Forney City Manager Brian Brooks is usually busy with budget issues in July, but this week he has been handling media calls about George Zimmerman, recently acquitted on a murder charge in the high-profile Trayvon Martin case in Sanford, Fla.
On Sunday, Zimmerman was stopped by a Forney police officer on U.S. 80, about 20 miles east of Dallas. He was headed west in a 2008 Honda SUV with Florida license plates.
Brooks declined to identify the officer, but the 12:45 p.m. traffic stop was recorded by the officer’s dash-cam video camera.
As we close out July, we reflect that just one month ago, 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher was alive and well, visiting and playing with many friends in her quiet Saginaw neighborhood.
But, on July 1 her body was found wrapped and bound in tarp on a street corner, about a mile away from home.
Last week, investigators confronted 17-year-old supsect, Tyler Holder. He resisted officers and allegedly wounded one of them as they tried to serve him with a capital murder warrant in the slaying of Alanna. Holder was also wounded, and is recovering at the hospital. His bail set $1 million.
A local bar accused of serving an underage drinker who was killed in a car crash is the focus of administrative charges filed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
The Chat Room Pub at 1263 W. Magnolia Ave., has been charged with sale of an alcoholic beverage to a minor, following the death of Andrew Grimes, 19, of Fort Worth, who was drinking at the bar last September.
Punishments range from a fine to revocation of its liquor permit.
A Cleburne attorney who was chairman of the Johnson County Democratic Party, was arrested Monday on suspicion of public intoxication and carrying a prohibited weapon in a courts building, authorities said.
Bill Conover, 53, a former Texas assistant attorney general, paid a fine and bail, then he resigned as party chair and made plans to enter rehab, according to reports.
Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford said Conover tried to enter the Guinn Justice Center at 9:20 a.m. Monday, but was stopped when a metal detector sounded. That's when security officers found a pistol concealed in a hollowed-out case designed to resemble an antique book.
A 25-year-old woman has pleaded guilty in a Hood County court and received a 10-year suspended sentence for her role in trying to sell her boyfriend’s 1-month-old child.
Heather Janette Wall (right) of Mabank, northwest of Athens, pled guilty to the third-degree felony on Monday. She must complete eight years of supervised probation, enter a substance abuse program and attend Narcotics Anonymous.
According to earlier reports, Wall and her boyfriend, Randall Bonneville (left), were was arrested after they took the then 1-month-old daughter from her biological mother and attempted to sell her to Wall’s uncle in Hood County.
Arlington police arrested two men they say used a sledgehammer to break through a cinder
block wall of a north Arlington business Saturday morning to steal thousands of
dollars worth of cameras and equipment.
Arlington police responded to a commercial burglary alarm at Arlington
Camera, 544 W. Randol Mill Road, at about 6:30
a.m. and an alarm representative called 911 to report seeing a black minivan
leave the location, said officer Zhivonni
McDonnell, a police spokeswoman.
Arlington police pulled the van over on Interstate 30 near Texas 360. Two men
inside were arrested on burglary charges and the recovered items were returned
to the store, police said. The men broke a hole approximately 3 feet by 4 feet
into the back wall of the business after cutting through a fence, police said.
FORT WORTH -- A mentally ill man who faced a maximum sentence of life in prison pleaded guilty on Friday to an assault charge and was sentenced to five years in prison, but a mental health advocate says treating his illness would be more effective than more prison time.
Cameron Jay Hall, 32, of Fort Worth has been in the revolving door of local jails, state hospitals, community halfway houses and Texas prisons for 11 years.This time, Hall pleaded guilty to assaulting a security officer employed by a private firm in January.
Prosecutor Sarah Bruner said Hall must serve a quarter of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. The plea was taken in state District Judge Sharen Wilson's court.
"It was a fair evaluation of the case, and we thought this was an appropriate sentence, " Bruner said.
Hall is lucky, his lawyer, David C. Jones, said. He is considered a habitual offender, and he faced 25 years to life. Jones praised the district attorney's office for forgoing a long prison sentence for Hall but said the situation is far from ideal.
"This was a compromise, " Jones said. "It's not great, but at least now he can see an end to it. Most people in the DA's office did not become attorneys to put mentally ill people in prison, but that's the system that we're in."
Hall, who has been diagnosed with schizoaffective and bipolar disorders, got into the criminal justice system in 2002 when he was arrested for driving while intoxicated, terroristic threat and two criminal trespass charges, said Elizabeth Valdaras, chairwoman of the Legislative Advocacy Committee for the National Alliance of Mental Illness in Tarrant County.
In 2007, four criminal trespass charges and an assault on a security officer were added to Hall's record. In 2009, he was sentenced to 50 days for DWI. He spent time in a halfway house when his probation was revoked on the assault on a security officer conviction, according to Tarrant County district clerk records.
"We know that in the case of Cameron Hall, like many others, it is medication that produces the effect we desire, " Valdaras said. "Punishment does not heal cancer or brain disorder."
Hall's condition seemed to be deteriorating in the Tarrant County Jail, Valdaras said after visiting him on Thursday. Valdaras said she came away concerned that Hall might be undermedicated, a condition that could jeopardize his parole opportunities.
"If he's not properly medicated, he won't last six months, " Valdaras said. "He'll be in administrative segregation for the entire five years."
Multiple criminal trespass and terroristic threat charges are red-flag warnings of mental illness, Valdaras said. These charges often attach to the mentally ill because of the fears of other people who encounter them. The fear amplifies the behavior of the mentally ill, and they respond in an exaggerated way, Valdaras said.
For example, security personnel who are called to remove mentally ill people from public places (the trespassing charges) have little experience dealing with people who are hearing voices or hallucinating or who think a security guard is a demon coming to attack them (the terroristic threat charges), Valdaras said.
"We have a system that blames the sick for being sick, " Valdaras said. "We've got to eliminate the blame. The so-called sane people in society need to look at what they need to do to eliminate the stigma the mentally ill face because it perpetuates the negative effects of the illness."
Hall typically lives on Fort Worth streets when he is not in an institution, said Dick and Betty Edge. The Edges have a son with schizophrenia and have provided Hall with food and lodging during holidays.
"It just breaks my heart to see him go to prison, " Betty Edge said. "It makes me sad. They put him in prison before, but he won't talk about it."
FORT WORTH — A man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a fatal shooting that happened in December 2011.
Derrick Wayne Camp, 34, Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to murder on July 2 in connection with the slaying of Luis Alfonso Garcia, 41.
Investigators determined that Camp was arguing with Garcia on Dec. 1, 2011 while they were in a driveway in the 5300 block of Flamingo Road and shot him once in the chest, according to a police statement.
A man called 911 early that morning from a pay phone in the 4100 block of Mansfield Highway and said that he and a friend had been shot at by two men on Flamingo Road and that "now he could not find his friend.”
Officers who responded to the call found Garcia who was later pronounced dead at the scene. - Mitch Mitchell