Thursday, May 21, 2009





  Man gets 4 years for fatal crash
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–173rd District Judge Dan Moore sentenced Jose Miramontes to four years in state prison after he pled guilty to two counts of manslaughter stemming from a Feb. 13, 2008, car crash that killed Shane Lawrence Morgan and his 12-year-old daughter Kalee Elizabeth.
During the sentencing hearing, state trooper James Martin of the Texas Department of Public Safety testified that data from the air bag module in the vehicle driven by Miramontes indicated he was traveling 103 mph just seconds before the collision.
Assistant district attorney Lenda Burnett asked the judge to send a message to the community that this type of driving can have tragic consequences for everyone involved.
Shane Morgan, 34, was pastor of the Hilltop Baptist Church in Berryville. He was driving the day of the head-on collision with his wife Lisa Ann and their two daughters, Kalee and Emily Paige, 4, on Farm-to-Market 317 about 18 miles south of Brownsboro when the fatal crash occurred..
His wife, a fourth-grade teacher at Brownsboro Intermediate, and youngest daughter survived.
Naval Chief Petty Officer Jose Luis Joel Miramontes Jr., 31, of Kemp was attempting to pass another vehicle when he went into oncoming traffic and struck the 2006 Suzuki Shane Morgan was driving.
Miramontes suffered multiple injuries, including broken legs.
The stretch of highway was in a passing zone, according to Martin. However, it was on a hill with a small dip that could obstruct the view of a passing car.
Martin also said Miramontes told him the sun was in his eyes when he moved to pass the other vehicle.

Mortgage scammer gets 18 years
Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN–A North Texas woman was sentenced to 18 years in state prison for her involvement in a complex mortgage fraud scheme that defrauded the federal government.
Karen Hayes, 58, pled guilty to engaging in organized criminal activity and falsifying statements to obtain property or credit. Hayes was taken into custody at the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office and will be transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
According to the 88-paragraph indictment, Hayes falsified supporting documents involving the sale of manufactured homes.
Evidence showed she tampered with buyers’ rent payment verification statements, monthly expense reports and Social Security Administration benefits data, among other items.
In March, a jury sentenced Hayes’ sister, Kandace Marriott, 53, of Gun Barrel City, to 99 years in prison for her role in the mortgage fraud scheme.
Marriott’s husband, Darrell L. Marriott, 56, and daughter Kally Marriott were also indicted, and are currently awaiting their own trials.
The defendants sold manufactured homes through a Navarro County real estate business, One Way Home & Land.
After litigation, the defendants closed that business and moved their enterprise to Kaufman County under a new assumed name, Torenia Inc., which did business as Energy Homes.
Investigations were opened in late 2005.
The multi-county criminal conspiracy was uncovered by Cpl. Mark Nanny of the Corsicana Police Department. He got HUD officials and the FBI’s Dallas office involved, which later referred the case to local authorities and the state.
According to investigators, the defendants forged homebuyers’ signatures and inaccurately completed customer loan applications.
The scheme involved predominantly low-income purchasers whose home loans were guaranteed by HUD. As a result, when the buyers defaulted on their loans, the mortgage lenders were compensated by HUD, and thereby the American taxpayer.
Investigators believe the scheme cost taxpayers more than $3 million.

Suspected drug thug arrested
Monitor Staff Reports
MALAKOFF–Henderson County Drug Enforcement (HCDE) officers seized approximately a quarter pound of cocaine at the Wheeler Apartments in Malakoff last week, according to Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt.
Arrested was Joey Tamojermone Givens, 33, of Malakoff. Givens was charged with Manufacture and Delivery of a Controlled Substance/Cocaine.
“Givens is believed to be a major narcotics trafficker for the Trinidad, Malakoff and Athens area,” Nutt said.
According to sheriff’s office reports, Givens was stopped on State Highway 31 near Malakoff by Lt. Botie Hillouse and Investigator Darrell Waller May 14. During the traffic stop, officers found a large quantity of crack cocaine.
Following the traffic stop, officers were able to obtain a search warrant for Givens’ apartment in Malakoff from District Judge Carter Tarrance.
Investigators from the HCDE involved included Ronny Halbert, David Faught, Kenny Collard, and Waller. They were assisted by Hillhouse, Capt. Kay Langford, and the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office.


Copyright 2009, MediaOne, L.L.C.