District Attorney Office News

Click the titles below to read more...
































































































































































































--
  


June 05, 2008

Repeat Drunk Driver Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison

Allen William Owen, 56, was convicted by a Williamson County jury of the felony offense of driving while intoxicated (third offender). After hearing evidence of his criminal history, the jury sentenced Owen to 50 years in prison.

On October 13, 2007, at about 7 p.m., Owen was driving in his Round Rock neighborhood, jumped a curb and struck a truck parked in a driveway. The owner of the truck and another neighbor observed Owen drive away from the accident, parking a few houses down in a driveway. The two witnesses confronted Owen, who was highly intoxicated. As they talked to him, Owen urinated on himself.

Round Rock Police Department officers responded to a 911 call and spoke to Owen. He told officers he had driven to the corner store for cigarettes. He admitted he had been drinking and taking medication. A blood sample taken from Owen showed a blood alcohol concentration of .28, more than three times the legal limit of .08.

At trial, Owen argued through his lawyer that there was insufficient evidence that he had been driving the car. The jury rejected that argument, found him guilty and made an affirmative finding that Owen used the car as a deadly weapon, placing neighbors in danger of serious bodily injury or death.

During the punishment hearing, the jury learned that Owen had two prior DWI convictions, his last conviction occurring in April 2007. He also had made two prior trips to prison for the felony crimes of burglary of a motor vehicle, credit card abuse and burglary of a habitation. At the time of the felony DWI, Owen was on parole for a 25-year prison sentence.

Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield immediately imposed the sentence and ordered Owen to be transferred from Williamson County Jail to a state prison. Given the deadly weapon finding, Owen will not be eligible for parole for at least 25 years.


May 28, 2008

DA Protests Early Release for Co-Defendant Killer of UT Student

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has notified District Attorney John Bradley that James Otis Clary (dob 5/3/55) is being considered for parole. Clary was convicted in 1985 and sentenced to life in prison for his participation in the kidnapping, rape, robbery and murder of a University of Texas student. Tommy Ray Jackson (dob 11/15/56), who was the triggerman in the murder, received the death penalty and was executed in 2000.

“The public needs to know that a dangerous killer is being considered for early release,” said Bradley. “We can never be too vigilant when it comes to someone like James Clary.”

On November 17, 1983, Jackson and Clary kidnapped Rosalind Robison (dob 4/17/59) at gunpoint from the parking lot of the Petroleum Engineering Building on the UT campus as she was walking to her car. She was driven in her own car and forced to withdraw $50 from an automatic teller.

Clary then drove them north on I-35 in Robison’s car. During the drive, Jackson and Clary took turns sexually assaulting Robison in the back seat. After they reached Williamson County, they turned off I-35 and drove down a farm road near Hutto. They parked at a remote location, took Robison the car, bound her hands, and forced her to kneel on the ground. Jackson then shot her in the back of the head with a pistol after telling her she had heard Clary use Jackson’s name.

Jackson and Clary were both supposed to be staying in a halfway house after release from prison on separate felony crimes. Clary had been in prison for rape of a child. Clary testified against Jackson at his trial in exchange for a life sentence.

Protest letters should be addressed to Board of Pardons and Parole, PO Box 13401, Austin, TX 78711. Be sure to include the TDCJ-ID number for James Otis Clary: 00406109.


May 16, 2008

Fugitive Drug Dealer Faulted for Lost Trial Record

The Third Court of Appeals in Austin held that Charles Branch (dob 5/22/49) lost his right to a record of his appeal by remaining a fugitive for 20 years. To read the opinion, go to Branch v. State. On August 16, 1984, Branch, who lived in Austin, delivered 3.5 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover Austin Police Department officer. Branch was prosecuted in 1985 before District Judge William S. Lott, who is now retired and recently celebrated his 90th birthday.   After only one day of testimony before a jury, Branch failed to return to court. Judge Lott continued the trial, resulting in a verdict of guilty. After being informed of Branch’s flight and a multi-state criminal history that included burglary, theft, attempted robbery, escape, and homicide, the jury sentenced Branch to life in prison. However, formal sentencing could not take place until Branch was found and returned to Texas.   On January 28, 2006, Pennsylvania State Police stopped Branch, who had become a South Carolina resident, for speeding. Although Branch’s drivers license showed a different name, fingerprints and a computer database connected the alias to his true name and alerted police to the open warrant from Texas. Branch was arrested and returned to Texas.

On May 2, 2006, Judge Lott imposed the 1985 jury verdict and sentence. Branch immediately gave notice of appeal. His appellate lawyer argued that Branch was entitled to a new trial because the record of the trial had been destroyed in 2001. However, District Attorney John Bradley argued before the appellate court that Branch shared blame for the destroyed record because he remained a fugitive for 20 years. In today’s opinion, the court of appeals agreed. Branch will remain in prison and continue serving his life sentence.


 

April15, 2008

Cedar Park Murder Case Affirmed on Appea

On March 11, 2005, Gregory Michael Klapesky was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison by a jury. Today, after pending for over two years in the court of appeals, the case was affirmed. To read the opinion, click here.

On September 21, 2003, a Hays County deputy was called to a home in Kyle. The deputy had information that a man was driving around with a body in the trunk of the car. The deputy located the vehicle and arrested Klapesky after finding his wife’s body in the trunk.

After further investigation and an autopsy, investigators learned that Klapesky had strangled his 27-year old wife at their home in Cedar Park and drove with her body to Kyle to bury her in the backyard of a friend’s home. Klapesky’s young son was also in the car unharmed.

“Two years is a very long time to wait for an appellate court to review the work of a jury,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “However, I am grateful that the court found that we had a fair trial. The parents of this young victim can now rest better, knowing that the conviction and punishment are sound.”

Two years ago, the case was originally assigned to a panel of appellate judges that included Third Court of Appeals Chief Justice Kenneth Law. However, without any explanation, Law was recently removed from that panel and replaced by Visiting Judge John Onion. Onion previously served as the Presiding Judge for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Onion issued his opinion within months of the assignment.

 


 

April 10, 2008

Purse Snatching Jumper Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

Brian Christopher Davis (dob 1/22/83) waived his right to a jury trial and pleaded guilty in the 368th District Court. Judge Burt Carnes convicted Davis and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

On November 6, 2007, Vicki Newton, 56, parked her car in a lot in the 1100 block of Round Rock Avenue in Round Rock and began walking toward a business office, holding her purse under her arm. Suddenly, Davis came from behind, grabbed her purse, knocked her to the ground and fled on foot. Tonya Enlow, an off-duty Austin police officer, heard Newton scream, came out of an office at the same location and began to chase Davis.

Davis crossed Brushy Creek with Enlow in pursuit. Meanwhile, Round Rock dispatch notified officers of the pursuit, and officers converged on the area. One officer spotted Davis at a Taco Bell along IH-35, causing Davis to throw a drink at the officer and resume his flight. Other officers then spotted Davis run up an embankment along the west side of IH-35 at Hwy 79. Davis ran across the northbound side of IH-35, jumped the divider wall onto the southbound side of IH-35 and stopped traffic. Numerous officers ordered Davis to stop and raised their handguns. Davis then jumped from the Sam Bass overpass, landing on the ground. Davis hit is head and officers took him into custody.

“A quick response by an off-duty officer and alert Round Rock officers prevented any escape,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “This robber is lucky he didn’t get shot or run over.”

Davis had previously been convicted for deadly conduct in Travis County and burglary in Bastrop County. Davis has a brother, Selwyn Davis, on death row, from a capital murder committed in Travis County. Selwyn Davis recently informed the courts that he wants to waive his right to appeal and shorten the time before his execution.


 

April 09, 2008

After 8 minutes of deliberation, a Williamson County jury convicted James Ray Ross (dob 8/29/78) of two counts of sexual assault. The jury’s decision on punishment, life in prison for each count, took even less time after learning that Ross had previously been convicted for a sex offense.

In April 2007, a Round Rock mother reported to police that she had learned that one of her daughters had been sexually assaulted years about six years earlier when the daughter was 15 years old. The daughter, now an adult, approached the mother with the information because she feared that her younger sister was going to be sexually assaulted by that same person – James Ray Ross.

During a recorded phone call set up by Round Rock investigators, Ross admitted the sexual assaults. During trial, the jury heard the victim’s testimony and the recorded phone call. Ross did not testify during the trial or put on any defense.

Ross was prosecuted under a special statute dealing with repeat sex offenders. That law, passed about 10 years ago, sets an automatic sentence of life in prison for a second conviction for sexual abuse of a child. In 1997, Ross had been prosecuted and convicted of indecency with a child in the 277th District Court of Williamson County.

Judge Ken Anderson ordered that the two life sentences run concurrently. Ross will not be eligible for parole for at least 35 years.

 


 

March 26, 2008

 

Elderly Taylor Home Invasion Victim Feeds, Confronts Defendant

Paul Anthony Scales, Jr., (dob 12/11/85) waived his right to a jury trial and pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping in the 368th District Court. Judge Burt Carnes convicted Scales of both felony counts and sentenced him to 40 years in prison for each offense.

On May 31, 2007, after doing some morning gardening in her yard, Lilllian Fox, a 72-year old woman, came into her home in Taylor and found Scales holding a handgun she owned. He pointed the gun at her and ordered her to remove her clothes. She refused.

“In an unusual twist, this victim then fed the robber chicken soup,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “She then talked to him for about three hours.” At the end of that talk, Scales bound her hands and feet and left with $21 in change.

After Scales left, the Fox contacted police and gave them a description of the robber. On June 1, 2007, Taylor investigators interviewed Scales, who confessed to the robbery and kidnapping. Scales’ fingerprints were also found on a glass jar that had contained the missing change.

The two 40-year sentences will run concurrently. Scales will not be eligible for parole for at least 20 years. Fox appeared at the sentencing and confronted Scales, telling him that he had stolen her sense of security in her home and yard, causing her to get a second dog. She also encouraged him to spend his time in prison praying and learning a trade.

 


 

March 23, 2008

DA Announces 6th Annual CAC Golf Tournament

Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center (WCCAC) is hosting its 6th annual golf tournament at Avery Ranch on Monday, May 12, 2008. The Center provides a safe place for children to report abuse. Forensic interviewers record the statements of children and counselors begin the process of healing.

Avery Ranch and Robert Wunsch, CEO of Waterstone Development, remain strong partners in the annual fundraiser for WCCAC. Classic Automotive Group and Chasco Constructors are title sponsors. “There are still lots of opportunities for players and hole sponsors,” said District Attorney and WCCAC Board President John Bradley. “We expect a fun event that gives donors an opportunity to enjoy a great course and help fund a safe place for Williamson County children to report abuse.

In November 2007, WCCAC moved into a new, 7,500 square foot facility designed by Round Rock Architect John Moman and built by Georgetown Contractor Jimmy Jacobs. Both individuals donated their professional services. The new building includes expanded space for counseling, multiple interview rooms, forensic medical exams and training. As a nonprofit, WCCAC relies on a combination of grants, county and city funding, fundraisers and public donations for its budge

The golf tournament has a scramble format with teams of four players. Registration begins at noon. The shotgun start begins at 1:30 p.m.  To sign up a player or team or to sponsor a hole, download a registration form at www.wilcocac.org or contact Center Executive Director Jerri Jones at 943-3701 or event chair Jana Vaughan at 917-5262.

 


 

March 18, 2008

Taylor Driver Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison for Tenth DWI

Anthony Lynn Falco (dob 6/15/54), a Taylor citizen, waived his right to a jury trial and pleaded not guilty to felony driving while intoxicated. After hearing evidence, Judge Burt Carnes, 368th District Court, found Falco guilty and today sentenced him to 60 years in prison.

On June 22, 2007, at 11:16 p.m., a Round Rock patrol officer stopped Falco on North Mays Street after observing that he failed to signal a turn while driving a Dodge Ram pickup truck. Falco admitted to the officer that he had been drinking beer at Pardners Bar in Round Rock.

After Falco failed field sobriety tests, the officer asked him to provide a breath sample to determine the alcohol concentration in his body. Falco refused, and the officer obtained a search warrant for blood. The search warrant program was started by the District Attorney’s Office to collect evidence of intoxication when a drunk driver refuses to comply with the law. A sample of that blood was later tested at the Department of Public Safety Crime Lab and showed that Falco had a blood alcohol concentration of .17, more than twice the legal limit.

Falco was charged as a felon because he had nine prior DWI convictions, dating from 1979, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1989 and 1995. For the last three DWI convictions, Falco had been sent to prison for sentences of 5, 10 and 10 years. He also had multiple prior convictions for theft, family violence assault and forgery.

“This case is a good example of why Texas needs to change the law and require repeat drunk drivers to provide evidence of their intoxication,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “Habitual drunk drivers are more likely to refuse a breath test, have much higher levels of intoxication and represent a significant danger to innocent drivers. So, why doesn’t the Legislature change the law to make a breath or blood sample mandatory, avoiding the delay and inconvenience of a search warrant?” Bradley will be requesting in the next legislative session that lawmakers consider amending the Transportation Code to require felony DWI arrestees to provide a sample of breath or blood.

 


 

March 18, 2008

Repeat Drug Dealer Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison

Regina Ann Burke (dob 12/25/63), a Manor resident, pleaded guilty to two counts of delivery of a controlled substance. Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield, 26th District Court, convicted her and sentenced her to 35 years in prison for each count.

On October 30, 2007, and December 13, 2007, as part of an undercover narcotics investigation conducted through the Williamson Count Sheriff’s Office, Burke delivered methamphetamine to an undercover officer. The deliveries took place in the parking lot of the Round Rock Wal Mart on I-35. She also delivered drugs a third time but was not indicted for that transaction to protect the identity of a confidential informant.

Burke has previously been convicted and sent to prison for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver in Lubbock County in 1991, burglary of a building in Milam County in 1998 and possession of a controlled substance in Burleson County in 2004. She has been released on parole several times and was on parole when she committed these new crimes in Williamson County.

Burke confessed to her drug deliveries when interviewed by an investigator.  However, she complained that the District Attorney’s Office was treating her like a major drug dealer.

“This case should make it obvious that the Parole Board’s policy of early release has given this drug dealer the wrong message,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “This time, the Parole Board should take the sentence seriously and remove this serial drug dealer from the community for a long time.”

 


 

March 18, 2008

Hutto Sex Offender Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison

Pete Hernandez, Jr. (dob 12/27/65), a Hutto resident, pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault and indecency with a child. Judge Burt Carnes, 368th District Court, convicted him of both counts and sentenced him to 35 and 20 years in prison.

In May 2007, a Hutto mother was discussing with her 8-year old daughter the subject of safety during an upcoming overnight stay at a friend’s home. She talked to her daughter about unfriendly touching and the importance of telling her parents if anything bad should happen. The child then talked to her mother about incidents involving Hernandez, a relative.

The child was later interviewed at the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center, where she detailed the abuse to a forensic interviewer. The Center provides a neutral, safe place for children to report abuse. The Center also provides follow-up counseling to help children recover from the after-effects of such abuse. For additional information, go to www.wilcocac.org.

Hutto Police Department investigators confronted Hernandez, who confessed. He admitted to touching her inappropriately and exposing his genitals on several occasions.

“All parents need to discuss personal safety with their children,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “When a child is visiting overnight at another home, they should know that their bodies are private. They should also know how to report anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.”

The sentences of 35 and 20 years will run concurrently. Hernandez will not be eligible for parole for at least 17 and one half years.

 


 

March 13, 2008

Halloween Drunken Flight Ends With Prison

Ramon Cavazos, Jr. (dob 1/7/76) pled guilty to felony driving while intoxicated and evading with a vehicle. Judge Ken Anderson, 277th District Court, convicted Cavazos of both crimes and sentenced him to 25 years in prison for each offense and ordered them to run concurrently.

On October 31, 2007, at about 1:45 a.m. after Halloween night, an Austin Police Department patrol officer saw Cavazos drive a 1990 Cadillac through a red light near 183 and Oak Knoll. The officer turned on his lights and siren, signaling for Cavazos to pull over. Instead, Cavazos turned onto the 183 access road, traveling the wrong way. He then cut under the overpass and headed north on 183. With several patrol cars in pursuit, Cavazos drove into the Blockhouse Creek subdivision in Leander, after running several red lights. After a pursuit along the residential streets, Cavazos stopped his vehicle, tossed out a can of beer, kicked off his flip-flops and fled on. Officers caught him in a creek bed after a short foot chase.

Cavazos told officers that he fled because he had a suspended driver’s license. That crime would have been a misdemeanor offense.

Further investigations showed that Cavazos was intoxicated. He was charged with a felony DWI because he had previously been convicted of DWI in Travis County in 2003 and Williamson County in June of 2007. In addition, Cavazos had a lengthy felony criminal history that included two prior trips to prison for burglary of a habitation, forgery, and possession of marihuana with intent to distribute. Cavazos was on felony probation at the time of his arrest.

“The car used by this drunk driver was a deadly weapon, endangering innocent citizens, especially given the fact that it was Halloween night, when children should be able to safely go out,” said District Attorney John Bradley. The deadly weapon finding, approved by Judge Anderson, means that Cavazos will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 12 and one half years in prison.

 


 

March 12, 2008

Police Officer Gets Life + 75 years in Prison for Rape of Child

Salvador Hernandez, 35, pled guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child before a Williamson County jury. The jury convicted Hernandez and assessed punishment at confinement for life and 75 years in prison.

In February 2007, a 12-year old Georgetown girl told her mother that Hernandez, a family friend, had raped her and that she might be pregnant. The mother immediately contacted Georgetown police, who took the child to the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center for an interview. During the interview, the child reported that Hernandez had sexually assaulted her in October 2006 and November 2006, forcibly pulling off her clothes, cursing her and pulling her hair. He also threatened to kill her and her mother if she told anyone about the assaults.

In January 2007, Hernandez went to his hometown in Mexico to return to his job as a police officer. During that time, the child began to show signs of her pregnancy and was confronted by her mother, leading to an outcry of the abuse.

In April 2007, Hernandez returned from Mexico and went to the Georgetown Police Department, asking where he could get his car registration renewed. The receptionist was familiar with the case against Hernandez, recognized him and alerted a detective, who made an arrest. DNA testing subsequently confirmed that Hernandez had raped the child; he also confessed.

Today, Judge Ken Anderson, 26th District Court, imposed the two sentences and ordered that they run consecutively. Hernandez will not be eligible for parole for at least 60 years.

 


 

February 15, 2008

Parolee Sentenced for Drugs He Brought to Parole Office

Augustine Salazar (dob 5/28/68) was close to finishing his parole. But his last trip to his parole officer turned into a 50-year prison sentence from a Williamson County jury.

On April 10, 2007, Salazar drove his 1988 Oldsmobile Delta to report to his parole officer in Georgetown for a monthly meeting. Salazar was at the end of supervision for a 12-year prison sentence for false imprisonment that he received in 1996 from Judge Burt Carnes in the 368th District Court. Salazar, though, was placed under arrest for new charges of aggravated kidnapping and assault arising out of Travis County. The parole officer asked for a Georgetown police officer to transport Salazar to jail and impound his vehicle.

While conducting an inventory of the vehicle before towing it, the Georgetown officer noticed a bulge under the driver’s side floor mat. He found over 10 grams of cocaine in a plastic baggie. He also found marihuana hidden in the center console and a set of vehicle lock picks under the passenger side seat. As a result, Salazar was indicted in Williamson County for the additional charge of possession of a controlled substance.

After a jury convicted Salazar this week of the drug charge, additional evidence was presented at punishment to show his lengthy criminal history, including his three prior trips to prison for false imprisonment, burglary of a vehicle and burglary of a building. The victim in the pending case from Travis County for aggravated kidnapping and assault also testified before the jury. She told the jury that Salazar, who was her ex-boyfriend, had beaten her and forced her to drive with him to Georgetown on March 30, 2007.

The jury assessed Salazar’s punishment at 50 years in prison. Judge Burt Carnes imposed the sentence and ordered the sentence to begin only after Salazar finishes the rest of his 12-year sentence for false imprisonment.

 


 

February 14, 2008

Crime Stoppers Tip Puts Bank Robber in Prison for 20 Years

Carl Eugene Casas (dob 8/6/73) pleaded guilty to robbery, avoiding an upcoming jury trial. Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield (26th District Court) convicted Casas and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

On January 25, 2007, Casas entered the First Texas Bank on Louis Henna Boulevard in Round Rock, walked up to a teller and presented a note. The note indicated that the teller had 30 seconds to put all of her money in a bag and ordered her not to push any buttons or she would be hurt. The teller complied and gave Casas about $2,500 in cash. Casas then left the bank. No one saw Casas with any weapons.

Round Rock Police detectives and an FBI special agent responded to the robbery. They were unable to locate any fingerprints or video. The bank’s surveillance equipment was not operating at the time of the robbery.

On May 8, 2007, Round Rock received information from the Austin Police Department that an anonymous caller had contacted Crime Stoppers and indicated that Casas had been overheard saying he was responsible for the First Texas Bank robbery. Using that information, the bank teller was able to identify Casas from a photo lineup.

Investigators then located Casas and arrested him on a parole violation. During a subsequent interview, he confessed to robbing the bank. “The Crime Stoppers program depends on citizens helping police,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “In this case, a good citizen helped catch a bad guy.” Casas also has prior convictions for aggravated robbery, escape and delivery of a controlled substance in Travis County in 1997. 

 


 

February 14, 2008

District Attorney, Children’s Advocacy Center and City Lights Theatre
Team Up for 6th Annual Movie Night

On February 28th, 2008, at 6:00 p.m., the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center (WCCAC) presents the 6th annual Movie Night, a benefit to raise money for the Center’s operating expenses. City Lights Theatre Georgetown 12 (www.citylightstheatres.com) located in the Rivery (by Home Depot) has volunteered for the second year to sponsor the event and will screen the excellent 1950 mystery movie “Shadow on the Wall.”

District Attorney John Bradley, who also serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the WCCAC, will introduce the movie that stars Nancy Davis Reagan as a therapist trying to help a young child who witnessed a murder and can’t remember what happened. City Lights owner Mark Schulman also will be there to announce the theater’s ongoing support for the Children’s Advocacy Center.

The nonprofit WCCAC was created in 1997 to interview children who report abuse and provide referrals for counseling and medical services. The Center has recently completed construction of a new home, located on Inner Loop outside Georgetown. The new building permits expanded interview services, counseling and a forensic medical exam. The Center’s work is supervised by a board of directors and led by Executive Director Jerri Jones.

For additional information or tickets, contact Jerri Jones at 930-1933 or go to www.wilcocac.org.  Seating is limited, and a $25 donation is requested. Wine and Hors d’oeuvre reception begins at 6:00 pm. The movie begins at 7:00 p.m.

 


 

January 30, 2008

Long-time Child Sex Offender Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison

Brian Clay Logsdon (dob 8/24/64) pled guilty in the 277th District Court to six counts of aggravated sexual assault against a child and one count of sexual assault of a child. Judge Ken Anderson found Logsdon guilty and sentenced him to 50 years in prison for each of the six counts of aggravated sexual assault and 20 years in prison for the sexual assault. The sentences will run concurrently. He will not be eligible for parole for at least 25 years.

The charges arose from Logsdon’s repeated acts of sexual abuse, occurring over several years and involving  two young female victims. One of the girls reported that Logsdon began the abuse when she was in the first grade.

Logsdon, represented by criminal defense attorney Bob Phillips, was scheduled for a jury trial on Monday, February 4th. At that trial, he would have heard his own voice confessing to the crimes. During the investigation by Williamson County Sheriff’s investigators, Logsdon repeatedly admitted his long and sordid history of sexual abuse. He also admitted that he knew, from the start, that what he was doing was very wrong. 

During an interview of one of the children at the Williamson Count Children’s Advocacy Center, a forensic interviewer learned that Logsdon may have sexually abused another child. Investigators followed up on that information and identified a second victim.  Logsdon confirmed his guilt for that abuse as well. 

The Children’s Advocacy Center, which recently moved into a new, larger facility, provides a safe place for children to report abuse. Investigators and child protective employees monitor the interview from a closed circuit screen in another room, allowing them to learn details immediately that they can follow up on. Such a collaborative environment allows a child to talk freely and provide investigators with details that can be used to identify and quickly capture a suspect. For more details, go to www.wilcocac.org.

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst yesterday released interim charges for the Texas Senate. He asked the Jurisprudence Committee to:

Identify and study best practices for representation of children in child abuse and neglect cases and determine whether to implement further training, oversight, or other requirements for judges, attorneys, and others responsible for child abuse and neglect cases, including child sexual abuse cases. Develop and implement tools for children’s advocacy centers (CACs) and prosecutors to successfully investigate and prosecute child abusers.  Include the following:

·           Explore changes to the rules of evidence that could facilitate the presentation of child testimony in court;

·           Explore making prior extraneous sex offenses admissible during determination of guilt, as has been adopted in the federal court system; and

·           Explore possible expansion of the rules regarding how cases are consolidated and punishments are stacked in a single trial involving a crime committed against a child.

“Those are very timely issues for the Senate to examine,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “As this case against Brian Logsdon shows, our children need all the protection from sexual predators that we can give them.”


 

January 28, 2008

Fugitive Drunk Driver Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

Thomas Keith Muegge (dob 12/29/61) pled guilty in the 26th District Court to felony driving while intoxicated. He was scheduled today for jury trial but changed his mind at the last minute. Muegge was found guilty by Judge Billy Stubblefield and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

On Christmas Day in 2005, a Cedar Park patrol officer saw Muegge driving a truck 75 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone southbound in the 2100 block of South Bell. The officer stopped the truck and asked Muegge if he had been drinking. He admitted having consumed at least a six-pack of 16-ounce beers. He then admitted, “I’m drunk,” and refused to cooperate in performing any field sobriety tests or providing a breath or blood sample. Muegge had previously been convicted for DWI in Comal County in 1984 and Live Oak County in 2002.

Muegge made a bond and then failed to appear in court. A warrant for his arrest was issued, and he was eventually located in Illinois and returned to Texas recently through a governor’s warrant. Muegge also had prior felony convictions in Travis County for theft and failure to stop and render aid and in Montana for burglary.

“Hard-core, repeat drunk drivers like Thomas Muegge threaten the safety of our roads, even on Christmas Day,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “Prison is the proper place for criminals who deliberately continue to drink and drive.”

The video requires Quicktime Media Player which is available at www.apple.com/quicktime/download/.

 

 

 


 

January 18, 2008

 

Round Rock Arsonist Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison

 

Mark Butcher, 40, was sentenced by a jury to 60 years in prison in the 277th District Court after he was convicted of arson. The jury also found that Butcher used or exhibited a deadly weapon (fire). That finding means he must serve at least 30 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. Judge Ken Anderson imposed the sentence and ordered Butcher’s transfer to prison.

 

On July 27, 2007, at about 6:00 a.m., Round Rock dispatchers received a 911 phone call from a woman who said that her boyfriend, who she had told to move out of her apartment at the Stonehaven complex on Louis Henna Boulevard, had called her at work and was threatening to burn down her apartment building. She said that he claimed he had already started a fire in the fireplace and pulled down the smoke alarms.

 

Police arrived at the second-story apartment within minutes but couldn’t get anyone to open the door. They saw and smelled smoke coming from the chimney. Moments later, Butcher jumped from the balcony to the ground and ran off. Officers caught Butcher and put him in custody. Butcher warned the officers to go back to the apartment and put out the fire.

 

Firefighters soon arrived and used heavy equipment to break open the door, finding that Butcher had placed a burning artificial log on a couch that he had pushed up against the front door. Fire and smoke damage covered the couch and part of the wall and door. However, a sprinkler had activated and put out the fire.

At trial, District Attorney John Bradley presented Butcher’s confession, recorded on video by Round Rock Detective John Rowe. In the confession, Butcher admitted setting the fire to get back at his girlfriend.

At the punishment phase, the jury learned that Butcher had been in prison for robbery and theft for crimes he committed in Austin and San Antonio. While in prison, Butcher was convicted of possession of a deadly weapon for making a dangerous weapon out of a comb and a razor. He also had been on probation as a juvenile for robbery. Additional evidence at trial showed that Butcher had been involved in many more crimes, including burglary and assault. His parole officer testified that Butcher was one of the worst parolees on his caseload.

 


 

January 09, 2008

Prosecutor Board Certified in Criminal Law

Williamson County Assistant District Attorney Phil Grant was notified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) that he passed his exam and is now board certified in criminal law. TBLS is authorized by the Texas Supreme Court to certify attorneys as experts in criminal law upon passing a difficult, 6-hour written examination. An attorney is eligible to take the examination only after practicing full-time for five years in criminal law. For more information on TBLS, go to http://www.tbls.org.

Mr. Grant has 11 years of experience in criminal law, having graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1996. He worked in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor before joining the Williamson County District Attorney’s Office in 2004.

Mr. Grant currently works as a trial prosecutor in the 368th District Court before Judge Burt Carnes. He previously worked as a trial prosecutor for three years in the 26th District Court before Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield. He also handles asset forfeiture litigation, helping police departments seize money and property from drug dealers.

Of the more than 81,000 licensed attorneys in Texas, only 834 have achieved board certification in criminal law. Of the 12 attorneys in the Williamson County District Attorney’s Office, 10 of the attorneys, including the District Attorney, are board certified in criminal law.

“Mr. Grant accomplished this certification under amazing circumstances,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “He found the discipline to study and pass this exam while adopting three children into his family and handling a full caseload in his court. Phil Grant has shown himself to be committed to excellence in criminal law.”

 


 

County Assistant District Attorney Phil Grant

 


 

December 19, 2007

WCCAC Forensic Interviewers Recognized in Professional Society

Three forensic interviewers employed by the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center (WCCAC) have been accepted into the Professional Society of Forensic Interviewers (PSFI), an organization formed to set professional standards and best practices for those people collecting information from children at children’s advocacy centers in Texas. Carole Wall, Erin Tirrell and Andrea Troncoso have been accepted as charter members, recognizing that their training and education meet the professional statewide standards expected in the field of forensic interviewing.

A children’s advocacy center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a safe place for children to report abuse. WCCAC is one of 61 such centers in Texas. Each center hires trained interviewers who talk to children and record their statements. The interview must be conducted in a neutral environment and be non-leading. In addition, the interviewer must accommodate the child’s vocabulary and use age-appropriate questions.

PSFI, located in Austin as an arm of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, the statewide oversight organization, sets professional standards and best practices for this very specialized group of professionals working in the child abuse field. Membership requirements for the society include a four-year degree, official designation as a forensic interviewer at a local advocacy center in Texas, continuing education, and peer review by other interviewers.

Ms. Wall, the senior interviewer at WCCAC, has conducted over 900 interviews in the last four years on a variety of cases involving child sexual and physical abuse, neglect and those children that witnessed a crime.  Ms. Tirrell and Ms. Troncoso have been with the Center for six months and have conducted a combined 177 interviews.

“The Board of Directors for the Children’s Advocacy Center is very proud that our forensic interviewers  have been accepted into this professional statewide society,” said John Bradley, who serves as District Attorney and as President of the Board of Directors for WCCAC. “These interviews are critical to protecting children and to a successful prosecution.”

The WCCAC recently moved into a new 7,500 square foot center, located on SE Inner Loop, outside Georgetown. The new center tripled the rooms available for forensic interviewing. Each of the rooms also has state-of-the-art digital recording equipment and provides closed-circuit viewing of the interview for investigators and social workers assisting in the investigation of child abuse.

For more information about the Center or how you can help, please visit our website www.wilcocac.org or call Executive Director Jerri Jones at 512-943-3701.

 


 

December 07, 2007

Leander Child Molester Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison

Monico Gonzales, 34, of Leander, pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child. Judge Ken Anderson (368th District Court) convicted Gonzales and sentenced him to 40 years in prison.

In July 2007, a 12-year old Leander girl disclosed to her mother that Gonzales had been forcing her to perform oral sex on him. Leander Police Department Detective A.J. Keirn had the child interviewed at the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center. Gonzales eventually confessed to police that he had been sexually abusing the child for several months. He also confessed to his wife.

Gonzales also admitted to police that he had been giving rides to school to a middle school girl in the neighborhood. However, police have not been able to identify that child in order to investigate the case further. “We are hoping that anyone with information about this unknown child will come forward,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “Any other child harmed by this criminal should no longer be afraid and can be kept safe through the Children’s Advocacy Center.”

Anyone with information about Monico Gonzales can call Det. A.J. Keirn with the Leander Police Department. Gonzales is not eligible for parole for at least 20 years.

 


 

December 04, 2007

Grand Jury Indicts Georgetown Police Officer

A grand jury indicted Jimmy Lewis Fennell, Jr., (dob 12/25/72) for three felony and one misdemeanor crimes. The indictment alleges that Fennell committed the offenses of aggravated sexual assault (first degree felony), aggravated kidnapping (first degree felony), improper sexual activity with a person in custody (state jail felony) and official oppression (Class A misdemeanor).

The indictment arose from an allegation that Fennell, a sergeant employed by the Georgetown Police Department, sexually assaulted a woman after detaining her in connection with a domestic disturbance. Texas Ranger Matt Lindemann and Williamson County Sheriff’s detectives conducted the investigation.

The indictment has been filed in the 368th District Court. Judge Burt Carnes issued a capias for the arrest of Fennell and assigned a bail in the amount of $250,000. Fennell was taken into custody. Judge Carnes will soon set the case for an initial appearance date.

No further details of the investigation will be released until the case is resolved in court. “To make sure that this case can be heard by Williamson County citizens without any predetermined opinions,” said District Attorney John Bradley, “all details will be presented in court during the trial.”

 


 

October 23, 2007

Grand Opening for New Children’s Advocacy Center

Children’s Advocacy Center Photo Progress

  

On November 7, 2007, District Attorney John Bradley will oversee the grand opening of a new Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) of Williamson County. The new one million dollar facility with 7,500 square footage of space is located at 1811 S.E. Inner Loop outside Georgetown (in front of the Juvenile Justice Center).  A combined Georgetown and Round Rock Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting will take place at 5:15 p.m., followed by a short program at 5:30 p.m.  A buffet dinner will be served, and guided tours will be available throughout the evening. The public is welcome.

The Children’s Advocacy Center is a nonprofit organization established in 1997 to provide a safe place for children to report abuse. John Bradley, the CAC’s Board President, and 16 other board members administer the nonprofit, which is funded by a combination of county, municipal, grant and citizen donations. Local law enforcement, caseworkers and prosecutors rely on CAC employees to interview children and teens who have alleged abuse, may be at risk for abuse, or have witnessed a serious crime.  Previously, the CAC was housed in a small home at 406 University in Georgetown. Growth in Williamson County over the last decade has caused the CAC to outgrow that home.

The new CAC will permit expanded services, including the use of volunteers, on-site and network counseling and on-site forensic medical exams. Those new services will provide a more complete investigation for law enforcement and stronger support for the children who report abuse.

Numerous Williamson County donors have contributed to the new building. Round Rock Architect John Moman and Civil Engineer Joe Baker donated their services and designed a state-of-the art 7,500 square foot home.  Home Builder Jimmy Jacobs donated his services and served as the contractor.

For additional information, contact CAC Executive Director Jerri Jones at 943-3701 or go to www.wilcocac.org.

 


 

October 19, 2007

Hutto Officer Sentenced for Photographing Undressed Students

George Wesley Helms (dob 9/21/71) pled guilty in the 368th District Court to one count of sexual performance by a child and 26 counts of possession of child pornography. Judge Burt Carnes found Helms guilty and sentenced him to the maximum of 20 years in prison for the sexual performance by a child and 10 years in prison for each count of possession of child pornography. The sentences will run concurrently.

On March 8, 2007, Hutto Police Department Investigator Todd Looney was asked to investigate a complaint by a 16-year old female student from Hutto High School. The student alleged that Helms, who was assigned to the school as a resource officer from the Hutto Police Department, had photographed her bare breasts while she was in his office on March 7, 2007. Given the relationship of the defendant to the police department, Looney requested assistance in the investigation from Texas Ranger Matt Lindemann.

The student told the officers that Helms had repeatedly asked her to come to his office at the school and allow her to photograph her. On March 7, 2007, when she came to Helms’ office, he propped a chair against the door to prevent anyone from entering. He also paid the student $50 to stay in the office for the photography. Eventually, he convinced her to take off her shirt and bra and pull down her pants to reveal her panties and took several photographs with a digital camera.

The officers seized camera memory cards, a computer from the school and another computer from Helms home and had them examined by a forensic computer analyst. The analyst found the images in files that had been deleted from Helms’ home computer. The analyst also found numerous images of several other high school girls.

“The very person who was supposed to be protecting students shamelessly took advantage of his position for lurid sexual purposes,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “We also required the officer to permanently surrender his peace officer’s license.”


 

September 07, 2007

Baby Conley Born After Assault Placed Mother in Coma

Dana Conley (dob 10/25/68) gave birth at 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 6, 2007. The mother has been in a coma since February 9, 2007, when her husband Julius Conley (dob 11/24/67) assaulted her in Round Rock. The 5 lb., 3 oz. baby girl was born by C-section and is doing well. Dana Conley’s parents arrived from California to take temporary custody of the baby and arrange for long-term care for their daughter.

On February 9, 2007, Dana Conley drove to a home at 1200 Dayton Drive in Round Rock. She planned to collect her property because the family home had been sold following a foreclosure. Dana, who had owned the home with her estranged husband Julius, was accompanied by one of her sons and Quincy Johnson (dob 12/18/68), a friend. She and Julius had filed for divorce.

Julius Conley arrived unexpectedly. Based on a history of domestic violence, Dana became concerned for her safety and called a Travis County Sheriff’s Office detective on her cell phone. The day before, she had met with the Travis County Family Protection Team and reported a lengthy history of family violence by Julius. A detective talked to Dana and advised her to leave the home. He then heard Dana screaming, “He hit me in the head with a weight.”

Round Rock investigators found Dana and Quincy unconscious from numerous head wounds. They determined that Julius had picked up a 10-pound lead dumbbell and struck Dana numerous times in the head. He then chased Quincy into the garage of the home and struck him numerous times in the head with the same weight. Julius then returned to Dana, who was still in the house, and struck her several more times in the head. Julius concluded the attack by returning to Quincy in the garage and spitting on him.

Both Dana Conley and Quincy Johnson were flown by helicopter to Brackenridge Hospital and placed on life support. Quincy Johnson subsequently died at the hospital from extensive brain injuries. Doctors discovered that Dana Conley, who has never regained consciousness, was pregnant.

On July 18, 2007, Julius Conley pled guilty before Judge Ken Anderson, 277th District Court to the murder of Quincy Johnson and the aggravated assault of Dana Conley. Julius Conley was convicted of those offenses and sentenced to concurrent life sentences. He will not be eligible for parole for 30 years.

 


 

September 06, 2007

Sonic Robbers Go to Prison

Carey Meaghan (dob 3/24/86) plead guilty to aggravated robbery in the 368th District Court on Tuesday. Judge Burt Carnes convicted Meaghan and sentenced her to 25 years in prison. The sentencing concluded the cases against Meaghan and Francis Kass III (dob 2/21/87), who were both prosecuted for stealing $17.38 worth of food at a Round Rock Sonic restaurant.

On May 15, 2006, Emily Weeks, 16, delivered a tray of food to two customers parked in a white Chevrolet Impala. Kass, the driver, accepted the food and began backing out. Weeks told Kass that he owed her $17.38 for the order. Kass began backing the vehicle out faster. Meaghan, a passenger in the front seat then leaned down to the floorboard, grabbed a handgun and began showing it to Weeks and waving it around. Weeks became terrified and ran back into the Sonic building and contacted the police. Kass and Weeks drove away.

Three days later, Week’s mother contacted Round Rock police and notified them that her daughter had seen a news story about a white vehicle that had been involved in shooting at an SUV owned by Fox TV News and driven by a cameraman for Fox TV and, based on the description of the white vehicle, thought it was the same vehicle from the Sonic robbery. The shooting incident occurred in Bastrop County and resulted in the arrest of Meaghan and Kass for aggravated assault.

Round Rock investigators located Meaghan and Kass in Bastrop County Jail, interviewed them. Both confessed to the Sonic robbery. The weapon used in the Sonic robbery, a Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun, was recovered during the investigation.

Kass plead guilty to the aggravated robbery on July 16, 2007, and was sentenced by Judge Carnes to 20 years in prison. Both Meaghan and Kass must serve one-half of their sentences before they are eligible for parole.

In October 2006, Meaghan and Kass plead guilty to the aggravated assault charges in Bastrop County. Judge Reva Townslee-Corbett (21st District Court) sentenced both of them to 15 years in prison. The sentences from Bastrop and Williamson Counties will run concurrently.


 

August 27, 2007

Stepfather Sentenced to 50 Years for Impregnating Child

Tomas Zapata (dob 7/15/75) waived a jury trial and pled guilty before the 26th District Court to the charge of sexual assault of a child . Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield convicted Zapata and sentenced him to 50 years in prison.

In July 2006, Zapata’s 16-year old stepdaughter delivered a baby. Shortly after the birth, the stepdaughter made an outcry to her mother that Zapata was the father of the child and had been sexually abusing her since she was 9 years old. The stepdaughter was taken to the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center and interviewed. The mother was protective and cooperative, assisting Williamson County investigators in recording a phone call to Zapata about the abuse.

Investigators then obtained biological samples from the baby, stepdaughter and Zapata. Subsequent DNA testing confirmed that Zapata was the father of the baby. Zapata confessed to investigators about the abuse and was indicted for five counts of sexual assault.

Zapata was scheduled for a trial but decided he did not want a jury deciding the case. He had previously been to prison for burglary in 1996, enhancing the punishment range up to life in prison.

“DNA evidence and tough Texas laws on child abuse left this child molester with no choice,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “He well knew that he faced certain conviction.”

Zapata is not eligible for parole until he has served at least 25 years in prison.  He also faces additional charges in Bell County, where the family lived for some time during the abuse. 

 


 

July 30, 2007

 

Family Violence in Taylor Leads to Long Prison Sentence

Jason Peace (dob 8/12/79), a Taylor resident, decided to plead guilty after a jury was selected in his trial for aggravated assault. Judge Burt Carnes, 368th District Court, found Peace guilty and sentenced him to 35 years in prison.

On November 30, 2006, Taylor police officers investigated an assault at a home on Lexington in Taylor. Officers found Ruby Daniels (dob 12/1/84) had been severely cut on her face, arms and chest. Peace initially told police that an unknown Hispanic male came to the home asking for drugs and attacked Peace and his girlfriend Ruby. Daniels informed police that Peace had attacked her with a knife. Daniels was taken to a hospital and recovered from the injuries but sustained permanent scarring.

During an interview at the police station, Peace admitted that he had attacked Daniels with a knife after she had poured out all of his liquor in the kitchen sink. Peace had a lengthy adult criminal history, including a prior probation for aggravated assault in Dallas. He also had previously been confined in the Texas Youth Commission as a juvenile for assault.

“This was a vicious attack by a dangerous criminal,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “With this tough sentence, he will not be able to continue to hurt innocent people. 

Judge Carnes also found that Peace used the knife as a deadly weapon. That finding means Peace will not be eligible for parole for at least 17 and 1/2 years.

 


 

July 30, 2007

Car Jacker Gets Life in Prison

Dennis Wayne Harvey, Jr. (dob 1/1/79) was convicted last week of aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping after a weeklong trial before Judge Ken Anderson, 277th District Court. Today, the jury sentenced Harvey to life in prison for the aggravated robbery and 20 years in prison for the aggravated kidnapping. He must serve at least 30 years in prison before he is eligible for parole but also faces additional punishment for crimes he committed in Travis and Matagorda Counties.

On November 3, 2006, Harvey approached Amy Baker in Travis County as she sat in her car at the intersection of Boulder and FM 620. He pointed a gun and demanded her car. As she was getting out of the car, he shot her in the chest. She recovered from the gunshot and testified at trial.

Harvey then ran to an adjacent convenience store and robbed Eddie Martinez at gunpoint, stealing his truck. Harvey then drove the truck east on 620 into Williamson County, abandoning it behind a restaurant. Martinez testified at trial.

Harvey then ran two blocks and robbed Kaytie Burk in a Walgreens parking lot at El Salido and 620 in Cedar Park. He forced Burk to drive him to I-35 and Cesar Chavez. Burk testified at trial.

After leaving Burk, Harvey robbed Kimberly Daniels as she was driving up to eat at Jack-in-the-Box on Riverside Drive. Harvey punched her in the head and pulled her out of the car by her hair. Daniels testified at trial.

Harvey was captured by U.S. Marshals and the Coast Guard on a shrimp boat off the coast of Georgia. He still faces prosecution in Travis County for the aggravated robberies involving Baker, Martinez and Daniels. He also faces a motion to revoke probation in Matagorda County, where he had committed another aggravated robbery.


 

July 19, 2007

Child’s Guardian Sentenced to Prison for Sexual Abuse

Christopher Greer (dob 7/21/78) pleaded guilty before a jury to five counts of sexual assault of a child. The jury sentenced Greer to 20 years in prison for each count.

In 2003, the 13-year old victim moved in with Greer and his wife to serve as the victim’s guardian, who could no longer live with her parents. Greer began sexually assaulting her within a few months. For several years, those assaults occurred at homes in Silsbee, Vidor and Saratoga.

In October 2005, the family moved to Taylor to recover from Hurricane Rita. The sexual abuse continued at the home in Taylor until June 2006, when the victim reported the abuse to Children’s Protective Service and the Taylor Police Department. The victim explained that Greer started the abuse years earlier by offering to give her cigarettes in exchange for oral sex. In a subsequent interview with police, Greer confessed. 

Greer pleaded guilty before a jury in order to ask for probation. He put on evidence from a psychologist regarding potential treatment as a sex offender. The jury rejected probation and imposed the maximum punishment for each count. Judge Burt Carnes, 368th District Court, then stacked three of the sentences, making the sentence effectively 60 years. Greer is ineligible for parole for at least 30 years.


 

July 18, 2007

Husband Sentenced to Life in Prison for Attack on Wife and Friend

Julius Lee Conley (dob 11/24/67) pled guilty to murder and aggravated assault before Judge Ken Anderson, 277th District Court. Conley was convicted of those offenses and sentenced to two life sentences. He will not be eligible for parole for 30 years.

On February 9, 2007, Dana Conley (dob 10/25/68) drove to a residence at 1200 Dayton Drive in Round Rock to recover property from her home that had been sold following a foreclosure. Dana, who had owned the home with her estranged husband Julius, was accompanied by one of her sons and Quincy Johnson (dob 12/18/68), a friend.

While Dana and Quincy were collecting personal property, Julius arrived. Becoming concerned for her safety, Dana then called a Travis County Sheriff’s Office detective on her cell phone. The day before, she had met with the Travis County Family Protection Team and reported a lengthy history of family violence by Julius, who was a corrections officer working at the Travis County Jail. That detective then heard Dana screaming and saying, “He hit me in the head with a weight.”

Based on the statements of two eyewitnesses and the Travis County detective talking to Dana on the phone, Round Rock investigators determined that Julius had picked up a 10-pound lead dumbbell and struck Dana numerous times in the head. He then chased Quincy Johnson into the garage of the home and struck him numerous times in the head with the same weight. Julius then returned to Dana, who was still in the house, and struck her several more times in the head. Julius concluded the attack by returning to Quincy in the garage and spitting on him.

Both Dana Conley and Quincy Johnson were flown by helicopter to Brackenridge Hospital and placed on life support. Quincy Johnson subsequently died at the hospital from extensive brain injuries. Dana Conley remains in a coma and is unlikely to recover. 

Julius was arrested near his Round Rock apartment shortly after the attacks. He provided investigators with a recorded and written confession. He was indicted for the murder of Quincy Johnson and the aggravated assault of Dana Conley. Both offenses are first-degree felony crimes, punishable by confinement for 5-99 years or life in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.


 

July 16, 2007

Lying in the Courtroom: Prison for Probationer and Arrest for Father

Timothy Jason Willett (dob 3/26/74) violated the conditions of his felony driving while intoxicated probation by driving a vehicle that did not have an ignition interlock device installed. But the judge imposed a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison because he got his father to lie under oath for him in court.

On November 21, 2002, Willett was arrested for his fourth DWI after he wrecked his pickup truck on CR 201, one mile west of Phillips Lane in Williamson County. Willett had already been convicted of misdemeanor DWI offenses in 1994 (Williamson County) and 1996 (Travis County). And, at the time of the November 21 arrest, he was on felony probation in Travis County for a third DWI, which occurred in 1999.

On December 6, 2004, Willett pled guilty before Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield, 26th District Court. Judge Stubblefield convicted Willett of felony DWI and sentenced him to 10 years in prison and imposed a $2,500 fine. However, in order to provide Willett with a treatment opportunity, Judge Stubblefield suspended the prison sentence and placed Willett on probation for 6 years, requiring him to complete long-term, inpatient treatment for alcohol abuse at the Williamson County Central Texas Treatment Center. In the Travis County case, Willett remained on probation and his supervision was extended for an additional year.

After successfully completing treatment, Willett moved to Florida to be near his family. However, another condition of his probation prohibited him from driving a vehicle unless he obtained a driver’s license and installed, at his expense, an ignition interlock device that would test for the presence of alcohol on the driver’s breath before permitting the car to start. Willett told his probation officer that he did not drive or own a vehicle and, therefore, did not need to install such a device.

On March 28, 2007, Willett was arrested in Volusia County, Florida, for driving a vehicle while his driver’s license was suspended. As a result of that arrest, a motion to revoke the Williamson County probation was filed. On July 11, 2007, a hearing on that motion was held before Judge Stubblefield. During the hearing, Willett’s father Timothy Earl Willett (dob 12/14/46) testified that his son did not violate a condition of his probation by driving a vehicle. On cross-examination, Assistant District Attorney Phil Grant played a recorded phone call, revealing in a conversation between father and son, that the father had promised to lie in court if asked about the driving. During additional cross-examination, Willett’s mother admitted that they had all agreed to lie about the driving.

Judge Stubblefield found that Willett had violated the conditions of his probation and sentenced him to 10 years in prison. A Williamson County Sheriff’s investigator took Willet’s father into custody for the felony offense of aggravated perjury. Willett may face an additional charge of aggravated perjury.

 


 

July 12, 2007

Leander Council Member Joins Children’s Advocacy Center Board

At the July meeting of the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center (WCCAC), Vic Villarreal, 34, was elected to the board of directors. Villarreal serves as a member of the Leander City Council and was recently re-elected to that position.

Villarreal has a degree in Government from the University of Texas, has a master’s degree in organization and management leadership and teaches college student about management, business and ethics. He has been married for 8 years to his wife Sandra.

“I delighted we could add Mr. Villarreal to the board,” said John Bradley, President of the WCCAC Board and Williamson County District Attorney. “He will help bring the interests and needs of the west side of Williamson County to the board and maintain a strong relationship with our governmental donors.”

WCCAC is a nonprofit established in 1997 to provide a safe place for children to report abuse. Forensic interviewers talk to children and record the information for use by law enforcement and social workers. The board of directors hires an executive director, establishes policy and approves the budget. The cities of Leander, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Round Rock, Taylor and Hutto, along with the county government, all contribute to the annual budget. In addition, funds are obtained through fundraisers,  state and federal grants and individual and corporate contributions.

Over the last year, the board has worked to raise money for the design and construction of a new home for the center. A new, 7,500 square foot center is currently being built on Inner Loop outside Georgetown, financed through a capital campaign that raised over $1million. The new facility will permit the expansion of interviewing services and the addition of counseling and forensic medical examinations. Completion of that new facility is expected in September.

 


 

June 22, 2007

70 Years in Prison for 8th DWI

A Williamson County jury sentenced Wendel Glenn Klotz (dob 3/10/55) to 70 years in prison after finding him guilty of felony driving while intoxicated. The jury also found that the vehicle driven by Klotz was used as a deadly weapon, making Klotz ineligble for parole for 30 years.

On August 5, 2006, a civilian witness observed a 1965 Ford pickup truck driven by Klotz weaving on a road headed toward Coupland. The driver called 911 at about 2:45 p.m., just east of Coupland on FM 1466. At the intersection of 1466 and 619, Klotz drove through a stop sign, into a ditch on the right side of the road, crossed over to the left side of the road and hit a fence. The witness also saw that a second vehicle had been following the truck. A female in the second vehicle immediately stopped, walked over to the truck, pulled out a bottle of liquor and put it in her vehicle. Klotz got out of his truck but had to hang onto it for balance. The female was Klotz’s fiancée.

Klotz left the scene and went to his home nearby. A Williamson County Sheriff’s deputy arrived within 30 minutes at the home and talked to Klotz and his fiancée. The deputy had Klotz perform field sobriety tests. Klotz was clearly intoxicated, as he stumbled and slurred his speech. He admitted he started drinking at 10 a.m.

During trial in the 277th District Court before Judge Ken Anderson, Klotz tried to convince the jury that he got intoxicated back at home after his accident in the truck. During a punishment hearing, the jury learned Klotz had seven prior convictions for driving while intoxicated. The convictions were in 1983 (2 cases), 1987 (2 cases), 1988, 1991, and 1996. He failed to complete probation every time he received it and went to prison four times. He had received numerous opportunities for treatment and was kicked out of the Central Texas Treatment Center, a local inpatient treatment facility for chronic drunks and drug abusers.

“There is no excuse for getting into a truck and driving drunk,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “This criminal received every possible opportunity to change his criminal behavior. There is no doubt in my mind that this sentence will save lives.”

 


 

May 31, 2007

Driver Sentenced for Death of Firefighter

Riley Kee Shipman (dob 6/23/85) pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide in the 368th District Court. Judge Burt Carnes found Shipman guilty and sentenced him to 21 months in state jail. Shipman is not eligible for early release and must serve the entire sentence.

On March 3, 2006, Shipman was driving a Chevy pickup truck on U.S. Hwy 183 in Leander. Steven Kincaid, a Leander firefighter and friend of Shipman, was a passenger in the pickup. Shipman was speeding and lost control of the vehicle, striking a tree and killing Kincaid on impact. Shipman left the scene and walked home. Officers later contacted Shipman, smelled the odor of alcohol on his breath and arrested him for manslaughter.

A person commits the offense of manslaughter by recklessly causing the death of an individual or by driving while intoxicated and causing the death by accident. Shipman’s failure to remain at the scene prevented investigators from obtaining immediate accurate information about the collision and interfered with the determination of an accurate measure of Shipman’s blood/alcohol concentration. Successful prosecution of the case for manslaughter, a second degree felony, was unlikely without such evidence.

Recovery of a “black box” in the truck did lead to confirmation through those electronic records that Shipman was speeding at the time of the collision. That evidence was used to support a prosecution for criminally negligent homicide. A person commits that offense by causing the death of an individual through criminal negligence. Driving at an excessive speed can be criminally negligent conduct when it creates a “substantial and unjustifiable risk” that death can occur. The offense is punishable by confinement from 180 days to 2 years in a state jail.

“This was a very difficult case to investigate and prosecute,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “Unfortunately, the flight of the defendant from the scene of this crime damaged our ability to collect and present the kind of evidence that would support a conviction for manslaughter. This sentence for criminally negligent homicide, however, does provide a serious punishment for the irresponsible conduct of Shipman that led to the unfortunate death of a Williamson County firefighter.”

 


 


Landlord Imprisoned For Secret Camera in Attic

Jeffrey Alan Gole (dob 5/6/59) was sentenced to 2 years in a state jail for the felony offense of Improper Photography or Visual Recording. Judge Ken Anderson, 277th District Court, found that Gole had violated the conditions of his probation and imposed the punishment.

On May 3, 2005, a husband and wife noticed a smoke detector had come loose from their bedroom ceiling in the Round Rock home they were renting from Gole. (The name of the husband and wife are being withheld to protect their privacy.) The husband entered the attic to fix the problem and found a digital video recorder with a camera installed in the air conditioning duct. The camera was aimed at their bedroom. The husband also found three pair of women’s underwear in the attic that did not belong to his wife.

The husband confronted Gole, who told them not to report the incident to the police. The husband contacted the Sheriff’s Office. Although Gole denied knowing about the recorder and camera when confronted by an investigator, Gole’s fingerprints were found on the recorder. After police seized Gole’s home computer, a forensic computer expert found digital recordings showing adult females using a toilet in an unknown public restroom. The hard drive also contained a program that allowed Gole to remotely access the digital recorder found in the attic. The recorder was set to capture 48 hours of digital video and then record over it the following 48 hours.

On October 4, 2006, after pleading guilty and confessing, Gole was found guilty and, with the agreement of the victims, placed on 5 years of probation and ordered to pay a $2,500 fine. In addition, Gole was ordered to serve 120 days in the county jail, submit to a sex offender evaluation, have no contact with the victims, pay for any therapy and counseling, possess no sexual devices, computers, pornography, or digital equipment, have no access to the Internet and notify any renters of his ongoing supervision for a felony crime.

On May 21, 2007, Judge Anderson found that Gole had ingested cocaine on at least three occasions and had accessed the Internet from a computer without proper authorization. Judge Anderson revoked the probation and imposed the maximum punishment of 2 years in a state jail. Gole is not eligible for parole and will serve every day of that sentence.

 


 

Jury Sends Cedar Park Drunk Driver to Prison

Cedar Park resident Tina Hargrove, 40, was sentenced to 5 and one-half years in prison by a jury after being convicted of intoxication assault, a 3rd degree felony with a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison. The jury also found that Hargrove used a deadly weapon – her vehicle. That means she must serve at least one half of the sentence before she is eligible for parole.

On November 6, 2005, Hargrove was driving southbound in a northbound lane of Parmer Lane near Avery Ranch. She had been drinking heavily and had a blood/alcohol concentration of nearly three times the legal limit of .08. She had a head-on collision with a car driven northbound on Parmer Lane by Phyllis Henkelman of Georgetown. Henkelman suffered a broken femur, elbow, pelvis and numerous other injuries. She had to be cut from the vehicle and was flown by helicopter to Brackenridge Hospital for treatment.

Hargrove pled not guilty and asked the jury for probation after being found guilty. Prosecutors presented testimony from Phyllis Henkelman, along with her husband who was driving in a separate car.  They were returning from their daughter’s wedding when Hargrove caused the collision. Hendelman lost all memory of the wedding as a result of her injuries. The jury also learned that Hargrove had a prior conviction for driving while intoxicated in Dallas.

“Drunks in cars are dangerous,” said District Attorney John Bradley. “And drunk drivers should know that Williamson County juries will hold them accountable for the inexcusable damage they cause to innocent drivers. There is a simple solution: don’t drink and drive.”

 


 

May 14, 2007

2007 CAC Golf Tournament a Huge Success

The 5th Annual Golf Tournament for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Williamson County, held at the Avery Ranch Golf Course, sold out for the second year in a row and received a surprise contribution toward the construction of a new building. The tournament brought in over $20,000 in donations from area businesses and players.

For the fifth year, Developer Bob Wunsch and Avery Ranch donated the green and cart fees for the tournament, providing even more opportunity for the Center to fund additional services for abused children. Numerous local businesses and individuals donated gift certificates and sponsorships for the 112 players.

The big surprise of the day, though, came at the end of the tournament. “At the awards dinner, we received a contribution of $100,000 from the Happy Davis Foundation, to assist in the construction of our new facility,” said Williamson County District Attorney and Board President John Bradley. The check was presented by Jill and Jeff Davis, who represented their grandfather who is the namesake for the foundation, located in Weatherford, Texas. Kris Davis, the sister of Jill and Jeff and executive director of the Happy Davis Foundation, recently launched The Vineyard, an upscale housing venture in Florence that will include a winery and equestrian trails. 

The CAC is a nonprofit organization designed to provide a safe place for children to report abuse and receive counseling and medical examinations. The CAC opened in 1997 and now sees over 400 children and thousands of family members for services every year. A new 7,500 square foot facility, with a construction budget of $1.2 million and located on Inner Loop outside of Georgetown, is scheduled to open October 2006.

Anyone interested in donating to the CAC should contact Executive Director Jerri Jones at 930-1933.

 


 

May 08, 2007

District Attorney Receives Award at Victim Conference

At the annual Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse (TCVC) conference in Austin, Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley received the 2007 Danny Hill Award as an outstanding prosecutor upholding victims’ rights. The award is presented each year to a prosecutor who shows special attention to the needs of victims of crime.

TCVC provides leadership and coordination for the improvement of services for victims of crime. The organization also sponsors an annual training conference for victims, criminal justice professionals, law enforcement and victim services providers. For more information, go to http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/victim/victim-clearinghs.htm.

During the presentation, Raven Kazen, director of victim services for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice highlighted the work of Bradley as President of the Board of Directors for the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center and his constant sensitivity to the needs of victims. Bradley also has recently created a Parole Protest Task Force, providing key information to the Parole Board for the denial of early release of inmates who have been convicted and sentenced for violent crimes.

--

District Attorney's Office

--
                Staff 

                Victim Services 

                News Releases 

                Cold Case Unit 

                Training Courses 

                Open Records Request

                
Bail Bond Board
--


Williamson County Justice Center
Jana Duty
405 M.L.K. Street, Suite 265
Georgetown, TX 78626
Driving Directions
Phone: (512) 943-1234
Fax: (512) 943-1255

--
Williamson County Courthouse
710 Main Street Georgetown, TX 78626
Main Telephone: (512)943-1100
Copyright 2014 by Williamson County, Texas ITS   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement  Sitemap