updated 2:19 PM UTC, Oct 15, 2020

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  • Arrest connected with Key

    MUGSHOT Casey ReadMUGSHOT Casey Read

    By Chris Edwards
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    JASPER – Another arrest was recently made in connection with the case of Robert Edward Key, Jr., an escaped inmate who was taken into custody last week by the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office.

    Last week, Jasper Police Officers arrested Casey Rachelle Read, a 41-year-old Silsbee woman, in connection with Key. Investigators with TCSO were able to obtain information linking Read to Key, alleging that she hindered his apprehension, a third-degree felony charge.

    Key was arrested following a 22-day search involving multiple law enforcement agencies. He was found near the Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Angelina County, and according to Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, both his office and the Texas Rangers received information which led them to his whereabouts.

    During the search for Key, three other individuals from the Spurger and Fred area were arrested and charged with Hindering Apprehension after being linked to Key by TCSO investigators. When the arrests began, Weatherford said that warrants would be issued for more arrests in connection with the Key case, as they searched for him.

    Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford set Read’s bond at $7,000.

  • Colmesneil man arrested on sex abuse charge

    MUGSHOT Kenneth Duane DavisMUGSHOT: Kenneth Duane Davis

    By Chris Edwards
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    TRINITY COUNTY – A Colmesneil man was arrested by the Texas Rangers last week in Tyler County following an investigation in Trinity County.

    Kenneth Duane Davis, age 62, was taken into custody last Wednesday and booked into the Tyler County Jail. According to Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, Davis’s arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation by the Rangers, which resulted in a first-degree felony charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child. The indictment outlining the charge was handed down in Trinity County.

    Tyler County Pct. 1 Judge Trisher Ford set Davis’s bond at $300,000 and he was extradited to the Trinity County Jail in Groveton on Friday, Aug. 21. He later bonded out that afternoon.

    Davis is currently serving on the Colmesneil City Council and is up for re-election in the November general election, however he did not draw an opponent.

    A representative with the city said he had not turned in a resignation as of Friday. According to Texas Municipal League rules, a sitting councilmember can either resign his/her position in the event of a criminal investigation, or the city can take the official to court for a judge to decide the outcome. The third option depends on the outcome of a trial.

    If convicted, Davis faces a sentence of up to 99 years and a minimum of 25 in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

  • Ivanhoe man charged with assault

    Ivanhoe Assault 082720MUGSHOT: Rodney Barrientes

    By Chris Edwards
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    IVANHOE – An incident in Ivanhoe landed a man in jail on assault charges. Deputies with the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the area of Robinhood and Lakewood Drive on the morning of Saturday, August 15.  

    According to Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, a 911 caller was hiding in the woods, and the deputies were aware of the caller, and that the caller was hiding from her boyfriend who had assaulted her. 

    The deputies were able to locate several victims and witnesses who had been at the residence on Robinhood, where the incident took place. 

    Once they were on the scene, the deputies located the suspect, who they identified as 53-year-old Ivanhoe resident Rodney Barrientes. Barrientes was uncooperative with the deputies and appeared to be intoxicated. According to Weatherford, victims who were present told the deputies that the man had gotten drunk and became physically assaultive toward several individuals, and at one point during an altercation in the garage area, he went inside of the house and returned with a large kitchen knife. The victims and witnesses were able to flee to a nearby wooded area. 

    Barrientes was taken into custody and taken to the Tyler County Jail, where he was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and had his bond set at $30,000 by Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford. 

  • King addresses Whitetail Ridge

    Mike King 091020CALEB FORTENBERRY | TCB Sheriff candidate Michael King speaks at the White Tail Ridge Volunteer Fire Department.

    By Caleb Fortenberry
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    WOODVILLE – Michael King, who is running for Tyler County Sheriff as an independent, spoke at the White Tail Ridge Volunteer Fire Department meeting last Tuesday. King discussed his career qualifications and what he hopes to change for the county.

    King also made a point to hear what the crowd had to say. The volunteer fire department, which is practically a cornerstone of the White Tail Ridge community, currently consists of nine volunteers. After scheduling conflicts courtesy of Hurricane Laura, the turn out of the event was near 10 individuals from the area. As concerned citizens and community volunteers, they wanted to voice their opinions for a change in how the Sheriff’s Department is operating in Tyler County.

    “We want to see what he can do for us. We want somebody who can represent us,” said local Lois Dobson.

    The two major concerns for most of the county, according to King, is the drug issues and accessibility of law enforcement.

    When asked by recent Louisiana transplant, Scott Preston, “What are you going to do for us, if you were elected?” King replied with a list of actions he would take.

    “What I plan to do, is without any increase in revenue, any increase in man power, is re-balance and demonstrate the leadership capabilities that I have, and actually take the resources that are already there, and balance them out so that every precinct will have assigned deputies working it,” said King.

    He also stated within six to nine months he would have two duel K-9 units, for bite and drug enforcement. The purpose being, not only back up for the deputy, but also for probable cause for drugs or paraphernalia.

    Fire Chief Robert Hoffman inquired, “How available would you be to the public?” To which King responded, “To sit here and tell you I’m going to have an open-door policy, every politician is going to tell you that. But I’ll tell you as well, I’ll be out working the streets. Because I’m not going to put deputies out there asking them to do something, I’m not willing to do myself.”

    King explained, “I’ll have a cell phone. That cell phone will be put out. I’m going to revamp the Facebook page so no longer will it say ‘this is who was arrested’. It’s going to allow comments, it’s going to allow people to go on there and see what’s going on in the county.”

    In the name of fairness, the Booster reached out to Sheriff Bryan Weatherford to address some of the concerns raised at the meeting. “This is not an excuse, these are facts… with our county being 923 square miles, we are limited sometimes to the time restraints to respond to incidents, but incidents depending on the nature of the call,” said Weatherford.

    “If any individual is calling and needing to report say a theft of some sort, something that is not a crime against a person, an immediate danger if you will, some of those calls we have to prioritize, these calls that come in,” he said.

    According to Weatherford, the sheriff’s department receives over 5,000 calls that require a deputy to physically respond per year.

    Weatherford wanted to reassure the public that, “In an emergency situation, we’re there as fast and hard as we can get there… 911 calls take that priority and they’re going to deal with any immediate danger, threat, or the immediate of assistance of someone’s well-being.”

    Responding to the notion of non-availability, Weatherford explained, “My cell phone is public, I’m so easy to reach. I urge citizens not to let their frustrations their concerns add up, that they reach out directly to me… I know I can’t make everyone happy, but we do our best no matter whether you like us or don’t like us to provide you with the best service as possible.”

  • Search continues for escaped inmate

    Robert Key mugshotMUGSHOT: Robert Key

    By Chris Edwards
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    WOODVILLE – Several area law enforcement agencies are seeking an escaped inmate from the Tyler County Justice Center.

    The inmate, Robert Edward Key, Jr., age 42 of Silsbee, was reported as missing yesterday at 12 p.m. Jailers discovered that Key, who had trusty status, had walked off the grounds of the facility.

    According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, officials were able to locate Key’s orange inmate outfit in a wooded area near the jail. Pack dogs were called in from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Gib Lewis and Polunsky units but were unable to locate the inmate.

    At present, the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, Hardin County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers are searching for Key.

    Weatherford said that law enforcement is receiving and following up on “so many leads” in the search for Key. “We are still concentrating our efforts on south Tyler/north Hardin County area,” he said.

    Key is described as a white male, 5’11” and 170 lbs., with sandy-blonde hair and blue eyes. He has several tattoos, according to a Crime Stoppers bulletin. The names “Bailey” and “Brittany” appear on his left and right forearm, respectively; he has a bulldog on his right inner forearm and scripts on his left upper arm and right shoulder.

    He has been in custody at the Tyler County Justice Center since last October, where he was charged with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance. He is now charged, also, with felony escape.

    If you have any information regarding Key’s whereabouts, you can contact TCSO at 409-283-2172 or Crime Stoppers at 936-639-TIPS.

    Tipsters who submit information to the Crime Stoppers tipline that assist in locating Key could earn a cash reward. The entire process, from tip to reward, is handled without identifying the tipster.

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