Thursday, November 5, 2009








Kaufman jury gives life in prison
Career wife beater gets two life sentences for a
Valentine’s weekend rape, kidnapping

Monitor Staff Reports

KAUFMAN–A 37-year-old Dallas County man was sentenced to life in prison for the Feb. 14 kidnapping, rape and brutal beating of his girlfriend.
Christian Andress Ojeda was found guilty in 422nd District Court on charges of
• aggravated kidnapping,
• two counts of aggravated sexual assault,
• aggravated assault and
• aggravated family violence.
The verdict and sentencing occurred Oct. 28.
A Kaufman County jury sentenced Ojeda to 99 years in prison on each of the first three charges and gave life sentences on the other two, a press release from Kaufman County District Attorney Rick Harrison stated.
The charges stem from an ordeal that occurred over the Valentine’s Day weekend, where Ojeda beat and held his 29-year-old girlfriend against her will, first at an Abner Baptist Church parsonage, where the couple was living, and later at a burned-out trailer house, which had been their former home, where he physically and verbally abused her, as well as raped her twice.
“This didn’t happen for three minutes. It didn’t happen for three hours. It lasted for three days,” Harrison told jurors in his closing arguments. “Everyone, from the deputies who responded, to the nurses who examined her, called this the worst beating they had ever seen, and it happened right here in your county.”
During the punishment phase of the trial, Harrison and assistant district attorney Brandi Fernandez portrayed Ojeda as a career wife beater with a criminal history of 12 prior convictions stretching back to 1994, with eight different assault charges.
“He’s rung the bell on every assault charge in the penal code. This man is a classic abuser of women. Nobody deserves what this woman went through,” Harrison said.
At the trial’s conclusion, Harrison commended jurors for their decision.
“This was a violent man with sociopathic tendencies, who was a danger to anybody in Kaufman County. He was a con man who used religion to fool people. I’m glad the jury saw through his testimony at punishment,” Harrison said.


Ron Shields dies
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Former Henderson County Deputy Sheriff Ron Shields, a man motivated to preserve the future by looking out for the abused children of Henderson County, has died.
Visitation has been set for 5-7 p.m. Thursday (today) at the Carroll Lehr Funeral Home, 1910 East Highway 31 in Athens. A burial in his birthplace of Parsons, Kan., will follow Saturday, Nov. 7.
Shields leaves a legacy in the form of the hundreds of police officers he’s taught and children’s lives he’s saved that bodes well for the future.
He was truly one of the good guys.
Shields had recently retired after more than 20 years in law enforcement; the latest posting as the Brownsboro police chief.

AT LEFT: File courtesy photo
A younger Ron Shields holds his baby granddaughter, Laura Elizabeth Bishop.



He has, up until recently, taught police officers at the East Texas Police Academy in Athens, pouring into them all his experience and attention to detail.
“Law enforcement is all heart and soul. If you don’t have that, don’t waste your time,” Shields said to his police academy cadets.
“When I go to work, it’s like I have a little Ron Shields on my shoulder telling me what to do,” former student and Kaufman County deputy Teresa Ogburn told The Monitor.
“It’s because of the way he teachers and lives, and the words he uses. We just soak it up like a sponge,” Ogburn said. (She is the daughter-in-law of deputy Tony Ogburn, who was killed in the line of duty May 17, 2007.)
A 2008 Hope Award winner, Shields was honored at an April 5 celebration at the Cain Center, which showered him with gratitude and respect soon after he and a few close friends learned he was dying of cancer.
At that time, State Rep. Betty Brown presented a resolution approved by the 81st Texas Legislature commending Shields for “exemplifying the highest ideals of the law enforcement profession.”
Brown added, “His contributions to our country and our community are immeasurable, and I want him to know how much his service is appreciated.”
The Monitor also featured him in an April 5 article titled “Honoring a heart of compassion – Citizens rally in tribute to Ron Shields, a child’s defender.”
Shields is survived by his wife of 45 years, Lois, whom he described as the love of his life.

Payne Springs goes wet
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–An old adage was proven true in Tuesday’s election results.
“If at first you don’t succeed; try, try again.”
That’s just what proponents of allowing the sale of liquor in Payne Springs did.
This time – the third time – it was achieved without much fanfare or public comment at city hall meetings, and without noisy letters to the newspaper editor.
Just 114 city residents participated in this year’s liquor option election, with unofficial results putting the score at 66 for and 48 against.
It didn’t hurt that not many voters felt it worth getting out to the polls, when no one was running for office and the state was asking voters to consider 11 propositions.
The proposition was narrowly defeated Nov. 7, 2006, by 12 provisional votes counted after the unofficial count tallied a four-vote wet victory. A total of 140 voted in the ’06 election. It failed again in May, 2006.
Proponents regarded it as a revenue-raising issue.
“I don’t feel going we would have caused anyone to take up drinking, though it may have prevented some drunk driving,” then-mayor Michael McDonald told The Monitor.
McDonald expressed hope that with the passage of the liquor option, a grocery store may be tempted to open in Payne Springs.

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