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Witnesses testified Wednesday that Reta and two other men working for the cartel were paid $15,000 to kill a Laredo man in January 2006. Phone records linked the hit men, the ring leader and suppliers of the guns and car used in the shooting, Detective Robert Garcia testified.

Reta decided to plead guilty but retain his right to appeal, after his statement to police was allowed as evidence over his attorney’s objections, said the attorney, Eduardo Pena.

WASHINGTON

Police arrest man after 20-hour standoff

VANCOUVER — Police arrested a weapons suspect early yesterday after using tear gas to end a 20-hour standoff in which a police officer and a hostage were shot.

Matthew Hastings, 28, was taken in a patrol car to the county jail and was being held on outstanding warrants. Other charges were pending, police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said.

The standoff started at 7:20 a.m. Wednesday, when police arrived to arrest Mr. Hastings on accusations he had jumped bail and failed to check in with his community corrections officer. Mr. Hastings had been charged in January with marijuana possession, theft of a firearm, sale or manufacture of a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The hostage, Shane Runyon, 33, was shot once in the abdomen, police Officer Steve Capellas said. Police Cpl. Chris LeBlanc was shot under the arm. He was in serious condition.

WISCONSIN

Truck smashes into motel room

ANTIGO — A sport utility vehicle hurtled through a motel parking lot Wednesday, hitting two cars before smashing into a room and killing a man, authorities said.

Jesus Manuel Quirios Castillo, 26, died in the early morning crash at the Good Nite Inn, the Langlade County Sheriff’s Department said.

Motel manager Robert Lindemann said the GMC Yukon rammed through the room after crashing through a bay window. Mr. Castillo’s 24-year-old brother was in the room with him but wasn’t injured, Mr. Lindemann said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports