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TEXAS ROUNDUP: Stolen car in case of missing girl found

 

HOUSTON — A car that was reportedly stolen when a 4-year-old Texas girl disappeared late last week was found Thursday in a suburban Houston parking lot, authorities said.

A woman spotted the gray Nissan Altima in a Missouri City parking lot and reported it to police, Houston police Detective Kenneth Fregia said during a news conference. He said the car was found unlocked and didn’t appear to be damaged, and that detectives would go over it “with a fine-toothed comb.”

Brittany Bowens, the mother of missing Maleah Davis, was at the scene as police conducted an initial search of the car. She could be seen crying and hitting her hands against the ground.

Police say Maleah’s stepfather, Darion Vence, told investigators that he was driving the car to the airport to pick up Bowens Friday night when he pulled over to check if it had a flat tire. Vence said men in a pickup truck pulled up, knocked him out and abducted him, Maleah and his 2-year-old son before eventually allowing him and the boy to go free, according to Houston police.

 

Texan pleads guilty
over scam PACs

AUSTIN — Federal prosecutors say a Texas man has pleaded guilty to creating fake political action committees in 2016 supporting Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders that raised more than $500,000.

Kyle Gerald Prall pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of mail fraud. The Justice Department says the 40-year-old Austin, Texas, man admitted as part of his plea that he created political action committees called “Feel Bern,” ”HC4President” and “Trump Victory.”

Prosecutors say websites for the sham committees told supporters their money would pay for transporting voters to polling sites, training volunteers and making phone calls. But Prall allegedly used only about $5,000 for political causes.

Prosecutors say Prall agreed to repay the money raised and is awaiting sentencing.

Jason Freeman, an attorney for Prall, declined comment.

 

Boy dies after being
impaled on fence

FORT WORTH — Police in Fort Worth say no criminal charges will be filed in the death of an 11-year-old boy who was impaled as he climbed over an iron fence surrounding an apartment complex’s swimming pool.

Fort Worth police say a group of children climbed the fence to get into a locked swimming pool Monday night. According to police, the children scattered and climbed over the fence when a security guard told them to leave.

Police say one of the children, 11-year-old Jean Pierre Mwenge, lost his footing and was impaled while climbing over the 6-foot (1.8-meter) fence, which had spikes at the top.

Fort Worth Police Officer Bradley Perez tells the Star-Telegram that the death is considered “an extremely unfortunate accident” and no charges are expected.

 

Man gets life for killing
West Texas student

LOCKHART — A Texas jury has sentenced a 28-year-old man to life imprisonment for the murder of a college student.

The jury in Caldwell County in Central Texas sentenced Robert Fabian on Wednesday, one day after finding him guilty of murder and evidence tampering in the death of 21-year-old Zuzu Verk.

She was a Fort Worth-area woman and a student at Sul Ross State University in the West Texas town of Alpine. She was dating Fabian at the time of her disappearance in October 2016. Her remains were found the following February in a remote shallow grave near Alpine and identified through dental records.

A judge previously ordered the trial moved from Brewster County in West Texas to in Caldwell County, south of Austin, citing pretrial publicity.