TYLER — The death of a Tyler man remains under investigation. Tyrone Lee Underwood, 24, was found dead in his car which had struck a telephone pole. Investigators say Underwood was shot before the accident. A caller told police her children told her they heard what they believed to be several gunshots. The car crash occurred around 2:45 yesterday morning in the 400 block of West 24th Street.
HENDERSON COUNTY — An East Texas man has been arrested on charges of attempted capital murder following a shooting involving Henderson County law officers. Steven Clement Rei was arrested in the 200 block of North Cherokee Shores Drive in Cherokee Shores. Sheriffs’ deputies were sent to the area in response to a domestic disturbance involving a firearm. … Read More
VAN ZANDT COUNTY — Eastbound I-20 at Mile Marker 534 in Van Zandt County is now open again after being closed due to an overturned 18-wheeler that caught fire around 9 a.m. TxDOT says a second crash involving an 18-wheeler and a car, also at Mile Marker 534 in the westbound lanes, was cleared earlier. All travel lanes are open to traffic.
LONGVIEW – More details are being given out on the impending closure of Johnny Cace’s Seafood & Steak House, a Longview landmark that will cease operations March 28. It was announced last week that the eatery will soon end 66 years in business. Cathy and Chelsea Cace told the Longview News-Journal The decision to close the restaurant came after months of prayer and of pondering options. They said the 13,000-square-foot, 50-year-old building needed so much repair and upkeep that the restaurant, and its owners, were buckling under the strain.… Read More
LUFKIN – A Lufkin woman has been charged with assault causing bodily injury after being accused of attacking her mother and sister. Bonds were set at $3,000 for Cherish Davonne Jackson, 24. No word on the argument that led to the attack. It is said to have occurred Saturday in the 800 block of Willow Bend Drive.
SMITH COUNTY – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance crews in Tyler, along with Special Crews, will also be conducting mill and inlay operations on Farm Road 14 at Interstate Highway 20. Expect the roadway to be reduced to one lane using flaggers to move motorists through the work zone. Expect delays.… Read More
KILGORE — One person has been arrested after leaving the scene of a wreck Saturday night. Kilgore Police responded to the Chateau Apartment complex on Crescent Drive after receiving several calls stating that a car had hit a pole. Officers said by the time they arrived on scene, the driver had fled on foot. Police found the driver a short time later. Authorities said the driver was reportedly intoxicated and driving at a high rate of speed when they lost control of the car. The identity of the suspect has not been released.
AUSTIN – One of the most wanted suspects in Texas, a man with Cherokee County ties, has been caught in Houston. The Texas Department of Public Safety earlier this month added Paul Ray Bass, 53, to the Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders list. Bass was wanted for failure to comply with sex offender registration and was considered a high-risk offender. According to KETK, Bass lived in Cherokee County for several years but his whereabouts had been unknown since March 2014. His sex offense history dates to a 1979 rape conviction. According to information from the U.S. Marshals Service, Bass was arrested without incident Friday and booked into the Harris County Jail on a $5,000 bond.
MARSHALL — The Marshall Police Departement arrested two people in a Friday morning drug raid on Burleson Street. According to KETK, police said at around 6:00, a SWAT team executed a search warrant on the 800 block of Burleson St. at a home that had been under investigation for drug dealing. Authorities say they found marijuana, ecstasy, Xanax, firearms, and an undisclosed amount of cash. Officers arrested Willie Lee Jones, 23, of Marshall, and Justin Lavell Heck, 30, of Marshall and charged them with possession of marijuana, possession of controlled substance penalty group 1, and possession of a substance penalty group 3.
LONGVIEW — Former Longview City Councilman Dr. Andy Mack announced Friday he’s running for Longview mayor. KETK and the Longview News-Journal report Mack, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, served on the City Council for eight years until 2005. That’s when he left his District 4 seat on the council to run for mayor in a seven-candidate free-for-all after Mayor Murray Moore resigned. Mayor Jay Dean edged Mack in both the general election and a following runoff between the two men. Dean, who has served for 10 years, will not seek re-election due to term limit restrictions. … Read More
TYLER — A tragedy fund has been set up for the children of a couple found dead recently of an apparent murder-suicide in Smith County. KETK reports a fund for the children of Mechelle Hall-Bell, 35, and Delithro Bell, 41, has been set up under the name Jadashia R. Curtis at Altra Federal Credit Union. The credit union is located at 5523 Troup Highway in Tyler and may be reached by phone at 903-579-2203. The couple had six children between them.
AUSTIN — A local senator and a DFW representative have filed bills in the Texas Legislature to allow children with “intractable epilepsy” to use medical marijuana for treatment purposes. According to KETK and the Austin-American Statesman, Tyler Senator Kevin Eltife and DFW Representative Stephanie Klick, both Republicans, filed identical measures. The bills would allow state-regulated entities to legally grow and dispense cannabidiol, also known as CBD. The Statesman reports unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, CBD could provide medicinal benefits without a “high.” … Read More
NACOGDOCHES (AP) – A 25-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison after a state appeals court earlier struck down his prior punishment for the 2005 killing in East Texas of his friend’s stepfather. The sentence for Colton Weir includes the possibility of parole after he serves at least 30 years. The appeals court determined last month his rights were violated when he was sentenced in 2007 to life without parole. The U.S. Supreme Court had previously ruled that sentencing juveniles without the possibility of parole was unconstitutional. The Daily Sentinel reports Shaina Sepulvado, 25, was resentenced Wednesday for the same reason. Weir, Sepulvado, and four others were involved in a murder-for-hire scheme to kill Sepulvado’s stepfather, James Kelly, 32. He was fatally shot at his Cushing home.
JACKSONVILLE — The city of Jacksonville is planning to reopen troubled Klein Animal Shelter following its closure last week over animal abuse allegations. The executive director and two others have been arrested. According to KETK, the Jacksonville Police Department says the city is in the process of renovating the shelter and hopes to have it up and running within a month. The building has already been inspected twice. The new shelter, however, will only house strays caught within city limits and animals surrendered by local residents. The Klein shelter had been accepting animals from Smith County, Cherokee County and the city of Jacksonville. Jacksonville PD stated the city will not routinely euthanize animals to make space for other strays. According to the Jacksonville Daily Progress, the shelter is 60% ready to open.
TYLER — A worker was injured and cross traffic on Magnolia Street was affected Friday due to an accident on the residence hall construction site on the Tyler Junior College campus. The mishap occurred around 10 a.m. Officials say Lionel Torres, 28, was injured when the hydraulic lift he was working on tipped over, causing him to fall to the ground. Torres, who was buckled into his safety harness at the time of the fall, suffered some broken bones and lacerations. He was conscious when he was transferred to East Texas Medical Center.
TYLER — An American Civil Liberties Union attorney has filed paperwork to halt the execution of an East Texas man convicted of murder. According to the Smith County 114th District Court, attorney Brian Stull has filed a post-conviction writ of habeas corpus in order to halt the execution of Robert Charles Ladd. KETK reports Stull has filed the paperwork challenging Texas legal procedures to determine intellectual disability in the wake of Hall v. Florida. “Undersigned counsel has insufficient time to prepare a more thorough application, but begs the Court’s patience to consider this important issue, to grant a stay, and to set this case for further briefing and a hearing,” wrote Stull.… Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Louie Gohmert of Tyler has responded to an ethics complaint by saying his actions were proper. On Thursday, the liberal group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint against Gohmert with the Office of Congressional Ethics. According to KETK, the group claims Gohmert violated House ethics rules by using campaign funds to pay for a trip to England last fall unrelated to any campaign activities. “Rep. Gohmert’s legendary tirades may put him in high demand for public speaking engagements, but that doesn’t give him license to bill a luxury London vacation to his campaign,” said Anne Weismann, CREW’s Interim Executive Director. … Read More
TYLER — A local credit card fraud case has led Tyler police investigators to an international fraud scheme linked to Russia, according to authorities. Officials say a victim living in Tyler reported to police that his credit card had been compromised for $5,260 worth of fraudulent charges that he had not made. Investigators followed up and learned that some of the items that were charged were actually shipped to a local address in Tyler, according to police. … Read More
ATHENS — 37-year-old former Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Hanes of Athens was killed Wednesday in a head-on collision near Athens. According to KETK, DPS Trooper Jean Dark said a truck driven by Hanes was traveling east on Loop 7 when his vehicle smashed into a car heading west at around 1:30 p.m. A preliminary investigation determined Hanes had crossed into the westbound lanes and hit the car. Both drivers were taken to a Tyler hospital, where Hanes was pronounced dead. The other driver was identified as Bobrow Gunnels, 77, of Kemp. He was also taken to a Tyler hospital and was last reported in serious condition.
TYLER — East Texas is getting a new primary care clinic for veterans. KETK reports construction crews are already hard at work, turning the old Kids Depot building in Tyler into a massive clinic for local vets. Officials say the expansion will allow doctors and nurses to treat an extra 1,200 patients every year. The newly renovated clinic on South Broadway should be open sometime in June.
RUSK COUNTY — A suspect has been arraigned and bond set at $1 million in the death of John Cecil Clements. According to KETK, Arp Police arrested Dustin Vanhalst, 33, Wednesday evening. Vanhalst has been charged with murder. He was transferred from Smith County and booked into the Rusk County Jail. Clement’s body was discovered January 16 following a structure fire at his home on CR 291 in the northern portion of Rusk County. Rusk County Sheriff Jeff Price said a preliminary autopsy indicated that Clements was killed. The cause of his death has not been released.
KILGORE — An East Texas man is behind bars accused of sexually assaulting a child. Tyler Jennings Camacho, 22, Kilgore, was arrested Friday on warrants for aggravated sexual assault of a child younger than 14. According to police, the child spoke up while at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Gregg and Harrison Counties. The child accused Camacho of forcing the child to perform oral sex on him. The crime reportedly took place on December 26, 2014. Camacho is being held in the Gregg County Jail on $500,000 bond.
GREGG COUNTY — Longview police on Wednesday named a suspect in the fatal shooting of a South Longview man last week. According to KETK, Jose Zamarripa, 27, Longview, is a suspect in the shooting death of Omar Hernandez, 22. A warrant has been issued for Zamarripa’s arrest. Police responded to the shooting Friday in the 500 block of Jones Street, where they found Hernandez dead inside the home. According to the Longview Police Department, it is believed that an argument Friday morning between Hernandez and Zamarripa led to the shooting.
TYLER — Authorities have arrested two more people in connection with the Klein Animal Shelter in Jacksonville. According to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Jason Craft, 29, and Ashley Ruhl, 29, were taken into custody by the Jacksonville Police Department. Both are charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals, however, Ruhl is charged with a felony. Craft was booked into the county jail on a $1,000 bond for his misdemeanor. Ruhl’s bond was set at $2,500. Both suspects have been released on bond. On Friday, the shelter’s director, Angela Wallace, was arrested for assault, cruelty to animal and illegal euthanasia. The city of Tyler has since canceled its contract with the shelter and announced Tuesday the purchase of additional cages to house strays until the permanent location is built next year.… Read More
KILGORE — A mobile home was destroyed Monday night near the Kilgore city limits. According to KETK, the Kilgore Fire Department says crews responded around 8:20 p.m. to a report of a house fire and found a mobile home engulfed in flames. They were later joined by other crews. Firefighters were able to quickly get the flames under control and put out, according to authorities. Crews conducted a final walk-through to confirm that all the hot spots were out. Officials left the scene around 11 p.m. No one was home when the fire began.
GLADEWATER — A Kilgore woman was taken into custody Monday after she allegedly was found with drugs and later tried to run from officers. According to KETK, the Gladewater Police Department reports Maegan Larae Ebarb, 25, was arrested in the 1300 block of West Upshur. Police reportedly found the woman in a vehicle with marijuana after a caller reported a person asleep in an automobile. The woman was then taken to the a local hospital after she reported having health difficulties. Once Ebarb was released from the hospital, an officer cuffed the suspect and was taking her to a patrol car when she allegedly ran. Police say the woman was quickly caught running across the parking lot. Ebarb was charged with possession of marijuana over four ounces, possession of a controlled substance, and evading arrest. She was booked into the Gregg County Jail on $10,000 bond.
TYLER — The East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN) will conduct a homeless survey Thursday in what’s termed a continuing effort to address the homelessness issues facing community members in Smith County and throughout the state.”We will be carrying out this survey and count on the same day as other agencies all over Texas,” said Christina Fulsom, ETHNN founder. … Read More
TYLER – BOND 2013 construction projects continue to take shape, according to a news release from Tyler ISD. Projects include the new 150,000-square-foot Career and Technology Center (CTC), two new middle school campuses at the existing Moore MST Magnet School and Boulter Middle School locations, the new Three Lakes Middle School, and renovations and additions to Dixie and Rice elementary schools. All projects are on schedule to be completed before the 2015-2016 school year, according to the release.… Read More
HUGHES SPRINGS (AP) – A 13-year-old Northeast Texas boy has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the shooting deaths of his 12-year-old brother and their father. The Longview News-Journal reported Wednesday that the boy pleaded guilty Jan. 9 to two counts of capital murder in a plea deal. The child will remain in juvenile custody until he’s 19, when he’ll be transferred to an adult prison. Cass County sheriff’s deputies on June 27 responded to a 911 call from the teen. Officers found the bodies of a 32-year-old man and his 12-year-old son at the family’s home near Hughes Springs. The teen was later arrested and taken to a Gregg County juvenile facility. Prosecutors say the teen apparently planned to only kill his father, then his brother walked in.
LONGVIEW — A Longview staple will soon be closing down shop. According to KETK, owner Cathy Cace says Johnny Cace’s will shut its doors on March 28, just a few weeks after celebrating its 66th anniversary on March 10. The move was announced to management last week and the full staff Tuesday after about six months of considerations. Cace said there were a lot of things that needed to be done when her husband, whom she worked with daily, passed away about two years ago. “The building is 13,000 square feet with a lot of maintenance. The cost of things, we can’t maintain the building we need to give quality service,” she said. … Read More