Sunday, December 19, 2010


Youth shot during apparent break-in
Monitor Staff Reports
CHEROKEE SHORES–A juvenile male is reported to be in “stable” condition at a Tyler hospital with a gunshot wound after a man investigating an apparent break-in at a next-door vacation home shot at a group of intruders inside the residence.
At 3:52 a.m., the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 “burglary in progress” call from a Geronimo Street resident, who advised dispatchers he had been awakened by a loud noise coming from the empty vacation home next door.
The caller said as he was checking the neighbor’s house, he encountered a group of four suspects. The caller fired one shot from his rifle, and said he believed the shot struck one of the suspects.
Two minutes later, the HCSO received a second 911 call reporting a male subject with a gunshot wound was lying in the middle of the road.
Deputies John Long and Joseph Durr responded to the area, discovering the young white male was lying in the middle of Van Horn Street, close to the original call.
Lt. Bryan Tower, Maj. Botie Hillhouse and investigators Kalon Rollins and Wick Gabbard also responded to aid the deputies in the investigation, Sheriff Ray Nutt reported in a news release issued Tuesday.
The gunshot victim was stabilized at the scene and later airlifted from the Gun Barrel City emergency room to the East Texas Medical Center in Tyler.
“The gunshot victim and burglary suspect is known to be in stable condition and should recover,” Nutt reported.
Investigators confirmed the gunshot victim and three other suspects had forced their way into the vacation home, Nutt said.
No charges have been filed against the original caller in connection with the shooting, Nutt reported, adding no names could be released yet, since the investigation was ongoing.
“Upon the completion of the investigation, the case will be forwarded to the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office for review,” Nutt reported.


Church arsonists plead guilty
Monitor Staff Reports
TYLER–Wednesday morning, the two men accused to setting fire and burglarizing a number of churches in East Texas earlier this year, pleaded guilty in a Tyler courtroom.
Daniel George McAllister, 22, and Jason Robert Bourque, 20, the two men arrested in February for the arsons, signed a plea agreement with the Smith County District Attorney’s office.
Both pleaded guilty to all the charges they were indicted on and none of the charges were reduced or dropped.
Their sentencing is expected to come at a hearing scheduled for Jan. 10, 2011.
Smith County DA Matt Bingham recommends each defendant receive life sentences for the arson charges and a 20-year sentence for the attempted arson charges, the maximum each charge carries.


Man dies, plows into county dump trucks
HCbarnTruckWreck.jpg (263604 bytes)Monitor Photos/Kerry Yancey
Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Josh Jenkins (right) notes details about a Henderson County Precinct 2 dump truck as partner Scott Smith examines the truck’s smashed front end following a bizarre accident at the Henderson County Precinct 2 maintenance barn at noon Tuesday. Rural Athens resident Larry Hardgrave, 60, reportedly the pastor of the Rope, Catch & Ride for Christ Cowboy Church, was eastbound on U.S. Highway 175 in his Ford F-350 flatbed truck when he was stricken by a sudden illness. Hardgrave’s truck drifted across the westbound lanes and smashed into the gate of the Precinct 2 barn, destroying one truck, heavily damaging another and denting a third (see below). Hardgrave was unconscious at the scene and was pronounced dead at 1:56 p.m. at the East Texas Medical Center-Athens. Services for Hardgrave were set for 10 a.m. Saturday at his church, north of Mabank.

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