Escapee shoots self
Family violence call leads to manhunt and
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–Texas Rangers are investigating how 21-year Justin Taylor Boswell
was able to drive off with a police car while handcuffed and shackled,
later killing himself with a shotgun he took from the police vehicle.
Henderson County Sheriff’s deputies had responded to a family violence
call around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at a home in the Crescent Oaks subdivision
on State Highway 31 between Athens and Malakoff.
||James Aaron Boswell
Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Pat McWilliams said
Boswell had beaten up his mother.
Boswell began fighting with deputies when they tried to arrest him.
His older brother James Aaron Boswell, 28, arrived during the fight and
Two deputies were hurt, one with a broken hand and another with a bloody
Officers secured Justin Boswell with handcuffs behind his back and
shackles on his feet before putting him into the back seat of a police
cruiser, McWilliams said.
Somehow he managed to pull his hands underneath himself to the front,
He then broke through a Plexiglas divider and crawled into the front
seat of Deputy John Daniels’ patrol car, which was running at the time.
Officers’ attention was diverted to subduing his brother James Aaron
Boswell, 28, who was fighting with deputies at the time.
It was about 3 p.m. when Daniels’ patrol car sped from the scene,
Boswell was quickly pursued, but escaped down County Road 1500, about
five miles west of Athens.
Backup officers from the Department of Public Safety, Athens Police
Department and Texas Department of Corrections assisted in the search.
At about 3:50 p.m. Athens police discovered a set of red and blue
emergency lights and a damaged aluminum gate on C.R. 1500.
The abandoned cruiser was found in a wooded area.
An inventory of the car’s weapons confirmed the deputy’s 12-gauge
shotgun was missing, McWilliams said.
A rifle and a shotgun had been on the front passenger side. More guns
were in the trunk.
Boswell was not located until nearly three hours later, when he was seen
trying to break into another police vehicle.
When officers ordered Boswell to drop his weapon, Boswell turned it on
himself, shooting himself under the chin.
At some point during the manhunt, Boswell had used the gun to shoot
apart the leg shackles and handcuffs, McWilliams deduced.
Boswell was barefoot and probably used his toes to pull the trigger, he
Boswell was still wearing the separated cuffs and shackles when officers
Boswell was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was transported
for autopsy in Dallas.
Boswell had a criminal history with numerous drug and family violence
charges. Most recently, he was charged with assault charges in May,
Boswell’s brother James was released after posting $37,500 in bonds on
charges of interfering with public duties, resisting arrest and assault
on a public servant.
Council cans police chief
Retirement letter greeted with termination
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–In a letter dated Aug. 31 and turned in Friday to Kemp City
Administrator James Stroman, Police Chief Richard Arnold submitted a
letter advising his intention to retire Tuesday, Sept.30.
Tuesday, the letter was included in the packet council members receive
prior to a meeting.
Arnold stated in his letter, the decision was hard to reach as he has
been extremely happy “working with you (Stroman) the personnel of the
Kemp Police Department and the city staff”.
Also, he said state TMRS (Texas Municipal Retirement System) regulations
require retirements be effective the last day of the month for the
purpose of receiving benefits.
Arnold suffered a heart attack while on duty in January. He was hired by
the city in June, 1998, and named police chief Nov. 14, 2000.
Following a 30-minute closed session, councilwoman Barbara McFaul made a
motion to terminate the police chief. The council approved the
Arnold is the third officer to leave the city of Kemp’s employment in
the last several months.
Steve Lambert and Kenneth Otterline were among both obtained employment
with other local entities.
Stroman said the city has reduced its five-man duty schedule to a
four-man schedule, with three officers currently filling the roster.
Mayor Billy Teel was appointed interim police chief for administration
purposes. Attorney Terry Welch said the mayor will not have the
authority to carry a firearm.
In other business, council members:
• approved proposed water and sewer upgrades for the Economic
Development Corporation for the Sonic project.
Sonic developers estimate they will be open for business sometime around
the first week in January, 2008, depending on weather conditions, EDC
president Jody Deller said.
• postponed a public hearing concerning the fiscal year 2008 budget and
the tax rate for FY 2008 until 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20.
The meetings had previously been set for 6 p.m. the same day, but
Shirley McSpadden challenged the time, saying she did not believe that
was sufficient time for citizens who worked in the Metroplex to get to
McFaul challenged the budget, saying she had not seen the figures and
wanted to have a line-by-line item review by all the council.
The proposed FY 2008 budget is a balanced budget totaling approximately
$940,000, down from the $1 million budget for FY 2007, Stroman said
There was a difference in amounts and numbers from the first workshop
and that fact was unsettling, McFaul said.
“I’m going to be honest. I resent this,” she said.
The proposed tax rate for FY 2008 is 80.79 cents per $100 valuation,
down from 82.54 cents per $100.
• postponed a public hearing regarding a 3 percent water-only rate
The item was again challenged by McFaul, who demanded to know where the
figures came from.
“The water bill hadn’t been raised in five years when I got here. We
were having to borrow money from the general fund to pay bills,” Stroman
“I’m not saying we don’t need the money,” she said.
Then facing the packed meeting room she added, “We need to tell you,
Tony (Jenkins - maintenance director) and his people have been working
like dogs (on streets, water and sewer and other responsibilities).”
The city doesn’t have the $20,000 necessary to match a $273,000 matching
grant that will allow the city to replace the water line on 9th Street
and the repaving of the street following construction, Stroman
The proposed water and sewer budget for FY 2008 is $709,425.
• accepted the FY 2008 EDC budget as presented.
• reappointed EDC board members Jody Deller, Dorothy Locklin, Donna
Allen and Chuck Riley through October, 2009.
• tabled the Lonesome Creek Phase 1 final plat.
City discusses FY ’08 budget
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–Mabank City Council members discussed proposed fiscal year (FY)
2008 budgets for the general fund and water/sewer fund Tuesday.
As proposed, the FY 2008 budgets are based on a tax rate of 43.78 cents
per $100 valuation.
That’s higher than last year’s 41.55-cent rate, but far less than the
rollback rate of 44.71 cents per $100 valuation, city administrator
Louann Confer told the council.
The proposed FY 2008 general fund revenue totals just under $2.4
million, approximately $232,000 more than the $2.387 million in
As proposed, the water/sewer fund proposes $4.1 million in expenses,
with more than $7.6 million in revenues, which includes approximately
$4.6 million from a bond issue approved by the council last month.
During Tuesday’s public hearing, council members discussed employee pay
increases, and heard health insurance premiums would be going up for
A second public hearing on the budget is scheduled for noon Thursday,
Sept. 20, with another special meeting planned for noon Wednesday, Sept.
26, to set the tax rate.