Thursday, May 7, 2009







Meth jar found in truck bed
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–A blue 1988 Ford pickup with an expired registration sticker caught the eye of patrolling county deputies in Seven Points last week.
Patrols around the Kaufman-Henderson county line north of Seven Points have been stepped up lately in response to citizen complaints of drug trafficking.
The pickup was driven by 40-year-old Calvin Dean Reno – a man with a very long rap sheet dating back to 1995, with petty drug charges, failure to carry car insurance, parole violations and escape from custody among the arrests.
A search of the pickup discovered a milky substance which later tested positive for methamphetamine – more than 200 grams of the stuff – in a quart-sized glass jar.
The jar was wrapped in a wet blue T-shirt, and when opened gave off an odor of anhydrous ammonia.
Henderson County narcotics task force investigators Darrell Waller and Kenny Collard were called to the scene April 29 and assisted in testing the substance, as well as questioning Reno.
Reno was arrested and charged with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, more than 200 grams and less than 400 grams.
He also was charged with expired vehicle registration and failure to provide proof of financial responsibility (no insurance), and transported to the Henderson County jail.
Reno is being held on a $250,000 bond.
Deputies John Daniels and Mitchum Patterson initiated the traffic stop around 1:30 p.m.
A second arrest that day involved the possession of marijuana, more than four ounces and less than five pounds.
Collard and Waller answered a complaint of narcotics trafficking at the 1000 block of Barbara St., in the Victoria Place Apartments in Athens.
They found a half-pound of marijuana and a handgun.
Jason Baker, 21, was charged with felony possession of marijuana and transported to the county jail.

Judge says Cook violated probation
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Eight months ago, Gun Barrel City businessman Curtis Cook pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child in Judge Dan Moore’s 173rd District Court.
The crime is a first degree felony, punishable by five to 99 years in prison, but Cook came away with 10 years of probation.
Monday, Moore ruled that Cook violated that probation.
During a hearing that opened Friday, Moore ruled that Cook violated his probation on four counts:
• He failed to register as a sex offender when he moved from Kaufman County to Gun Barrel City in January.
• During a time in December, 2008, he lived in Burleson, within 1,000 feet of a park were children were likely to play.
• He failed to obtain prior consent from the Henderson County Probation Department before moving.
• He failed to complete the 10 hours per month of Community Service required by his probation.
The hearing was recessed Monday afternoon during the penalty phase and will be resumed at a later, currently undetermined date.
Cook could be returned to his former probation, or get the original penalty range assigned to the crime – five to 99 years in prison.
Cook was not only indicted in Henderson County but was also indicted three times in Kaufman County on the same charge. He was arrested in Gun Barrel City in November, 2007, and then again in February, 2008.
Cook pleaded guilty Sept. 29, 2008, as part of a plea agreement worked out with the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office. Details of the assault were never released, but officials said the child in question was younger than the 14 listed in the statute.
The deal also covered the three indictments in Kaufman County.
The Monitor highlighted the Cook case in an October, 2008, story exploring why some confessed pedophiles receive probation.
In interviews for the story, Moore and then-District Attorney Donna Bennett spoke about how the judicial system sometimes listens to the desires of the victim’s family when deciding how to proceed in a child sexual assault case.
That was the situation in the Cook case, Moore said – the victim’s family did not want to put their daughter through any more trauma.
The other thing officials said was that revoking probation is easier than getting a conviction. Revoking probation does not require a trial, only a hearing before a judge.
That is how Cook found himself once again in front of Moore, with current District Attorney Scott McKee the prosecutor.
According to testimony Friday, Cook, the former owner of Cedar Creek Vision in Gun Barrel City, moved to Burleson in December, 2008, to try and get a new start on his business. The place he moved to, however, was close by a park; something Cook said he did not know.
Defense attorney Scott Williams said Cook moved back to his prior home in Kemp as soon as he was notified about the park.
According to Henderson County Probation Officer Donna Ward, however, Cook did not follow proper notification procedures on either of the moves.
Cook ran into the same sort of trouble in January.
According to his probation, he was not allowed to stay in the house with a minor child. But in January, his step-daughter and her 7-year-old son came to stay at the house in Kemp.
Williams said Cook kept a room at a Gun Barrel City motel and stayed in Kemp during the day, but went to the motel at night to comply with his probation.
“There was never a time when (authorities) didn’t know where he was,” Williams pointed out.
Once again, however, Ward testified Cook did not follow proper procedures for notifications and registration.
Cook also failed to log any community service hours in December.

Kaufman ISD closes schools
Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN–Another school district has closed as a precautionary measure to arrest the spread of the H1N1 (swine flue) virus.
Kaufman ISD announced Monday it was closing until Monday, May, 18.
Superintendent Todd Williams ordered all Kaufman ISD campuses closed starting May 5, due to the discover of a probable case of the virus.
“This decision is for the safety of our students and staff,” Williams stated in a press release.
Kaufman County Health Authority Dr. William Fortner confirmed that the H1N1 virus was suspected in a sick 4-year-old attending school in the district.
Fortner also reported hearing about an adult in Kemp with a case of the H1N1 virus, but had no other information about it.
Kemp ISD remains open.

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