle of San Antonio, Austin and Houston. They are on schedule to begin deliveries next month.

“We’ll go to the major treatment centers and talk to the physicians and find out, ‘Do any of your patients qualify for medical cannabis?'” Hidalgo explained.

What will they be licensed to make?

According to DPS, they are authorized for Low-THC Cannabis as the plant Cannabis sativa L., and any part of that plant or any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, preparation, resin, or oil of that plant that contains:

A. Not more than 0.5 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinols; and
B. Not less than 10 percent by weight of cannabidiol.

Who will get access to cannabis?

The Compassionate Use Program is limited to patients in Texas with intractable epilepsy of any age.

However, Texas Children’s Hospital is planning a different approach.

“A pharmaceutical-grade medication in a clinical trial, with the proper regulations and safety considerations, is something that we would propose as a better pathway than just making an oil and giving it to children,” Dr. Clark said.

Clark said he thinks it’s only a matter of time before a drug showing promise in clinical trials (Epidiolex) will be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Clark said he will wait and prescribe something like that instead of ordering something from a licensed dispensary.

“There is an abundance of studies done out there. None of them are going to fit what an FDA clinical type trial are,” Hidalgo countered. “The reason why the Texas legislature passed CBD cannabis like other states is because the parents of these very, very sick children are demanding it.”

Who determines if you’re eligible for cannabis?

A patient may be prescribed low-THC cannabis if:
The patient is a permanent resident of Texas;
The patient is diagnosed with intractable epilepsy;
The qualified physician determines the risk of the medical use of low-THC cannabis by a patient is reasonable in light of the potential benefit for the patient; and
A second qualified physician has concurred with the determination.

Dr. Clark warns that just like all medications, CBD oil has limits. It’s not a miracle cure and does not work for everyone.

Clark said researchers are not sure why it shows benefits in some patients and not in others.

The FDA still classifies medical marijuana as unsafe.

Is smoking the plant legal in Texas?

No. Smoking is specifically excluded as a medical use, according to DPS.

What do Houston parents think?

Max and Kelly Beatty’s daughter is currently taking Epidiolex in a clinical trial.

“Given the choice, I would take the FDA drug and give that to Scarlett every time but that’s not an option for everyone right now,” Max Beatty said about his daughter with a severe form of epilepsy. “I just want the other families in Texas who are dealing with what we’re dealing with and worse, I want them to have a shot at what we get. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t.”

The Beattys said Epidiolex is helping their daughter, Scarlett, to maintain smaller doses of her medication.

She has fewer seizures and she’s more alert.

“She gets to do so much more now than she ever did before so she’s happy now, I think,” Kelly said.

For more frequently asked questions, click here.

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Harris County deputy suspended after striking handcuffed man after chase

A veteran Harris County Sheriffs Office Deputy will face disciplinary action and re-training after an incident that happened while a suspect was in custody.

Deputy Tu Tran, currently assigned to the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force, will face a three-day unpaid suspension because of his actions following a multi-agency police pursuit Oct. 12 that covered 85 miles and ended with the suspect’s arrest in Jefferson County.

WATCH: East Freeway suspect apparently punched in throat

“Deputy Tran also has been ordered to undergo additional training and he is on a 90-day probationary status,” wrote Harris County Sheriff’s Office Senior Deputy Thomas Gilliland.

On video captured by Sky 2, Tran appears to strike the handcuffed suspect, Mohmed Abu-Shlieba, 25, in the throat as he is places him into an unmarked police vehicle.

“Obviously, my thoughts are the officer overreached his boundaries. It wasn’t necessary. The man was in custody and handcuffs,” Brian Coyne, Abu-Shlieba’s defense attorney, said by phone.

Tran has not been charged with a crime, and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges, according to Gilliland.

Abu-Shlieba, who has prior criminal convictions, is most recently charged with evading arrest.

Tran shot and killed a man with a gun outside a Houston nightclub in July 2015.

A friend of the man said at the scene that Juan Adolfo Ibarra, 24, was trying to leave the scene and should not have been shot.

A Harris County Grand Jury declined to indict Tran in March 2016.

 

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Woman with F-Trump sticker adds Sheriff Troy Nehls to display on truck

The driver of a truck featuring a sticker with an expletive directed toward President Donald Trump made some new adjustements by adding, “F*** Troy Nehls and F*** You for Voting for Him” after being arrested on an unrelated, outstanding charge.

Karen Fonseca, 46, walked out of the Fort Bend County Jail with her husband Thursday night after she was taken into custody just an hour after KPRC spoke with her Thursday.

She was released on a $1,500 bond.

State Rep. Ron Reynolds and Fonseca will be holding a press conference at 10 a.m. Monday to discuss the injustice against Fonseca at the Fort Bend County Justice Center.

‘We have to protect people’s First Amendment Right to Free Speech,” Reynolds said. “A difference in political views does not give Sheriff Nehls the right to target citizens. These actions by Sheriff Nehls could be an abuse of his law enforcement authority.”

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said he was “not surprised” by the sticker, and “thinks it’s disgusting.”

Fonseca’s truck was pictured in a post on Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls’ Facebook page. Nehls posted a photo of the back of a white pickup truck with a tinted back window and a large sticker that reads, “F*** Trump, and f*** you for voting for him.”

Here was Nehls’ caption of the photo:

“I have received numerous calls regarding the offensive display on this truck as it is often seen along FM 359. If you know who owns this truck or it is yours, I would like to discuss it with you. Our Prosecutor has informed us she would accept Disorderly Conduct charges regarding it, but I feel we could come to an agreement regarding a modification to it.”

WATCH: Fort Bend County sheriff speaks about Facebook post on anti-Trump sticker

The post went viral, gaining more than 10,000 shares within hours.

Just a day after the post was made Thursday, Nehls had deleted the post. His office issued this statement:

“The Sheriff made the post on his Personal page. The objective of the post was to find the owner/driver of the truck and have a conversation with them in order to prevent a potential altercation between the truck driver and those offended by the message. Since the owner of the truck has been identified, the Sheriff took down the post. Due to the hate messages he has been receiving towards his wife and children, the Sheriff will not be commenting on the matter further.”

WATCH: Full interview of truck owner with F Trump sticker

Fonseca said in the 11 months that she has had the sticker on the truck she has had no problems.

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Former United Airlines pilot pleads guilty to running prostitution ring

Former United Airlines pilot Bruce Wayne Wallis appeared before Harris County Judge Jim Wallace to plead guilty to running a prostitution ring.

The judge gave Wallis five years’ probation. He could have faced up to 20 years in prison if found guilty at trial.

“Even though what you did is certainly despicable, you didn’t endanger, as far as I know, anyone’s lives. You didn’t force anyone to do anything that they didn’t want to do,” Wallace said.

As part of the agreement, Wallis agreed not to ask that his commercial pilot’s license be reinstated while he is on probation.

He also must complete 150 hours of community service and pay a $2,000 fine.

The judge allowed him to keep his flight school open. If he successfully completes the probation, he will avoid a criminal conviction.

“I think that he recognized that while there was a crime committed, that Mr. Wallis should have an opportunity to make a living and contribute, so we’re happy with the result, absolutely happy with it,” defense attorney Dan Cogdell said.

Wallis was arrested in 2016 in one of the 17 raids across Houston in connection to a prostitution ring. Prosecutors said the ring involved 20 female prostitutes at more than six brothels.

“We’re hopeful that he will learn his lesson and that he’ll move on from there. It’s been a long road to get us to this point. There’s been a lot of work and difficulties and there’s been a lot of harm that’s taken place. I’m glad we’re getting to an ending point,” prosecutor Lester Blizzard said.

 

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Trial dates set for ex-deputy, husband charged in John Hernandez’s death

The trial dates have been set for a former Harris County deputy and her husband who were arrested in connection with the death of John Hernandez.

Chauna Thompson, who was fired from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and her husband, Terry Thompson, were in court Thursday, where a judge set the trial dates – May 18, 2018, for Terry Thompson, and June 1, 2018, for Chauna Thompson.

There was a heavy presence of law enforcement at the courthouse as the Thompsons arrived. The couple ignored questions from reporters as they walked to a waiting elevator.

Family, friends and supporters of Hernandez were also present. They said they believe the trials could take up to two years to complete, and are willing to be there every step of the way.

The Thompsons were each charged with murder in connection with the May 28 confrontation with Hernandez outside of a Denny’s restaurant. Video of the incident appeared to show Terry Thompson using a chokehold and lying on top of Hernandez while Chauna Thompson held down one of Hernandez’s arms.

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Man fights to prove he’s alive after bank reports him as deceased

Jose Antonio Lopez is not only alive and well, he invited Channel 2 into his home in Cypress to prove reports of his death by a credit card company have been greatly exaggerated.

“I even asked them, Synchrony Bank. I said, ‘Do you have on record my death certificate?’ And even, ‘You don’t have a death certificate because you are talking to me on the phone. How are you going to be talking to a dead person?'” he said.

For Lopez and his family, the last 10 months have been no laughing matter.

He showed us paperwork from Synchrony Bank — from which he has several credit cards — that mistakenly reported him as deceased in January.

The mix up has caused Lopez’s credit rating to plummet because over the past several months his accounts have accumulated interest and late fees — but he couldn’t pay them because he was listed as dead.

“They have charged me interest, they have charged me late fees,” he said. “And like I say, they report on the credit bureaus charge off, which is a negative.”

Ironically, Lopez is a loan officer and understands the implications of a poor credit rating. All he’s asking for now is a clean slate.

“Is somebody there? Anybody that I can call or anything that I can do to fix this situation?” Lopez asked. “Because it’s really affecting me. Affecting me … and I don’t know what else to do.”

Channel 2 reached out to Synchrony Bank on Monday evening and are waiting for a response on Lopez’s situation.

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Scam costs Friendswood man thousands of dollars

It’s a scam that started with a simple voicemail followed by a phone call.

The scam ultimately cost a Friendswood senior citizen thousands of dollars.

The victim who was scammed said, “A little over $12,000. It even hurts me to say it.”

The caller said they were looking to refund the victim $500 from a software company that was going under that he had recently purchased a product from.

But in order to do that, they needed access to his computer.

“Of course he had a code and everything, to get in the computer I had to type in the code he gave me, my computer. Which meant he was in there,” said the scam victim.

Little did the victim know the scammers had also accessed his personal information and ultimately his bank account.

Something else the victim says he didn’t realize, the scammers moved $5,000 from his savings into his checking account claiming they had deposited.

The victim said, “I made a mistake it’s suppose to be $500, you’ve got to send me that $4,500 right away.”

The victim was then told to purchase thousands in gift cards to send the money back to them.

And it happened more than once.

“I was scared to the point I was trembling. I felt like if I don’t do what he tells me, I’m going to get wiped out,” the victim said.

When the victim finally realized it was all just a big scam, he contacted authorities and froze his bank accounts, but not before being out a lot of money.

He now has a warning for others.

“They’re very good at what they do and people need to be aware that this stuff is going on,” the victim said.

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Student sent home from school bruised, claims PE teacher slammed him onto concrete

The mother of a child with special needs alleges a PE teacher attacked her son, slamming him onto concrete, leaving bruises from his face to his hands.

“This scar that’s right here. He has scratches on his chest,” said Ashley Degrate, describing the bruises over her son, Cavontrell Smith.

Smith, 10, is enrolled in fifth grade at the Aldine Education Center at 1702 Aldine Bender Road. The center is considered an alternative school. Cavontrell is there, his mother says, because of a behavioral and emotional disorder.

“Whenever he has an outbreak from his emotions they’re supposed to be trained to deal with it in a proper manner,” Degrate said.

It was not her son that caused a problem, Degrate alleges. Rather, it was a PE teacher, who allegedly whispered obscenities into Cavontrell’s ear during the attack. Cavontrell said the attack occurred after a run-in with another student on the playground.

“Blood was coming out of my eye because he hit me multiple times and then when I put my hand here there was a big old knot,” Cavontrell said.

The alleged attack occurred Thursday. Degrate told KPRC2 the school’s principal called her to tell her about Cavontrell’s injuries, but left details short.

“He told me that my son had fractures and bruises on his face that it might look bad but it’s not as bad as it looks,” she said.

Degrate said what the principal told her on the phone could not have been further from the truth. She said she saw the extent of her son’s injuries once the school bus dropped him off at the end of the day.

“When he got off the bus — oh my god!” she said.

A spokesman for Aldine ISD released a statement to KPRC2, which read, “Aldine ISD is aware of the allegation and the incident is currently under investigation. Once the investigation is complete, the district will take appropriate action.”

While the school district would not go into further detail, Degrate said the teacher was suspended, a ruling Degrate thinks was not strong enough.

“I just want them to take action. It’s not right. Nobody’s child should have to deal with this. No parent should have to deal with this. It’s just not right,” Degrate said.

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Former HPD officer accused of tampering with evidence makes first court appearance

Julissa Diaz has gone from HPD officer to former officer after she was accused of tampering with evidence related to narcotics.

Diaz made her first court appearance early Friday morning.

A source told Channel 2 News that a SWAT team arrested the 11-year veteran, who lives in the city of South Houston, during her overnight shift Thursday morning.

Thirty-seven-year-old Diaz was no ordinary officer. According to the Houston Police Officer’s Union, she was recognized as Patrol Officer of the Month in 2015 for apprehending two major drug dealers during a routine traffic stop. Her commendation said Diaz “has always demonstrated a passion for making a difference and her dedication to duty.”

According to our source, Diaz worked the night shift at HPD’s Clear Lake Station. She was arrested by SWAT officers after a lengthy investigation by HPD’s narcotics division.

In response, Chief Art Acevedo said in a statement:

“Ms. Diaz’s betrayal of the public trust and oath of office is inconsistent with the dedication of the men and women of the Houston Police Department (HPD) and their tireless, honorable service.

“While we cannot overstate our depth of disappointment, we take solace in the fact the investigation that led to Ms. Diaz’s arrest was conducted by men and women of the HPD, the same organization and co-workers she betrayed.

“We look forward to working with the Harris County District Attorney’s office to ensure she is held to the highest level of accountability under the law. Ms. Diaz’s peace officer powers have been suspended and she has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of an internal affairs investigation.

“I urge anyone with information regarding her criminal misconduct or misconduct by any member of the Houston Police Department to contact us.”

Diaz is being held in a Harris county jail on $100,000 bond. Charged with tampering, fabricating evidence, she is set to appear in court again on Nov. 13.

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HPD officer accused of tampering with evidence

A Houston police officer who works the night shift at the Clear Lake patrol station has found herself on the wrong side of the law.

HPD officer Julissa Guzman Diaz is behind bars in the city jail. She’s charged with tampering with evidence related to narcotics.

Sources told KPRC 2 Diaz was arrested early Thursday morning while on duty after a lengthy investigation by HPD’s narcotics division.

We are working to confirm the details and specifics of her arrest with Houston police.

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Joel Osteen impersonator breaches security at Los Angeles event

A Joel Osteen impersonator is making waves after a video he posted went viral.

The impersonator is a comedian — pretending to be Osteen at an Osteen event in Los Angeles last month — but no one is laughing after an apparent security breach at the LA Forum.

In the video, you witness comedian and Osteen-lookalike Michael Klimkowski getting free parking and breaching security measures by entering the event without getting checked.

Along the way, he poses for pictures with fans.

The incident happened in October.

We have reached out to the Forum, but so far, haven’t gotten any comment.

The real Houston pastor, and his wife, Victoria, were in California for a night of worship open to the public.

A spokesman with Lakewood Church says Osteen never met the imposter.

The spokesperson also says Osteen’s security never confronted Klimkowski — it was Forum security and the Los Angeles Police Department that handled Klimkowski.

The Lakewood spokesman also adds that they are unsure if Osteen has ever met Klimkowski — but they have seen him in at least one book signing in Los Angeles.

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Former ‘All My Children’ star arrested in Galveston

A former star of the soap opera “All My Children” was arrested in Galveston early Sunday, according to police.

Shane McDermott was charged with public intoxication, Galveston police said, after he was running in the middle of a street and refused to cooperate with officers who stopped him.

Police said McDermott had just left one of the downtown bars after some type of altercation.

An officer asked McDermott if there was someone at his house who could come get him, otherwise they would have to arrest him, police said. McDermott replied, “Arrest me,” according to police. He paid a small fine, police said.

McDermott, who played Scott Chandler on the popular ABC daytime drama in the mid-90s, did not reply to a request for comment.

According to his real estate website, McDermott moved to Galveston in the early 2000s.

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Family’s beloved pony shot to death in Liberty County

Before the Brett family had any children, they had Chicken Nugget: A pony with dwarfism.

He stood 25 inches tall and weighed no more than 80 pounds. But for eight years, he was the perfect companion, and larger than life.

“Local celebrity, local favorite, people came and took their pictures with him,” Kylee Brett said. “And he would just hang out with us! I’m serious, he would just lay down and watch TV.”

Nobody loved Chicken Nugget more than Kylee’s 5-year-old daughter, Rylee. At 6 months old, she was already riding him at the rodeo. They did everything together.

Early Wednesday morning, authorities said someone entered the Brett family ranch in Hull, Texas, in Liberty County, and shot Chicken Nugget in the head at close range. The Brett family found him when they woke up, and buried him later that morning.

“Rest in Peace,” Kylee wrote on Facebook, “You now have your wings and are flying high. You will never be forgotten, you will forever be missed. My heart is absolutely shattered as I try to find the words. The way you were taken from us was the act of a coward.”

“On another note,” the post continued later. “Whoever stepped foot on our property and point blank shot him in the face will pay.”

The post quickly received thousands of responses, comments and shares.

“We’re going to catch him, whoever did this,” Rylee said. “And he’s going to get in big, big, big trouble.”

“He never ever had any kind of a bad day,” Kylee said. “He never had a moment to where you just had to worry about him. He just, he was there. He was our best friend. And he was just, he was special to everybody.”

The Bretts told Rylee that Chicken Nugget is now in heaven, watching over their family.

“Our hearts are broken,” Kylee said. “Very broken, and we’ll always miss him, we’ll always have that piece of our heart that’s broken. But good memories always help the heart heal a little faster.”

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22 Houston gang members indicted for multiple violent crimes, officials say

Investigators say 22 people have been indicted in an alleged street gang operation in Houston involving human smuggling, brothels and drugs.

Federal prosecutors say a 37-count indictment was returned earlier this month in Houston and partly unsealed Wednesday.

Authorities said the defendants are accused of operating several brothels in apartments throughout Houston, plus in Mexico. Prosecutors say some female immigrants were promised they could pay off the cost of smuggling them into the U.S. by working in Houston restaurants. The immigrants were instead forced into prostitution.

Those arrested during the enforcement actions on Tuesday include Houston residents Giovani Alecio aka Whiteboy, 26, Victor Javiel Gonzalez, 29, Maria Angelica Moreno-Reyna aka Patty, 51, Gabriela Gonzalez-Flores aka Gabby, 46, Eddie Torres aka Monterrey 38, Jose Luis Moreno aka Lucky, 23, Gilberto Espinoza Garcia, 49, Hector Reyna aka Pantera, 26; Jimmy Mejia Chavez, 33; and Grisel Salas aka Cris, 34, of Donna; and Jose Ruben Palomo-Martinez, 48, of Mission.

Two more defendants – Erik Ivan Alvarez-Chavez aka Casa, 39, and Denis Amaya Calballero aka Keiko, 25, both of Houston – were already in custody on related charges and are expected to make their appearances in federal court in the near future.

Nine others are also charged but not as yet in custody. Bianca Stephanie Reyna aka Troubles, 20, Claudia Soriano-Hernandez, 26, Juan Carlos Contreras Cervantes, 25, all from Houston; Raul Moreno Reyna aka Coney, 53, William Alberto Lopez, 27, Anadalit Duarte aka Paola, 25, and Walter Lopez, 26, all originally from Houston but believed to have fled to Mexico; and Israel Juarez Sifuentes, 43, and Melissa Dominguez aka Missy, 50, both of Donna; are considered fugitives and warrants remain outstanding for their arrests. Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to contact the FBI Houston field office at 713-693-5000.

All of the defendants are indicted in the criminal scheme as alleged members or affiliates of the Southwest Cholos. All are charged in varying counts to include multiple conspiracy counts; sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion; sex trafficking of a minor by force, fraud or coercion; transportation to engage in prostitution; enticing or coercing another to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution; transportation of illegal aliens; importation of aliens for immoral purposes; possession with the intent to distribute heroin; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamines; illegal dealing of firearms; felon in possession of a firearm; illegal re-entry; false statements; and aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment, the defendants operated several brothels in apartments throughout Houston as well as in Mexico. The primary location was the Carriage Way Apartment Complex on Dashwood in southwest Houston, which was also home to their base of operations for drug and firearms trafficking, according to the allegations.

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Execution date set for Sugar Land man on death row

An execution date has been set for a Sugar Land man on death row for arranging to have some of his family members shot and killed so he could collect a $1 million inheritance.

Bart Whitaker is set to be executed on Feb. 22, 2018.

Investigators said that on Dec. 10, 2003, Whitaker arranged to make the shooting look like he and his family members interrupted a burglary as they returned home from dinner.

A masked gunman inside the home shot and killed Whitaker’s 19-year-old brother, Kevin, in the front room of the house. Then the gunman shot and killed Whitaker’s 51-year-old mother, Tricia. The shooter also wounded Whitaker’s 54-year-old father, Kent. A bullet hit Whitaker in his arm.

The gunman and a third person in the crime are also in prison, serving sentences.

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Clara Harris granted parole for husband’s murder

Clara Harris, the woman who was convicted for running over her husband in an infamous murder in the Clear Lake area, was granted parole Friday.

Court records show Harris has not yet been scheduled for release as of Monday.

She was expected to stay in state prison through 2023.

Her parole was denied in 2016 because of the brutality of that crime.

In an interview with KPRC 2 the night of the murder, 15 years ago, she said, “It was an accident.”

The Lake Jackson dentist repeatedly drove her silver Mercedes over her husband, stopping the car on top of his body in the parking lot of the Hilton NASA Clear Lake in Nassau Bay.

Her orthodontist husband, 44-year-old Dr. David Harris, died. The crime was caught on tape.

Earlier on the day of the attack, Clara Harris hired a private investigator to trail her husband, whom she suspected of having an affair with one of his former employees.

That investigator ultimately videotaped David Harris’ dying moments after Cara Harris confronted her husband and a woman inside the hotel lobby.

The fight moved outside, where Clara Harris drove the car over David Harris three times.

She was convicted of murder and sent to prison for 20 years.

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Coast Guard searching area near Freeport after boat catches fire, sinks

The Coast Guard is searching for possible missing people after a boat caught fire and sank Monday afternoon about 3 miles south of the San Bernard River, near Freeport.

Around 2:45 p.m., flames and smoke were reported just south of the San Bernard River.

A Coast Guard helicopter found a 25-foot-long vessel burned beyond identification. The vessel sank shortly after crews arrived.

“Our No. 1 priority is the preservation of human life,” said Lt. Mike Hart, chief duty officer at Sector Houston-Galveston. “We have several assets actively searching for any possible missing persons.”

Coast Guard crews said they would continue searching throughout the night.

Anyone with information regarding the vessel fire is asked to contact Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston at 281-464-4853.

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Explosion at vodka distillery burns 3 in north Harris County

Three people were burned Monday in an explosion at a vodka distillery in north Harris County, authorities said.

The incident was reported about 10 a.m. at a warehouse in the 1200 block of East Richey Road.

According to fire officials at the scene, one of the victims was flown to the hospital, while the other two were driven there.

Officials are working to determine the cause of the explosion, but an investigator said it may have happened during a transfer of the flammable alcohol.

Stay with KPRC 2 and Click2Houston.com for the latest on this developing story.

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Police increase reward for information in case of child’s body found on Galveston beach

The Galveston Police Department and the FBI are still searching for more information in the case of a boy’s body found on a Galveston beach.

Monday, the two entities said they have chased down hundreds of leads, but none have been useful. The reward for useful information has been raised to $10,000.

Meantime, investigators have named the little boy “Little Jacob” while they continue to search for his real identity. Investigators say this will help the departments, and the public, with the association of the case.

Police say they continue to waiting for a complete autopsy and when the autopsy is complete, the details of that report will not be made public to protect the integrity of the investigation.

The parents of the child are expected to be alive, police say.

“This is extremely unusual for any part of the country and extremely unusual for Galveston Island,” Capt. Joshua Schirard with the Galveston police said.

The Galveston community has come together to support each other in these two weeks, Schirard said.

Police have released a sketch photo of a 3- to 5-year-old boy who was found dead on a beach in Galveston in late October.

A passerby spotted the child about 5:35 p.m. while walking on the beach near 7th Street and Seawall Boulevard, authorities said.

At the time of the boy’s discovery, there were no recent missing children cases in Galveston, police said. Investigators commissioned renowned forensic sketch artist, Lois Gibson, to draw a sketch of the child for police.

“I want to reach out to that grandmother or the relative or the mommy or the daddy or some neighbor. Somebody who knows the baby,” Gibson said at the time.

Police said no one has come forward to report a missing child in the surrounding area. The medical examiner has not released a cause of death.

The area where the boy was found is not heavily trafficked, police said last month, adding that the particular area is mostly grassland.

Police describe the child as 3 feet tall with a slender build, black hair and brown eyes.

Officials said this is an extremely unusual case and the circumstances surrounding the child’s death have grown more suspicious during the investigation.

“We are throwing every resource we possibly can at assuring we identify this child,” Capt. Joshua Schirard with Galveston police said.

Investigators said they were looking into a missing person’s case in Hawkins County, Tennessee, involving a boy whose picture is similar to the composite sketch of the boy found dead in Galveston. On Monday, investigators said that the cases are not related.

The Police Department is asking anyone who may have any information concerning this case to call 409-765-3702 or Galveston County Crime Stoppers at 409-763-8477.

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Leon Jacob, man accused in murder-for-hire plot, faces new charge

Leon Jacob, the man accused in a murder-for-hire plot, is facing a new charge.

A grand jury indicted Jacob with aggravated kidnapping Friday.

According to court documents, the charge is connected to his former girlfriend, Megan Verikas.

A court date for the new charge hasn’t been set.

Jacob is already behind bars, charged with solicitation of capital murder.

Prosecutors said he and the late veterinarian Valerie McDaniel tried to hire a hitman to kill their exes.

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