Sunday, September 16, 2007







Escapee shoots self
Family violence call leads to manhunt and suicide
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.
Justin Taylor Boswell 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 joined in.
Two deputies were hurt, one with a broken hand and another with a bloody lip.
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, McWilliams said.
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, McWilliams said.
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 said.
Boswell was still wearing the separated cuffs and shackles when officers found him.
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, McWilliams said.
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

Richard Arnold
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 termination.
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 the meeting.
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 later.
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 increase.
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 said.
“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 explained.
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 expenses.
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 employees.
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.