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Friday, August 1, 2014
Eric Williams was in court yesterday morning as his attorneys requested they be allowed to take a deposition of Kim Williams, who is charged, along with Eric Williams, in connection with the murders of District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, and assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse. Williams' attorneys told presiding judge Mike Snipes they would not ask questions of Kim Williams concerning her alleged part in the murders, but were only seeking background information about the couple's relationship. They told Judge Snipes they believed Kim Williams had waived her Fifth Amendment rights by cooperating with authorities. Judge Snipes turned down their request. Williams trial is set to begin in December. He is being held in Rockwall County Jail pending bond of $23-million.
Jury selection and the trial for Warren Ray Patton, Jr., who is charged with intoxicated manslaughter in the 2012 death of an off-duty Dallas county Constable, are both set for Monday, August 4th in Kaufman County's 422nd District Court. Patton was allegedly driving while intoxicated when his vehicle crossed the center line of FM 741 near Crandall, striking a pick-up truck head-on, killing the driver.
Although the chance of any significant amount of rain appears to be over for the next several days, the Terrell area did receive over 2 and a half inches of rain during the twenty-four hour period ending at midnight last night. Rainfall termed torrential by the national weather service passed through the Terrell area early Thursday morning between 3 and 4 o'clock, when 2.68 inches of rain fell at Terrell Municipal Airport, accompanied by significant lightning. Clouds are forecast today, but sunshine is in the forecast for the weekend.
The installation of the casecracker interview management system for the Kaufman County Sheriff's Department was approved this week by the Kaufman County Commissioner's court. The Sheriff's department's interview rooms will be outfitted with the advanced technology recording equipment. And, the department will also purchase a portable unit which will allow the recording of any encounter with suspects outside of the interrogation areas. Tyco Simplex Grinnel, a company in Richardson, will supply the system at a cost of just over $25,500.
Hunt County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Sheila Linden at a hearing yesterday awarded custody of 222 animals to the SPCA, and awarded restitution to be paid to the SPCA in the amount of about $61,000 to cover the costs of investigation, housing and care of the animals. The judge took that action after determining the animals had been cruelly treated prior to their removal from an animal shelter in Wolfe City on Wednesday.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Monday, the state issued yet another addendum to its solicitation of proposals for the private operation of the Terrell State Hospital, pushing the due date for proposals back to August 19th. Originally, proposals were due July 24th, with the tentative award announcement to be made August 15th, and the contract start date anticipated to be September 15th. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission now expects a tentative award announcement by October 15th, and the start of the contract to be January 1, 2015. Four entities have indicated an interest in operating the Terrell State Hospital. Representatives of the state emphasize they are seeking a private operator of the facility. They are not seeking to sell the hospital as was erroneously reported by some media outlets. A Human Services Commission spokesman said no proposal would be accepted if not beneficial to the state of Texas and the hospital.
Four candidates for the Pecinct 2 Constable job were interviewed by Kaufman County Republican Party precinct chairmen last night. On August 11th the candidates will have the opportunity to speak to the chairmen once again before a vote to determine which one will represent the party on the November ballot. The Constable's job is up for election this fall because the former constable, Joe Don Law, resigned the position earlier this year. In April, the Kaufman County Commissioners court appointed Jason Johnson,a retired Dallas County constable, to fill the position until January 1, 2015.
Ballistics evidence will be allowed in Eric Williams murder trial, although his attorneys had requested such evidence be deemed inadmissable earlier this month. Judge Mike Snipes did indicate there will be a hearing on the admissability of certain expert testimony in the case. This will be in accordance with the Daubert standard, which is the current standard in federal courts and over half of the states, including Texas. Williams faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted of last year's slayings of Mark Hasse, Mike McLelland, and his wife Cynthia.
Two full-time firefighter positions were approved by Kaufman City council members Monday night, which will enable the department to become a 24/7 around the clock service department. The Kaufman fire department will now have six full-time firefighters, although Kaufman City Manager Curtis Snow was quoted as warning the addition of the two positions will impact taxpayer's pocketbooks.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Yesterday afternoon police released the identity of a suspect in an early Sunday shooting incident in Terrell. Police received a report of shots being fired in the area of Park Street, and the alleged suspect was identified as Ontarius Morris, as 27-year-old Terrell resident.
Late Sunday night, police in Terrell investigated an aggravated assault in the 100 block of Lovers Lane. The victim reported the tip of her little finger was severed during the assault, but refused medical treatment at the scene. The assault apparently occured at another location, and the victim was taken to the apartment of a friend on Lovers Lane. The police investigation revealed differing accounts of the incident, and police request anyone with information on the assault should contact the Terrell Police Department or Kaufman County Crimestoppers.
Progress at Memorial Stadium in Terrell is evident with the installation of the artificial turf beginning Saturday at mid-field. Monday, the installation continued, with Terrell Tiger red installed in the north end zone. Work is also evident throughout the stadium, including the new press box. The goal is to have the stadium ready for the first home game on September 12th against the Kaufman Lions.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Forney Police believe a man already held by Dallas County for allegedly robbing a Duncanville Jack in the Box is the same one who robbed the Schlotzsky's Deli in Forney on July 8th. Friday, the Forney Police Department served warrants for aggravated robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon on 28-year-old Rodney Antwon Lewis of Lancaster. Lewis is in Dallas County Jail pending bonds totalling over $1-million.
Terrell Police report "substantial leads" and a person of interest in a shooting which occured Saturday, July 19th, in Terrell. A 911 call about 1:42 a.m. on July 19th concerned a gunshot victim at a Shell gas station on West Moore Avenue. Police say the evidence indicates the shooting actually occured at a different location. The victim suffered a gunshot wound in his leg from a semi-automatic wepon, and was taken to Forney for treatment, and was then transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
Dr. Tariq Mahmood was found guilty by a federal court jury in Tyler late last week on 15 counts of medicare and medicaid fraud, and aggravated identity theft while operating Reniassance Hospital in Terrell and five other rural hospitals in Texas. Mahmood will not be sentenced until next year, but prosecutors did not request that he be jailed pending sentencing because he had posed no problems since posting bond following his indictment in April of last year.