Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–173rd District Court Judge Dan Moore sentenced Joshua Demelles Thompson, 34, to 25 years in prison by after pleading guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance last week.
Thompson was indicted by a Henderson County Grand Jury last year as a result of a narcotics investigation into its trafficking was initiated by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department.
On Dec. 11, 2014, Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Beddingfield learned that Thompson was in possession of methamphetamine. Thompson was staying at 117 Oxbow in the Thunderbird Shores edition of Cedar Creek Lake. Based on that information and other intelligence, Deputy Beddingfield obtained a search warrant for the residence.
The HCSO command staff was assisted by the narcotics task force and the Gun Barrel City Police Department in the execution of the warrant. Thompson was found just outside the residence standing halfway inside his white Ford pick-up truck. A search of Thompson’s jacket found a red plastic container with 18 small plastic bags, containing what appeared to be methamphetamine residue. Inside Thompson’s truck, deputies found a black bag with a digital scale, drug paraphernalia, and two more small bags of methamphetamine. Additionally, a metal spoon with methamphetamine on it was also found inside the truck. Metal spoons are commonly used to facilitate the ingestion of meth. Testing by a DPS lab revealed that Thompson was in possession of 4.66 grams of methamphetamine.
Inside the home, officers found Bruck Kantak in the master bedroom sitting on the bed with a glass pipe used for ingesting meth. A woman, Rhonda Nichols, was found in the bathroom of the residence sitting on the commode. When Nichols was asked to stand up, a small plastic bag of meth was found in the commode covered by paper. Both Nichols and Kantak were arrested for Possession of Controlled Substance. Thompson was arrested for the Manufacture and Delivery of a Controlled Substance.
Deputies had executed a search warrant on the same house only months before, targeting Barbra Trexler, who was the primary resident. Trexler was charged with Possession of a Controlled substance and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison on May 20, 2015.
An investigation into cash and a receipt discovered during the execution of the warrant revealed that Thompson, already a felon, had been in possession of a firearm. Records at a local pawn shop, confirmed that in December of 2014, Thompson sold a Whitney .22 semi-automatic pistol for $425.
Assistant District Attorney Justin Weiner prosecuted the case on behalf of Scott McKee’s District Attorney’s Office.
After the sentencing, Weiner stated: “There is no question that Thompson played a role not only in the use of methamphetamines but also the distribution and trafficking of methamphetamines. He was at a residence known for the distribution of narcotics with scales, a slew of baggies, and other paraphernalia. I am proud to have worked with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office to ensure that Thompson will be out of business for a long time.”
Thompson, a Tool resident, had been previously sentenced to prison two other times.
District Attorney Scott McKee thanked Sheriff Ray Nutt and Gun Barrel City Chief Damon Boswell for their contributions to the case. “For every gram of methamphetamine we remove from the streets, our children and our communities are a little safer,” McKee said.
Since 2009, under Sherriff Ray Nutt, McKee noted that the county’s focus on putting drug offenders in jail has dramatically reduced the violent crime rate in Henderson County.
Posted by : January 29, 2016| On :
Monitor Staff Reports
Posted by : January 28, 2016| On :
Special to The News
HENDERSON COUNTY–Shun Cameron, 48, was arrested Jan. 12 by Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office for theft of property more than $1,500, less than or equal to $30,000.
Henderson County Sheriff’s Office received information on a stolen trailer at the residence located 10210 CR 1208 Jan. 5.
Captain Charlie Severn, Investigators Kay Langford, Brad Beddingfield, Jeromey Rose, Deputy Kyle Pokobradsky and Investigator Robert Powers went to the residence and received information that Shun Cameron was the property owner and in possession of the stolen trailer.
HCSO personnel observed a fire behind the residence and attempted to speak with the homeowners. Investigators located an unattended illegal fire where automotive tires were being burned. Next the the fire, investigators located a stolen cement mixer which had been reported stolen earlier that day.
HCSO personnel also located a Dodge pickup truck with an enclosed cargo trailer attached. It was learned the truck was reported stolen from Anderson County and the enclosed trailer had been reported stolen from Henderson County.
Upon an inventory on the trailer, investigators located baseball and softball equipment reported stolen from Cross Roads ISD and a 2013 Jiajue motor scooter reported stolen from the City of Athens.
A total of three arrest warrants for theft of property $2,500-$30,000 was placed on Shun Cameron.
Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office was involved in a vehicle pursuit Jan. 12 in which Cameron was the passenger.
The driver of the vehicle and Cameron fled on foot following the vehicle pursuit. An extensive manhunt was conducted by DPS, Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice K-9 Unit. The driver was located and placed in the Van Zandt County Detention Center.
Cameron was located later that day and placed in the Henderson County Jail.
He is being detained on a total of $71,500 bonds.
Posted by : January 21, 2016| On :
The News Reports
ATHENS–Athens Police Department arrested Michael Keith Duke, 19, Jan. 15 for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a prohibited substance in a correctional facility and five Athens Municipal Court warrants.
APD says Corporal William Carlow conducted a traffic stop on a pick up truck for an expired license plate around 10:45 a.m. Jan. 15 in the 700 block of East Corsicana Street. During a routine check, it was discovered Duke was wanted on several local warrants.
Carlow arrested Duke and during a vehicle search, found two stolen rifles.
Duke was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and was transported to the Henderson County Justice Center.
During booking, Duke was found to be in possession of a clear baggie containing a substance suspected to be marijuana.
He remains in custody on bonds totaling $20,000.
Posted by : December 22, 2015| On :
the news photo/pearl cantrell
Parents Anthony and Shakevia Chilton bring their son, Aumodric, 4, for photos with the decorations on the courthouse square in Athens, along with their little neice Kaleigh Pitt, 1.
the news photo/pearl cantrell
Khopelyn Wallace visits Santa on her third birthday, Dec. 5, 2015. She is the daughter of Brianna and Chase Wallace of Larue.
Posted by : December 22, 2015| On :
Posted by : December 3, 2015| On :
Special to The News
ATHENS–The City of Athens is pleased to announce the hiring of Amy Williams as the new Director of Development.
After a three-month search that drew interest from dozens of candidates across the country, Williams was selected as the person to provide new leadership to the utilities, building, planning, streets and fleet maintenance divisions of the city. Current Interim Director Gordon Mayer will be assisting Williams and the city with her transition.
According to the city’s advertisement, the position required a passionate public servant with a strong commitment to personal and professional ethics. Athens City Manager Philip Rodriguez believes they found the right person to fit that description in Amy Williams.
Many in Athens may already know Williams, as she is active on the boards of Henderson County United Way and Keep Athens Beautiful, as well as a member of the Athens Noon Kiwanis.
According to Williams, “Building relationships with the community is a top priority for me. Athens is where I want to serve, and I look forward to an even greater opportunity to do that.”
Williams joins the city’s management team after spending the last three years with Atmos Energy. She began with Atmos as an engineer, and is now serving as the Manager of Public Affairs for 35 cities in East Texas, including Athens. She also worked as an engineer for the Texas Water Development Board and the AECOM engineering firm after earning and Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Florida State University.
Rodriguez noted Williams’ engineering background was one of the things that impressed him most about her.
“Amy brings a great skillset to the City of Athens that will help us advance forward as an organization. As an engineer, she’s managed both water and wastewater projects, and has firsthand experience with state compliance in those two areas specifically.
“The opportunity to gain from Amy’s technical background as well as her excellent communication and people skills makes her a great fit for our city. Her strong understanding of budgets and strategy are also key as we increase our professionalism across the board. We’re very fortunate and excited to have her join our team.”
Williams will take over her new duties at the City of Athens Dec. 14, and will be the primary lead at the new Development Services Center, which currently houses the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The new development “one-stop shop” is scheduled to open spring of 2016, located at 622 S. Prairieville St. in Athens.
Posted by : January 17, 2013| On :
By Erik Walsh
The News Staff
SEAGOVILLE–A Malakoff High School student was killed Sunday in a wreck on U.S. Highway 175 just outside Seagoville.
Jamiya Givens Williams, 16, was a sophomore. Also perishing in the crash was Williams’ 11-month-old daughter.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety, the accident occurred when a Ford F-150 truck struck the Chevrolet Cavalier occupied by Williams and her daughter from behind.
Prior to the collision, the eastbound Cavalier, driven by Williams’ mother, Sheryk Givens, 40, blew out a tire and slowed to about 10-15 mph in preparation to exit. That’s when the F-150 struck the economy compact vehicle, last produced in 2005.
Givens’ 18-year-old son Jabari was also in the Cavalier, however no other injuries were reported.
Funeral services will be handled by the Tomlinson Funeral Home. The date of the services are still pending as of Jan. 15.
A fund has been set up to assist the family with funeral expenses for Jamiya Williams and her daughter, Alahna, through the First Baptist Church of Malakoff, P.O. Box 408, Malakoff, TX 75148,designate checks “Jamiya Williams.”
Posted by : October 20, 2012| On :
Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace and Malakoff Municipal Judge Henry Ashford died today of an apparent heart attack, a county source confirmed.
There are no other details at this time.
Posted by : October 19, 2012| On :
By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff
Interpreter for the deaf Lisa (Rakestraw) LeDonne was already facing her greatest professional challenge before she saw her partner being escorted away in Danville, Ky. last week.
She was understandably worried about her friend and concerned about what might be happening, but she had to quickly put all that behind her and concentrate on the task at hand: Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan had just walked on the stage.
LeDonne, a 1985 graduate of Cross Roads High School, provided sign language interpretation for the Vice Presidential Debate Thursday, Oct. 11, handling both candidates, and moderator Martha Raddatz alone.
“It was a very surreal experience,” she told The News about an hour after the event.
As she has in the past, she relied on her faith to help her through.
“There were several friends and people from church who were praying for me,” she said. “During those 90 minutes alone, I had a composure that was surely the result of all those prayers.”
After the debate she learned that the father of her partner, Rita Zirnheld, had passed away unexpectedly.
“I’m just kind of reeling,” LeDonne said. “I was worried the whole time that something like that had happened.”
Posted by : August 17, 2012| On :
By Michael V. Hanniga
It is easy to call Nathan Lorick a rising star. The 31-year-old was recently elected to be the evangelism director for the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention after five years as pastor at First Baptist Church of Malakoff.
Do the math, and you will quickly find that he took over the church at the ripe young age of 26. During his time, the church saw growth in all the ways churches often like to measure growth: new buildings, new programs, new members, new baptisms. On the personal front, Lorick picked up not one, but two, doctorate degrees (one honorary) and became the national face of the culture wars last December during the county controversy over the nativity scene in Athens.
So it is easy to call Nathan Lorick a rising star; everybody does.
Everybody except himself.
“I’ll tell you who the star is,” he said during a wide-ranging interview this week. “It is my wife. She put me through school, she answered my kids’ questions when I wasn’t there, she told me not to quit when I wanted to, she has always willingly followed, and I wouldn’t have had any accomplishments if she wasn’t there.”