Tuesday, February 27, 2024


JANUARY 13, 2013
Just before noon Wednesday Taud Damon Washington, 41, a registered sex offender who had been released from TDCJ in July to a halfway house on Old Beaumont Road in Houston. decided to break into a vehicle at 24-hour fitness where the owner of the vehicle was working out. One of the items stolen was her credit card. Washington then decided to try a shopping spree in The Woodlands Mall using the stolen credit card. His first stop was at the Microsoft Store where he attempted a purchase. From there he moved on to Helzberg Jewelers where his purchase was denied on the stolen credit card. He then continued to Zales Jewelers who also declined his card. It was at this point the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the transactions and had units closing in on the mall. Mall security moved to the entrance of the business and in communications with the Sheriff’s Office gave them a play-by-play of his actions. Washington then left Zales and walked through Sears’s lower level before walking out to the parking lot. Deputies were arriving as Washington got into his 1997 XJ6 Jaguar. Woodlands Mall Security attempted to block him in with on of their SUV but Washington backed into it. With deputies arriving Washington ignored orders by a deputy to exit the vehicle. Instead, he accelerated toward the deputy who in fear of his life drew his service revolver and shot once through the windshield on the driver’s side. Luckily the shot missed Washington but it was enough for him to understand that deputies were serious in Montgomery County. Washington surrendered. There were no injuries. The security SUV received minor damage to the left rear and the Jaguar to the right rear. The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office responded to the scene along with detectives from the sheriff’s office. Sheriff Gage also responded to check on his deputy and view the investigation as it continued. Washington was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on charges of aggravated assault on a public servant and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon(the car). Washington is well known in law enforcement communities from the coast to Conroe. Washington who also goes by the name Xavier Richards was first arrested in 1987 for aggravated robbery and spent only 37 days of a 10-year sentence for what was called Shock Probation. On April 18, 2000, he was arrested by the Deep East Texas Narcotics Task Force when he was found to have a firearm in his possession along with narcotics. He was given 2-years in State Jail on that charge in October of 2000. On June 11, 2000, Rice University Police arrested Washington on indecent exposure charges. The District Attorney’s Office in Harris County changed it from a class B misdemeanor to a Class A Misdemeanor and he was sentenced to 120 days in jail. On July 25, 2002, he was arrested by Houston Police for indecent exposure and was given 30 days in the Harris County Jail. Then on December 21, 2002, Houston Police arrested Washington for credit card abuse. for which he got 5-year probation which was later revoked and he was sent to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. But he hadn’t learned his lesson. On March 21, 2003, just 4 months later he once again was arrested for credit card abuse and criminal trespass and was given 14 months in State Jail. On July 21, 2004, and once again on August 18, 2004, Washington was arrested for credit card abuse and public lewdness Again on October 26, 2004, he was arrested in Conroe for credit card abuse. Those sentences were run concurrently when on he was sentenced to 2 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice by the 284th District Court for the Montgomery County charge. On November 25, 2006, Houston Police once again arrested Washington for indecent exposure. This charge brought him 150 days in the Harris County Jail. On July 24, 2007, Houston Police arrested Washington once again for possession of a firearm by a felon. Two days later he was sentenced to TDCJ for 2 years. He was released from TDCJ and on September 5, 2009, he was arrested in Houston again for indecent exposure and sentenced in April 2010 to 180 days in the Harris County Jail. He was sent to TDCJ again in 2011 and released on September 29, 2012. More recently was on November 5, 2012, Washington was arrested for theft of property and sentenced a few days later to 20 days by a Harris County judge.

JANUARY 13, 2014
Montgomery County Auto Theft had a report of a possible stolen vehicle in a lake in the Wood Trace area of Montgomery. Monday morning with the help of DPS they searched the lake and found nothing.

All was not lost, however. DPS and Montgomery County Auto Theft Division turned it into a joint training exercise.

There is only one DPS Dive Team in the state of Texas. It is made up of ten DPS Troopers who normally work patrol but when called upon respond from the area in the state in which they work. Last year they responded to eighteen scenes and were on dive duty for just over one hundred sixty days. Troopers come from Texas City, Pearland, Hondo, Dilley, and many other areas of the state.

Their boats are equipped with sonar for searching the bottom of a lake, and airlines to supply divers as they work the bottom of the murky waters.

Montgomery County Auto Theft has one boat that they are able to use for such operations and have diving resources available as they need them.

After the search for the vehicle divers suited up in their suits and covered the heavily weeded bottom of the lake finding logs, hacksaws, tires, and several other small objects. One Trooper stood guard just in case the resident alligators decided to pay a visit. It was known that one had been released into the lake in September of 2012 and was evident one was abounding with the tracks coming out of the lake.

Knowing what other departments have available makes it easier in a time of need to know exactly who to call on.

JANUARY 13, 2014
Over the weekend deputies recovered a 2014 Dodge truck on North Park. During the investigation, it was discovered the suspect who stole it and dumped it was Christoper Chapman of Porter.

Early Monday a warrant was issued for his arrest. As deputies were en route to his home off Sorters Road south of FM 1314 Montgomery County Precinct 4 Deputy Skiero spotted the suspect enter a maroon Dodge Durango and head south on Sorters Road with a male passenger. Skiers followed the suspect to US 59 and as they turned on US 59 he activated his emergency lights. That is when Chapman accelerated to speeds of up to 120 mph driving south on US 59.

Harris County and Humble Police were also notified but before they could respond Chapman was already well into Harris County. Chapman exited Lauder Road where he struck a black Dodge running it into the concrete wall and causing heavy damage to it. The female driver was transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital on Little York in stable condition.

Chapman then u-turned back north on US 59 to Old Humble Road and started north. At this point, a weapon was displayed as he attempted to slam into patrol cars. They soon left the main roads and started through neighborhoods where he threw drugs out the window. Those drugs were recovered.

As the driver made it into Humble he ran into Skiero’s vehicle but continued on with Montgomery County Precinct 4 and Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies on his tail. When the vehicle reached Beltway 8, Chapman started west

bound toward 59 again but then turned into a Wal-mart parking lot at the Beltway and Wilson Road. Deputies were able to box him in and took Chapman and his passenger Derrick Ayres into custody.

Chapman is charged in Harris County with failure to stop and render aid.

In Montgomery County, he faces charges of evading arrest with a motor vehicle, aggravated assault on a peace officer, manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.

Charges on his passenger Derrick Ayres are pending.

Chapman was booked into the Montgomery County Jail was currently out on bond from drug charges in November of 2013.

JANUARY 13, 2015
Detectives say a 39-year-old church volunteer is at the center of a child sex assault investigation, and additional charges could be brought against him.

The Waller County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday issued a felony arrest warrant for Nilsson Daniel Vargas on a charge of sexual assault of a child. The incident occurred in Waller County, but there may have been more in Austin, as well as in Fort Bend and Harris counties.

According to the sheriff’s office, Vargas met his victim, who was 16 at the time, in 2008 at the Christian City Fellowship in Sealy.

An arrest warrant describes Vargas as a church volunteer but Pastor Rusty Griffin tells Eyewitness News Vargas was not a part of the leadership or staff, and was not a youth counselor volunteer at his church. Griffin said the alleged victim recently came forward to him about the alleged sex assault, and that’s when he called police.

Authorities say Vargas first gained his victim’s trust, then began to inappropriately touch the child; they say the alleged assault lasted for years, and the victim felt pressured and too ashamed to ask for help. That victim is now cooperating with investigators.

When questioned about the sex acts, court papers state Vargas responded by telling police, “If they say it happened then it happened.”

Detectives say Vargas may have more victims, so they’re encouraging parents of children who attended the church to speak with their kids about Vargas. Griffin says he also sent out a letter to his congregation, informing them about the sex assault allegation.

Meanwhile, we’ve learned Vargas has four children of his own and is going through a divorce. Griffin says the whole family is getting counseling at the church.

Vargas is said to be turning himself into authorities on Wednesday. A judge has set Vargas’ bond at $500,000.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and would be required to pay a fine as large as $10,000. He would also be required to register as a sex offender.

Anyone with information about this case or any new allegations is asked to call the Waller County District Attorney’s Office at 979-826-7718.

JANUARY 13, 2016
Just before 7pm, Wednesday Humble Police were dispatched to two shooting calls. One at 400 South Bender, the other in 1000 of First Street.

The first call brought them to the Bender location with the report of multiple shots fired. While en route they were advised of a shooting victim in the street in the 1100 block of First, in front of the post office. At the Bender location, they found a man shot once in the neck and once in the groin. He was taken to the hospital by ground ambulance. When officers arrived on First Street they found a female in the backseat of a car with a gunshot to the neck. They also located three males suspects. The female was flown by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston in critical condition. The suspects were taken in for questioning.

No other details are available at this time.

JANUARY 13, 2020
Willis resident Mark Athans faced jail if he didn’t pay $107,000 dollars to his ex-wife and her lawyer. That’s not a first, but here’s the shocking twist. Athan’s wife Charity Renee Parchem is an accused serial bigamist. Parchem ironically faces sentencing on Tuesday for her bigamy charge in Conroe, but the Montgomery County Judge hearing the divorce case, County Court Judge Patrice McDonald, refused to let sheriff’s detectives even testify when the bigamy evidence surfaced. Athans has already spent more than $150,000 in the divorce case but spent thousands more to go back to South Dakota where he first got married to get it voided. A Judge in South Dakota quickly voided the marriage, but that wasn’t good enough for Judge McDonald either. “I had been conned and destroyed by somebody that said that they cared for me,” said Mark Athans. “The hurt and the damage that it’s doing to me financially and my son, I don’t know what to think. Now I am a victim of a family court system run a mock.” Athans was married to Charity Renee Parchem for just five months before filing for divorce, and that was even before he found out his wife was already married. A South Dakota Judge concluded late last year that Parchem was really married to at least two other guys. After 8 hours of mostly Judge McDonald denying almost every motion put forward to her and refusing to allow the testimony of the bigamy into court. This to the point of keeping Montgomery County Sheriff’s Detective Jordan who filed the felony bigamy case against Parchem standing in the hall all day and refusing to allow him to testify on any part of his investigation. The hearing was an enforcement hearing over a contempt charge filed by Parchem through a Dallas Attorney for not getting monies awarded her in a divorce. Parchem stated she was not paid anything including a $9000 spousal check ordered and paid by July 1, 2019. However, Athan’s attorney countered that claim saying it was mailed to her certified mail on July 1, 2019, and returned several weeks later. Parchem was allowed to open the envelope on the stand and inside found the $9,000 check. It was also discovered the check which was mailed to PO Box 8118 in New Waverly, her dad’s address was actually wrong on the court documents. Parchem then told the Judge the check was VOID because it was more than 90 days old as of today. When the Judge asked if they would drop the contempt charge Parchem stated that she wanted to see Athan in jail Athan, who holds several medical licenses in the State of Texas for his nursing was faced with losing those if he had been jailed. He also faced the worry of having someone caring for his 22-year-old son Dakota who suffers from autism. When asked by the court why Athan’s two older sons could not care for him, he responded that one worked out of town in the oilfields and another for the Federal Government in California and were not married. Athan’s parents are in their 70s and also did not have the means. Mark Athans of Willis was sentenced to five days in jail for refusing to pay his ex-wife tens of thousands of dollars in spousal support and legal fees. The judge ignored a South Dakota court order voiding Mark Athans’ marriage to Charity Parchem based on the fact that she is a serial bigamist. Parchem was married to at least two other men before she married Athans. In fact, Parchem is currently charged with the felony crime of bigamy – a case that is being heard in the very same courthouse. McDonald suspended the sentence for Athans in the “community interest” and put him on two-year probation until he pays the bill. Judge McDonald says that it is irrelevant that Parchem is a bigamist and defrauded Athans by marrying him while she was already married to two other guys. Athans’ mother called Parchem a “predator of men” and thinks that Judge McDonald should be taken off the bench for punishing her son when he is the real victim. The case has drawn attention across the state. Athans has until March to start paying his ex-wife $1,500 a month. But don’t be surprised if his lawyers go to the Texas Court of Appeals to overturn Judge McDonald’s decision. Wany Dolcefino, who attended the trial today said, “Today Judge McDonald sent another message about just how screwed up the family court system is in Texas,” “Ignoring the evidence that Mark Athans was victimized by a marriage fraud scheme is shameful and an embarrassment for the Montgomery County Courthouse. It is a reminder that voters need to be very careful about who they elect.” Parcham is due in Judge Hamilton’s Court in the morning on her bigamy case, a third-degree felony.

JANUARY 13, 2021
At 2:22 pm Wednesday calls came into 911 operators reporting a Ford Fusion had rear-ended an 18_wheeler on I-69 near Kingsport in Splendora. East Montgomery County Fire responded along with MCHD, Splendora Police, and DPS. Firefighters quickly determined the male driver, identified as Clayton Rushing, age 26, of Cleveland was deceased. According to Splendora Police northbound traffic just before the Liberty County construction area slowed down for unknown reasons. The 18-wheeler slowed and as he did Rushing drove up under the trailer of the truck, tearing the roof off his vehicle. Splendora Poice was assisted by DPS on the investigation. Over the years as DPS investigated a crash it took upwards of five hours and several Troopers to measure and scale the crash scene. Today DPS along with Splendora Police used their new drone technology. The drone flies a grid over the scene mapping every gouge mark, skid, and vehicle part. It is then loaded to a computer and the entire scene can be printed out in 3-d. Montgomery County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Jason Dunn ordered Eickenhorst Funeral Directors to transport the victim to the Montgomery County Forensic Center for autopsy.

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