Thursday, January 29, 2009






  Bank robber identity sought
First State Bank of Mabank hit during busy Friday hours.
No weapon used, $3,030 taken.

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Police are searching for a man with a very general sort of appearance who quietly asked for and got all the money in a bank teller’s drawer late Friday afternoon.
That amount taken from the First State Bank, located at 210 S. Third St,. totaled $3,030.
The “Bubba Bandit” was wearing blue jeans, a Western-styled plaid shirt, straw cowboy hat and brown boots that didn’t attract any undue attention.
“Everybody looked at him,” Mabank Police Chief Kyle McAfee said Monday. “He just didn’t stand out.
“It’s the first bank robbery I’ve ever heard of happening in Mabank, and I’ve lived here my entire life,” McAfee said.
The unknown male suspect calmly walked over to the teller and handed over a yellow paper note demanding the money without any problems, McAfee reported.
The man then left the bank and headed in an unknown direction. Witnesses disagree on the type of vehicle the man may have driven off in.
The suspect did not display any weapons while committing the crime.
Mabank police officer Chris Rhen responded to the 911 call within one minute of receiving it, McAfee said.
The Mabank police obtained clear video of the suspect and is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Kaufman County Sheriff Office in an attempt to identify the suspect.
He had visited the bank at 2 p.m. and again at 4:30 p.m. when he committed the offense, McAfee said.
If anyone recognizes the suspect, they are asked to contact the Mabank Police Department at (903) 887-8500.

Koresh’s mother stabbed to death
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–The mother of religious sect leader David Koresh, Bonnie Clark Halderman, was found stabbed to death last week, and her sister Beverly Clark was arrested for the killing.
Halderman was 60.
Clark, 54, was booked into Henderson County Jail for murder and held on a $500,000 bond.
According to Henderson County Sheriff Department officials, police were called to the home of Clark in Chandler last Friday afternoon. When they arrived, they found Halderman’s body.
Clark was also in the home when the police arrived. A knife believed to be the murder weapon was also found.
Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt told reporters his investigation is continuing.
“We really don’t know what the motive was,” he said.
David Koresh was the infamous leader of the Branch Davidians, a religious group based outside Waco.
In 1993, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms became involved in a 51-day standoff with the group after trying to arrest Koresh on weapons charges.
That standoff ended when a large fire consumed the compound, killing Koresh and 80 members of the sect.
A niece told the Athens Daily Review that Clark suffered from mental illness and that the victim was likely trying to help her sister get the help she needed.
Haldeman was working as a pediatric licensed vocational nurse at Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, niece Hollie Helrigel said.

Area teen charged in fatal wreck
GUN BARREL CITY–Charges have been filed against 19-year-old Dylan Whitten in the death of his passenger and friend Eric Branch, 18, as the result of a high speed wreck in a 1997 Dodge Neon Jan. 15 on Legendary Lane.
Whitten was listed in fair condition Tuesday while recovering in a Tyler hospital from serious head injuries.
Upon the completion of his investigation, Gun Barrel City investigator Sgt. Dennis Wehland charged Whitten with intoxicated manslaughter and failure to maintain financial responsibility.
Branch was pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Dale Blaylock.
According to the police report, the Dodge Neon was traveling southbound on Legendary Lane at about 9:10 p.m. at a high rate of speed when Whitten lost control, left the roadway, struck a utility pole and went airborne, hitting the ground about 140 feet father before smashing through a chain link fence and stopped by a tree.
Speed and alcohol were listed as contributing factors in the accident.
A memorial event is set for Branch at the Mabank Pavilion 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31.

Copyright © 2009, MediaOne, L.L.C.