SEPTEMBER 24, 2007
HUNTSVILLE PRISON ESCAPE-GUARD KILLED
Two escapees from a prison unit in Huntsville were arrested Monday after a female guard was killed during an escape attempt.
Officials say the two inmates at the Wynne Unit, were on work detail in a field just off of Interstate 45 when they were able to overpower a field correctional officer, take her weapons, and steal a nearby city vehicle.
“While fleeing the scene, they ran over the correctional officer killing her,” Public Information Officer Jason Clark with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said. “She’s been identified as 59-year-old Susan Canfield.”
According to officials, the two suspects later ditched the city’s vehicle for another vehicle stolen from the Guarantee Bank parking lot. That’s when law enforcement was able to apprehend one of the suspects, 40-year-old John Falk.
The other inmate, Jerry Martin fled into a heavily wooded area, leading authorities on a full-out manhunt.
“We had a group of tracking dogs that came from the Wynne unit–where they escaped–that located him,” Michelle Lyons with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said. “He was in an area just north of Smithers Road in Huntsville. “He was actually up in a tree when the dogs found him.”
Prison officials say Martin was taken into custody a short time later without incident and was transported to the local police department where he will face a variety of charges.
“At the very least, felony escape charges and certainly he would be charged in connection with the death of our correctional officer,” Lyons said.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2007
TRUCK VS LIGHT POLE CRASH ON FM 1314
SEPTEMBER 24, 2010
CONROE DRUG DEALER GIVEN 4-LIFE SENTENCES+60 YEARS
In a trial that started Tuesday in the 9th district court of Montgomery County with Judge Burgess visiting Samson Gonzales age of Conroe was sentenced to 4 life sentences and one 60 year sentence for possession with intent to deliver.
On May 11, 2007, Samson’s family home was raided by MCSO and gaming machines, 1.5 pounds of cocaine, 2 lbs of meth, 400 g hydrocodone and 400 grams of Xanax were recovered, multiple guns, and close to $80,000 was recovered. Samson Gonzales, his mother Angelita Gonzales, his brother Fidel Gonzales, and his wife Nina Rodriguez were arrested before the day was out. Due to a technicality, the charges were eventually dropped. Even as narcotics officers were on that scene buyers kept driving up their road and officers arrested the also.
But then in June 2009 HPD Narcotics Squad 9 and the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constables Office started working on tips that he was active again.
An HPD undercover bought some drugs from a dealer later turned informant in the Kingwood area. they then followed the dealer who sold the dope to Townsend and 59 in Humble where he met the defendant Samson Gonzales. During the meeting, HPD surrounded the vehicle and ordered Samson and Stokes who was with him to show his hands but he was preoccupied. other officers converged and got him out of the vehicle.
in the vehicle, they found a ledger which appeared to be a drug ledger and also a torn up piece of paper and a card with what appeared to be a combination on it.
This opened up the entire investigation. the torn paper was a ledger page showing money amounts, names of what appeared to be his dealers. also on the floor was almost $1500 some of which were marked bills from the buy that happened a short time earlier. the card with the numbers turned out to be the combination to a safe at Stokes home and Samson Gonzales wife had the master key when they got her.
Samson was smart, he kept no drugs on him, he would get large orders in , meet at dealers homes where he had a safe which the dealer did not have the combination. he would take out just enough for the dealer to make his sales.
Several dealers were given probation in exchange for their testimony,
After almost six hours Thursday night and Friday morning the jury found him guilty on all five counts.
His attorney Billy Langston and George Jacobs argued for probation. his mother was called to the stand and asked if she knew what was going on. She said he had a landscape business but did not know about the drugs. She testified it was a cash business as all the business funds went into a Chase bank account and all the members of the family worked together. She also testified that police had shown up several times at their home but never took anything. This is the same mother that was arrested with the drugs in the house in the 2007 case.
Gonzales attorney plead with the jury for probation. He said it was only fair since the five informants got deferred probation. Told the jury he needed to be there for his family. Assistant District Attorney Joel Daniels sternly said to the jury, “Hammer him, let him have it for the community”.” “Your verdict needs to send a message to what happens to drug dealers in Montgomery County.
He showed the jury the ledger and the names. Zeus (he has a brother Zeua). Jason, (has a brother Jason),
He told the jury of the 2004 assault charge in Harris County. He explained the 2005 probation for drugs in Harris County. and the 2006 assault in Harris County.
The jury then took a lunch break before starting to deliberate. During the break, the defendant was heard saying to a family member the DA had offered him ten years.
The deliberations started close to 1 pm and continued until 4:30 pm when they reached their decision.
As the judge read out the punishment Samson Gonzales and his mother let out a scream and started sobbing.
The Judge pronounced four of the five cases with life sentences and the fourth indictment a sixty-year sentence.
Samson Gonzales kept sobbing and looking at his lawyer stating, “I got a life”, “I got a life”.
After the paperwork was completed the upgraded security staff escorted Samson Gonzales in shackles to a waiting van for his trip to the Montgomery County Jail.
Assistant District Attorney Joel Daniels said the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constables Office and the Houston Police Department did an outstanding job putting this case together and getting five solid counts that the District Attorney’s Office could prosecute.
Daniel’s said the evidence showed that Samson was a drug dealer who systematically distributed drugs to street-level dealers who were most of the time in possession of the drugs.
“He would buy in quantities and then with street-level dealers he would break it up into smaller packages that were appropriate deliveries, “ Daniels said.
“He left the drugs at the street level dealers homes. He would keep it in safes that only Samson knew the combination to. He would go to their homes and take out only enough for them to make the deliveries for a period of days and leave the remainder in there.
“What we really saw in the evidence was the attempt to distance himself from the distribution of narcotics and make it very difficult for law enforcement to catch him.”, Daniels said.
Talking about the case itself Daniels said, “the only reservations I had about the case was making the connections between the physical controlled substance and the actual distribution in this particular defendant,” Daniels said.
Samson still faces three-possession with intent to deliver charges in Harris County.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2010
THREE CAR CRASH IN SPLENDORA
Just after 9 pm, Splendora Fire Department was dispatched to a major accident on FM 2090 at Duke Road. On arrival, they found a 1996 Chevrolet pickup in the Kennedy Fab storage area with heavy rear damage. Also a 2008 Dodge pickup and 2004 Chevrolet Impala in the Intersection. Larry Thomas and an unidentified female were trapped in the vehicle requiring the firefighters to remove the door to free the victims.
The two were transported to Kingwood Hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. In addition, Brenna Bills of Splendora who was driving the 2004 Impala was transported to Kingwood Hospital.
According to Splendora Police Thomas was westbound and attempting to make a left turn onto Duke when Craig Grein of Cleveland driving the Dodge pickup also westbound slammed into the rear of the pickup sending it across the eastbound lane and into the field. The 2004 Impala which was eastbound then slammed into the Dodge pickup which came to rest in the eastbound lane.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2013
We are just returning from a double homicide on Old Houston Road that occurred just after 10 p.m.. A juvenile female called 911 and told dispatchers that her uncle just shot her grandparents.
When deputies arrived they found Randall Wayne Branstetter, 54 inside the home shot to death.
In addition, they found Cathy June Gibbs, 58, outside the home shot to death.
Both were pronounced dead by Montgomery County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts who ordered Eickenhorst Funeral Directors to transport the victims to the Montgomery County Forensic Center.
An attempt to locate was issued across the county for the son of the victims identified as Joseph Samuel Branstetter, 24, who also lived in the home.
Law Enforcement began the search for Branstetter who was driving a black Ford pickup with a gold stripe and a Harley Davidson sticker in the back window.
At approximately 11 pm Joseph Branstetter drove up to the scene, parked his truck, and calmly walked to the police line stating, “I’m the one”, and identified himself to deputies. He was quickly taken into custody.
Detectives and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office remained on the scene all night investigating.
Joseph Branstetter has been handled several times before by Montgomery County Law Enforcement.
PRIOR ARRESTS INCLUDED”
03/27/07-POSSESSION MARIJUANA IN A DRUG-FREE ZONE ARRESTED BY CISD POLICE
06/16/09-UNLAWFUL CARRY A WEAPON
06/19/09-POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA
08/17/10-POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA
SEPTEMBER 24, 2020-UPDATE-BRANSTETTER REMAINS IN TDCJ ON A LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE SENTENCE.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2014
HABITUAL CRIMINAL BUSTED IN THE WOODLANDS
Wednesday morning Houston Police Officers assigned to the Westside Tactical Unit were conducting surveillance on Rosh Davis, a suspect in multiple burglaries of motor vehicles in Fort Bend, Harris and Montgomery Counties. He was followed to the parking lot next to the IHOP on Interstate 45 South, just north of Rayford in The Woodlands. There he pulled up next to a Chevrolet SUV. As the officer sat watching he observed Davis break the glass on the drivers side rear passenger window of the SUV. Davis then got back into his 2006 silver BMW and fled the parking lot at a high rate of speed. Other HPD units then converged on the suspect and took him into custody.
The officer who observed the break-in located the owner of the truck and learned a laptop and backpack had been stolen. Those items were found in the Davis vehicle.
According to Rob Freir with the Montgomery County District Attorneys Office, Davis was currently on parole and is being charged as a habitual criminal. He said Davis is responsible for at least twelve motor vehicle burglaries that had been reported and 15 other theft convictions. His record follows him through multiple counties including Louisiana.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2015
HELICOPTER CRASH EAST OF LIVINGSTON
At approximately 10:20 am on September 24, 2015, a helicopter with the company Chem Air, out of Louisiana, was flying in East Polk County at the County/Tyler County line. The pilot (who’s name is being withheld until further notice) was spraying herbicide and was about 150 feet in the air when his engine died. The pilot managed to gyrate the helicopter to a clearing where it came down and turned over just off Adams Road (Adams Road is off County Line Road off US-190 East). The helicopter crashed on the Tyler County side. Americare Ambulance Service was dispatched to the scene along with Sergeant Mark DuBose with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Tyler County Sheriff’s Deputies, the Alabama Coushatta Volunteer Fire Department, the Alabama Coushatta Police Department, and Sergeant Gregory Evans and Trooper Donny Akers with the Texas Highway Patrol. The pilot was transported to a nearby landing zone and was loaded into a PHi Air Medical helicopter and transported to Houston. Preliminarily, the pilot is believed to have sustained a back injury and a possible collapsed lung. Sergeant Evans launched a preliminary investigation that will be turned over the Federal Aviation Administration for their investigation into the crash.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2015
SEDLMEIER MEMORIAL SERVICE CROSSROADS BAPTIST CHURCH
Last Sunday, Roland and Mendy Sedlemeier and their children, Harley and Sofie attended church at Crossroads Baptist Church in The Woodlands. No one could have imagined the church would be filled with their devastated friends and family just four days later because an automobile crash took the entire family Sunday afternoon.
The “Celebration of Life” included a slideshow depicting the picture-perfect happy family, whose story was ended so abruptly and so prematurely. Theirs was a unique story. Roland Sedlmeier was born in Ingolstadt, Germany. He served in the German Army’s Special Forces before becoming a pilot, which enabled him to travel the world. Mendy Sedlmeier was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma and studied accounting at John Brown University before going to work in Tulsa. Destiny brought Ronald and Mendy together when they both entered the mission field. He became a missionary pilot for Mission Aviation Fellowship in Kenya. Mendy went to Kenya as an IMB missionary. In July 2008, Roland and Mendy were married and then returned to Kenya to continue their mission work. Their son Harley was born in Kenya the following year. By the time Sofie was born in 2010, the Sedlmeier family was living in Oklahoma. In 2013, they moved to Montgomery, where Harley started school last year. He graduated from kindergarten in the spring and at the end of summer, he started first grade at Madeley Ranch Elementary School. Both children were active in their church and part of the church’s children’s choir.
A longtime friend of Roland talked about their time together in the German Army, and about their becoming pilots. He described Roland as someone who loved traveling, sports, and outdoor activities. The two became commercial pilots together, and both found themselves jobless. They hiked and backpacked together as they searched for jobs in Canada and the US. During that time, Roland became a Christian, which led to his mission work, and to his meeting Mendy, his friend said.
He said Roland was the most dependable, reliable, and trustworthy person he’d ever known and he trusted Roland with the keys to his safe and with the lives of his family. “He is, and always will be my best friend,” he said.
Mendy’s brother, Jay, spoke next. He talked about what a good person his sister was and how she loved the Lord. He said he found comfort in Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.”
“She was my sister and my best friend, and she challenged me every day,” Jay said.
He spoke of their adventures, of getting stuck on a mountain in Wyoming during a thunderstorm, of camping in the Grand Canyon, and of when he graduated from dental school and went to Africa with Mendy. In Africa, their vehicle became stuck in some mud shortly after seeing a pack of lions, he said. His sister wanted him to push the vehicle out of the mud, but instead they caught a ride with a couple in a Range Rover who were on their honeymoon. He used the story to illustrate how life doesn’t always go as planned, which then became a reference to the loss of his sister and family.
He said many local people had told him she was a role model and great mother, who lived her life for Christ. He said everyone should live their lives to the fullest and try to have a positive impact, like his sister did.
Roland’s brother-in-law (his sister’s husband) spoke next, about his nephew, Harley.
“I am privileged to be Harley’s uncle,” he said.
“Uncle Charlie” said it was his first time in Montgomery County and he was touched by how well everyone had treated the family and how much kindness they were shown. He then told the story of when both families were visiting Germany, and how he and his wife Angelica would watch Harley and Sofie play with their toy cars and bickering, with Harley being the typical older brother, who thought he was in charge of his sister. Sofie, likewise, played her role by tolerating it for a while, but eventually snapping and informing him he was not the boss of her. Harley loved superheroes, he said, Spiderman, Batman, and others.
“If you knew Harley, he really believed he was a superhero,” Charlie said. “And Harley if you’re listening now, you’re the ultimate superhero because you’re an angel in Heaven. We love you.”
Mendy’s sister shared her memories of Sofie, who she called “an amazing beautiful little girl,” and said she was their princess. She talked about her niece’s love of animals and about her stubbornness and wit. Sofie learned to swim at 3, she said. Most of all, she talked about how Sofie and Harley were best friends, and Sofie had to be wherever Harley was. She hated to see him go to school and she waited for him to come home.
“Sofie, we’ll miss your smile, your beauty and your adventurous heart. We’ll miss you and your brother’s crazy schemes and laughter, but I can’t wait to see our little princess in heaven,” she said.
The pastor said a couple of weeks ago, Sofie’s Sunday School teacher was talking about how wonderful it will be to go and be with God. Sofie said to the teacher, “What’s He waiting for?”
Church members spoke about the family, and how active they were in the church, touching many lives. They said two weeks ago they announced Roland had been able to retain his German citizenship and was starting the path to obtaining his American citizenship.
One church member said “The family of Crossroads has a hole in its heart today.”
SEPTEMBER 24, 2015
Just after 10 pm Thursday Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shots fired call at an apartment complex near Richards Road and Rayford Road. An attempt to locate was put out on a blue Mustang. Moments later a DPS Trooper who was east of the location spotted a blue Mustang. When he turned his emergency lights on and attempted to stop it the vehicle sped up to speeds of close to 100mph. The pursuit continued East on Rayford and across Riley Fuzzell. As the passed Blenheim Terrace the Mustang hit the curb, left the roadway and went airborne. It struck a utility pole almost six feet off the ground before coming to rest on its side. Two males were immediately taken into custody. A female was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated by South Montgomery County firefighters. One male and the female were transported to the hospital. The other male was not injured. All three were juveniles with a report of one possibly being a runaway. A pistol was found in the vehicle. Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shots fired while DPS is investigating the crash.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2016
PASADENA OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING
Friday evening Pasadena Police were dispatched to the Kroger Store at Preston and Red Bluff after a report of a man in the store waving a gun. Arriving officers were able to get a description of the suspect and the vehicle he was driving. They located 2 Honda’s in the parking lot and set up on both. A short time later the suspect approached his vehicle and entered it. As police approached he fled south on Red Bluff to Southmore then west on Southmore several blocks to London. He then turned north on London. Just as he approached the dead end at Prairie he jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot. The vehicle continued toward a house at the end of the street. A grassy knoll between the curb and sidewalk was enough to stop the slow rolling vehicle. As additional officers moved in the male ducked between several passenger busses parked in a driveway. Three officers approached from the front. As another officer came from the rear he spotted the suspect with a weapon and appeared to be waiting to ambush the officers approaching from the front. As the suspect realized the officer was behind him he turned. The officer fired his weapon, it has not been determined if the suspect fired also. The officer missed the suspect, however the suspect immediately dropped the gun and lay spread eagle on the ground. The suspect lived in the hope immediately south of where he was hiding between the vans.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2016
FATAL CRASH -HILL AND DALE-SPLENDORA
Just after 1 am a resident in the 26200 block of Hill and Dale in Splendora heard a loud boom. The resident walked out front but did not see anything. About 11am the resident saw an abandon vehicle in the woods in their front yard and called the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Skero with Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constables Office responded to the call. AS he completed his paperwork for the wrecker he was talking with the homeowner. As he walked back to the vehicle he spotted a body under the vehicle. EMS was called but the 18-year-old male was deceased. DPS investigated the crash. According to DPS Sgt. Barnhill, Trooper Sullivan who was the lead investigator determined the Chevrolet Cobalt was traveling west on Hill and Dale at a high rate of speed. The vehicle entered a curve, lost control and went into te ditch. The vehicle then rolled several times ejecting the unseatbelted driver. Montgomery County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace James Mett’s responded to the scene for an inquest and ordered Eickenhorst Funeral Directors to transport the victim to the Montgomery County Forensic Center for autopsy.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2016
MAJOR CRASH-FM 1492-CROSBY
SEPTEMBER 24, 2016
PEASE SHOOTING DEATH
Houston police are investigating the fatal shooting of a woman that occurred at 4439 Pease about 8:45 p.m. on Saturday (September 24).
The identity of the victim, 34, is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
HPD Homicide Division Officers B. Roberts and S. Gromyko reported:
HPD patrol officers responded to a shooting call at the above address and found the victim had suffered a gunshot wound. Houston Fire Department paramedics responded to the scene and transported her to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The woman’s husband was detained at the scene and admitted to accidentally shooting her.
No charges have been filed at this time as the investigation is continuing.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2019
FEMA EVALUATES PATTON VILLAGE AFTER FLOOD
A team from FEMA, Texas Office of Emergency Management, Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and the Small Business Administration spend part of the day Tuesday evaluating flood damage in Montgomery County and in the Splendora/ Patton Village area. Patton Village Police Chief showed the member areas hit hardest throughout the city. He said areas not affected by Harvey flooded. One man who has a lawnmower repair business had water on the second floor of his home. Many places helicopters had to come in to assist in rescues. The water system in Patton Village was under 12-feet of water, shorting out motors and circuit boards. repairs are being made on those now as some residents still do not have water. Unlike Harvey where President Trump did a Presidential Proclamation calling the area a disaster area before Harvey even hit. The requirements are much different getting it declared a disaster area for Federal Aid. Inspectors must visit and document at least 800 homes severely damaged by the flood. Once that is met FEMA can declare it a disaster area for individuals. For FEMA to declare a disaster area for Government agencies there must be $38 million in damage for the Federal Government to move in and assist. The team doesn’t feel there will be any problem meeting the criteria and they are working long hours to get the documentation in to bring that.