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Chambers County, Texas Sheriff’s Division

Steven Wayne McDowell mugshot

In 2017, Crystal McDowell, a realtor and mom of two, disappeared simply as Hurricane Harvey was hitting Houston, Texas, which made trying to find her extremely troublesome for the native authorities. In the end, nonetheless, their investigation led them to her ex-husband Steven McDowell.

Forward of the Dateline NBC episode about Crystal’s disappearance, titled “Earlier than the Storm” and airing Friday, June 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, right here’s what it is advisable find out about his trial and the place he’s now.

Steven McDowell Is Serving 50 Years in a Texas Jail

VideoVideo associated to a lady’s killer argued crime of ardour however the jury noticed it in another way2020-08-01T20:39:27-04:00

Two weeks after Crystal was reported lacking by her uncle, Jeff Walters, Crystal’s ex-husband Steven McDowell was arrested and charged along with her homicide. He took authorities to her physique, which he had hidden in a closely wooded space. District Lawyer Cheryl Lieck informed 48 Hours in June 2018 that they by no means would have discovered Crystal’s physique in the event that they hadn’t been led straight to it.

Through the trial, Steven’s protection claimed that the 2 argued and he strangled her in a heat-of-the-moment killing, however the jury noticed issues in another way. They discovered him responsible of her homicide and on June 12, 2019, sentenced him to 50 years in jail. In keeping with the Texas Tribune, Steven is being held on the Anderson County, Texas jail often known as the H.H. Coffield Unit. His projected launch date is September 2067, however he can be eligible for parole in 2042.

Hurricane Harvey Made it Very Exhausting to Examine Crystal’s Disappearance

Dateline Episode Trailer: Earlier than The Storm | Dateline NBCDennis Murphy studies Friday, June 5 at 10/9c on NBC. Watch full episodes: Like us on Fb: Observe us on Twitter: Observe us on Instagram:

In August 2017, simply as Hurricane Harvey was about to make landfall in Texas, McDowell was seen leaving her boyfriend Paul Hargrave’s home in Baytown, Texas, early within the morning on August 25. When she stopped responding to texts and calls, Crystal’s uncle Jeff contacted her ex-husband Steve, who claimed Crystal was speculated to have come to the home to choose up their two youngsters, Madden and Maui, however she by no means confirmed up.

The native authorities started attempting to find Crystal, however when Hurricane Harvey hit the world, the investigation was thrown into chaos.

“It was horrible. The rain wouldn’t cease. It simply wouldn’t cease. … We had deputies that had been flooded out of their properties. One among our investigators misplaced his total home. Our native Texas Ranger and his spouse had been flooded out of theirs,” stated D.A. Lieck, including that they nonetheless continued to go looking to Crystal as finest they may.

When the floodwaters receded just a few days later, Crystal’s flooded out Mercedes Benz was discovered within the parking zone of the Baytown Motel 6. Finally, safety footage from the motel confirmed Steve parking the automotive there and leaving. Later safety footage caught Steve on digital camera placing one thing in a trash can at an area fuel station, however the contents of the can may by no means be examined as a result of they had been washed away by the flood.

As authorities investigated additional, they found that Steve and Crystal’s divorce had not been very amicable. Then only a few days earlier than her demise, Crystal uninvited Steve from a household cruise that her new boyfriend was attending, which investigators consider began Steve’s downward spiral.

Dateline NBC usually airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC, although the June 5 episode aired at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

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We need legislation against killer robots, Human Rights Watch says

It’s a Hollywood blockbuster premise rooted in our not-so-distant future.

For decades, robot thrillers such as “The Terminator,” “Blade Runner” and “Westworld” have warned viewers that our reliance on artificial intelligence is a real threat to civilization. Now, real-life researchers with the Human Rights Watch are sounding the alarm on potentially world-ending “killer robots,” according to a new report.

The message comes as part of their Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, which calls for a global ban on “fully autonomous weapons.”

In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator: Hasta la vista, baby.

“Removing human control from the use of force is now widely regarded as a grave threat to humanity that, like climate change, deserves urgent multilateral action,” said Mary Wareham, advocacy director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch, in a press release on, whose campaign is pushing for “an international ban treaty” on AI-operated weapons.

Their review, which analyzed defense policies from 97 countries that outlined stances on lethal robotics, revealed that a majority of lawmakers believe human intervention is fundamental to ethical weapons systems.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called the advanced programs “morally repugnant and politically unacceptable” and urged countries to take action.

The authors explain that autonomous weapons “would decide who lives and dies, without … inherently human characteristics such as compassion that are necessary to make complex ethical choices.” Aside from many other potential pitfalls of programming death machines, HRW suggests their use would also make unclear who would be held responsible for unlawful acts of war committed by an autonomous weapon: the computer programmers or the military commanders?

So far, at least 30 countries, including Austria, Brazil and Chile, are seeking to put a global ban on the use of these weapons, according to the report.

However, a minority of influential countries, namely Russia and the United States, have hampered talks — while notably “investing heavily in the development of various autonomous weapons systems,” the report claims.

Filed under artificial intelligence ,  defense ,  human rights watch ,  robots ,  weapons ,  8/10/20

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