Traffic violation lands two men in jail for possession, felony warrants

by Emily Waldrep

Two Tyler County men were placed under arrest for the possession of drugs and felony warrants after a deputy made a simple traffic stop on a vehicle in Colmesneil.

According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, a deputy was patrolling FM 3065 in the Colmesneil area when he observed a black truck turning off of FM 3065 that committed a traffic violation and made a traffic stop on the vehicle. When he made the stop, he noticed the truck was being followed by a silver Kia SUV that stopped with the black pickup truck.

Deputies identified the driver of the truck as Dustin Wayne Ross. Ross's license were expired since 2008 and he was unable to provide any insurance on the vehicle. Deputies asked Ross who was following him, and Ross told him that they were just driving around looking for a place to talk.

At that time, Ross was placed into custody for driving without a valid drivers license and failure to maintain financial responssibilty.

The passenger in the silver SUV was identified as Kaylyn Lynn Grimes, AGE, showed he had warrants in Tyler County for burglary and was placed under arrest for those warrants.

According to Weatherford, both Ross and Grimes were transported to Tyler County Jail, and once they arrived they were informed that Ross may have thrown some methamphetamines out his window before or during the traffic stop. Deputies returned to the area and were able to locate a cigareete package with a clear bag inside that appeared the contain methamphetamines. All evidence was collected and was brought back to the office, where it tested positive for methamphetamine.

Ross was questioned about the methamphetamine and admitted that his fingerprints would be on the methamphetamine bag and the cigarette package and admitted that the package did in fact contain methamphetamines. He also told deputies that he was going down the road to use the methamphetamines, but that they didn't belong to him.

The magistrate reviewed the case and issued a warrant for Ross for Possession of a Controlled Substance, State Jail Felony.

Ross and Grimes and presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Elected County Officals Sworn In

County Officials sworn in

Elected County Officals Sworn In—With another County election over, a swearing in ceremony was held Friday, January 2, in the District Courtroom of the Tyler County Courthouse. Newly elected, and re-elected, county officials took the oath of office during the ceremony, many accompanied by family members. Back row L-R: Milton Powers, Justice of the Peace Pct. 3; Jim Moore, Justice of the Peace Pct. 4; Sue Saunders, County Treasurer; Jack Walston, Commissioner Pct. 4; Donece Gregory, County Clerk; Rusty Hughes, Commissioner Pct. 2; Jackie Skinner, County Auditor; Trisher Ford, Justice of the Peace Pct. 1; Greg Dawson, Justice of the Peace Pct. 2. Front row L-R: Lou Ann Cloy, Criminal District Attorney; DeLinda Gibbs Walker, District Judge; Jacque Blanchette, Tyler County Judge; Earl Stover, 88th District Judge; and Chyrl Pounds, District Clerk.

Man arrested for assault after fight in car

by Emily Waldrep

A man was placed under arrest for assault after someone reported seeing a woman crying and banging on the window of a car in Spurger and reported it to a nearby deputy.

According to Chief Deputy Phil Ryan, on January 1, a deputy was parked at the Exxon gas station in Spurger and noticed a gold colored passenger car with a defective headlight pull out of the parking lot and head south on HWY 92 towards Fred. Occupants from another vehicle in the parking lot approached the deputy shortly after the car left and informed him that a female was in the back seat of the gold car, beating on the window and screaming and crying.
The deputy left the parking lot, located the vehicle and make a traffic stop.

According to Ryan, the deputy saw a white female in the back and a white male in the drivers seat. He could tell the female was upset, and ordered the driver to exit the vehicle while explaining the reason for the traffic stop. The driver was identified as Collin Ray Wheeler, age 31. Wheeler had an expired and suspended drivers license.

Wheeler refused to tell deputies what was going on.

The female in the back seat was identified as Bonnie Camille Wheeler, age 29. She stated that everything was okay, but as she was speaking pulled down her scarf and marks could be seen on her neck, as well as a bruised eye, and clumps of hair on her sweater, according to Ryan. She told deputies that "he did this to me."

Deputies could detect an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the driver, so Wheeler was detained.

According to Bonnie Wheeler's statement, she had been assaulted while going down the road and that she was beating on the window and screaming hoping to get someone's attention so she would get help, Ryan said.

When re-interviewed, Collin Wheeler denied an altercation took place.

Collin Wheeler was taken into custody for Driving While License Invalid and Assault Family Violence, which is a third degree felony.

Wheeler is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Chamber of Commerce awards banquet Feb. 3 in Woodville

The Tyler County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the date for the annual Chamber Banquet. This year the banquet will be February 3, 2014 at the First Baptist Church, Woodville beginning at 6:00 p.m. The event will have a different feel from banquets in the past with a "Dinner Theater" feel. This year the Emporium of the Arts will be providing the entertainment with a excerpt from the play, Adam and Eve as well as having local artists from The Art Gallery on display. The play and art display will be taking the place of the guest speaker. This year the Chamber Board is hoping to give back to our members by giving them a banquet that truly celebrates business and entertainment in Tyler County,

Another change to the banquet the Chamber Board has adopted is the addition of a few more award categories. Awards such as Newcomer of the Year, Small Business of the Year and Hometown Hero will be given as well as the traditional Business of the Year and Citizen of the Year. This change is an attempt to recognize a few more outstanding Tyler County Citizens.

The meal for the evening will be catered by J-Bo's Smokin Ace's Catering. Tickets for the event will be $25 per person. Businesses will have the opportunity to purchase "table" seating for a table for eight at $175. For more information, please contact the Tyler County Chamber of Commerce at 283-2632. Tickets can be purchased from the Chamber office beginning January 12.

Man who molested 12 year old sentenced to 10 years in TDCJ

by Emily Waldrep

David Allen Price, age 19, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being arrested for the sexual assault of a child in February and March of 2013. Price was 18 years old at time of the offense.

According to reports, Officers with the Woodville Police Department were tipped off that a 12 year old victim may have been abused by Price. After an investigation, the 12 year old was interviewed and a statement obtained stating that on six or seven occasions the defendant allegedly engaged in sexual contact with the 12 year old victim at a location in Woodville.

According to Captain Mike McCulley with the Woodville Police Department, allegations claimed that Price lured the 12 year old to a location and on each occasion Price engaged in sexual contact with the 12 year old.

"After interviewing Price, he admitted that the allegations were true," McCulley said.
Price was arrested and charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child and held in the Tyler County Jail under a half-million dollar bond.

Price finally faced Judge Stover on December 19, 2014, and according to Assistant Criminal District Attorney Eric Hillman, Price accepted a plea bargain of 10 years in TDCJ.

"When we look at all the victims in all of Tyler County, we want to protect the children the most," Hillman said. "We hoped to settle with a plea bargain so that the victim would not have to be brought in and traumatized further by recounting the evidence in court."

Price will not be eligible for parole until he serves half of the 10 year sentence, and possibly will never be eligible for parole.

"He will be monitored by law enforcement for the rest of his life and will have to register as a sex offender for life," Hillman said.

According to Hillman, by accepting the plea bargain the young victim in the case would not have to go to trail and be further traumatized.

"Our office is committed, above all, to protecting children and their vulnerability," Hillman said.