Local News

14-Year-Old Girl Burned in Nacogdoches County House Fire Dies

 A 14-year-old girl who suffered serious burns in a house fire on Andy Lane that killed two women has died as a result of her injuries.
James Russell, the assistant chief of the Central Heights Volunteer Fire Department, confirmed that Malerie Corman died over the weekend.
Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Directors will be arranging Malerie’s services.
Russell said that the State Fire Marshal’s Office has completed its on-scene investigation, and the results have been sent to the state lab in Austin.
The fire occurred at the home on Andy Lane in the early morning hours of Feb. 13.
According to a press release, the two women who died have been identified as Cecilia Watkins, 58, and Mary Bates, 61, both of Nacogdoches. Justice of the Peace Kerry Don Williamson ordered that autopsies be performed on both victims.
According to a press release from the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office, first responders were dispatched out to the home on Andy Lane shortly after 6 a.m. on Feb. 13. When NCSO deputies got to the scene, they saw that the front portion of the mobile home was on fire.
Fire crews from area fire departments arrived on the scene a short time later, and they breached a door on the side of the home. Firefighters and NCSO deputies found three people in a room and pulled them out of the home.
“They were located in a hallway and washroom close to the backdoor,” Russell said in a previous story. “Compared to where their bedrooms are known to be they were trying to exit the structure is what we’re looking at.”
First responders and deputies started performing lifesaving measures on the victims found inside.
One woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
“Due to the efforts of the emergency personnel on scene, a 14-year-old child was revived and transported to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital,” the press release stated.
The Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the cause of the fire, the press release stated.
“It appears that the fire started on the front porch of the residence,” the press release stated. “Investigators have been made aware that there were heat lamps on the front porch for animals. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.”
http://www.ktre.com/2019/02/18/year-old-girl-burned-nacogdoches-county-house-fire-dies/

Senator Ted Cruz Cancels Tuesday Visit to Lufkin, Nacogdoches

The office of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has canceled two planned visits in Deep East Texas on Tuesday.

His staff announced the schedule change Monday night, citing “unforseen circumstances.”

No other information was released.

Texas’ junior senator had been scheduled to tour TFP Nutrition in Nacogdoches and Lockheed Martin in Lufkin.

It was unclear whether the visits would be rescheduled at a later date.

http://www.ktre.com/2019/02/18/senator-ted-cruz-be-lufkin-nacogdoches-tuesday/

Stabbing Leads to Attempted Murder Charge in Natchitoches Parish

A Many man faces an attempted murder charge after Natchitoches Parish deputies say he stabbed a man multiple times after finding him at his ex-girlfriend’s house.

Booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center is 20-year-old Darrius L. Sweet of Many. He’s charged with attempted second-degree murder, home invasion and battery on a dating partner.

The stabbing victim, a 20-year-old unidentified Natchitoches Parish man, was taken to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center then Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport with life-threatening injuries.

The stabbing happened around 10:08 p.m. Sunday at a home in the 100 block of Francis Street near Natchitoches. Deputies found the victim outside of the home with multiple stab wounds.

The home belongs to Sweet’s ex-girlfriend, deputies said, and that’s where they say he approached her while she was sitting in her car. Sweet reportedly pulled her out, dragged her on the ground then went into the house and stabbed the man in the back and head.

Sweet left before deputies arrived. But Sabine Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested him Monday without incident.

Sweet remains in jail without bond.

Natchitoches Multi-jurisdictional Drug Task Force agents also issued citations to four people at the scene for simple possession of marijuana.   They were released pending their court appearances.

https://www.ktbs.com/news/stabbing-leads-to-attempted-murder-charge-in-natchitoches-parish/article_57bd70b8-33d0-11e9-8344-6bc8f940dd43.html

Boil Advisory Lifted

Please be advised that the Boil Advisory has been lifted for Hwy 120 in Marthaville (just past the Marthaville General Store) to Hwy 1221 and all surrounding roads.

Family at Scene Where Missing Woman’s Vehicle Recovered From Lake in Henderson County

A woman’s body has been found inside a vehicle submerged in a lake in Log Cabin, officials said Friday afternoon.

The vehicle was recovered about 4:30 p.m. Friday near the main boat ramp at the Cedar Creek Reservoir in Log Cabin, according to Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse.

The vehicle belonged to Brenda Montanez, who was previously reported missing, Hillhouse said. Officials have been searching for Montanez’s maroon 2011 Mazda for the past several weeks.

Twenty-five-year-old Montanez was last seen in the early morning hours of Jan. 27, according to Log Cabin Police Department.

The sheriff said officials have not identified the woman found in the vehicle and her body has been sent to American Forensics for an autopsy.

A search team from Illinois came to assist with the search, Hillhouse said. Using sonar, they were able to locate an object in the lake, which was later determined to be Montanez’s vehicle.

Montanez’s family was notified about the vehicle recovery. Family members arrived, appearing emotional. They remained on scene until after dark speaking with law enforcement officers.

The Log Cabin Police Department is the lead agency in the investigation, Hillhouse said. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers are assisting with the investigation.

Log Cabin Police Chief Todd Tucker said that they are hoping to have a positive ID on the woman’s body by midday Monday.

http://www.kltv.com/2019/02/15/sheriff-missing-womans-vehicle-recovered-lake-body-found-inside/

No Injuries Reported in Hudson Mobile Home Fire

No injuries were reported after a structure fire Sunday in Hudson.

According to a Facebook post from the Hudson Volunteer Fire Department, crews responded to a reported structure fire at approximately 10:57 a.m. Sunday in the 3000 block of Ted Trout Dr.

The post said upon arrival, units reported a single wide mobile home on fire.

Hudson VFD said they were assisted with units and manpower from Central Fire Department as well.

The fire department said they determined the fire started in the living room of the mobile home.

They said a woman was in the building at the time it caught on fire. They also said the mobile home is being considered a total loss.

Red Cross was called to assist two people who were displaced by the fire.

http://www.ktre.com/2019/02/17/no-injuries-reported-hudson-mobile-home-fire/

Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office Releases Names of 2 Women Killed in Fire

 In the wake of the fatal house fire that occurred on Andy Lane early Wednesday morning, the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office has released the names of the two women who died.

According to a press release, the two women who died have been identified as Cecilia Watkins, 58, and Mary Bates, 61, both of Nacogdoches. Justice of the Peace Kerry Don Williamson ordered that autopsies be performed on both victims.

“With a heavy heart, this press release will make identification known of the two women who tragically lost their lives yesterday morning in a house fire on Andy Lane,” Sheriff Jason Bridges said in a Facebook post. “With respect to the family, we have withheld this information as long as possible.”

A 14-year-old girl suffered severe injuries in the fire. After she was taken to a local hospital, she was later airlifted to a Dallas hospital, where she remains in critical condition.

“That child is battling for her life this morning at a Dallas hospital,” Bridges said in a Facebook post. “I have called the family to get an update on the child this morning, and with respect to them, I will not go into detail of what was said. However, I will tell you that the outcome we want is not looking favorable.”

Bridges urged the people who read the post to pray for the girl, her family, and the medical staff.

“I ask that our community rally around this family during this time and give them the support they need,” Bridges said in the Facebook post.

According to a press release from the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office, first responders were dispatched out to the home on Andy Lane shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. When NCSO deputies got to the scene, they saw that the front portion of the mobile home was on fire.

Fire crews from area fire departments arrived on the scene a short time later, and they breached a door on the side of the home. Firefighters and NCSO deputies found three people in a room and pulled them out of the home.

“They were located in a hallway and washroom close to the backdoor,” said Russell, the assistant chief of the Central Heights Volunteer Fire department. “Compared to where their bedrooms are known to be they were trying to exit the structure is what we’re looking at.”

First responders and deputies started performing lifesaving measures on the victims found inside.

One woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

“Due to the efforts of the emergency personnel on scene, a 14-year-old child was revived and transported to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital,” the press release stated.

The Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the cause of the fire, the press release stated.

“It appears that the fire started on the front porch of the residence,” the press release stated. “Investigators have been made aware that there were heat lamps on the front porch for animals. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.”

Previous story: Nacogdoches County house fire claims lives of 2 women

http://www.ktre.com/2019/02/14/nacogdoches-county-sheriffs-office-releases-names-women-killed-fire/

Police Seek Identity of Armed Robbery Suspect

Shreveport Police detectives are asking the public’s help to identify a suspact  that is responsible for an armed robbery and kidnapping of an individual that occurred in the 200 black of East Dalzell Stret on February 8, 2019.

Detectives are asking anyone who can identify this suspect to contact them at (318) 673-7300. Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact Shreveport Caddo Crime Stoppers at (318) 673-7373, lockemup.org or via their app P3Tips.

Unrestrained Pitkin Man Dies in Rollover Crash

A single-vehicle crash claimed the life of an unrestrained Pitkin man on Thursday morning.

On February 14, Louisiana State Police Troop D responded to a single-vehicle crash around 9:45 a.m. on Tom Jeff Road, east of Arkadelphia Road in Allen Parish. The crash claimed the life of Shannon L. Martin, 41, of Pitkin.

The preliminary investigation revealed Martin was driving a 2002 Dodge pickup truck and traveling west on Tom Jeff Road. For reasons still under investigation, Martin’s vehicle ran off the left side of the roadway and struck the embankment of a ditch. After striking the embankment, the vehicle rolled over and ejected Martin before landing on top of him.

Martin, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Allen Parish Coroner’s Office.

A toxicology sample was obtained and will be submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.

Louisiana state law requires vehicle occupants to be properly restrained in all seating positions, day or night. Statistics show the chances of surviving a crash rise significantly when properly restrained but the decision not to wear a seat belt can have deadly consequences. Motorists are encouraged to make the smart choice and to always wear a seat belt.

Troop D has investigated 1 fatal crash resulting in 1 death in 2019.

https://www.kalb.com/content/news/Unrestrained-Pitkin-man-dies-in-rollover-crash-505852411.html

Another Work Release Inmate is Captured After Escape in Natchitoches Parish

For the second time in less than a week a work release inmate escaped from a job site in Natchitoches Parish, Sheriff Victor Jones said in a news release.

But unlike last week’s escape, this inmate was captured in less than a day.

Randall Perot experienced freedom for about five hours after walking away from a work crew around 10 a.m. in the Kisatchie area. Deputies say Perot stole a U.S. Forest Service vehicle and crashed it not far away. He then ran into the woods.

He was captured around 3 p.m.

Perot is a state inmate who’s serving time until 2025 for convictions of illegal possession of stolen things and illegal possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony. He’ll now face additional charges.

Jones expressed appreciation to other agencies that helped in the search. Natchitoches Parish sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers, Louisiana State Police, U.S. Forest Service law enforcement agents, Sabine and Winn sheriff’s deputies searched the Kisatchie area on foot, with K-9’s and all-terrain vehicles. State police provided aerial surveillance.

The other inmate to escape from a work detail was Jale Hopwood. The 33-year-old left his job site Saturday night in south Natchitoches Parish.

He was arrested Monday in Opelousas, along with his girlfriend, 34-year-old Stephanie Fruge Howe of Bossier City, and his mother, 57-year-old Raylene June Hopwood of Shreveport. Deputies say Howe and Raylene Hopwood assisted Jale Hopwood in his escape by picking him up near Chopin after he hopped a fence and ran.

Child Porn Photographs Lead to Natchitoches Man’s Arrest

A Natchitoches Parish man is free on bond following his arrest last week for having child porn photographs in his possession, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

William “Bill” Jay Schultz, 66, of the 7100 block of Highway 6, was arrested on Feb. 8 on four counts of possession of child pornography. He was released Monday after posting a $20,000 bond.

The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s High Tech Crime Unit and Louisiana Attorney General’s Office began investigating Schultz on Jan. 22. They searched his home, vehicle and “undisclosed locations.” Detectives found four photographs depicting child pornography, authorities said.

As the investigation continues, detectives asks anyone with more information on Schultz to contact Det. Amber Shirley or Lt. Carey Etheredge of the NPSO High Tech Crime Unit at (318) 357-7830.

https://www.ktbs.com/news/child-porn-photographs-lead-to-natchitoches-man-s-arrest/article_339b8726-2fe6-11e9-8ffa-c749d4250096.html

Jasper Police: 10-Year-Old Suspect in Bomb Threat to Elementary Campus Facing Felony Charge

Detectives with the Jasper Police Department have identified a juvenile suspect in the bomb threat that was called into the Parnell Elementary campus on Feb. 8.

Lt. Garrett Foster with the Jasper Police Department said that the suspect, a 10-year-old boy, told investigators that he made the call because he was being bullied at school and did not want to go.

“Neither the school resource officers nor the administration had any reports from the juvenile concerning bullying,” the press release stated. “Juvenile Probation has been notified and will be addressing the situation. The juvenile will be charged with Texas Penal Code 42.06 – false alarm or report, which is a state-jail felony.”

According to a previous press release, an employee at Jasper ISD’s Parnell Elementary campus received two calls from the same number at about 7:15 a.m. on Feb. 8. During the second phone call, the caller said there was a bomb at the Parnell Elementary campus.

At that point, the employee immediately notified JISD’s administration, the press release stated. They, in turn, called the Jasper Police Department.

Before law enforcement officers arrived on the scene, someone made a 911 call JCSO dispatch and said he or she heard shooting and was told to leave the Parnell campus.

Law enforcement officers from the Jasper Police Department, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, the Kirbyville Police Department, and the Texas Department of Public Safety worked together to check and clear the buildings on the Parnell Elementary campus.

“Officers then conducted a secondary search of all the classrooms, offices and outbuildings looking for any unusual packages or items where a bomb could be placed,” the press release stated. “Officers did not locate anything during the search and the school was turned back over to Jasper ISD administration.”

Jon Seybold, Jasper ISD’s director of operations, told KJAS.com that the school activated its emergency plan, which called for the students to be moved to the old football stadium. However, because of the cold and windy weather, the children were moved into the new gymnasium at Jasper Junior High.

http://www.ktre.com/2019/02/12/jasper-police-year-old-suspect-bomb-threat-elementary-campus-facing-felony-charge/

Sabine Parish Felon Sentenced to 5 Years for Pawning 4 Firearms

A Sabine Parish man who pawned four guns is going to prison.

A federal judge Monday in Shreveport ordered 36-year-old Joseph Seth Rivers, of Converse, to serve five years and four months on a charge of being a felon in possession of firearms.

U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. also ordered Rivers to serve three years on supervised release once he is released from federal prison.

Rivers pleaded guilty to the gun possession charge July 10.

Testimony and evidence presented at that time shows Rivers pawned two rifles, a shotgun and a handgun Aug. 20, 2016, at a pawnshop in Many, the U.S. attorney’s office reports.

The firearms included a .357-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver; a .22-caliber Ruger rifle, a 16-gauge Browning shotgun and a .270-caliber Remington rifle.

Rivers has been prohibited from having a gun or ammunition since being convicted in 2009 on a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm.

http://www.ksla.com/2019/02/13/sabine-parish-felon-going-prison-having-guns/

Natchitoches Escapee Captured in Opelousas

An inmate who escaped from authorities last weekend is back in custody.

According to CBS affiliate KFLY in Lafayette, Jale Christopher Hopwood, 33, was arrested at an Opelousas hotel at 7:45 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 11.

Hopwood has ties to both Bossier and Caddo Parish. He was reported missing on Saturday evening.

It is believed that Hopwood walked off a job site in Natchitoches.

He was serving time in Natchitoches Detention Center for Simple Burglary and Simple Criminal Damage to Property, and was scheduled for release October 2019.

http://www.ksla.com/2019/02/11/natchitoches-escapee-captured-opelousas/

Texas Chief Deputy: ‘Horrible, Horrific Scene’ Where Family Gunned Down at Home

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after five people were found dead in a home.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, at about 10:32 a.m. on Monday, they responded to the 3600 block of FM 3126 in the Blanchard community in response to a call reporting multiple victims of an assault.

At a press conference Monday night, Chief Deputy Byron Lyons with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office released the names of the people who were found dead at the home. They include Linda Delaney, 72, Carlos Delaney, 74, Rainley Horn, 15 months, Ashley Delaney, 27, and Randy Horn, 54.

Lyons explained that Linda and Carlos Delaney were a couple and that Ashley Delaney was their granddaughter. Rainley Horn was their great-granddaughter.

During the press conference, Lyons said that three people were found dead outside the home. Randy Horn and Carlos Delaney were found inside the home. He added that the person who called a relative and asked that person to call 911 is Ashley Delaney’s mother. She hid in a closet until the ordeal was over, Lyons said.

Lyons said the woman who survived the shooting incident is being questioned, so authorities can get an idea of when everything happened on the timeline. He also said the woman is not being questioned as a suspect.

The bodies have been transported to Jefferson County, where autopsies will be performed, Lyons said.

“At this point in time, we don’t want to say we’re working it as a murder-suicide,” Lyons said. “We really want the ME’s office to look at all the evidence that has been gathered to be able to make a determination. I don’t want to be premature by calling it one thing and having to retract it later.”

In response to a media question, Lyons said PCSO detectives are investigating Facebook posts and speaking to family members. They’re also going to be talking to law enforcement at other locations.

“Our investigation is in no way complete,” Lyons said.

However, Lyons also said, at this time, they are not looking for a suspect in the shooting incident.

Lyons said that it was a rough day for law enforcement officers and EMS personnel.

“This was a horrible. horrific scene,” Lyons said. “This was a horrible, horrific crime. What I would ask is that this community pray for this family.”

The chief deputy also urged people to pray for the law enforcement officers and EMS personnel who responded to the scene.