Former House majority leader Tom DeLay will be back in a Texas courtroom today where he faces money laundering and conspiracy charges — days after learning that the U.S. Justice Department ended its own investigation without filing any criminal charges against him.
The Texas hearing brings DeLay and his two co-defendants one step closer to a possible trial on accusations that they illegally funneled corporate money to help elect Republicans to the Texas Legislature eight years ago.
The charges in Texas against DeLay — once known as “the Hammer” for his heavy-handed style — cost him his congressional leadership post. He pressed in late 2005 for a quick trial because he said he would be cleared, but a swift conclusion never came. He resigned from the U.S. House in 2006, but has remained in the limelight and even did a stint on the television show “Dancing With the Stars.”
A developer in the Amarillo area is charged with killing his estranged wife and leaving her body in a vehicle.
Paul David Gillette was in the Potter County Detention Center on Monday on a murder charge, with bail set at $1 million. Jail records had no listing of an attorney for the 47-year-old Gillette, who was arrested Sunday at the couple’s residence.
Gillette, who created a financially troubled housing development in Bushland, is accused of killing 44-year-old Sherri Gillette.
● LONGVIEW — The story of the 1996 fatal shooting of an elderly Carthage woman and how her body was hidden for months in a freezer is being made into a movie. Casting calls were held over the weekend in Carthage and Longview for extras for “Bernie,” a project of Austin-based filmmaker Richard Linklater starring Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine.
● HOUSTON — A federal appeals court has refused an appeal from a convicted murderer condemned for a double slaying in Fort Bend County nearly 12 years ago. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says lawyers for 31-year-old Milton Mathis missed a one-year deadline to appeal lower rulings that he could be executed, despite claims he was mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty.
● AUSTIN — A million Texans can make lifesaving differences when they die. The Department of Public Safety on Monday announced 1 million Texans have now signed up for the state’s organ and tissue registry, which went online in September 2006.
Compiled from wire reports