Thursday, October 29, 2009

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charges dropped
Former Caney City police chief sees warrants withdrawn
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–All charges made against former Caney City police chief Michael Meissner have been withdrawn or rejected by both Dallas and Tarrant counties.
Accusations were made against Meissner about a month ago by a former associate, who served with Meissner in Caney City four years ago.
Video clips of Meissner in handcuffs were televised on a WFAA newscast.
Local newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News and The Monitor, also picked up the story.
There were three charges in Dallas County that have been rejected for insufficient evidence. They included misuse of official information, engaging in organized crime and obstruction of justice/retaliation.
Meissner spent a week in jail without bail on these charges, all made by Combine reserve police officer John A. Hoskins.
The computer crimes chief for the District Attorney’s Office in Tarrant County said the warrants in that county were all withdrawn by Judge Louis Sturns of the 213th District Court.
The Tarrant County warrants had accused Meissner of attempted possession and promotion of child pornography, aggravated promotion of prostitution (both charges are third-degree felonies), and sexual performance by child and engaging in organized crime (both second-degree felonies).
These were withdrawn soon after they were issued.
However, that didn’t stop a televised report of Meissner in handcuffs being processed at the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office Sept. 14.
Kop Busters, an on-line video expose formed by former Austin drug enforcement officer Barry Cooper, was also called to witness the spectacle.
A search was also made of Meissner’s Arlington residence.
Meissner maintains that no formal inventory, other than a short list of six to seven items left on his coffee table, was ever done of the stuff that was taken from his residence, adding he is now missing family albums, football memorabilia and even rounds of police ammunition.
Meissner became acquainted with Hoskins when he offered to help him with some paperwork when Meissner was serving as police chief in Caney City, Meissner told The Monitor in 2007.
Subsequently, a website aiming to discredit Meissner was reportedly set up by Hoskins, who also contacted news reporters to look into Meissner’s employment record and education.
Meissner resigned as Caney City police chief in January, 2007, following televised reports saying he graduated from a police training program at an institution which was later found to be without creditation.
Those reports dubbed Meissner a “gypsy cop.”
The televised reports said Meissner traveled from town to town taking law enforcement jobs.
According to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE), by 2007, Meissner had 15 different postings in the past 18 years.
Hoskins had served in law enforcement for less than five years, and had at least 13 different postings, according to TCLEOSE records dated March 20, 2007. The longest of those was five months for the Saint Jo Police Department.
Hoskins reported in a Sept. 16 e-mail to The Monitor he has only been a paid officer for four police departments, making $8 an hour or less – adding he serves as a reserve officer near his residence when he has the time.
In a recent phone call, Hoskins declined to say what he did for a living.
In 2007, Meissner resigned from the Caney City Police Department after TCLEOSE began investigating him.
At that time, TCLEOSE issued two reprimands for Meissner for not reporting that he had been arrested in the past.
According to the TCLEOSE reprimand letters, Meissner was arrested on “April 7, 2005, for the offense of tampering with a witness, a state jail felony.” That case was dismissed.
TCLEOSE also reprimanded Meissner for not reporting an April 17, 2005, arrest “for the offense of impersonating a peace officer, a felony, and operation of security company without a license, a Class A misdemeanor.”
Both of those charges were no-billed by a grand jury and dismissed.

 

Heavy rains cause flooding
Six and a half inches so far and more on the way
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–As of Oct. 19, the Cedar Creek Lake area had a recorded rainfall total of 6.47 inches for the month, according to Tarrant Regional Water District office personnel at the lake spillway.
Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
Kaufman County Precinct 4 workers wait for barricades to close off County Road 1390 as water continues to rise from Monday’s heavy rains.

 

But heavy rains have continued to soak the area, keeping road and emergency crews busy, according to Kaufman County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Deller.
At presstime Tuesday, County Road 4011, north of Kemp, was still closed due to high water, as was CR 1390.
A small lake near Warsaw, right off Farm-to-Market 148, is well over its banks, flooding pastures, neighborhoods and roadways.
“My concern is that the earthen dam may be leaking, presenting an even greater danger,” Deller said.
“If it goes, a high wave of water will wash downstream, causing an even greater problem,” he said.
He took two men from his work crew and observed the dam.
All agreed it looked as if water might be coming from below the dam, he confirmed.
Heavy rains are forecast for the area through Friday morning.
With no place for the runoff to go, flooding is expecting to continue.
“Every dent and wrinkle in the ground is going to retain water,” Deller said.
Neighboring Henderson County Precinct 1 Commissioner Joe Hall reported road washouts and closures on Monday, especially in the Styx area, county roads 2100 and 2138 south.
Arnold Hills in Seven Points was pretty well flooded Monday, Hall said.
By Tuesday, all county roads in Precinct 1 were reopened, he added.
Mabank city streets supervisor Ronnie Tuttle said though everything is pretty well saturated, the roads and bridges are holding up.
On Wednesday morning, Tuttle said he expected traffic to switch over to the newly widened lanes on State Highway 198 (Third Street).

 

Kaufman man gets 45 years for murder
Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN–A Kaufman man was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 45 years in prison last week.
Oct. 22, a jury returned the guilty verdict against Roman Mendoza, convicting him of stabbing Juan Muro, also of Kaufman, during the night of Oct. 13, 2007.
The next morning, the jury handed down the 45-year prison sentence.
Muro’s body was found next to a house at 204 S. Monroe Street in Kaufman, following a night-long party that featured drinking and cocaine use. He had been stabbed nine times.
The defense contended Mendoza stabbed Muro in self-defense, but special prosecutor Bill Wirskye argued the number and placement of the stab wounds showed it to be cold-blooded, cocaine-induced murder.
“I’m here to tell you that nine stab wounds, three to the head, isn’t self-defense,” Wirskye told the jury. “The physical evidence shows that this was rage, not fear. The wounds on his body speak louder than Juan could if he were here.”
Wirskye was brought in at the request of Kaufman District Attorney Rick Harrison, because Mendoza’s younger brother was working as summer help in the DA’s office when the murder occurred.
During the trial, Wirskye praised the investigation of the Kaufman Police Department, the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department and DA chief investigator Tim Freeman.
“Freeman found the only eyewitness in Mexico, and somehow got him to come back here to testify,” Wirskye said. “Otherwise, we could not have proved the case.”
The trial was held before 422nd District Court Judge Mike Chitty.


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