by Emily Waldrep
On May 17 at approximately 6:30 a.m, Tyler County Deputy Brant Loechel conducted a traffic stop on Hwy 190 East in the Moss Hill area. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Edward Allen McKinney, age 48, of Santa Fe, Texas. According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, McKinney told deputies he had been arguing with a female passenger while they were on their way to Conroe. The deputy did not see a passenger with McKinney and there were no other occupants in the vehicle. It was discovered that the passenger had gotten out of the vehicle earlier and was walking on foot.
As deputies spoke with McKinney, a DPS Trooper in the area also arrived on scene. As conversation with McKinney continued, he fled from officers on foot into a wooded area.
"While officers were looking for McKinney, they checked around the New Shady Grove Baptist Church and on the outside of the building between the building and a storage shed, they located a white female identified as Tina Marie Davis, age 35, of Santa Fe, Texas," Weatherford said. "Once deputies spoke with Davis she identified McKinney as her husband."
A pat down search of Davis revealed a baggie containing a clear crystal like substance which tested positive for methamphetamine, Weatherford said. Davis was arrested for Possession of Controlled Substance, third degree felony.
Additional deputies arrived on scene and were unable to locate McKinney at that time. Deputies knew McKinney's identity and a computer check through the database revealed that McKinney had no outstanding warrants at that time.
McKinney's vehicle was towed from the scene and a warrant was issued for him for Evading Arrest and Detention.
Later that same afternoon in the Moss Hill area, Deputy Loechel received a call regarding a vehicle that was broken into just down from the church and several items were taken from the vehicle. Those items were later recovered in McKinney's vehicle that had been towed. An addition warrant was sought for Burglary of a Vehicle.
According to Weatherford, on May 18, the Tyler County Sheriff's Department received a call reporting that there was a male subject inside the New Shady Grove Baptist Church that did not belong there. The caller told dispatch that the male subject had left the church and was walking on US 190 toward Woodville. The description of the man given by the caller matched the description of McKinney.
At that time, Sheriff Bryan Weatherford and Deputy Loechel proceeded to the scene. When deputies arrived in the area they observed McKinney walking down the roadway and when McKinney saw the deputies unit, he immediately ran into the woods. Weatherford contacted the Department of Criminal Justice and requested assistance from their tracking dogs. Assistance was also received from the Woodville Police Department and Texas Game Wardens, Weatherford said.
Once the tracking dogs arrived on scene, they were released in an area where McKinney was last seen running into the woods and the dogs began to track McKinney. He was observed crossing County Road 4050 and continued to evade law enforcement officers as he was running west toward Woodville. He was seen again crossing County Road 4440. Officers were able to box McKinney in behind a residence on US 190 and he was handcuffed and taken into custody.
According to Weatherford, US 190 was shut down for a brief time to allow the dogs to work and to keep the public out of the area.
McKinney has been charged with two counts of Evading Arrest or Detention, Burglary of a Vehicle and Criminal Mischief of a Place of Worship, which is a state jail felony.
There are also charges pending against Davis.
Both Davis and McKinney are presumed innocent until proven guilty.