Thursday, June 25, 2009







Man charged with murder
20-year-old woman killed in suspected meth lab explosion
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–It was just a matter of time before someone was killed in a meth lab mishap. That time came June 18.
Now one woman is dead, and a 28-year-old man faces a murder charge.
Joseph Myers, 28, has been charged with murder in the death of 20-year-old Katie Erin Shelton. Bail has been set at $1 million.
Shelton died as a result of injuries she received in a chemical explosion related to the operation of a suspected meth lab at Myers house.
When the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office arrived, the Seven Points Fire Department and East Texas Medical Center EMS were working on Shelton.
She was taken to the East Texas Medical Center-Cedar Creek Lake emergency room in Gun Barrel City, and later was transferred to Parkland Medical Center in Dallas, where she died.
Several persons were at the residence in Branton Estates outside Seven Points off Farm-to-Market 85, including a child, who was taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services.
No other injuries were reported.
The murder charge followed a charge of manufacture of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony.
According to the state penal code, a person commits murder if while he commits or attempts to commit a felony he commits an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual.
The murder charge carries a sentence of five to 99 years or life in prison if convicted.

Tool animal shelter
gets emergency donations

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

TOOL–Response to a televised news story has produced a groundswell of support for animals kept at a Tool shelter.
On Tuesday, the Humane Society at Cedar Creek Lake reported having received about four tons of dog food since the story aired Saturday on WFAA-TV.
Humane Society president Tamara Rhodes told Channel 8 News it takes $1,000 a month just to feed the 140 animals the shelter cares for on average, and the funds are just not there anymore.
It takes about 150 pounds of food a day to feed the shelter’s population, she said.
The crisis call for help has provided about six weeks of pet food – the amount the shelter wants to keep on hand.
Monitor Photo/
Pearl Cantrell
AT LEFT: Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake worker Vanessa Osburn walks toward one of two sheds filled with dog food after a weekend television news story warned the shelter would have to start euthanizing more animals for lack of support.

Every weekend, volunteers carry a handful of their charges to PetCo in Mesquite, with the aim of adopting them out. The shelter also takes advantage of area events to showcase their adoptable charges.
This past weekend, they returned with almost the same number of pets they had taken.
However, since the news story and e-mail network carried the shelter’s crisis to willing hearts, about 25 animals have found new homes.
Shelter manager Krista McAnally said she couldn’t be absolutely sure how many animals the shelter had currently, since so many animals have been adopted out, but the average of 140 animals remains fairly constant.
Among those remaining in the shelter are 25 labrador puppies.
“If everyone would just spay or neuter their animals, we wouldn’t have this problem,” McAnally said. “We’d like to see the need for this shelter disappear.”
Until then, McAnally views her charges with compassion. “We see these guys like homeless people, and we have to take care of them,” she said.
In the past, Walmart has provided the bulk of the shelter’s pet food needs. However, changes in store policy and the economy has greatly reduced the shelter’s ability to rely on just the one source.
According to the shelter’s website, there are only four regular sponsors, including Walmart.
The shelter’s board of directors is reexamining the shelter’s budget, and making changes so it can purchase pet food in the future, McAnally said.
But even with those changes, the community will have to be more supportive of the shelter than it has been in the past, she said.
In addition to the adoptions and donations of dog food, the shelter has received 1,600 e-mails.
A sponsor out of Austin has set up a website to receive cash donations and to learn more about the needs of the shelter.
Regular donations of $10 a month will support examinations and vaccines for one animal. A donation of $30 a month helps provide food, and one-time gifts of $50 will pay to spay or neuter an animal. A wish list of items needed is also available on-line.
To learn more, go to on the web.
The shelter serves about 10 cities, whose support averages about $10 per animal. It also receives $1,083.33 a month from Henderson County. Other than that, the shelter solely relies upon donations and the labor of volunteers.
For now, no animal will have to be put down for lack of food, but how these homeless animals will fare in the future is up to all of us.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
A steady stream of dog food has been dropped off at the Humane Society of Cedar
Creek Lake in Tool, after a television news story over the weekend about the shelter’s
choices of either euthanization or letting animals starve due to shortfalls in donations.
As of Tuesday, the shelter had gained about 8,000 pounds of dog food. It’s goal is to
keep six weeks supply, or four tons, on hand.

Kaufman DA out on bond
Rick Harrison charged with DWI
Monitor Staff Reports

KAUFMAN–Kaufman County district attorney Rick Harrison is back at work following an arrest last Thursday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Harrison was stopped following a two-car non-injury accident in the 2200 block of Old Seagoville Road shortly after midnight June 18.
He posted bond a few hours after his arrest.
Harrison told The Kaufman Herald Friday, “I plan to address this issue directly,” declining any further comment.
According to an initial investigation, police found that Harrison had been driving on the wrong side of a divided roadway when he struck a car that was turning onto Seagoville Road from a side street.
No one was seriously injured in the accident.
A news release from the City of Seagoville stated Harrison exhibited signs of intoxication and was arrested for investigation of DWI.
Harrison refused all breath and blood testing, the release noted.
Harrison was later charged with Driving While Intoxicated with a previous conviction in Dallas County, a Class A misdemeanor.
The previous conviction came 14 years ago, in December, 1994, when he was working as an assistant district attorney in Dallas County. Harrison had been an assistant DA for five years before the arrest prompted his resignation.

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