Transgendered widow asks for new trial in benefits battle

June 27, 2011 8:27:47 AM PDT
There are new developments today in the fight over the death benefits of a fallen Wharton firefighter.

Nikki Araguz, the transgendered widow of firefighter Thomas Araguz, has filed a motion, asking a judge to grant a hearing for a motion for a new trial. That hearing is set for July 6. You'll recall last month that a judge ruled that Nikki Araguz was not entitled to her husband's benefits because she was born a male and that made her marriage invalid.

This all comes as the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office released the results of its investigation into last year's fire which killed Thomas Araguz. The Fire Marshal's Office found that initial crews at the fire failed to adequately assess the scene before attacking the fire, that the interior team and incident commander did not verify the correct operation of communications equipment before entering the burning farm and that crews didn't monitor their air supply.

Nikki Araguz is also battling an unrelated theft charge. She's accused of stealing another woman's Rolex watch back in February.


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