LONGVIEW – It’s multiple life sentences for a Longview man accused of sexually assaulting numerous young girls. Edwin Craig Volcik, 47, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to 11 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. All victims were under the age of 14. After the guilty plea, State District Judge Brad Morin sentenced Volcik to 11 life prison sentences. Following a lengthy investigation, which was led by federal officials, Volcik was arrested in January 2015 at his home on Quail Lane. The arrest followed an investigation of child pornography, but turned into something more
LONGVIEW – Longview police got their man, plus two others following a traffic stop. They had been looking for Desmond Denard Brown, 30, of Longview, on a warrant for a weapons violation. After stopping his car on South High Street, they found in the vehicle prescription codeine, under a seat, and three handguns inside the passenger seat cushion. Two of the guns had been reported stolen. This led to the arrest of two passengers, Royce Jones, 30, and Davardrick Davaughn Lilly, 23, both of Longview. According to the Longview News Journal, Brown has been charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, three counts of unlawfully carrying a weapon, two counts of theft of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance. His bond is $1.775 million. Lilly is charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon and two counts of theft of a firearm. His bond is $500,000. Jones is under a $250,000 bond on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. All three remain in the Gregg County Jail.
LONGVIEW – Longview police are asking the public’s help in identifying two counterfeit money suspects. The man and woman passed counterfeit money at RD Penny’s Food and Fuel 6 on South Eastman Road. If anyone has any information about the two or the vehicles in the photograph, you are asked to contact Det. Gina Villarreal at 903-237-1164 or Gregg County Crime stoppers at 903-236-7867 or greggcountycrimestoppers.org and reference case #16-21195.
NACOGDOCHES – Human remains found in a wooded area of Nacogdoches County, have been sent to a Tyler lab for DNA testing to make positive identification. The remains are thought to be those of Centrella Chimney who was reported missing from the Sand Hill area on July 27 of last year. The remains were found Sunday by a landowner was out checking his land. The remains were found down a steep embankment about two miles from State Highway 21 East. The area is less than three miles from where Chimney lived.… Read More
PALESTINE – The City of Palestine is issuing a boil water notice for a portion of the city. It is for residents with city water only on Crestline Drive between Hillcrest and Alpine drives, Alpine Drive and the Texas State Railroad Park. The action is due to a fire hydrant replacement. Water system officials will notify residents when boiling the water is no longer needed. … Read More
LONGVIEW – The accreditation of LeTourneau University has been reaffirmed. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees took the action at its annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. SACSCOC conducts extensive accreditation reviews every 10 years. This is to assure the educational quality and effectiveness of its member institutions. LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford is quoted in a news release as saying, “The SACSCOC review is a comprehensive and rigorous examination of all the services we perform as an institution of higher education. Reaffirmation of accreditation means LETU faculty and staff are serving our students with excellence. We are advancing toward our vision of serving the world as the premier Christian polytechnic university.”
LONGVIEW – A third teen is now in custody in a Longview home invasion. Reginald Darnell Jones, 17, of Longview, was arrested at the Longview Police Department Friday night on a charge of aggravated robbery. Previoulsy arrested in the case, Sean Owens-Toombs, 18, of Longview and Trekeymian Jamal Allison, 19, of Carthage. The three are said to have forced their way into home on Clearwood Drive on September 8th, and shot a man while attempting to steal drugs. The three are in the Gregg County Jail, each with a $250,000 bond.
TYLER – After 30 years on the job, Tyler’s Assistant Police Chief Steve Sharron has retired. His last day on the job was last Friday, and police scheduled a retirement reception for this afternoon. Sharron began his career with the Tyler Police Department in 1986 as a patrol officer and rose up the ranks to Assistant Chief in 2001. Over the years he has received many awards. In 1991, he was nominated as Officer of the Year by the department employees. Four years later, he was part of the Bike Unit that was selected as the Unit of the Year for the Police Department. In 1997, Sharron was named Supervisor of the Year. In a four year span, Chief Sharron received three Police Commendations.
TYLER – Monday marked Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Among the Tyler activities was a midday community appreciation event on the square. Among those who spoke at the ceremony was Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith. He called law enforcement “a career in which you answer the call of service to others without recognition of others.” He thanked the community for its support of law enforcement. Mayor Martin Heines declared January 9th as the official Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in the city. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund says at least 64 law officers were shot and killed last year, the most in 5 years.The number includes the 5 Dallas officers killed in that sniper attack last July.
LONGVIEW – The body of a homeless man has been found in Longview. It appears his death was weather related. The body of James Douglas Stoker, 72, of Longview, was found Saturday Early Saturday afternoon under a railroad bridge on North Spur 63.He was lying on a blanket, with a t-shirt on and was partially covered with a jacket. The police reports says it is believed Stoker died because of the cold weather conditions and temperature. Justice of the Peace James Mathis pronounced Stoker dead at the scene and did not order an autopsy.
LONGVIEW – Longview’s participation in National Night Out activities last October has received national recognition. The National Association of Town Watch has given Longview a verbal pat on the back for its Night Out activities. Neighborhood groups, Crime Watch groups, businesses, and churches took the lead to organize parties within their neighborhoods. Out of 162 cities of comparable size across the country, Longview was ranked 14th. The city was ranked 19th in 2014 and was ranked 15th in 2015. Longview had 127 block parties last year, that’s 19 more than the previous year. This year, Longview’s National Night Out activities will be October 3rd.… Read More
MARSHALL – The Marshall Police Department has been seeking the community’s help in locating three of the agency’s most wanted fugitives. One of the three has been taken into custody and is in now in the Gregg County Jail.
The first fugitive, and the one now in custody, is John Lee Smith who is wanted on a robbery warrant through the Marshall Police Department. Smith is also wanted for questioning in reference to his involvement in engaging in organized criminal activity. Smith is believed to be associated with a gang out of Longview. Smith’s last known address was on East Whaley Street in Longview. He is known to frequent the Longview and Marshall area.… Read More
Night work is scheduled for Monday, January 9, on the Loop 323/SH 31 construction project in Tyler. The contractor will be applying hot mix to the roadway from 7:00pm to 6:00am. Avoid this location if at all possible. More information is available in the Smith County section of this report.
Barricades will go up this week as the contractor prepares to start a widening project on Loop 281 at FM 1845/Pine Tree Road in Longview. The project limits are from US 80 to Shofner Drive. Barricades will be installed on January 9th with construction set to start on January 16th. The contractor is Longview Bridge and Road. Additional information is available in the Gregg County section of this report.… Read More
AUSTIN (AP) — Texas lawmakers agree on the need to improve the state’s beleaguered child welfare system, but how to do it and to pay for it during a tight budget year are still very much up in the air. With troubles mounting at the state agency that investigates reports of child abuse and, if needed, places abused children in foster care, lawmakers have already been filing bills that they think will help fix the system ahead of the legislative session that starts Tuesday.
PALACIOS (AP) — The Coast Guard says the bodies of all three people who went missing while duck hunting along the Gulf Coast of Texas have been recovered. Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Kendrick says two bodies and the boat were found Saturday afternoon near Matagorda Bay and the third body was found a few hours later. Officials say weather may have been a factor, but that investigators don’t yet know what caused the boat to capsize.
AUSTIN (AP) — Fire officials are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed an Islamic center that was under construction in Austin. Lake Travis Fire and Rescue says the three-story building was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived early Saturday morning. The Travis County fire marshal is investigating the fire at the Islamic Center of Lake Travis building.
TYLER – A hit and run accident in Smith County has left one person dead. It was reported shortly before 9:00 Saturday night about six miles south of Tyler on State Highway 155. Dead at the scene was Jesse Copeland, 22, of Flint. First reports were a person was hit by an unknown vehicle which was south bound. No word on what type of vehicle hit him.
AUSTIN (AP) — The Travis County district attorney says Texas House member Dawnna Dukes, under an ethics investigation, has reversed herself and won’t resign. Dukes said in September she’d quit after the November election, blamed injuries in a 2013 car accident for missing most of the 2015 legislative session but said nothing about the criminal investigation of her.
PALACIOS (AP) — The Coast Guard says two Southeast Texas men have been found dead and a third remains missing after a duck hunting trip. The three were to launch their 17-foot flat-bottomed boat about 4 a.m. Friday between Palacios and Port Lavaca but did not return as expected later in the day. Two bodies were found in waters near Matagorda Bay.
TROUP – A boil water notice is out for the southeast portion of Troup. It was caused by a water main break. The area is bounded on the north by East Duval Street, on the east by S.P. Front Street and om the south by Farm Road 110 and including County Road 4801. The notice will remain in effect until water system residents notify the residents that the water is once again safe. … Read More
HOUSTON (AP) — Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has arrived in Houston for a brief transit stop in the U.S. during her trip to Central America. Dozens of supporters stood outside in near freezing temperatures as Tsai arrived at a Houston hotel Saturday morning. She shook some hands and posed for selfie photos. She did not address media kept some distance away. An official with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team said earlier Saturday neither Trump nor transition officials would be meeting with her.
DALLAS (AP) — A Texas state jail panel is investigating the death of a 56-year-old Dallas County Jail inmate amid concerns jailers should be been paying closer attention to the section of the lockup where the fatal beating occurred. The Dallas Morning News reports a Dallas County Sheriff’s Department account of Javier Leal’s death a week ago in a jail section housing inmates with mental health issues shows jailers weren’t aware of the prisoner’s beating until his cell partner called the guards himself.
KYLE (AP) — A 24-year-old Central Texas woman is charged with capital murder in the stabbing death of her 5-year-old daughter. Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler says Giovanna Hernandez was “mutilated” in the stabbing attack at a trailer home in Kyle, about 20 miles south of Austin. Krystle Villanueva is jailed under $1.1 million bond. She also is charged with aggravated assault for the stabbing of her 58-year-old father-in-law.
HOUSTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has refused an appeal from a Texas death row inmate who confessed to four rape-slayings, another sexual attack where the victim survived and to molesting two children. Attorneys for 54-year-old Anthony Shore argued to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that lawyers at Shore’s 2004 Harris County trial didn’t properly investigate and present evidence of his brain damage and that executing Shore would be unconstitutional because he suffers brain damage. The appeals court says Shore told his trial attorney not to contest a death sentence and that his appeals lawyer has acknowledged while Shore has brain damage, he isn’t intellectually disabled.
HOUSTON (AP) — The FBI is looking for a man and two women investigators believe are responsible for the robberies of at least seven Houston-area banks. Authorities say the holdups have occurred within the past month at Chase Bank branches. The two most recent robberies occurred on Friday.
HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston fireman has been stabbed in the eye by a man he was trying to rescue. Authorities say police and firefighters responding to a call about a fire at a business saw an unresponsive man inside the building. After a police officer used a sledgehammer to gain entry, Fire Capt. Kenneth Willingham, trying to pull the man out, was stabbed in the eye by the man who had a pocket knife. Houston television station KHOU reports Willingham, with the department 14 years, could lose his eye. Police say it took about 30 minutes to get the man out of the building because he was combative.
KILGORE – With the help of a witness, a Longview man has been arrested for burglary by Kilgore police. Heath Duelle Clary, 45, charged with burglary of a coin-operated machine and burglary of a building. Just after midnight Thursday, a caller told police of suspicious activity at a car wash on Karolina Street. Officers found Clary burglarizing a coin-operated machine in one of the car wash bays. They later found where he had broken into another building on the property and burglarized five other machines. Detectives are interviewing him about other recent burglaries in Kilgore. He’s being held in the Kilgore Municipal Jail on $35,000 bond.
AUSTIN (AP) — Texas lawmakers will decide whether to embrace an issue that caused a national uproar in North Carolina, banning transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a top social conservative voice in the state, unveiled the proposed law Thursday at a news conference. Patrick says the “Privacy Protection Act” is a top priority for the GOP-controlled Legislature, which convenes next week.
HOUSTON (AP) — The parents of a Houston journalist taken hostage in Syria in 2012 say their hope their son will come home safely has never wavered. That faith recently got a boost from U.S. officials, who told the family that they have high confidence Austin Tice is alive. Marc Tice, Austin Tice’s father, told The Associated Press during an interview Thursday the latest update shows that efforts to secure his son’s release need to continue.
HUNTSVILLE (AP) — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has rejected an appeal from a 48-year-old man set for execution next week for the slayings of two men in Fort Worth more than 11 years ago. Christopher Wilkins faces lethal injection Wednesday evening in what would be the nation’s first execution of 2017.