Sunday, November 16, 2008




  Stabbing victim dies
Cherokee Shores suspect booked on murder charge; $1million bond set
Monitor Staff Reports

ATHENS–A Cherokee Shores man is in jail facing a murder charge Monday in connection with the stabbing death of 41-year-old Jerry Jason Huff.
East Texas Medical Center-Tyler informed the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department Monday that Huff, who had suffered a wound to the stomach Nov. 1, had died from his injury.
Lt. Pat McWilliams said Donnie Ray Westbrook surrendered peacefully to authorities on a warrant charging him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
A $1 million bond was set on Westbrook Wednesday.
When deputy Mitch Baker arrived at the scene on Huntoon Trail shortly after receiving the call at 10:35 p.m. Nov. 1, he found Huff lying in the street.
Huff said he had ridden a bicycle up to the Westbrook residence.
“Huff claimed he had been stabbed in the stomach with a butcher knife,” McWilliams reported.
The suspect’s son was also at the residence and said Huff had been “mouthing off,” McWilliams reported.
Huff was moved by ambulance to a helipad, where he was airlifted to Tyler.
McWilliams said it was difficult to determine exactly what happened in the incident from witnesses present the night of the stabbing.

Gunshot victim ID’d as Garland man
Monitor Staff Reports
SEVEN POINTS–Investigators have discovered the identity of a man found dead in the backyard of a burning house near Seven Points Nov. 7.
The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department has identified the victim of a gunshot as Robert David Mathews, 40, of Garland.
Texas Rangers are not guessing on what may have prompted the slaying.
Mathews’ body was found when a passerby returning from a football game reported a fire at a home in Aley, west of Seven Points, around 10:30 p.m. Nov. 7.
When Seven Points firefighters moved to the backyard to quench a fire on a fence, the body was found.
The body was pronounced dead and sent to Dallas for autopsy.
Authorities are still unable to positively identify the skeletal remains found in a wooded area near Moore Station, just north of the Flat Creek Bridge in the Antioch community.
Investigators suspect the remains are of a suicide victim, who is the registered owner of a vehicle parked about 250 yards away from the remains.

GBC man charged in fatal wreck
Monitor Staff Reports
BROWNSBORO–A man from Gun Barrel City is being held on charges of intoxicated vehicular manslaughter in connection with the death of a Brownsboro man Monday.
Shawn Upchurch, 35, was booked into the Henderson County Jail Monday and is being held on a $1 million bond. Upchurch also faces a sexual assault charge from earlier in the year.
According to a Department of Public Safety accident report, Horton Bunch, 74, had pulled his 1995 GMC pickup over to the west side of Farm-to-Market 3204 about a mile outside of Brownsboro and had opened his door and stepped out when Bunch, also traveling west on the same road, also went off the roadway and struck Bunch at about 1:30 p.m.
Upchurch had veered off the road in his 2004 Chrysler Sebring when he struck Bunch.
A Tyler newspaper report said Bunch family members reported the truck had been experiencing mechanical problems as a reason for Bunch having stopped and gotten out of his car.
Troopers report the road was wet at the time of the crash from mid-day showers that had moved through the area.
Henderson County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Sue Starnes pronounced Bunch dead at the scene. Upchurch was not seriously injured.
Bunch’s dead adds to the series of recent fatalities recorded near Brownsboro in recent weeks.
On Nov. 8, Brownsboro High School student Sean Michael Sullivan, 16, was killed on C.R. 3800 when his pickup hit a tree.
On Oct. 13, two other Brownsboro students were killed Aaron Cummings, 16, and his 14-year-old brother Nicholas died in a wreck on FM 314 inside the city limits while on their way to school.
On Oct. 18 two motorcyclists from Palestine were killed when they were struck by a car at the intersection of FM 314 and 315. Gwen and James Stewart, both 63, were biking from Palestine to Edom with two others on motorcycle.
In August, Shane Alan Walker, 18, was struck and killed on U.S. Highway 175 near La Poynor ISD. Authorities are still looking for the vehicle that struck him.
In February, Berryville minister, Shane Morgan, 34, and his daughter Kaylee Elizabeth, 12, were killed in a head-on collision on FM 317.

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