On Monday, May 16 a report was made to the Woodville Police Department that a verbal disturbance was occurring between two men at a residence on the 500th Block of Cobb Mill road.
According to Captain Mike McCulley of the Woodville Police Department, Sergeant Hicks arrived at the residence and made contact with a male subject that stated he was threatened by another male with a gun.
"Officers located the suspect, identified as Lynn Thomas Hunter, age 29, of Woodville standing across the street but could not locate a weapon, and after he was interviewed he was later released," McCulley said. "Further investigation concluded that the victim was approached by Hunter regarding retrieving his sons backpack."
After a discussion about the backpack, Hunter became angry and retrieved the backpack from a vehicle parked nearby, and then retrieved a pistol from it and began to threaten the victim with it.
"The victim stated that once he called the police, Hunter left the scene with the backpack and the pistol," McCulley said. "This story corroborated by several witnesses."
Officers later recovered the backpack and inside of the backpack found a 9mm semi automatic handgun along with several drugs and drug related items.
Officers later obtained two warrants of arrest for Hunter, charging him with Deadly Conduct and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a felon.
These warrants are currently outstanding as Hunter has not been located. If you have any information as to the whereabouts of Lynn Thomas Hunter, please contact the Woodville Police Department at 283-5262. Your information and identity can be kept completely anonymous.
On Wednesday, May 18 at approximately 1:30 a.m., Tyler County Deputies received a call reporting that someone shot a firearm at a residence on County Road 4950, located in the South End of Tyler County in the Fred area.
According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, a deputy was able to locate a vehicle matching the description of the suspected shooter's vehicle on FM 92. The deputy attempted to stop the suspect vehicle with the use of emergency lights and siren but the vehicle refused to stop.
"The suspect vehicle continued to travel on FM 92 at a high rate of speed, again continuing to refuse to stop for the deputy," Weatherford said. "The fleeing suspect vehicle turned onto County Road 4700 and continued at a high rate of speed. Then, the suspect vehicle attempted to turn onto County Road 4726, where the driver lost control and slid into a ditch."
The driver then regained control and traveled down County Road 4726, turning into a residence driveway. As the vehicle slowed, the Deputy observed a white male flee on foot into the woods. The vehicle then stopped behind a residence and as the Deputy approached the driver, later identified as Reuben Anderson, age 24 of Fred, he attempted to run over the deputy. "The Deputy fired one-round from his duty weapon, striking Anderson in the leg," Weatherford said. "Anderson Was flown to a Beaumont hospital with non-life threatening injuries."
As with all officer involved shootings, the Texas Rangers are investigating.
Later in the afternoon, deputies were able to locate and identify a man believed to be the one that fled on foot from the suspect vehicle. Tyler County Deputies and Texas Rangers continue to investigate with possible charges pending. Reuben Anderson is currently in the Tyler County Jail charged with Aggravated Assault Against a Public Servant and Evading Arrest with a Vehicle.
Letha Wesfall is escorted into court in Woodville Tuesday where she pled guilty to Engaging Organized Criminal Activity. She was sentenced to life in prison. (Emily Waldrep Photo)
by Emily Waldrep
On May 24, Letha Westfall was brought to the Tyler County Courthouse by Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford to enter a plea agreement in the January 18, 2014 murder of Nathan and Krystal Maddox. Nathan and Krystal were shot in the parking lot of Mt. Caramel Baptist Church in Colmesneil following a supervised visitation with Nathan's five-year-old daughter.
Letha Westfall pled guilty to the charge of Engaging Organized Criminal Activity and was sentenced to life in prison. Members of Nathan and Crystal's family filled the emotional court room as the charge was handed down, and were allowed to make victim statements following the charge. Westfall sat emotionless as the statements were being made.
"Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for someone else to die," said Jim Maddox, Nathan Maddox's father to Letha. "I forgive you, but I am not God. Our family will never be the same but we pick up the pieces and we move forward. Some days are easier than others. But because of this, so many lives have changed."
Nathan's mother, Kelli Haggard also made a statement to Letha. "I relive that day every single day of my life, and I can only hope that you live a very, very long life and that this haunts you like it haunts me every time I take a breath." As part of the plea bargain, Letha Westfall will be required to be a cooperative witness in the trials of Paul, Kristen or Cameron Westfall at a later date if they occur.
The Tyler County Booster will continue to closely follow this story as other members of the family ultimately get their day in court.
Be sure to follow continuing coverage of this story, and others, at www.tylercountybooster.com.
Andrew "AJ" Linscomb arrives at Tyler County Justice Center following his arrest Friday for the murder of Tonia Linscomb March 14. (Jim Powers Photo)
by Emily Waldrep
Andrew "AJ" Linscomb was arrested at a Houston hospital Friday in the March 14, 2016 shooting death of Tonia Linscomb. The shooting took place on County Road 3240, east of Colmesneil.
At approximately 8:30 a.m on March 14, the Tyler County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call with a male caller stating that he had shot his wife and himself.
According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, once on scene at the residence, Deputies observed an infant baby in the open front door area of the residence. The infant appeared to be unharmed. During a search of the residence Deputies discovered a white female, identified as Tonia Linscomb, and a white male, Andrew Linscomb, both with apparent gunshot wounds. Andrew was transferred by Air Ambulance to a hospital in Beaumont. Mrs. Linscomb was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford.
"Numerous evidence items, including a 9mm handgun, were collected at the scene by Investigators from the Tyler County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Rangers," Weatherford said.
Tonia age 39, and Andrew age 41, were husband and wife, residents of Colmesneil. The infant baby was their Grandchild, which was returned to the Mother unharmed.
On Friday, May 6, 2016, at approximately 1:15pm, Tyler County Sheriff's Office Investigators arrested Andrew "AJ" Linscomb at a Houston hospital on a Murder Warrant.
"Linscomb has been in the Houston hospital since March 14, 2016 following a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Weatherford said. "Investigators believe on that date, Linscomb killed his wife, Tonia Linscomb, and then turned the gun on himself."
Linscomb was transported to the Tyler County Justice Center where he was booked into the jail, charged with Murder.
Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford set Linscomb's bond at $1.5 million.
Voters in Woodville soundly defeated a proposed bond in voting Saturday that would have provided $30 million dollars to finance a new high school, and renovations on Middle school, Elementary and Intermediate campuses.
The bond issue brought out crowds to a series of public hearings, with voters concerned that the public had not been involved soon enough in the process, and that the District was not specific enough about how the money would be spent.
April 28, 2016—Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette has issued the following statement:
The recent storm of April 27, 2016 has left downed trees and debris scattered throughout its path. This is reminiscent of the aftermath of hurricanes Rita and Ike. Those were both federally declared disasters, providing counties with clean-up funds. It appears unlikely this event will qualify for those funds. The damages to property owners and power companies versus public facilities are the reasons. Citizens in the unincorporated areas of the County should plan to dispose of their own debris from their properties. Residents living within the city limits of Woodville are provided debris clean-up as part of their city services.
Commissioners have observed many property owners placing debris adjacent to county roadways. Without federal funding, county funds will be spent on repairing damaged roads. Commissioners want citizens to understand the difference between this storm and previous federally funded storms. Should this disaster status change, we will alert you as soon as it becomes known. As always, your understanding and compliance allow your tax dollars to be directed to essential infrastructure needs.