New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 1, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
Waitin’ for a friend
Killer gets death stay
AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution Wednesday for convicted killer Johnny Ray Anderson.
The appeals court sent the case back to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing which must be held within 45 days, said a clerk who declined to give her name.
Anderson’s attorney, Louis Dugas of Orange, asked for a stay on the grounds of ineffective counsel and that Anderson is presently insane. The death row inmate was scheduled to die by injection before dawn Jan. 8.
Dugas also claimed that the death penalty is cruel and unusual because the condemned are killed behind closed doors in the middle of the night.
“If executions are to take place they should take place in the county of conviction and (be) witnessed by the public if they are to attempt to act as a deterrents to crime,” said a writ of habeas corpus filed by Dugas.
Anderson, 27, was convicted in the October 1981 execution-style slaying of his brother-in-law, Ronald Gene Goode, 22, of Kountze, in a scheme to collect $87,000 in insurance money.
Evidence showed Anderson shot Goode three times on a deserted Beaumont iradside Anderson’s sister, Laura
Lee Anderson Goode, 31, also was convicted of taking part in the murder scheme and was sentenced to life in prison.
Anderson’s mother, Rowena Anderson, 58, was tried and found innocent of a murder charge after her son was convicted.
A neighbor of the Anderson, Del vin Johnson, 42, was originally indicted for capital murder in Goode’s death but pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of murder in exchange for a 50-year prison sentence. He testified against Anderson.
Part of an appeal filed by Dugas contends that Anderson’s mother was prohibited from testifying for him at his trial because she feared self-incrimination.
Included in the appeal is an affidavit by Mrs. Anderson that her son was home the night Goode was killed.
Jurors also never heard testimony that Anderson was a special education student who dropped out of school after the sixth grade and never learned to read or write, the appeal notes
On Tuesday, State District Judge Larry Gist, who presided over Anderson’s trial, turned down the appeal.
Mike Burrow stops by the New Braunfels Utilities drive up window to pay his bill while his dog Flash waits. Flash runs alongside the
LESLI! KMieWALDT/StaM I
motorcycle and sometimes sits in the "passenger's" seat
Judge rules against donations ordinance
Cost off plates down, gas tax up
EL PASO (AP) — Stylish motorists cringing from the higher gasoline tax that takes effect Thursday may take some solace in the knowledge that their vanity license plates will be a little cheaper.
Those who want to give their bumpers a special touch will pay $40 for personalized license plates starting Thursday, down from $75 The money saved, though, will probably go toward the 5-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax hike that the Legislature adopted in special session
Customs plates were once so popular that Texas increased the price from $25 to $75 But that measure, adopted in August 1984 as a way to boost revenues, backfired, said Jimmy Hicks. El Paso County tax assessor and collector.
“That's when people stopped buying them," said Flora Lopez, director of the automobile department in the El Paso County Tax office. “At the time, we had about 3,600 personalized plates in El Paso Of those, only 1,295 were renewed ’’
The $40 fee pays only for the license plates, which are made by inmates at the state prison in Huntsville
Motorists must also pay the registration fee — $58.80 for 1985 and newer models; $50.80 for 1982-84 models and $40 BO for 1981 and older models
"To get a personalized license plate, people have to send the application with a check or money order for $40 to the state Motor Vehicle Division in Austin.” Ms Lopez said
Application forms for vanity plates have spaces for a first and two alternate choices in case the desired inscription already has been assigned to someone else Plates can display up to eight characters, including punctuation marks and symbols For motorcycles and mopeds, the limit is seven characters
Obscene plates will not be issued by the MVO. which screens all applications
Dolores James of El Pchas a vanity plate that says (XX IPS
“It explains a lot of things,” she said. “When you make a wrong turn or park in the wrong place and somebody gets their nose out of joint, well. GOOPS ."
EL PASO (AP) — Qty Council voted to appeal a judge's ruling that an ordinance requiring organizations to tell donors how much of their contributions will actually go to charity is unconstitutional.
State District Judge Edward Marque? sided with the El Paso Jaycees, who had objected to that requirement, a key provision in the city’s Charitable Solicitation Ordinance.
The Jaycees and the professional fund-raising company they hired, Ga rhino and Johns of Texas, argued that making the disclosure would hamper their efforts to raise money for the Jaycees’ annual children's film festival
In its 1965 festival campaign. Gar bino and Johns raised $70,780, of which $16,784, or 23.7 percent, went directly to the Jaycees. The remaining $53,996, or 76.3 percent, went to pay the company’s fees and expenses
About 75 percent of the money rais
ed in the 1986 campaign would also go toward fund-raising expenses, the Jaycees said.
Last January, the city went to court to halt the Jaycees’ fundraising drive and seek a ruling on the legality of the provision.
Texas Attorney General Jim Maddox joined the city, saying the disclosure provision is necessary to protect consumers from unscrupulous fund-raising activities.
The state also contended that “a high fund-raising fee betrays the expectations of donors who believe their contribution will primarily be used to benefit the charitable purpose.”
There is an element of deception when only a small fraction of the money raised goes to charity, the state's case stated, adding that the Jaycees allegedly engaged in a number of ‘false, misleading or deceptive acts.”
The Jaycees denied that their fund
raising efforts were misleading or deceptive and cited the testimony of Kerry Ellison, a member of the city’s Charitable Solicitation Commission, who said the disclosure requirement is confusing.
Ellison also said he thought at first that 75 percent of the money raised would leave El Paso, when in fact most of it would remain in the city in expenses
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New Year '
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Social Security rises 1.3 percent
WASHINGTON (AP) — The new year is bringing a 1.3 percent benefit increase to the nation's 37 million Social Security beneficiaries, and an end to the temporary vacation from the payroll tax for the 8.5 million affluent Americans who paid the maximum levy in 1986.
It took earnings of $42,000 or more this year to earn a respite from the Social Security tax.
But in 1987, the more affluent taxpayers will not get to re-start the vacation from the tax until they have earned $43,800 or more.
Although the tax rate remains unchanged at 7 15 percent, the increase in the wage ceiling to $43,800 means the maximum tax on employees will rise to $3,131.70. That is $UB.70, or 4.3 percent, more than this year’s top tax of $3,003. Employers pay the same amount.
The self-employed pay a 12 3 percent tax for Social Security and Medicare coverage. That rate does not change in 1987. but the maximum tax, for those earning $43,800 or more. will climb by $221.40 to $5.387 40.
The system’s beneficiaries will find the 13 percent raise in the checks delivered on Saturday or departed directly into their bank accounts They have been sent notices of the increase.
The average monthly benefit for retired workers will rise by $6 to $488. For an elderly couple, the average payment will go up by $11 to $833.
But most of the elderly will find their "take home” pay from the retirement program going up even less than $6 because they will be charged $2 40 more each month for Medicare coverage starting Jan I.
The monthly charge for Part B coverage of Medicare, which pays ■flew doctor bills and other out-of-
hospital costs, is jumping from $15 bu to $17.90 on Jan. I, a 15.5 percent increase
And Medicare patients will have to pay $520 out of their own pockets for their first day in the hospital in 1987. That is up by $28, or 5.7 percent, from 1986
The benefit hike, announced in October, matches the increase in the Consumer Price Index from the third quarter of 1985 through the third quarter of 1986. It is the smallest since Social Security was linked to the CPI in 1975
The maximum Social Security benefit for someone retiring in 1987 at age 65 will be $769. up by $9 from 1986.
Social Security beneficiaries would have gotten no increase at all had not Congress and President Reagan amended the law to eliminate a trigger that allowed benefit hikes only when inflation was 3 percent or more.
Beneficiaries got a 3.1 percent increase last January and 3.5 percent in both of the two previous years.
Benefits are rounded down to the next dollar, which means most people wind up with an increase slightly smaller than 1.3 percent.
Social Security beneficiaries younger than 65 will be able to earn $6,000 without losing benefits in 1987, up from $5,760
Those aged 65 through 68 will be able to earn $8,160 without penalty, up from $7,800. There is no earnings penalty for those TO and older.
The nearly 4 million aged, blind or disabled people who draw Supplemental Security Income welfare payments also are getting a 1.3 percent increase in their checks, which go out Dec. 31. That boasts the maximum federal SSI payment for an individual to $340 a month, a $4 foci
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Hunts'fees lawyer have creditors upset
DALLAS (AP) — Some creditors of the financially-troubled Hunt brothers are not too happy about the $800-an-hour fees charged by the Hunts’ law firm.
Placid OU Co. and other Hunt properties filed for protection under federal bankruptcy laws last sum-
Ute three brothers, Nelson Bunker, William Herbert and Lamar Hunt, also are suing 23 creditor banks for refusing to restructure their $1.5 bUllon In loans.
Stephen Susmsn, a Houston lawyer, was retained earlier this month by the Hunts to pursue their $13J billion lawsuit against the
Court documents Miow that fess for him and 23 other attorneys will rangt (rom $100 to $488 an hour with a 80 pqpcent premium In addition, mak-k* the mnxlmum up to 8800 an hour.
11m federal government considers Hmm “• little Id*.” said Grover
Hartt of the Justice Department’s tax division, which represents the Internal Revenue Service, another Hunt creditor The IRS fUed an objection to the fees.
D. Michael Dalton, a Houston attorney representing some of the unsecured creditors of the Hunts, said his firm Is considering fUlng an objection.
“We’re looking at that fee arrange-
m ang Ii
However, Gary McGowan, a partner with Busman, said it Isn’t unusual for law firms to charge premiums in ■urb resee.
He said the Hunt case wUl force the firm to refer regular clients to other lawyers and turn away buelneee.
But Carl Wilson, managing partner at Gardere and Wynne In Dallas, called Susman’s teas “higher than the prevailing rote for flrat-dass trial lawyers In Texas,” or even New York.
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