Oct

31

Posted by : admin | On : October 31, 2008

By Michael V. Hannigan

On a recent Monday, 59-year-old Curtis Cook stood before a Henderson County judge and admitted to stealing the innocence from a girl who should have been in elementary school rather than in the courtroom that day.

Cook pleaded guilty in Judge Dan Moore’s 173rd District Court to aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first degree felony which carries a penalty of between five and 99 years in prison.

His victim was significantly younger than the statutory 14 listed in the indictment; an indictment which doesn’t point to intercourse, but to perversion nonetheless. {{more}}

Henderson County prosecutors weren’t the only ones going after Cook. He was not only indicted here, but also three times in Kaufman County on the same charge. Cook’s dual arrests in Gun Barrel City, first in November 2007 and then again in February 2008, made headlines in all Henderson County newspapers.

And on Sept. 29, the day he pleaded guilty, Curtis Cook went home instead of to jail. Judge Moore accepted a deal worked out by Assistant District Attorney and future County Attorney Clint Davis to give Cook 10 years deferred adjudication probation.

The deal also reportedly covered the three indictments in Kaufman County, however District Attorney’s Office officials in that county did not return calls for comment on the case.

So how does a confessed sex offender get to walk the streets? In this case, at least, it had more to do with the victim and her family than with Cook, according to the judge who ok’d the plea.

Moore said the victim’s family asked him to approve the deal so that their daughter would not have to take the stand in a trial.

“They just wanted it to be over,” Moore said.

The judge said he could have ignored the family’s request and impelled the child to testify, but to what end? It would be like the victim getting assaulted all over again, this time with the family sitting in the front row, Moore said.

The judge pointed to a similar case recently that saw three trials because of mistrial – and the victim was only 6 years old.

“As a judge we have to think about what’s good for the state of Texas,” Moore said, “but to some extent we also have to think about what’s good for the child.”

Moore also pointed out that many of the child sexual assault cases do not involve an exchange of DNA, and therefore the only evidence comes from the testimony of the victim. There are almost never other witnesses.

“Who’s going to do something like that when someone else is watching?” Moore asked.

Although not directly involved in the Cook case, Henderson County District Attorney Donna Bennett agreed with Moore. Bennett said her office is willing to accept probation in sex offender cases when a supportive family is asking to keep the victim off the witness stand.

The “supportive family” is a key factor, said Bennett. She said her office pays close attention to the family dynamic when making decisions. The DA’s Office would be less likely to listen to the family’s request for probation if the accused is linked to the victim, she said, like the mother’s boyfriend for instance.

But in those other cases, with a supportive family that doesn’t want to put the victim through any more trauma, the DA’s Office sometimes listens.

Bennett said she’s had parents tell her of victims who wet their beds, struggle in school and have nightmares. Her voice caught as she told of one child who was strong during her testimony only to collapse from the strain when walking out of the courtroom.

And what if a jury, which can sometimes be fickle, decides not to believe the victim?

“Then the parents have to try and explain to this little child what happened,” Bennett said.

Both Bennett and Moore said the important thing with the deferred adjudication probation is that it gets the sex offender into the system. After pleading guilty, the defendant has to register as a sex offender for life. That does not stop when the probation is over, Bennett said.
That fact that revoking probation is easier than getting a conviction at trial is also an important factor, she said. Revoking probation does not require a trial, only a hearing before a judge.

“In a trial we have to prove someone is guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt,” Bennett said. “In a probation revocation, all we need is a preponderance of the evidence as proof. We only need 51 percent instead of 100 percent.”
In Cook’s case, if his probation is revoked he could go to jail for the original sentence: five to 99 years.
How hard is probation for sex offenders in Henderson County?

“Do you remember the old book ‘The Scarlet Letter?'” asked Ty Choate, the director of the Henderson County Probation Department. “That’s almost what you are if you are determined to be a sex offender, because somebody in the state of Texas is going to be watching you from now on.”
Choate described probation for a Level I sex offender, a pedophile, in Henderson County as a stepped process that takes years. During years one and two, the offender is at the maximum level of oversight. Some of what that entails includes:

– Meeting twice monthly at the probation office for group therapy

– Being visited, unannounced, once monthly in the field

– Going through a full battery of tests and evaluations that begin to build a file of the pedophile’s “triggers”

– Sex counseling once a week

– Providing a DNA sample

– Passing three polygraph tests that help with the counseling

There are many other steps required in the probation such as drug and alcohol counseling, drug testing, community service, etc.

Moore said the sex offender’s probation list looked like a second fulltime job.

After two years, the sex offender gets dropped to the medium level of oversight. Choate said the only thing that gets dropped in the move from maximum to medium is one group session.

How hard is it? Choate said 70 percent of the sex offenders fail to keep up with all their probation and end up back in front of the judge.

“We have one of the highest levels of supervision in the state,” Choate said. “This is a high priority for us.”
Choate said the county currently has 33 sex offenders in the program, including two who were transfers from another county.


Oct

31

Posted by : admin | On : October 31, 2008


By Britt Thompson and Amanda Miles Thompson

From The Malakoff News
Friday, October 28, 1966

Helene Curtis Industries, Inc. of Chicago, Illinois, announces the appointment of E. B. Hines as South Texas District Sales Manager of its beauty Division.

Mr. Hines, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Hines, Sr. of Trinidad, Texas is a graduate of Trinidad High School, Henderson County Junior College and North Texas State University. He resides at 3511 Purdue, No. 1., Houston, Texas.

CONTRIBUTE TO LOOKING BACK! – If you have photographs, articles, or family histories that you would like to see in the Looking Back column, please contact Britt Thompson at the following email address: rbtnyu81@sbcglobal.net or mail to Britt Thompson, 7033 Blalock Drive, The Colony, Texas 75056. Photographs and text can be in any format.

DOWN MEMORY LANE – Click on the Down Memory Lane link. Share your memories as new pictures from Malakoff

Oct

31

Posted by : admin | On : October 31, 2008

I happened to glance up at a Chase Bank credit card commercial and heard a man say, actually yell,

Oct

31

Posted by : admin | On : October 31, 2008

A golfer was having a tough day and in his frustration he blurted out,

Oct

31

Posted by : admin | On : October 31, 2008


Services for Carrie Dee Hooper, 91, of Flag Lake Community were held 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008, in First Baptist Church of Tool with the Rev. Ed Brennen officiating. Interment followed at King Cemetery under the direction of Eubank Cedar Creek Funeral Home.
Mrs. Hooper died Friday, Oct. 24, 2008, in the Flag Lake Community. He was born Sept. 7, 1917, in Henderson County, Texas.
Mrs. Hooper had resided in the Tool area most of her life and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Tool. She was a retired seamstress and a member of the Red Hat Club.
She was preceded in death by parents, Charles Anthony and Amelia Matilda Reed Powell; seven brothers; two sisters; husband, Carl Samuel (Jack) Hooper; daughter, Dorothy Jacquline (Jackie) Hooper Erwin; son-in-law, Cleo Jim (CJ) McCallum Sr.; grandson, Robert Allen Erwin Jr.; great-grandson, Robert Gene Lahew Jr.; great-great-grandson, Clayton Jim Jackson.
Survivors include Martha Ameila Hooper McCallum of Tool; grandsons, Cleo Jim (Skip) McCallum Jr. of Ben Wheeler, Carl Ray McCallum of Dallas, Scott Dewayne McCallum of Carrollton; granddaughter, Patricia Ann Balatti of San Francisco, Calif., Elizabeth Erwin Lahew of Canton, Deborah Dee McCallum Rhodes of Bonham; 13 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; 11 great-great-grandchildren.
Pallbearers were Skip McCallum, Carl McCallum, Scott McCallum, Preston McCallum, Bobby Lahew, and J.R. Rhodes.

Oct

31

Posted by : admin | On : October 31, 2008


Services for Denice Rose Loven, 50, of Trinidad, were held 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008, at Lakeside Baptist Church with Floyd Loven, Ron Huckabee and Pat Morrel officiating. Interment followed at Trinidad Cemetery under the direction of Tomlinson Funeral Homes of Malakoff.
Mrs. Loven died Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008, in Richardson, Texas. She was born Feb. 22, 1958, in Jacksonville, Texas, to Floyd Loven and Rosalie Loven.
She was a teacher and a member of Lakeside Baptist Church of Trinidad. Memorials may be made to Jacksonville Baptist Church or the Texas Baptist Home in Waxahachie, Texas.
Survivors include brother, Dewitt Loven of Trinidad; sisters, Juanice Burton of Trinidad, Judi Langford of Trinidad; nephews, Wesley Burton of Trinidad, Doug Loven of Trinidad; nieces, Krista and Ray Crocker of Trinidad, Heather Loven of Trinidad, Jamie and Pat Morrel of Trinidad; great-nephew, Jacob Morrel of Trinidad; great-nieces, Zoie Morrel of Trinidad and Taylor Loven of Trinidad.
Pallbearers were Pat Morrel, Ray Crocker, Wesley Burton, Doug Loven, Steve Warren, Glenn Warren, Tommy Jeffcoat, Bubba and Heath.

Oct

31

Posted by : admin | On : October 31, 2008


Jack Edward Newsome, 38, of Log Cabin was born on April 15, 1970. He left this world on Oct. 18, 2008, to be with his brother, Danny. He was loved and will be missed very much by everyone who knew him.
Mr. Newsome loved spending time with his family, going fishing and watched the Dallas Cowboys play.
He is survived by his parents, William and Patsy Newsome of Greenville; children, Andrea Newsome of Corsicana, Edward Newsome of Dallas; grandson, Alex of Corsicana; brother, Michael Lawson of Greenville; sisters, Tammy McKee of Payne Springs, Priscilla Snowden of Greenville and Brenda Torrez of Log Cabin and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Mr. Newsome

Oct

31

Posted by : admin | On : October 31, 2008


Anthony Peter Paul (Tony) Wang passed away October 28, 2008 in Malakoff. He was born Jan. 12, 1917, in Cudahy, Wisconsin, son of Olin and Louise (Buczkowski) Wang.
Funeral services will be held at Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in Malakoff at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 31, 2008, with Father Anthony McLaughlin officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson Clayton Bros. Funeral Home of Kemp.
The family received friends from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 30, at the funeral home.
Mr. Wang was formerly from Hayward, Calif., but moved to Texas in 1995. He served as Past President of the Eagle Lodge in Hayward, California and he loved to dance. He was a jack of all trades throughout his lifetime. Anthony worked in the circus, as a boiler tender in the Merchant Marines, maintenance man, ranch hand, gold prospector, steel mill worker, security officer and numerous other trades during his 91 years of life. He enjoyed entertaining friends and family, and he was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He will be greatly missed by his family, his many friends in California, the Senior Center of Seagoville, Buckner Retirement Home of Dallas, The Christian Care Center of Mesquite, Colonial Retirement Lodge of Terrell and Cedar Lake Nursing Home in Malakoff. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Evelyn, and both of his parents.
Survivors include son, Donald Smith and wife Judie of Payne Springs; grandchildren, John Lee Mathis and wife Donna and Allen Reid Mathis and wife Debi; great-grandchildren, Halie and Dylan Mathis and Brandon Black.
Sign his online guestbook at www.andersonclayton-bros.com.

Oct

31

Posted by : admin | On : October 31, 2008


Memorial services for Jerry W. Rogers, 65, of Chandler are scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008, at Tomlinson Funeral Home in Malakoff under the direction of Tomlinson Funeral Homes of Malakoff. Burial followed at the Malakoff Cemetery.
Mr. Rogers died Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008, in Athens. He was born Nov. 9, 1942, in Malakoff to the late Lowell Tarrant Rogers and Era Alexander.
Mr. Rogers was an office worker.
Survivors include daughter, Paula Stephens; son, Mark Johnston; brothers, Bobby Rogers, Joel Rogers, Ricky Rogers; sisters, Patsy Whitehead, Carolyn Weiss, Barbara Underwood; nine grandchildren.

Oct

31

Posted by : admin | On : October 31, 2008


Services for William Clemons, 51, of Mexia, Texas, were held 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, 2008, at Tomlinson Funeral Home. Burial followed at Post Oak Cemetery under the direction of Tomlinson Funeral Homes of Malakoff.
Mr. Clemons died Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008, in Groesbeck, Texas. He was born April 12, 1957, in Waco to the late Thomas Clemons and Melba Cannon.
Survivors include sisters, Susie and Ricky Allen, Jeri and Donald McKiddie, Debbie and Tony Barrett; brother, Wayne and Debi French; seven nephews and five nieces.