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INSIDE • Opinions Page: We cannot do away with job training. A8 • Obituaries, A9

IN BRIEF Woman hospitalized after being hit by car Nicole Marie Taylor, 30, of College Station, remained hospitalized Friday evening after she stepped in front of a vehicle and was struck early Thursday in College Station, police said. Emergency crews responded at 8:06 a.m. to the wreck at the intersection of Texas Avenue and Manuel Drive. A sport utility vehicle, driven by Brandon Mark Lemley, 25, of Abilene, had exited a parking lot off Texas Avenue and was in the outside lane when, witnesses said, Taylor stepped off the sidewalk into its path. Witnesses told police the light was green when the driver of the vehicle entered the intersection. Taylor was taken to College Station Medical Center with a possible broken back, Officer Rhonda Seaton said. Police determined that Taylor failed to yield the right-of-way to the vehicle and disregarded a traffic control advice, but they are still investigating, Seaton said.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Eagle

Jurors hear interrogation audio Suspect’s story wavers in recordings played during murder trial By JONATHAN RESENDEZ jonathan.resendez@theeagle.com

Deceptive tactics exposed deceitful answers as Bryan Police Department investigators and Franklin resident Michael Allen Peck exchanged lies in audio recordings played Friday during Peck’s murder trial. The recordings showed Peck, who faces murder charges for the 2010 murder of Julie Perez, altering his story

more than once as he recounted the events that took place the night Perez died. At the beginning of the recordings, Peck denied know- PECK ing Perez. After investigators repeatedly mentioned boxes of cell phone records connecting Peck to the site where Perez’s body

was found, something the defense later proved to be false, Peck began to unravel more of his story. “We may try a moral turpitude angle,” said detective Lance Mathews when asked about questioning strategies in murder cases. “We may also use deception and make them think that our case is a little bit better than it actually is, and that will draw out some of the actual truthfulness.” Mathews clarified that the

tactics investigators used were legal. Peck had smoked $160 worth of crack, he said in the recording, the night he was directed to an unfamiliar country road by Perez, whom he had solicited for sex. The two were extremely high, Peck said, and he agreed to pay $40 for oral sex. He had pulled his pants down in the back of his sports utility vehicle when she attempted to steal money out of his wallet, which had fallen

CS event to offer drunken driving test Northgate patrons will have a chance Saturday to test their ability to drink and drive under the supervision of police without fear of being arrested. The opportunity comes as part of an event sponsored by the local law enforcement agencies and the CARE Coalition. The goal is to let people use portable breath tests, beer goggles, and driving simulators to better gauge the difference alcohol can have on driving abilities. The set-up will be on Patricia Street, just west of the College Main intersection, and will last from 10 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Nonprofit plans free fishing event for kids The KIDFISH Foundation will be having a “Hooked on Chevy” event this Saturday at the Stephen C. Beachy Central Park in College Station. KIDFISH is a nonprofit program that aims to give children 16 and under the opportunity to experience the sport of fishing and enjoy the outdoors. Channel catfish will be stocked, by the foundation, for children to catch. Trophies will be awarded to the first- and second-largest fish winners in each age division. Prizes will be awarded for the longest fish in each age group as well. This event will also qualify participants for the 2010 KIDFISH Classic Championship. The event is free. Children who do not own fishing equipment will be provided with bait, tackle and loaner rods. Pre-registration is not required. Registration forms are available online at www.kidfish.com and will also be available at the event site. For more information, or to volunteer, call 1-877-733-5646 toll free.

Robertson County fire destroys homes Two houses and one mobile home were destroyed Friday in a fire in Easterly in Robertson County. “All the buildings were complete losses,” said Easterly firefighter Bobby Corn. No one was harmed in the homes, which were unoccupied, but an older man who appeared to have gotten over-heated was taken from the scene to the hospital, Corn said. The fire began at around 5:30 p.m. near Texas 79 and was contained around 8:30 p.m. by firefighters from Easterly, Franklin, Calvert and Hearne. — Staff reports

979.693.6592

out, he said. “I wrestled with her and she wrestled me good because I was on my back,” he said. Peck said in the recording that a struggle took place both inside and outside the vehicle before he kicked Perez out, left her on the ground and drove off. Peck never admitted to strangling Perez during the three-hour long recordings. Defense attorney Craig

See TRIAL, Page A10

RIVAS

AP photos Houston Police Department officers, Patriot Guard Riders, U.S. Navy personnel and others join to honor and receive Thursday the remains of Vietnam War veteran U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Egan at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. The remains were escorted to the Forest Park East Cemetery in League City.

Fallen Vietnam vet returns home

Remains of pilot killed in 1966 brought back to Texas

Family members (from left) Linda Sanders, niece, Anne Egan, wife, Janet Frisard, and Kasie Frisard, granddaughter, accept the remains of Vietnam War veteran U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Egan at the cemetery.

Associated Press

H

OUSTON — A 35-year-old Navy pilot killed on a bombing mission in Laos in April 1966 will be buried Saturday with full military honors in Webster, outside Houston. The remains of Lt. Cmdr. William Patrick Egan were identified after a DNA sample his niece provided about 10 years ago matched bone fragments a farmer in Laos turned over to U.S. officials in late 2009. “I’ve been waiting for them to find him all these years,” his widow, Anne Egan, said Thursday as she cradled an urn with her husband’s remains shortly after they were flown to Houston and presented to her. On the day he died, Egan and another pilot launched

their A-1 Skyraiders off the aircraft carrier USS Hancock to attack a supply depot on the Ho Chi Minh Trail west of the North Vietnamese port of Dong Hoi. After rolling in on the target and dropping his ammunition, Egan’s plane was struck by ground fire and went straight into the ground, the government said. “His wingman repeatedly flew over the crash site but could see no indication that

[Egan] got out of the aircraft,” said Maj. Carie Parker with the Defense Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office. The military initially listed Egan as lost. A later search of the crash site didn’t shed light on his whereabouts. His niece, Linda Sanders, told the Houston Chronicle she will never forget their last conversation, shortly before he left on what would be his final mission.

“I said, ‘Don’t let them shoot you. You shoot them first,”’ Sanders recalled. “He said, ‘That’s what I’m going to do. I’ll get them — they won’t get me.”’ Jerryl “Jeri” Wismer, Egan’s daughter, who was 7 when her father died, said she misses him but is relieved that “after 45 years, my dad has come home.” “He will be buried on American soil where he belongs,” she said.

Perry touts new environmental laws By ANGELA K. BROWN Associated Press

DENTON — Some new Texas laws will further protect the environment as the state continues to lead the nation in oil and gas production, Gov. Rick Perry said Friday. During the recent legislative session, lawmakers worked to create a fair regulatory climate in the energy sector rather than a “draconian” one that might have prevented expanding the state’s fuel sources, Perry said. “The truth of the matter is: America needs all the innovation that we can muster to reduce our dependency on foreign sources of energy. And again our combination of job creation, improved air quality here in Texas [shows] that it can be done, and that is the right way. We refer to it as the Texas way,” he said

at Peterbilt Motors Co. in Denton, 40 miles northwest of Dallas, before he did a ceremonial signing of the bills that have already become law. Starting next summer, drillers must publicly disclose the chemicals they use when extracting PERRY oil and gas from dense rock formations. The issue has taken on national importance as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is used in more states. Texas was the first state to pass such a law when Perry signed the bill in June. One bill provides incentives for companies to switch their heavy vehicles from diesel fuel to natural gas. It also provides grants to businesses that build natural gas refueling centers along interstate highways connecting Dallas,

Houston and San Antonio. Another bill provides funding for additional air monitoring in the Barnett Shale, a 5,000-square-mile underground rock formation packed with natural gas spanning about two dozen North Texas counties. These new laws show that lawmakers don’t have to make “a choice between economic growth and a clean environment,” said Bryan Shaw, chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. But some environmental groups have said the state has failed to address serious pollution problems, and Perry cares more about businesses’ profits than residents’ health. Texas has more oil refineries, chemical plants and coalfired power plants than any other state — and leads the nation in greenhouse gas emissions and industrial pollution.

SEW VAC CITY

Embroidery Machines

NEWBURY

Two of ‘Texas 7’ lose appeals By MICHAEL GRACZYK Associated Press

HOUSTON — Two members of the notorious “Texas 7” prison-break gang moved a step closer to execution for killing a Dallas-area police officer after a federal court rejected their appeals. The gang engineered the biggest prison escape in Texas history, overpowering workers at a prison in Kenedy, about 60 miles south of San Antonio, in December 2000. They stole the workers’ clothes, broke into the prison armory to get guns and drove away in a prison truck. They robbed two Houston-area stores and then, on Christmas Eve, shot an Irving police officer when he interrupted their robbery of a sporting goods store in the Dallas suburb. The group was caught a month later in Colorado, where one member killed himself. The six others went to Texas death row after separate trials in Dallas. George Rivas, 41, who masterminded the prison break, and Donald Newbury, 39, had separate appeals turned down this week by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Rivas’ reasons for appeal included claims his trial lawyers were ineffective, the trial judge mistakenly allowed

See GANG, Page A9

INSIDE

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