Sunday, September 9, 2007

     

 

 

 

 

  Man indicted in wild June police chase
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–A Eustace man who led authorities on a lengthy and violent chase that ended after police shot out his tires was indicted on 11 separate charges by the Henderson County Grand Jury Aug. 31.
Lavon Pierce Bonsal, 67, was arrested June 22 after reportedly leading Henderson County deputies and Gun Barrel City police officers on a wild chase along State Highway 334.
While weaving at high speed through Friday-afternoon traffic, Bonsal reportedly waved a handgun at pursuing officers, and collided head-on with a vehicle parked at a convenience store at the intersection of SH 334 and U.S. Highway 175 between Mabank and Eustace.
The chase, which reached speeds up to 80 mph, ended shortly after Deputy Sheriff Billy Jack Valentine shot out the tires of Bonsal’s 1984 Oldsmobile when Bonsal drove toward him while trying to flee the scene of the collision at the convenience store.
Bonsal lost control of his damaged vehicle and spun into a ditch when he tried to turn off U.S. 175 onto Henderson County Road 2922. At least nine officers were involved in the pursuit at that time, and quickly surrounded the vehicle.
During a search of the vehicle, a .380-caliber handgun and substances believed to be methamphetamine and marijuana were found.
Bonsal was indicted for Aggravated Assault Against Public Servant with a Deadly Weapon, plus a second indictment for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, with habitual criminal enhancements on both indictments.
Bonsal also was indicted on seven different drug-related charges – three Possession of a Controlled Substance, two Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, one Possession of a Prohibited Substance in a Correctional Facility and one for Possession of Marijuana – all with habitual criminal enhancements.
In addition, the grand jury indicted Bonsal for Evading Arrest with a Deadly Weapon and Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon, both with habitual criminal enhancements.
The indictments against Bonsal were among 60 True Bills returned by the grand jury during the Aug. 31 session, according to information released by District Attorney Donna R. Bennett.
Indictments also were returned against:
• Timothy Lee Mullins, w/m (white male), 46, from Chandler, indicted for Murder/Murder; also indicted for Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon (repeat offender enhancements on both indictments).
• Sharon Kay Perkins, w/f (white female), 49, from Mabank, indicted for Aggravated Kidnapping and for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (habitual criminal enhancement on both indictments).
• Charles Eric Morman, w/m, 20, from Malakoff, indicted for Aggravated Robbery; also indicted for Robbery.
• Zachary Aaron Morman, w/m, 17, from Eustace, indicted for Aggravated Robbery; also indicted for Robbery.
• Tracy Harris Coomer, w/m, 43, from Chandler, indicted for Failure to Register as Sex Offender; also indicted for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child; also indicted for Indecency with a Child by Contact/Indecency with a Child by Exposure (repeat offender enhancement on all three indictments).
• Cynthia Gail Shepard, w/f, 30, from Chandler, indicted for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child; also indicted for Indecency with a Child by Contact/Indecency with a Child by Exposure.
• Thomas Ray Morgan, w/m, 18, from Log Cabin, indicted for Aggravated Sexual Assault of Child/Indecency with a Child by Contact/Indecency with a Child by Contact/Indecency of Child by Exposure.
• Luis Rico, w/m, 29, from Murchison, indicted for Indecency with a Child by Contact/Indecency with a Child by Contact (two indictments).
• Natalie Ann Sayen, w/f, 35, from Mabank, indicted for Aggravated Robbery.
• Michael Madison Eudy, w/m, 26, from Mabank, indicted for Aggravated Robbery.
• Arhonda Deshawn Johnson, b/f (black female), 38, from Athens, indicted for Injury to Elderly.
• Gerardo Mendoza Romero, w/m, 35, from Athens, indicted for Assault on a Public Servant; also indicted for Driving While Intoxicated.
• Michael Ray Long, w/m, 48, from Gun Barrel City, indicted for Assault Family Violence with Prior Conviction.
• Charles Dewey Kelly, w/m, 28, from Malakoff, indicted for Retaliation (repeat offender enhancement); also indicted for Evading Arrest.
• Kenneth Wayne Vanderford, w/m, 37, from Buffalo, indicted for Driving While Intoxicated.
• Luis Carrillo, also known as Luis Rico, w/m, 39, from Athens, indicted for Driving While Intoxicated.
• Courtney Cicele Freeney, b/f, 22, from Athens, indicted for Burglary of a Building.
• Sammy Jean Page, w/m, 28, from Corsicana, indicted for Possession of a Controlled Substance.
• Kenneth Wayne Cearley, w/m, 40, from Fort Worth, indicted for Forgery by Possession; also indicted for Forgery by Passing/Forgery by Possession.
• David Lee Kraus, w/m, 51, from Euless, indicted for Forgery by Possession.
• John Henry Calloway, b/m (black male), 49, from Dallas, indicted for Forgery by Passing/Forgery by Possession.
• Teodoro Rios Correa, w/m, 56, from Athens, indicted for Driving While Intoxicated.
• Christie Lynn Hoggard, also known as Christie Lynn Iles, w/f, 39, from Gun Barrel City, indicted for Driving While Intoxicated (repeat offender enhancement).
• Sonja Hanks Rigsby, w/f, 47, from Palestine, indicted for Driving While Intoxicated.
• Fred Alexander Espinoza, w/f, 47, from Palestine, indicted for Burglary of a Habitation.
• Robert James Cooper, w/m, 57, from Log Cabin, indicted for Burglary of a Habitation (habitual criminal enhancement).
• Donna Louise Carroll, w/f, 48, from Mabank, indicted for Driving While Intoxicated.
• Lester Clayton Stacks, w/m, 46, from Chandler, indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance.
• Lacy Marie Bone, w/f, 17, from Athens, indicted for Possession of a Prohibited Substance in a Correctional Facility.
• Akil Kumuzu Williams, b/m, 42, from Talladega, Ala., indicted for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon (repeat offender enhancement).
• Jared Danel McCullough, b/m, 24, from Athens, indicted for Evading Arrest.
• James DeWayne Ellis, w/m, 23, from Kemp, indicted for Evading Arrest with a Deadly Weapon.
• Penny Lynn Holley, w/f, 38, from Raymond, Miss., indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver.
• Martin McKinney Harvey, w/m, 39 from Raymond, Miss., indicted for Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (repeat offender enhancement).
• Charity Lynn Miley, w/f, 27, from Tennessee Colony, indicted for Theft Over $1,500.
• Jackie Eugene Lynch, w/m, 50, from Mabank, indicted for Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (repeat offender enhancement).
• Joseph Zymore Thomas, b/m, 29, from Malakoff, indicted for Possession of a Controlled Substance with Two Prior State Jail Convictions.
• Kevin Todd, b/m, 22, from Malakoff, indicted for Possession of a Controlled Substance.
 

City fills council seat
Steakley fills Junell’s spot;
Mabank’s ISO rating improves by two points

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–The Mabank City Council unanimously named Shannon Steakley to fill an empty council seat Monday.
It also heard some good news from Fire Marshal John Holcomb about the city’s recent ISO inspection.
The city’s Public Protection Classification rating for its ability to suppress fires has dropped from a 6 to a 4, Holcomb said.
“Only 201 Texas cities have a better rating than Mabank,” Holcomb said.
ISO rates 45,000 fire districts on a scale from 1 to 10 – Class 1 represents exemplary public protection, and Class 10 doesn’t meet ISO’s minimum criteria.
When the new rating takes effect (pending final approval from the state), the owner of a house in Mabank valued at $100,000 will save about $50 a month on the fire portion of their home insurance policy, Holcomb said.
The ISO inspectors also gave Holcomb tips on how the city’s rating could be further improved.
“They’ve said they would come back and resurvey the city, once the Mabank Fire Station No. 2 is built and operating,” Holcomb added. “My goal is a 3 rating.”
Steakley was glad to hear of the city’s improved ability to suppress fires and prevent fire losses.
She, along with six others, ran for two at-large council seats in May’s city election.
She came in third, making her the people’s choice to be the next council member.
Judy Junell recently resigned her post, after moving outside the city.
The council returned to open meeting at 10:25 p.m. after nearly three hours in executive session to unanimously name Steakley to fill the vacancy.
“Are you ready for this?” Councilman Dennis Terry asked her.
“Do all the meetings go this late?” she queried back.
“I guess if there is important business and it requires a long discussion, that’s how it has to be,” Steakley later told The Monitor.
“I’m excited, and look forward to the opportunity,” Steakley added.
She’ll be sworn in at a special meeting Tuesday, Sept. 11, when the council is holding a budget hearing.
In a related move, the council named Terry as its nominee for the empty seat on the city’s Economic Development Corporation, also formerly held by Junell.
City Administrator Louann Confer briefed members on the proposed fiscal year (FY) 2008 budget and an upcoming $5.5 million bond issue.
She pointed out $3.5 million of the bond would go toward restructuring debt. Afterward, the council will have to designate a specific portion of the bond funds toward the general fund and another to water and sewer operations, she said.
Highlighted portions of the FY 2008 budget, which projects $7.1 million in expenditures for the general fund and about $6.4 million for the water and sewer fund, include:
• a 3 percent pay raise for city employees and increase to retirement program.
• $200,000 to purchase equipment and resurface remainder of city streets.
• the purchase of two police cars.
• the purchase of a fire truck (to be offset by the loan, not general funds).
The city expects to collect nearly $600,000 in property taxes, and has traditionally used 30 percent for debt service on the water/sewer side, she said.
Utilities Supervisor Ronnie Tuttle said water plant expansion plans are on hold “for now.”
He added these will have to become a priority when water usage crosses the 6.0 million gallons per day, expected four months from now.
 

Fator headlines at East Texas State Fair
Monitor Staff Reports
TYLER–Plans to open the 92nd East Texas State Fair in Tyler Sept. 20 are rolling along, with NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” winner Terry Fator headlining the event Sept. 24-26.
“Nashville Star” runner-up Casey Rivers will open all of Fator’s shows.
“I knew he was good, but he is really good,” fair general manager John Sykes said during a press conference this week. “I’ve seen him a few times, and I laughed with my face burning, because he is so funny.”
The fair runs Sept. 20-29 with general admission $6/$4. Kids 5 and under are free. Admission on Sept. 27 is reduced by $2, if entering with four canned foods for the East Texas Food Bank.
Carnival ride coupons are $1 each, or a book of 24 for $20 and a book of 50 for $40. Ride take three to five coupons each.
Unlimited carnival rides for those purchasing a $15 armband are set for Thursday and Friday, Sept. 20-21, and Thursday, Sept. 27.
Dollar Ride Day is Sunday, Sept. 23.
More than 200 rides, activities and booths are booked in the Harvey Convention Center as part of the fair and a number of interactive shows, including a NASA Interactive Constellation exhibit, Sept. 20-25; “Agri-World,” and a Royal White Tiger exhibit. A 9-week-old lion cub will join the tigers and be available for picture-taking.

9-11 survivor to speak in Kaufman
Special to the Monitor
KAUFMAN–Lt. Colonel Brian Birdwell, survivor of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, will tell his dramatic story of the event.
Birdwell will be the main speaker at a function set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Kaufman High School cafetorium.
Birdwell will recount the nightmare of his survival, his trials and tribulations and the story of courage and hope.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Birdwell spoke to his co-workers, then stepped down the hall to the men’s restroom.
When he stepped out of the restroom, he was met with a wall of fire created from the crash of a hijacked 757 jet airliner flown by terrorists into the Pentagon.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door, and include dinner.
Everyone who wants to hear this well-told inspiring and miraculous story is invited. You won’t be disappointed.
For information, call Jody Deller at (903) 880-6770.