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 : January 17, 2013| On :
By Erik Walsh
The News Staff
The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office will soon have quick access to its own armored vehicle.
Tuesday, County Commissioners approved the purchase of a BearCat, the same kind of vehicle borrowed from the Tyler Police Department in 2010.
The BearCat served Athens well when it was used to confront survivalist Howard Todd Granger in a four-hour police standoff, in October, 2010.
Granger fired about 100 rounds from an AK-47 at the armored vehicle before getting taken down by a well-aimed sniper round. Not a single round fired at the SWAT team penetrated the vehicle, including the windows.
Sheriff Ray Nutt argued that in an emergency situation, the three hours or more it takes to do the paperwork and get the vehicle from Tyler could cost an officer’s life.
“We have a great working relationship with Tyler,” Nutt said, “but if there is an injured officer we need the vehicle quickly to extract him before its too late.”
Nutt added that BearCats are even protected underneath from grenade explosions. The BearCat will cost $132,000.
The 2010 incident was not without financial consequence to the county. Henderson County paid a hefty bill to repair damage the vehicle.
Nutt told Commissioners the County could have its own BearCat by July, if approved now.
BearCat is an acronym, standing for Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin was vocal in his agreement.
“I think it’s a wise decision to invest in one of them,” he said.
Posted by : October 25, 2012| On :
By Michael V. Hannigan, The News Staff
ATHENS — A decision has been made.
Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders told the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) on Wednesday that its request to place a banner on the Courthouse Square has been denied.
The decision came as The News was going to press, so details were limited.
“Henderson County’s decision to deny our permit is appalling,” FFRF Co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor told The News Wednesday. “County officials have continually given FFRF the run-around in an attempt to stonewall our application which they had no intention of approving. Using government power to promote religion and hinder criticism of religion is tyrannical, and is precisely what our secular Constitution prohibits.”
The FFRF is the Wisconsin-based organization that demanded the county remove a nativity scene from the Christmas decorations on the courthouse lawn last December. Later, the foundation shifted its focus from removing the nativity to allowing one of its banners.
Posted by : October 12, 2012| On :
By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff
ATHENS – Donna Johnson started out the 2013 Domestic Violence Awareness proclamation signing ceremony Tuesday afternoon with a simple request: “I want everyone here, if they themselves or a family member have been affected by family violence, to please raise your hands and keep your hands raised.”
The East Texas Crisis Center Director of Outreach then asked for anyone who had a friend, or associate at work affected by domestic violence to do the same thing. Then she asked for anyone who knew someone who had been affected by domestic violence to do the same thing.
By that time, it looked like every one of the nearly 100 gathered on the courthouse lawn had a hand raised.
“Domestic violence in Henderson County is so prevalent,” she said.
October is about becoming aware of the dangers of domestic violence and the resources available in the community for victims.
Posted by : July 20, 2012| On :
UPDATE (10 a.m. Friday, July 20) ON MURDER-KIDNAPPING … from Sheriff’s Office press release:
Police received call about 10:30 Thursday night reporting gunshots heard on Brierwood Drive in Coffee City. Officers responded and found one dead, and investigation identified the suspect at Jackie Guthrie, 22.
Guthrie also allegedly took 19-year-old Tiffany Hurd hostage and fled the scene in a 2001 Ford Crown Vic, license plate CKP512. The car has aftermarket wheels and dark tinted windows.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Guthrie.
“If anyone comes in contact or victim please notify law enforcement immediately. This suspect is armed and dangerous and should not be confronted. Law enforcement is currently searching for this suspect and victim. Again, please notify law enforcement if you come into contact with this suspect or victim,” said Sheriff Ray Nutt.
ATTENTION: Henderson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a murder-kidnapping in Coffee City late last night/early this morning … Police are looking for a 2003 Silver Crown Victoria with the license plate CKP 513 in connection with the crime …. anyone with any information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 903-677-6310.
I don’t have details of the crime at this time … I verified the information above with the Sheriff this morning and wanted to get that out as soon as possible.
Posted by : April 28, 2012| On :
By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff
ATHENS — When the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed paperwork with the county last week to display an atheist banner on the Courthouse lawn in December, one of the questions percolating behind the scenes was: “Does it have to be this banner?”
The question wasn’t officially asked out loud; it wasn’t broached during the commissioners’ meeting, at least not yet. But the whispers were there.
The proposed banner reads: “At this season of the Winter Solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth & superstition that hardens hearts & enslaves minds.”
The FFRF has many different banners, however, including one that simply reads: “Reasons Greetings.”
FFRF attorney Charles Caperton admitted after last week’s meeting to at least hearing the question, but said
Posted by : March 30, 2012| On :
By Michael V. Hannigan
The News Staff
ATHENS — It took a couple of weeks longer then expected, but Henderson County commissioners approved a premises use policy this week to “clarify and memorialize” the way county property is used.
The policy covers rules for using county property for rallies or demonstrations, including when to apply for a permit and the need for insurance, and for establishing public displays, decorations or monuments.
The approval came without much discussion on Tuesday, but when the policy was
Posted by : March 5, 2012| On :
February 28, 2012
R. Scott McKee, District Attorney, reports the January Term, 2012, Grand Jury met on
February 23, 2012 and February 24, 2012 and returned _ 109 _ True Bills, including the following: