2-year-old found dead
in caregiver’s arms
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
TOOL–It’s the second time in the last two months that brutal slayings of
children have hit the front pages of local newspapers.
Early last month, a 6-year-old girl was found hung in the garage of her
Navarro Mills home.
This time, it hits closer to home.
A 2-year-old boy was discovered dead in a Royal Oaks trailer home
It was obvious to authorities that he suffered a great deal before he
The little boy’s caregiver at the time – Michael Whitman, 37 – has been
charged with capital murder and is in the Henderson County jail being
held on a half-a-million dollar bond.
He was reported to be the grandmother’s boyfriend. Whitman has a
criminal history dating back to 1994.
Tool assistant police chief Martha Decker released information Friday.
The Tool police responded to a 911 call around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.
When they arrived, Tina Smith, the boy’s grandmother, met authorities
and indicated her grandson was deceased in the house.
The boy’s mother, Tamara Overturf, was outside the front door, visibly
When Decker entered the house, she found Whitman holding the dead child.
Overturf became distraught to the point of having seizures, and Decker
called for an ambulance and back-up.
The child, who authorities have not identified, but who has been
reported to be called Malaki, had bruises, contusions and ligature
Official cause of death will not be known until Southwestern Institute
for Forensic Medicine in Dallas completes an autopsy.
Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Dale Blaylock pronounced the child dead
at the East Texas Medical Center in Gun Barrel City that night.
Overturf, was taken by ambulance to ETMC-Athens, where she was admitted
into intensive care.
His father was identified as Michael Dick.
One Dallas news organization quoted Dick as saying when he saw his son,
“he was blue from the neck up, as if he had been choked.”
No information was released as to the parents or grandmother’s
whereabouts on the evening in question.
A second child, belonging to Smith – a 9-year-old girl – was removed
from the home by Child Protective Services, while it conducts its
The Texas Rangers are investigating the murder case.
Heritage Cove: ‘We have
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–The final signature was affixed and the check paid to
hook up sewer service to the Heritage Cove project Friday.
“It started with the East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District, and
it’s ending with them,” Curtis Webster commented afterwards.
The ECCFWSD board unanimously agreed to supply service when the Economic
Development Corporation offered a $35,312.58 check to pay the impact
The fee compensates part of the cost of the ongoing wastewater treatment
plant expansion, and was calculated based on projected use by the
tenants of Heritage Cove.
The controversy started about a year ago, when members of the water
district board attended a meeting of the EDC and said that no one had
informed them of the project’s expectation for sewer service from the
“It’s good to get this project back on track, so we can go on to bigger
things,” Gun Barrel city manager Gerry Boren said.
In other business, directors:
• approved sewer installation for Josh Veach at 136 Marina Drive.
The decision followed a conference with legal counsel, who warned
directors to be careful about setting a precedent.
Veach’s property had been served by a gravity sewer system, which no
longer can be maintained, general manager Bill Goheen told directors.
However, someone had paid for the sewer tap in 1980, he added.
Further complicating the issue, was no easement was procured for the
laying of sewer lines to the property.
“I recommend we pay for the material to restore that connection,” Goheen
Veach has activated that account and has been paying since March of this
year, he added.
The cost to the district is estimated to be $3,500, Goheen said.
The plan calls for upgrading the system, getting an easement to serve
the two bordering properties in exchange, and digging a 240-foot trench
to the force main.
“I don’t believe it would set a general precedent,” director Harry
McCune said, and made a motion favoring approval.
The measure passed with one Carol Meyer opposed. She saw it as paying
for something the property owner should pay for.
• approved an outlay request for expenditures attributed to the 2007
Series Bond for the Brookshire Clarifier project to Lamarc totaling
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Steve Webster, representing the Gun Barrel City
Economic Development Corporation, hands a check
for $35,312.58 to East Cedar Creek Fresh Water
Supply District board president David Burch Friday.
Nurse Campbell? Oh my!
Monitor Photo/David Cason
Friends of the Animals Clinic volunteer
Joy Simmons gets a hug from warmhearted
“Nurse Glen-da Campbell, DVM” before
beginning the day’s spay and neuter surgeries
Tuesday in Gun Barrel City.