Texas Plaintiff Tries to Be Two Things at Once
The Texas transsexual divorce case almost went off the rails when it hit a snag, reports the Houston Chronicle.
As earlier recounted in Out There, Linda Gail Carter (search), who used to be James H. Murphey, was at one point trying to have her/his marriage to Constance D. Gonzalez annulled on the grounds that two women can't be married, at least not in Texas.
At stake was a funeral home the women jointly own. A court gave control of the home to Gonzalez after she showed Carter was mismanaging its finances.
In March, Harris County (search) Family Court Judge Lisa Millard ordered Carter to undergo genetic testing to determine whether she indeed really was a woman.
The test results haven't been made public, but on June 2, Carter's attorney, Elsie Martin-Simon, told the judge her client wanted to switch tracks and abandon the annulment argument in order to pursue a regular divorce between a man and a woman.
That's when things got more confusing. Millard now needed Carter to state she was indeed a man.
"Are you a male or a female?" she asked.
"According to doctors," Carter replied, "both."
Millard, exasperated, took that as a refusal by Carter to certify she was male.
In May 1998, Mr. Murphey legally became Ms. Carter. Four months later, Carter married Gonzalez in Las Vegas, an event for which Carter wore Murphey's clothes.
During the trial, Gonzalez's lawyer sought to prove that Carter changes identities when it suits her. In cross-examination, Carter admitted performing a wedding ceremony as ordained minister James H. Murphey, and at another time signing a legal document as Carter — with Murphey given power of attorney.
Carter has been taking female hormones and has had some cosmetic surgery, but has not undergone a full sex-change operation.
Last Monday, Millard granted the divorce, ordering the couple's shared assets be sold and that Gonzalez get 65 percent of the proceeds, with Carter getting only 35 percent.
Technically, Texas has now become unique as a state where two women cannot be married — but can be divorced.
— Thanks to Out There readers Clayton M. and April D.
Arizona Horses Harbor Slasher in Their Midst
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The mysterious slashings of at least 17 horses' throats at a guest ranch last year have been solved, but no one will be charged, officials said.
The culprit: another horse. The weapon: teeth.
Investigators had suspected a person was trying to kill the horses because the jagged wounds were always near the vital jugular vein and happened late at night.
The wounds, which were 1 to 4 inches long and about an inch deep, began appearing last July.
The case was cracked when an employee of the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch finally caught a horse biting another in the throat, Pima County (search) sheriff's officials said Wednesday.
The slashings ceased when the suspected equine was isolated in another corral.
— Thanks to Out There reader Mindy M.
Candidate Campaigns for Favorite Animals' Votes
TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — An eccentric multimillionaire running for mayor of this rough border city has apologized for saying his favorite animal is "woman."
Jorge Hank Rhon, who has a private zoo with more than 20,000 animals, made the comment during an interview last week with the Mexico City newspaper El Universal.
Asked what his favorite animal was, he reportedly replied: "Woman."
He later said, "I'm joking. Woman is creation's greatest creature," according to an article published in the newspaper last week.
The comment sparked a wave of criticism from members of Mexico's three major political parties, including his own, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (search), or PRI, which ran Mexico for over 70 years.
"Women should be respected by everyone, and especially by those in politics," PRI Congresswoman Maria Scherman said Wednesday on the floor of Congress, where she and other lawmakers criticized Hank Rhon's comments.
He apologized Wednesday during a debate with the National Action Party (search) candidate in the Tijuana mayoral race.
Hank Rhon had been linked to controversy before. In 1988, two employees of his Caliente racetrack were convicted of killing a crusading Tijuana journalist who had reported on corruption.
Also, a report by the U.S. National Drug Intelligence Center once alleged Hank Rhon was connected with major Mexican drug organizations, but officials in Washington later disavowed that intelligence.
Computers Stolen From Computer-Security Meeting
HONG KONG (AP) — Thieves snatched two computers from a Hong Kong trade fair, a particularly brazen act considering that the victims were security companies showing off the latest crime-stopping technology.
The thieves stole two laptop computers worth $2,500 from the Asia Securitex 2004 trade show on Wednesday, police spokeswoman Carrie So said.
"If you can't expect good security here, where can you expect it?" exhibitor Shinah Lunty was quoted as saying in the South China Morning Post newspaper. Lunty told the newspaper that her mobile phone, worth $260, was also stolen.
Hong Kong police inspector Bob White said he suspected a mainland China gang targeted the exhibition because it was seen as a place for "easy pickings," the newspaper reported.
The four-day trade show started Tuesday.
Police Still Searching for Wheelbarrow
CLEVELAND (AP) — A cashier is accused of stealing $326,947.62 in city parking meter coins while working for the bank that processed the change.
Nathaniel B. Wilson, 32, of nearby Medina, was charged in a criminal information with theft and embezzlement of bank funds, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday. He could get up to 30 years in prison if convicted, U.S. Attorney Gregory A. White said.
The criminal information accuses Wilson of embezzling the money between January 1999 and last September while working as a KeyBank coin processing cashier.
The criminal information, an alternative to a grand jury indictment, was filed after an FBI investigation.
KeyBank's internal security procedures uncovered the alleged embezzlement and the bank cooperated with investigators and reimbursed the city, KeyBank spokesman Gary Cavano said. Wilson was fired when the alleged embezzlement was discovered, Cavano said.
Wilson, who doesn't have a phone listing for the address listed in the criminal information, could not be reached for comment.
Cleveland has 3,640 parking meters that generated $1.92 million last year, mayoral spokeswoman Christy Harst said.
Aggressive Buzzard Meets Maker After Attacking Bigger Target
LONDON (AP) — A buzzard that attacked more than 20 cyclists on a country road has died after dive-bombing a van, officials said Thursday.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (search) said the aggressive buzzard died Wednesday when it swooped on the vehicle near Holsworthy in southwest England.
In recent weeks the bird clawed cyclists' heads and gouged holes in their helmets; experts believe the bird was protecting its nest nearby.
"It was just being a good parent, although it was probably rather too enthusiastic," said RSPB spokeswoman Emma Parkin.
It was unusual for buzzards to attack humans, she added, and the activities of this individual suggested it had once been in captivity.
Retired toolmaker Paul Dixon, 71, North Devon secretary of the Cyclists Touring Club, was among those attacked.
He was not wearing a cycle helmet when the angry bird swooped, leaving him with three large, bleeding scratches. Many of the 22 competitors in two long-distance cycle races in the area two weeks ago were also attacked.
Compiled by Foxnews.com's Paul Wagenseil.
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