TYLER — A man is in ICU at Mother Francis Hospital following a Christmas shooting and an arrest warrant has been issued in the case. It was reported just before 2:15 Christmas morning. The man, with a couple of gunshot wounds, was taken to the hospital by private vehicle. He has undergone surgery. The warrant was issued for Joshua Dewayne Berry, 29, of Tyler.
LONGVIEW — A Longview man has been arrested on a drunk driving charge following a head on collision that left several persons injured. Cain Santiago-Ferral, 26, is charged with accident involving serious bodily injury, two counts of intoxication assault with a vehicle causing severe bodily injury, and driving while intoxicated with a child younger than 15. A 13 year old girl and a 16 year old girl were in his car, which hit a van carrying eight people. The accident happened just before 6:00 Wednesday night in the 300 Block of Spur 63.
PALESTINE — A Cherokee County resident remains in the Anderson County jail on bonds totaling $50,000 on forgery charges. Jesse Stein, 32, of Jacksonville, was arrested in Palestine on Tuesday. The arrest followed a tip concerning an online ad for gold coins. A Palestine coin collector felt the price for the coins was too low and thought they might be counterfeit. Palestine police contacted the Secret Service and a meeting was arranged with the suspect. When it was obvious the coins were not real, Stein was arrested. In his vehicle officers found more fake coins along with counterfeit paper currency and fake identification cards.
CUNEY — A Cherokee County family has lost everything, including their Christmas presents, in a Christmas Eve fire. It was reported around 10:30 this morning on County Road 3502 near Cuny. Also lost in the balze was the family’s minivan. There were no injuries. The cause of the fire remains under investigation
TYLER — For the second time in two days, a Smith County business has been robbed by a man with a hammer. The latest incident was around 5:30 Thursday morning when a man held up the Minute Stop convenience store at 11874 Highway 64 West. The same store was robbed by a man with a hammer nearly 48 hours earlier. The clerk told sheriff’s deputies the man walked behind the counter and started taking money from the cash register. He was then driven from the store by someone in a brown or gold extended cab pickup. There were no injuries. The suspect was described as a Hispanic male armed with a hammer and wearing a dirty tan jump suit and a bright orange ski mask.… Read the rest of the article…
LONGVIEW — One person was injured this morning following a shooting at a Longview nightclub. According to KETK, the shooting happened around 2:00. Police say the victim was shot at the nightclub, then drove home and called 9-1-1. They were taken to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. Police have not said exactly where the shooting happened. They did say they are searching for a person of interest.
GREGG COUNTY — A Gregg County grand jury has handed felony indictments to three men on separate child sex assault charges. According to the Longview News-Journal, Deadrian McKinley(pictured), 20, of Gladewater, was indicted on two counts of aggravated assault of a child. Both included an Oct. 23 offense date. McKinley is accused of having intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.… Read the rest of the article…
LONGVIEW — A couple of Longview police officers handed out gift cards last night, instead of tickets. An anonymous donor gave the police department gift cards with the instructions to spread some Christmas cheer to those doing the right thing in Longview. So the two officers drove around town looking for pedestrians and drivers obeying the traffic laws and showing kindness to others. … Read the rest of the article…
TYLER — Look for a toll rate hike on Loop 49 starting the first of the year. According to Everett Owen, Interim Executive Director of the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority, the increases are not new. It had previously been decided that the rate adjustments would be incremental to bring Tyler closer to the state average. The funds are used to maintain and expand the toll road. You can go to http://www.netrma.org and find the new rate schedule.
PALESTINE – A Cherokee County resident has been arrested in Palestine and charged with forgery. The arrest followed a tip concerning an online ad for gold coins. A Palestine coin collector felt the price for the coins was too low and thought they might be counterfeit. Palestine police contacted the Secret Service and a meeting was arranged with the suspect. When it was obvious the coins were not real, the suspect was arrested. In the suspect’s vehicle officers found more fake coins along with counterfeit paper currency and fake identification cards. The suspects name will be released following his arraignment.
MARSHALL – A Shooting in Marshall has left one person dead. It was reported around 4:45 Tuesday afternoon at the Ward Plaza Apartments, 1603 Martin Luther King Boulevard. Killed was Dominique Moody, 22, seen here in a Facebook picture. Marshall police report a person of interest is in custody, but have released no other information.
MARSHALL – Harrison County authorities have cancelled an alert for a man with medical issues who did not return home after work Tuesday. He is Horace Taylor, 65, of Marshall. It appears he left with another family member. A sister of Taylor’s contacted authorities to say the man was with her and they were traveling to Florida.
SMITH COUNTY – Smith County authorities are looking for the man who robbed the Minute Stop convenience store at 11874 Highway 64 West around 5:15 Tuesday morning. The man, armed with a claw hammer, confronted store employees and then went to the register and opened it, removing the cash. He also took several packs of Marlboro cigarettes. When the suspect left, a car could be heard driving away they were unable to see the vehicle and which way it was headed. The man, wearing an orange ski mask, dark jacket and dark pants, may also have a speech impediment. He stuttered when talking to a store employee. No injuries were reported.
TYLER — Despite what some telephone caller might tell you, the Tyler fire department is not calling and asking for donations. Some residents have received phone calls from someone saying they are collecting money for the Tyler Fire Department and EMS. If you agree to donate, the scammer will show up at your home to collect the money. Concerned citizens have told Tyler police that the person that shows up at the door is a suspicious looking individual. The city stress that the fire department is not asking for any donations at this time and does not know who these callers are. The phone calls that come across the caller id show a Dallas location.
KILGORE — One person has been killed and one injured in a two vehicle wreck in Kilgore. It occurred around 6:15 Tuesday morning in the 3400 block of U.S. highway 259. Dead at the scene was Jerriell Lewis, 33, of Longview. Taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center for treatment was David McFearin, 27, of Tyler. Investigators say the southbound car driven by Lewis crossed over into the northbound lane and collided with McFearin’s van.
TYLER — A Tyler Junior College professor, and former chief of staff for state representative Matt Schaefer, has been indicted by the Smith County grand jury. Judd Harrison Quarles, 31, who was arrested earlier this month, has been indicted on a charge of online solicitation of a minor under 14 years of age. He remains in the Smith County jail on a $350,000 bond. He is accused of conversing with a 12-year-old girl online and trying to meet her for sex. An affidavit says Quarles had sexual conversations with the girl, who pretended to be 18, but told police that he was never going to meet her. Quarles, who taught economics and government at TJC, was suspended following his arrest. He was also relieved of his duties as treasurer for the state House campaign of Republican David Watts.
HALLSVILLE — A former Hallsville coach has been taken into custody after being indicted by a Harrison County grand jury. Dean Michael McDaniel, 37, has been indicted on three counts of indecency with a child by exposure. He was booked into the Harrison County Jail around 6:15 Tuesday morning and released on a $51,000 bond a couple of hours later.… Read the rest of the article…
GLADEWATER — One person has been killed in a two vehicle accident in Gladewater. The victim is identified as Charles Wayne Puckett,55, of Gladewater. He later died at Good Shepherd Medical Center. The other driver was uninjured. The crash, which remains under investigation, occurred around 7:30 last night in the 1400 block of Broadway Avenue.
GLADEWATER — One person has been killed in a two vehicle accident in Gladewater. The victim is identified as Charles Wayne Puckett,55, of Gladewater. He later died at Good Shepherd Medical Center. The other driver was uninjured. The crash, which remains under investigation, occurred around 7:30 Monday night in the 1400 block of Broadway Avenue.
TYLER — Tyler Police have arrested three suspects wanted for burglary. Officers responded to an alarm report at African Caribbean Meat on Vine Street around 3:30 this morning. Officials said they noticed a vehicle nearby that matched the description of the suspect’s. The driver was eventually arrested along with two other suspects near the burglary scene. They’ve been identified as Kima Green, 19, (pictured) Robert Taylor, 18 and a 16 year old juvenile. They’ve been charged with burglary. A fourth suspect is still at large.
PONTA — Cherokee County authorities are reporting the arrest of three Michigan residents on drug charges. KETK reports it began with a welfare check on Highway 110 near the Ponta Community. They found two men and nearby was a woman lying on the ground beside a truck. Inside the truck they found close to a pond of marijuana, hashish and a gun. Arrested were Jimmy Ray Gafford, 41;(pictured) Nicole Velleneuve, 41; and Alexander Maclellan, 59. They have been charged with possession of a substance, possession of marijuana and unlawful carrying of a weapon. Gafford also had an assault warrant in his name in Harris County. All three were booked into the Cherokee County Jail.
TYLER — Tyler police are looking for two suspects in a home invasion. It happened around 12:15 Monday afternoon near the intersection of Old Omen Road and Tracer Lane. Police say two men kicked in the back door of a house and robbed the residents at gunpoint. They are said to have taken some items from the home and fled. There were no injuries. Detective Andy Erbaugh described the suspects as a black male and possibly light skinned black male or Hispanic male. They were last seen on foot heading south on Old Omen Road.
CHEROKEE COUNTY — Two men have been arrested and there could still be more arrests in connection with thefts in Cherokee County. According to a news release, Ricky Schakosky, 29, of Reklaw, has been charged with three counts of theft from Cherokee, Angelina and Nacogdoches counties. He has also been charged with failure to appear on theft of property charge from Cherokee County and failure to identify a fugitive from justice from Eastland County. His bonds total $31,000. Also charged was Jeremy Ranniger 30, of Alto. He has been jailed on a Cherokee County warrant for theft of property. Bond was set at $10,000. The investigation into the thefts continues.
KILGORE — Kilgore police are looking for two suspects in connection with an armed robbery. It happened Monday morning around 5:30 at the Fillin’ Station Donut and Deli Cafe, 310 South Higginbotham Road. A man, armed with a handgun and wearing all black, robbed the business of an undisclosed amount of cash. Kilgore police say he fled in what they described as a maroon “boxy” passenger car with a chrome grill. It was driven by the second suspect. The gunman was described as a black male from 5’ 08” to 5’10” and weighing over 220 lbs. He was also wearing a hooded sweatshirt with some type of homemade black cloth mask. No injuries were reported in the robbery.
AUSTIN — Lt. Governor Patrick has made six appointments to the Texas Sunset Commission. One of those is State Senator Robert Nichols of Jacksonville.(pictured) He will be fulfilling the unexpired term of Senator Jane Nelson. Nichols previously served on the commission from 2009 to 2013. He also served as vice chairman of the panel. Patrick feels the commission has a challenging assignment ahead of it in the next legislative session. He said in a news release, “These appointees will first decide if the functions of state agencies under review are needed, and secondly, whether they are operating in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.” The Lt. Governor also announced that Senator Brian Birdwell will replace Senator Kevin Eltife of Tyler as a member of the Senate Finance Committee. Senator Eltife has announced he will not be seeking re-election.
In Longview/Gregg County, a three-mile section of Farm Road 2087 has been closed to through traffic due to water over the roadway from the Sabine River which continues to rise.
Flooding of the roadway is anticipated through the weekend. While residents and businesses do have access, the decision was made to close the roadway for the safety of the traveling public. Crews will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation. The closure is from west of Loop 281 to just east of Interstate Highway 20.… Read the rest of the article…
LONGVIEW — East Texans filled Maude Cobb Convention Center in Longview Saturday for the first of the police department’s open carry meetings. “I think people are coming out just to understand what the law is, there’s been a lot of talk about that over the last several weeks and i think there’s some questions on it and there’s some part about the law that just aren’t very clear,” says Asst. Chief Anthony Boone. KETK reports that Boone shared a presentation outlining the main differences between concealed and open carrying.… Read the rest of the article…
HARRISON COUNTY — Harrison County deputies and investigators are interviewing witnesses in an alleged road rage incident where one person was shot. According to KETK, the shooting happened around 9:00 PM on FM 2208 near Alpine Road. Officials said one vehicle was approaching another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction with its high beam lights on and did not dim them as the other vehicle approached. The driver of the other vehicle allegedly turned around and pursued the car, reportedly followed the car and eventually got the driver to pull over.… Read the rest of the article…
TYLER (AP) — A 21-year-old East Texas man has been sentenced to life in prison for the killing of a transgender woman. Smith County prosecutor Jacob Putman told the Lufkin Daily News that the evidence implicating Carlton Champion Jr. included Champion’s DNA being found in a car belonging to Ty Underwood. Putnam says blood found on Champion’s jacket also linked him to the Jan. 26 shooting of the 24-year-old Underwood. An arrest affidavit indicates Champion may have killed Underwood after she confronted him about seeing someone else. Tyler police have disputed claims that he killed Underwood after discovering she was transgender. Champion was convicted Thursday in the death and prosecutors relied on text messages between the two to show he misled investigators.
SMITH COUNTY — The father of Smith County Constable John Smith has been arrested and charged with murder. John Douglas Smith, 71, reportedly shot and killed Francisco Douglas, 47, at the Sunset Valley Mobile Home Park off of Highway 64 west. Smith was the caretaker of the park Douglas lived at. The two had began arguing over rent when Smith reportedly shot and killed Douglas Friday afternoon. According to KETK, Constable Smith released a statement Saturday saying, “We are praying for everyone affected by this. It’s a tough and sad day for our family, but it’s also a tough day for the other family involved.” Constable Smith serves precinct 4 in the county.
John Douglas Smith has been charged with murder. He was booked into the Smith County jail on a $150,000 bond.